Avalanche by the (sweater) numbers

April 5, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski (21) and Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) fight during the third period of the game at the Pepsi Center. The Blue Jackets defeated the Avalanche, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

I imagine everyone will understand when I say I wanted to focus on something a little lighter today. I couldn't imagine anything better than something that's always interesting to me: the sweater numbers that will be chosen by the new Avs next year.

Eyebrows were raised (at least mine were), when Ryan O'Reilly added "90" to his shiny new twitter handle, leading speculation that Radar might switch to #90 this year. He clearly likes #9 and 90 is a totally boss jersey number so I would fully endorse this change.

New forward P.A. Parenteau has already confirmed on Twitter that he plans to wear #15 next year with the Avs, the same number we wore with the Islanders. It was assigned to Zach Cohen last year (Cohen is currently a free agent) and last appeared on a unipron in 2010 when worn by Matt Hendricks. The most notable Avalanche to wear #15 - and actually the only one to wear it for more than one season - is Andrew Brunette. That means Mitchell Heard will need to come up with something new when he signs with the Avs.

John Mitchell has worn two numbers in the NHL - #39 with the Leafs and #34 with the Rangers. His go-to AHL number seems to be #79 and we wore #7 in the OHL (might have to trust me on that one). Ironically, 34 and 39 were made available in one move this spring when TJ Galiardi and Dan Winnik were traded to San Jose so he could go either way here. But, why wouldn't he want to emulate Tyler Arnason and go with 39? Exactly.

Speaking of the trade, one of the guys acquired for Winniardi wore his birth year #92 in the OHL (like a Sgarbossa). He should be pretty safe since only one NHL player wore #92 last year...er, oops. Fellow tradee Michael Connolly should be safer; he should be able to keep the #18 he wore last year (and also with Worcester in the AHL).

Steve Downie will likely stick with his post-trade #27, a number he wore with the Flyers. The only other number he's worn in the NHL is Matt Duchene's #9. I would imagine Jamie McGinn would stick with #11, a big improvement to the #64 he wore with the Sharks and the atrocious number he wore with the 67s.

Greg Zanon has mostly worn #5 and #6 in his career in the NHL, AHL and college too. Those numbers are already spoken for by Shane O'Brien and Erik Johnson. He did wear #37 as a rookie with the Preds, but that number is currently spoken for by Ryan O'Reilly and it's probably not a number Zanon chose to begin with. He'll have to go in a different numerical direction next year.

Duncan Siemens is another player who possibly covets SOB's #5 (who generally has worn #55, but that's McLeod's number). He was assigned the "sorta-close" #25 last year with the Avs and Lake Erie. See, the re-signing of McLeod and O'Brien continue to send ripple effects throughout this team!

Moving through the goalies...Calvin Pickard wore #1 with Seattle and Lake Erie but won't have that option with the Avalanche. But he will be able to change from the ugly #64 he was assigned last year. Likewise, Sami Aittokallio will be able to shed the pimp-cane #60, perhaps going with a number he's worn before like #30, the number made infamous by Marc Denis, Philippe Sauve and Brian Elliot. Ugh. Kieran Millan wore #31 with BU (and you can't spell "Budaj" without B-U) and Kent Patterson will need to make a change from J.S. Giguere's #35.

Will Chuck Kobasew take the number (12) he wore in Boston and Minnesota now that Kevin Porter is gone? Will Tyson Barrie snag his old WHL #4 now that John-Michael Liles is a year removed from the team? Will Stefan Elliott upgrade his #46 (not to #6, though). And how many points will TJ Hensick score? Wait, that's for a different article.

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