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A Series: Looking into Avalanche and Nordiques Player Numbers: Number 19

Joe Sakic
Joe Sakic
Rick Stewart, Getty Images

There have been three men that have sported the famous 19: Alain Cote, Michel Dion, and Joe Sakic. It took 8 seasons before the 19 was sported by a Quebec Nordiques. In 1980 it was snatched up by Cote. It was worn every year until the 2009 season. It will never be worn again as the Colorado Avalanche have retired it in honor of Joe Sakic.

Alain Cote: Cote was selected 43rd overall in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft and 47th overall in the 1977 WHA Amateur Draft. He wore the jersey while the Nords were in the WHA and kept wearing the jersey while in the NHL from 1980 until 1989. Alain played 696 regular season games during his stint in the NHL with the Nords. In those games he earned 103 goals, 190 assist, 383 penalty minutes and averaged a +1.7. He played a total of 67 playoff games. In those games he scored a total of 9 goals, 15 assists and 44 penalty minutes.

Michel Dion: Taken by the Indianapolis Racers - 121st overall in the 1974 WHA Amateur Draft. The goalie played 12 games in in 1981 with the Nords. This wasn't his first year with the Nords, in 1980 he played 50 games wearing the number 30. As number 19 he had no wins, 8 losses, and 3 ties. He let in 61 goals.

Joe Sakic: Joe was drafted 15th overall in the 1987 Draft. In 1989, when Joe joined the league, Alain Cote wore the number 19, so Joe donned his second choice: 88. When Alain left Joe jumped at the opportunity to wear "his" number. And it will be his number within the Colorado Avalanche for the remainder of the organizations' existence, the Avalanche retired his jersey after his retirement. He scored over 50 goals in a season. Twice. He had over 100 points in a single season six times. He won the Stanley Cup twice. He is an Olympic Gold Medal winner - and was deemed the MVP of the games. In 1988 he was the CHL Player of the Year. He won the Conn Smythe in 1996, and in 2001 he won the Hart, the Lady Byng, and the Lester B. Pearson award!

You all know the stats. He played 1308 regular season games. He had 602 goals, 977 assists, 590 penalty minutes. During the post-season he played 172 games, 84 goals, 104 assists and 78 penalty minutes.