Beauty - Jay Vean (The Avs Hockey Podcast)
We've covered numbers 1 through 20 in our Who Wore It Best
lockout filler series (thanks Gary!) and I thought it would be a nice time to recap the voting so far. Here's a recap of the first 19 (and if you're wondering why I stopped at 19, you might be on the wrong blog). I'm only including players who received 5% of the vote in our highly scientific and sometimes illegible polls.
1 - Semyon Varlamov (49%) David Aebischer (41%) Ron Tugnutt (5%). In the first 19, 3 current Avs won the voting, including Varly. Abby fared pretty well here; his 41% is the 3rd highest score among the runner ups.
2 - Sylvain Lefebvre (90%). This was a landslide, with Lefebvre getting the 2nd highest percentage of votes so far. Ken Klee (4%) and Wally Weir (2%) received a handful of votes but this wasn't close at all.
3 - Karlis Skrastins (75%) Aaron Miller (16%) Ryan O'Byrne (6%). The late Karlis Skrastins won this won handily, even though runner ups Aaron Miller and Ryan O'Byrne are both popular among fans. I suspect emotions might have won out here.
4 - Rob Blake (67%) Uwe Krupp (20%) John-Michael Liles (10%). Personally, I'm surprised by this vote. Yes, Krupp had a big goal but his franchise numbers pale in comparison to those of Johnny Hot Pocket. Honestly, I thought Liles might have challenged Blake in this, but I was wrong. Well, at least he's got another shot to win at #26. Oops.
5 - Alexei Gusarov (71%) Brett Clark (14%) Shane O'Brien (5%). No huge surprise that the Goose won here, but Clark's surprisingly strong showing was interesting, considering the dislike many fans had of Clark.
6 - Erik Johnson (63%) Craig Wolanin (17%) This was a fairly weak crop, with EJ's biggest challenge being the steady-but-not-spectacular Craig Wolanin. EJ is the 2nd current Avalanche to be voted the best at his jersey number.
7 - Curtis Leschyshyn (46%) Greg de Vries (45%) This one was close, with Leschyshyn edging out de Vries by just 2 votes, which means that the 3 people who voted for T.J. Hensick could have changed the outcome. This is not the closest vote, though.
8 - Sandis Ozolonish (76%) Marc Tardif (11%) Wojtek Wolski (6%). It's clear - and probably natural - that Avalanche players have been more favored in the voting, and that's on display here. Marc Tardiff had his number retired by the Nordiques, but most of us have never seen him play and he gathered just 9 more votes than Wojtek Wolski. Meanwhile, Sandis Ozolinsh won this handily.
9 - Matt Duchene (43%) Mike Ricci (43%) Real Cloutier (10%) This race was as close as you could get, with Duchene edging Ricci by one single vote, 120-119. Cloutier played the role of Ross Perot here, siphoning 30 votes away from the front runner. Duchene is the 3rd and final current Avalanche in the Top 19 to win.
10 - Guy Lafleur (52%) Ville Nieminen (15%) Kyle Cumiskey (12%) Warren Rychel (12%) This was a week class. Despite playing just 98 games for the franchise, Lafleur becomes one of just two Quebec-only players to win this.
11 - Owen Nolan (73%) Keith Jones (8%) Jamie McGinn (6%) Nolan dominated here, although Jamie McGinn has an impressive showing for a guy just 17 games into his Avalanche career (thanks Gary!)
12 - Mike Keane (39%) Chris Simon (34%) Radim Vrbata (12%) Porter (5%) This one was an ugly vote, with Mike Keane winning even though his Cup winning stint was with a different number. He has a shot at winning with two different numbers...but he's not the only one who can do that.
13 - Valeri Kamensky (66%) Dan Hinote (17%) Mats Sundin (16%) Few numbers are as consistently glorious as #13 has been for the franchise. Only three players have worn #13 and all three were popular players. Kamensky won easily as expected, but Dan Hinote had a strong showing in edging out Mats Sundin for the 2nd spot.
14 - Ian Laperriere (89%) Theo Fleury (12%) Not surprisingly, Lappy had the 3rd highest percentage of votes. Theo Fleury did surprisingly well considering he played just 15 games for the Avalanche.
15 - Andrew Brunette (82%) This is one of three votes where the 2nd place option didn't get at least 5% of the votes. Bruno was certainly a popular player, but this was a weak number overall.
16 - Michel Goulet (78%) Jeff Odgers (9%) Jay McClement (6%) Goulet and Lafleur were the only two guys who didn't play for the Avalanche to win their respective voting.
17 - Radim Vrbata (37%) Jari Kurri (25%) Wendel Clark (17%) Chuck Kobasew (9%) Jaroslav Hlinka (5%) This was a pretty weak group, may not as bad collectively as #12, but almost everyone who wore #17 did so for a very short time. This is the only vote where 5 people got 5%, even if one of them got votes just to piss off Dario. Vrbata wins an ugly one, becoming the first player so far to get 5% of the votes with 2 different numbers.
18 - Adam Deadmarsh (66%) Chris Drury (11%) Alex Tanguay (9%), Anton Stastny (9%) This was a complex vote. Stastny had the best numbers of the bunch, but most people never saw him play. Both Drury and Tanguay changed numbers during their Avalanche careers, which probably cost them votes here. In the end, Deader's popularity was just too strong.
19 - Joe Sakic (94%) 11 votes inexplicably went to Alain Cote and Michel Dion, but otherwise this was as it should have been. No one got a higher percentage of votes than Super Joe.
Thanks to Jay Vean for letting us use the jealousy-inducing photo of his Sakic jersey collection.