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A Series: Looking into Avalanche and Nordiques Player Numbers: Number 20

Bryan Marchment
Bryan Marchment
Rick Stewart, Getty

13 players have worn #20 for the Nordiques and Avalanche, but the bulk of the time in number 20 was spent by two players. Read on to see who they might be.

Terry Martin - Martin played in 479 NHL games, but only 3 of those were for the Quebec Nordiques. He was drafted from Buffalo in the 1979 expansion draft and traded to Toronto a couple of months into his first season with Quebec.

Anton Stastny - The youngest of the Stastny brothers (v1.0), Anton is the only one of the three who was actually drafted by the Noriques and he's the only one who spent his entire career with the Nordiques. He and Peter joined the Nordiques for the 80-81 season and spent 9 years in Quebec, playing in 650 games, scoring 252 goals, 384 assists, 150 penalty minutes and a +13 rating. His 636 points is 3rd all-time for the Nordiques alone and 6th all-time for the franchise. Vote for him.

Claude Loiselle - Although Anton put up some solid numbers, #20 was not retired when he did. Claude Loiselle was acquired by the future Colorado team (Nordiques) from the former Colorado team (Devils) in 1989. He had been wearing 19 for the Devils which was, oddly enough, taken on the Nordiques. So, he went with 20. Loiselle played in 131 games for Quebec, scoring 16 goals, 24 assists, -47 and 190 penalty minutes. He was claimed on waivers by the Maple Leafs late in the 1991 season. Loiselle has served time in the front office of the Lighting and the NHL and is currently the assistant GM for the Leafs.

Mike McNeill - Nope, I've never heard of him either. He was acquired via trade from the Black Hawks on the same day that Loiselle was claimed on waivers, conveniently making a #20 jersey available for him. He played parts of 2 seasons with Quebec - 40 games, 3 goals 9 assists -3 12 penalty minutes. His 91-92 season was his last in the NHL, although he would go on to play many years in the IHL and Germany.

Bill Lindsay - Lindsay was originally drafted by the Nordiques, a fact I was previously unaware of. Turns out, he wore #53 as a rookie in 1991-92 and then switched to #20 for his second year. After his second season, he was claimed by the Panthers in the expansion draft and would eventually face his original franchise in the 1996 Cup Finals. For Quebec, he played in 67 games scoring 6 goals 13 assists -13 and 30 penalty minutes.

Rene Corbet - Corbet briefly wore #55 for the Nordiques before switching to 20 in the 94-95 season - his second. He stuck with that when the team made the move to Denver. For the franchise, he played in 247 games, scoring 40 goals, 51 assists and was a +39 with 293 penalty minutes, placing him firmly behind Stastny as 2nd best to wear #20. It's fairly spotty from here on out.

Kelly Fairchild - Fairchild was a minor league veteran signed by the Avs before the 2000 season. He didn't play during the Cup year (but did practice with the team during the playoffs). He played 10 games in 01-02 and scored 2 goals. That was his last year in North America. The following year he left for Germany than played a stint in Austria and Japan before retiring in 2009.

Bryan Marchment - Marchment is pictured above because there aren't any photos of Uncle Anton that we have rights to us. He was acquired from the Sharks at the 2003 trade deadline for a 3rd and 5th round pick. He played 14 games for the Avs, grabbing 3 assists and 33 penalty minutes. He might have played in the 7 game series that year against the Wild if that had actually happened. He's currently a scout with the Sharks.

Cody McCormick - The other Cody Mac started off wearing #22 as a rookie in 2003-2004. When Steve Konowalchuk's steely gaze was acquired, Cody switched to #20 and switched to the more familiar #11 the year after Lockout Episode II (Thanks again, Gary). Over his 5-year Avalanche career, he played in 190 games, scored 9 goals, 21 assists, -2 and 250 penalty minutes and refused to help out a teammate zero times.

Vitaly Kolesnik - As you know, the franchise has been taking flyers on European free agents since the beginning. It paid off with Peter Stastny, but hasn't quite been a hit since - Miroslav Frycer, Per Ledin, Jaroslav Hlinka, Joaqim Lindstrom; most have been one and done with the franchise. Vitaly Kolesnik is one of those players. Kolesnik was signed as a free agent before the 2005 season and spent the year in the AHL. He came up during the season and briefly was part of a 3-goalie rotation under the masterful guidance of Joel Quenneville. He wore #20 for the Avalanche, not super common for American goalies that aren't whack jobs, but I hear it's kind of a popular number for Russian goalies for some reason. Anyway, between the handling debacle with the Avalanche and having to spend the rest of the season in Lowell, Mass, Kolesnik said whatever is Khazakstani for "fuck this shit" and wisely returned to Europe.

Mark Rycroft - the former Pioneer signed with the Avalanche in 2006 and played 66 games with the Avs, netting 12 points. He was traded to Columbus the following season for Darcy Campbell and Phillipe Dupuis and currently the Avs' studio analyst (thanks one more time, Gary!)

Tom Preissing - In July 2009, the Avalanche dumped Ryan Smyth to the Kings for Kyle Quincey, a 5th round pick (Luke Walker) and Preissing. