Like so many of these that we've been doing lately, #38 is definitely...well, let's just say "mixed bag" would be a nice way to put things.
Robbie Ftorek - I'm not quite sure exactly what happened here. The brand new Nordiques signed the WHA veteran for their inaugural 1979-1980 season, where he appeared to wear #7. In 1980-81, HR has him changing to #38 and Dale Hoganson, who previously wore #33, changing to #7. But this team photo from 80-81 appears to show Hoganson wearing 30something (Ftorek's is unclear to me, but it could be 7). Then again, he's sporting the C, and Marc Tardif was supposedly the captain that year...so I have no fucking clue. Ftorek clearly wore #38 at some point and HR has them both going back to their old numbers (7 and 33) for the 81-82 season. Crystal clear?
Joel Baillargeon - Here's another name that was not nestled away in my memory banks. He was a 6th round pick of the Jets (v1.0) in 1983, played 15 games with them over two seasons starting in 86 and then was traded to Quebec for future considerations in 1988. He played 5 games with the Nordiques and retired after the season.
David Latta - This winger was drafted in the 1st round of the 1985 draft, so clearly the franchise had a Latta high hopes for him [awkward pause]. He played 36 games for the Nordiques, but only one was wearing #38 - the rest were in #27.
Dave Marcinyshyn - Marcinyshyn was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Devils in 1987. While I don't remember him, I have a good idea what type of player the 6'3 defenseman was - he had 2,050 penalty minutes and 255 points in 909 pro games. Alas, most of those games were not at the NHL level. He had 9 games with the Devils in 1990. The next year the Devils traded him to the Nordiques for Brent Severyn. He played 5 games with Quebec and then 2 with the Rangers after signing with them as a free agent. The rest of his time was spent in the AHL, IHL and in Germany.
Iain Fraser - Last week in the comments, folks discussed players who might see their careers hurt by a lockout (or, in the case of the NHL, lockouts). Might I present, Iain Fraser. Fraser was a smallish forward drafted by the Islanders in the 6th round of the 1989 draft. The Islanders didn't sign him that summer, and instead he returned to Oshawa for his final season of junior eligibility. He was the captain of the team that year, as well as their scoring leader (105 points in 59 games). Midway through the year, the team came under scrutiny as they acquired a hot young player named Eric Lindros...after the giant fucking baby refused to sign with the team that owned his rights (familiar story, I know). The Generals won the Memorial Cup that year and Fraser - not Big Baby - won the playoff MVP award. Fraser signed with the Islanders the following summer, but spent most of the next 3 years in the minors, despite a stellar 92-93 season where he scored a blistering 110 points, second in the league. In the summer of 93, the forward signed with the Nordiques and he had a great first season, scoring 17 goals and 37 points in 60 games. And then Bettman happened. Lockout V1.0 happened and Fraser's NHL went on ice (well, not literally of course. You see, if he was really on ice...er, forget it). At any rate, just after the lockout ended, Fraser was traded to the Stars for a 7th round pick. He didn't stick with Dallas - they waived him two months and 4 games later. Edmonton claimed him and he scored 3 goals in his first 4 games (on 3 shots, I might add). He then went scoreless over his final 5 games and his time in Edmonton was done (he scored 7 points in 9 games for the Canada bronze medal team in the 1995 World Championships that year). He signed with the Jets, but despite another solid season in the AHL (71 points) he saw just 12 NHL games with the Jets. The next year he signed with the dismal Sharks and spent all but 2 games in the minors. With that, he moved overseas, playing in England, Germany and Italy before retiring in 2006. So, thanks Gary.
Paul Brousseau - moving from Nordiques that I've never heard of to Avalanche that I've never heard of, we have Paul Brousseau, a 2nd round pick by the Nordiques in their brutal 1992 draft Brousseau played for the Nordique's affiliate, but didn't make his NHL debut until the Nordiques had morphed into the Avalanche. He played 8 games for the Avs during the 95-96 season. He departed for Tampa the following summer, and also had a short stint with the Panthers before moving overseas.
Dan Hinote - Dan wore #38 as a rookie - 27 games, 4 points - in the 99-00 season. He changed his number the next year, so most of his high notes were while wearing #13. And no, I'm not sorry for that.
Dave Andreychuk - The NHL's all-time career leader in PP goals (274) had a brief stay with the Avalanche. He came over to the Avalanche in the Ray Bourque trade, but contributed just 2 points (and a -9 rating) over the final 14 regular season games. He did have 5 points in the playoffs, so there is that. The next offseason, he signed with his old team - Buffalo - and eventually made his way to the Lightning, were, in 2004, after 22 seasons he finally won a Stanley Cup. Ironically, only Bourque played more career games before winning the Cup than Andreychuk.
Charlie Stephens - The big - 6'3, 225 - forward was drafted in the 2nd round of the 99 draft by the Capitals. They didn't sign him, and so the Avalanche drafted him in the 6th round of the 2001 draft. Stephens played just 8 games with the Avs over 2 seasons, recording 2 assists. He spent 3 years in Ottawa's system but never cracked the NHL again. He is still playing, though. He's in Germany playing on a team coached by Uwe Krupp.
Matt Barnaby - Nope, not a fan. Barnaby and a 3rd round pick was acquired from the Rangers in 2004 for Chris MacAllister, prospect David Liffiton and a 2nd round pick. You know how sometimes deals like this seems like a big deal at the time? Barnaby was gone the following season, the 3rd rounder became Denis Parshin and the 2nd rounder became David Shantz, and MacAllister and Liffiton have combined for 19 NHL games since then. In other words, a giant "meh" all around. What I do find interesting - and hopefully someone can remind me the details - Barnaby was acquired on March 8th, 2004. It was the day before the trade deadline. But also was the Steve Moore game. Ironically, Barnaby had worn #36 his entire career, but, since that was already assigned to Moore, he took #38 after joining the team. Barnaby did have a nice output with the Avs - 9 points in 13 games - and if you like guys who pretend to drop the gloves to goad other players into taking penalties, then you should vote for him. I won't.
Jim Dowd - Dowd was a prolific scorer in high school and college, but earned his pay in the NHL as a defensive forward (he reached the 30-point mark just once in his 16-year career). Dowd had played for the Devils, Canucks, Islanders, Flames, Oilers, Wild, Canadiens and Blackhawks before coming to the Avs in a 2006 deadline day trade (the day after the Jose Theodore trade). Although Dowd was able to fill up his NW division punch card, earning him $5 off his next fillup, he spent just 16 games with the Avalanche before heading back to New Jersey as a free agent the following year. He finished up his career in Philadelphia