Today is going to be a long one. So, go, grab a coffee. I'll wait. There have been an incredible 23 players that have worn the number 28 in the Colorado Avalanche / Quebec Nordiques history. Including four in one season!
Gilles Bilodeau (80): Gilles was drafted in 1975 by the Toronto Torros in the 9th round. He played 9 games for the Nords in 1980, notched no goals, 1 assist and 25 penalty minutes. Gilles' nickname was "Bad News", he had a couple other nickenames "Tarzan" and "Zombie". Although his stats in 1980 don't show it, he was an extremely aggressive player. While in Juniors Bilodeau once fought with police officers in the stands and had to be maced into submission. Six of his teammates came to his defense, swinging hockey sticks at police officers heads. It's no surprise that this led to seven arrests against the team. In another instance of anger he broke the neck of a goalie with a cross-check from behind. He also pulled a Mike Tyson, before Mike Tyson pulled a Mike Tyson. He bite off a chunk of an opposing player's ear. Seriously. This guy really was Bad News. But instead of staying in the minors, and perhaps a decrease in ice time he was bought up into the NHL. Once there, his mean streak didn't end. He'd leave the penalty box to fight players, he'd do dangerous cross-checks. He aimed to maim.
Louis Sleigher (80): Louis was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 21st (!) round in the 1978 Amateur Draft. He would never play for the Habs, he skipped right on the their rivals: the Quebec Nordiques. This is interesting because Louis was involved in the 1984 Good Friday Massacre. During this game he knocked Montrealer Hamel unconscious and ended his career. Although Louis would play 105 games for the Nords, he only played 2 games while wearing the 28. He had a point and was +1.
Paul Stewart (80): In his only NHL seasons, Paul played 21 games for the Nords. He had 2 goals, no assists and 74 penalty minutes. Paul went on to become a NHL referee.
Greg Tebbutt (80): Greg was drafted by both the WHA and the NHL. He went with the Birmingham Bulls who took him in the 6th round. After a season with the Bulls, the NHL and WHA amalgamated, and he found himself on the Quebec Nordiques. In his two NHL games he had 1 assist, 4 penalty minutes and was a -1.
Andre Dupont (81-83): Andre was drafted 8th overall by the New York Rangers. After playing in the NHL for 11 seasons he made his last stop the Quebec Nordiques. Before being a Nordiques, he won the cup twice as a Broad Street Bully. He played 169 games in Nords gear and had 12 goals, 32 assists and 44 penalty minutes.
Gord Donnelly (84-85): Gord was drafted in the third round by the St Louis Blues in the 1981 Draft. Gord went to the Nords, along with Claude Julien, for compensation of signing Jacques Demers. Donnelly would eventually play 213 games for the Nords. However, he only wore the number 28 Nords jersey his first two seasons. In that time he played 60 games, had no goals, 5 assists and 93 penalty minutes. Yes, Gord Donnelly is, current Avalanche prospect, Dillon Donnelly's father. Dillion famously damaged the Memorial Cup this past year.
Edward Lee (85): Ed was drafted by the Nords in the 5th round of the 1981 Draft. He played 2 games for the Nords. His only two games in the NHL. He had no points and five penalty minutes.
Yvon Vautour (85): Yvon was drafted in the 6th round of the 1976 draft by the Islanders. In 1981, after playing only 17 games with them, he was claimed off of waivers by the Rockies (we all know who BiB is going to chose now). By the time he made his way into Nords gear he was at the end of his career. He only played five games in Nords gear, had no points and 2 penalty minutes.
Alain Lemieux (85-86): Alain was drafted 96th overall by the Blues in the 1980 Draft.The Nords gave up Luc Dufour to get him in 1985. Alain went on to play 37 games for the Nords, notching 11 goals and 11 assists in that time. Alain is best known for being the older brother of Mario Lemieux.
Jeff Brown (86-87): Jeff was drafted by the Nords in the second round of the 1984 entry draft. He would play parts of five season for them before being traded to the Blues. He only wore the number 28 for two seasons however. In those two years he played in 52 games, had 10 goals, 24 assists and 22 penalty minutes.
Tommy Albelin (88-89): This Swede played in the NHL an impressive 20 seasons. He was drafted in the 8th round of the 1983 Draft by the Quebec Nordiques. He would play for the Nords for 74 games. He had 5 goals, 27 assists and 74 penalty minutes. In 2007 he began his coaching career, first as an Assistant Coach to the Devils, and then a Head Coach to their affiliate.
