Today's Top Ten list brings you the guys who had the most offensive punch for the Avalanche. Most of these guys played on the pre-lockout powerhouse teams, but a couple carved their place during some pretty lean years. All figures are based on goals and assists scored during their tenure with the Avs, which does not include points scored with the Nordiques, unless otherwise stated as "career" points, goals or assists.
1. Joe Sakic (1,015 reg season points, 177 playoff points, 1,192 total)
If this is a surprise to you, you haven't been paying attention. The future Hall of Famer is featured on many "best of" lists for the NHL, including the most career overtime goals scored in the playoffs. He became the 11th player in NHL history to reach 1,500 career points on October 25, 2006. Sakic has also set nearly every franchise scoring record including goals, assist, and points in his 20-year stint with the team. He led the league in playoff goals and points in both of the Avs' Cup years.
2. Peter Forsberg (705 reg season points,
153 144 playoff points, 858 849 total)
Even with his body revolting against him, Forsberg will go down in Avalanche history as one of its greatest. He still holds the Avs' single season assists records for the regular season (86) and the playoffs (18). He sits 10th in the NHL in career points-per-game and 4th in all-time career assists. He leads the team in points-per-game averages for both the regular season (1.28) and the playoffs (1.14). Forsberg also finishes his career with 141 more points (including playoffs) and 2 more Stanley Cups than Eric Lindros.
3. Milan Hejduk (757 reg season points, 76 playoff points, 833 total)
The Cupcakes recently asked about the most underrated player in the NHL. Hejduk makes a great case to be just that. He's second only to Sakic in goals scored during the regular season, as well as third in regular season assists and playoff points behind Sakic and Forsberg. Only two players from the 1994 draft have more career points (including playoffs) than the Duke: Daniel Alfredsson and Patrick Elias. Ironically, all 3 players have spent their careers with one franchise.
4. Alex Tanguay (400 reg season points, 50 playoff points, 450 total)
Some may argue that losing Tanguay wasn't quite the blow others would claim, yet the numbers don't lie. He shined with the Avs and places fourth not only in points but in assists as well. 21 of his points came during the 2001 Stanley Cup playoffs. No goals were more important, though, than those two little ones he scored during Game 7 of the finals. If you're still wondering if the trade was a bad deal or not, consider that the 450 points he registered with Colorado alone are more than double what Jordan Leopold has had in his career.
5. Paul Stastny (321 reg season points, 8 playoff points, 329 total)
Unlike the other players on this list, Stastny recorded all of his points post-lock out. The forward has still managed to average just over a point-per-game despite being saddled with terrible teams for 2 of his 5 years with the Avs. In 2007, Stastny went on a 20-game scoring streak, breaking his father's (Peter Stastny) franchise rookie record of 16 games and the NHL rookie record of 17 games (Teemu Selanne). That year he also set the Avalanche rookie record for points in a season at 78. Sadly, he is one of only two active players for the team on this list.
6. Adam Deadmarsh (271 reg season points, 55 playoff points, 326 total)
Deader is a huge case of "what if." The forced retirement is nothing short of a tragedy, but he will ever be cherished by the Avs faithful for his contributions both offensively and defensively. In the 96-97 season, he led the team with 33 goals as they captured the President's Trophy. Although it wasn't with the Avalanche, we here at Mile High Hockey relish any goal that brings down - and more importantly, humiliates - Detroit. Deadmarsh did just that in the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs by scoring the game-winning overtime goal that ended the season for the heavily favored Red Wings.
7. Valeri Kamensky (261 reg season points, 58 playoff points, 319 total)
Forget the stats. Sometimes you can find a diamond amongst all the cubic zirconia in the later rounds. Case in point: Kamensky, who was selected in the 7th. He averaged a point-per-game in both the regular season and the playoffs in that all-important 1995-96 season. Although he doesn't hold all these shiny records with the Avs, Kamensky could be relied upon for at least 30 goals every season with the team. And it's good to be able to rely on a teammate, right AJ? AJ?...AJ?
8. Sandis Ozolinsh (253 reg season points, 65 playoff points, 318 total)
Ozolinsh's playoff points puts him 4th in Avs' history. Of course, if he had not been robbed 184 times during the '96 playoffs, he would've had a whole lot more. He did set some team records in the 5 seasons he spent with the team, including most single regular season goals (23) and points (68) by a defenseman and all-time regular season (72) and playoff (18) goals by a defenseman. Ozolinsh is one of two defensemen on this list; sadly, the top two scorers for the current Avalanche blueline are Ryan Wilson (38) and Kyle Cumiskey (37).
9. John-Michael Liles (275 reg season points, 11 playoff points, 286 total)
Liles is the second defenseman on the list, making it despite what many claim was sub-par performance over the years. In his rookie season, Liles' 34 points made him the highest scoring rookie defenseman in team history and second to Bruce Bell for the franchise. December 17, 2009 marked his 100th assist (vs. the Los Angeles Kings). On January 29, 2009, he recorded his 50th goal, becoming the 5th defender in franchise history to do so. In the ill-fated 2010-2011 season, Liles was in the center of early talks for Norris Trophy candidates. He set an NHL record for defensemen in his first 9 games by tallying an assist in each one of them.
10. Chris Drury (222 reg season points, 50 playoff points, 272 total)
That's a lot of clutch points. Though he's not as flashy as Forsberg or as super as Joe, Drury is the kind of guy who gets things done. He had 11 game-winning goals in 4 playoff seasons for the Avs, and his 44 points in his rookie season helped him win the Calder. Little known fact: Drury pitched a 5-hitter game against Chinese Taipei to win the 1989 Little League World Series.