Jacques Mailhot (89): Jacques played 5 NHL games in his career. All of them with the Nords. In five games he had no points and a shocking 33 penalty minutes.
Mario Doyon (90): Mario was drafted in the 6th round of the 1986 Draft by the Blackhawks. He was part of the packaged deal that saw the Nords ship out Goulet, Millen and St-Jacques for Sanipass, Vincellette and, obviously, Doyon. The Nords would end up being his last stop in the NHL. He would play 9 games, earn 2 goals, 3 assists and 6 penalty minutes in that time.
Tony HrKac (90): Tony was drafted in the 2nd round by the Blues in 1984. He was traded, along with Greg Millen, to the Nords for Jeff Brown. Although he would play parts of two seasons with the team, he only wore the 28 his first season. In that season he played 22 games, had 4 goals, 8 assists and 2 penalty minutes.
Jamie Baker (91-92): Jamie was drafted by Quebec in the 1988 Supplemental Draft. Jamie would play 70 games for the Nords earning 9 goals, 10 assists and 40 penalty minutes. Although he wasn't on the Nords when it happened, his shinning moment was scoring the winning goal of the seventh game that sent the Wings flying out of the playoffs in 1994.
Steve Duchesne (93): Steve is an undrafted player who got his chance with the Kings. He was part of the Blockbuster deal that sent Eric Lindros packing for the Nords. He was known as being an offensive-defenseman. He would only play one season with the Nords, who traded him at his highest value. His best year was with the Nords, he played all 82 games, had 20 goals, 62 assists - that's right the defender had a point per game - and 57 penalty minutes. He was also a +15. The Nords traded him, along with Denis Chasse to the Blues for Bassen, Butcher and Ron Sutter.
Bob Bassen (94-95): After being acquired by the Nords for Duchesne, he figured he'd keep Steve's number. Bob would play 84 games for the Nords over two seasons. He had a total 23 goals, 23 assists and 88 penalty minutes.
Eric Lacroix (97-99): Oh Eric... this proves that some people cannot separate family from business. Eric, for those who aren't aware Eric is Pierre Lacroix's son. For those who haven't read Adrian Dater's Blood Feud, Eric's time in Denver is most memorable because of the off-ice drama, Dater talks briefly about Eric's time in Denver, this included a day when Pierre Lacroix went into the lockerroom and yelled at Milan Hejduk for talking badly to the press about his son. Problem was Milan's English was fairly bad at the time and it wasn't him that had talked to Adrian. In the end, Pierre traded his son away. There were a great number of tears at this trade conference. While on the Avs he played 170 games, had 34 goals, 33 assists and 112 penalty minutes during the regular season. In the playoffs he played 24 games, had 1 goal, 4 assists and 25 penalty minutes.
Steve Reinprecht (01-03): Steven was undrafted and got his break with the Kings. His rookie season, 2001, he was traded along with Rob Blake for Deadmarsh, Miller, and Aulin to the Avs. This forward was known for his defensive abilities. Overall, he played 165 regular season games with the Avs and had 40 goals, 64 assists and 38 penalty minutes. He played 50 playoff games, had 10 goals, 10 assists and 10 penalty minutes. He won the Cup in 2001.
Peter Worrell (04): Peter was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 7th round of the 1995 entry draft.He played his last NHL season with the Avalanche. This enforcer wasn't expected to produce on the scoresheet, and he didn't disappoint. In 49 games he had 3 goals, 1 assist and 179 penalty minutes.
Ben Guite (07-09): Guite was drafted by the Habs in the 7th round in the 1997 Draft. I have to admit, I have a soft spot for the Fu-Manchu loving man. Ben's father, Pierre, played for the Quebec Nordiques. Ben played a total 168 games for the Avs. Earning 19 goals, 26 assists and 93 penalty minutes during the regular season. He played 10 playoff games, had 1 assist and 14 penalty minutes.
David Koci (10-11): After losing Scott Parker after the 2008 season, the Avs went looking for an enforcer. In came David. The giant was drafted in the 5th round by the Penguins in 2000. The self-help book guru signed as a free agent with the Avs and played 78 games. He had 2 goals, one of these was literally off his butt. You've seen Goon? You've seen the goal. He had a total 164 penalty minutes and averaged as a -4. Now, his best games were his last few when he made the switch from being a forward to being a defender.
Joakim Lindstrom (12): Joakim was drafted in the 2nd round by the Jackets in the 2002 Draft. He played 16 games, had 2 goals, 3 assists and was a -9. By the end November 2012 Joakim, repeatedly, asked to be released from his contract and left the NHL and went back to to the SEL.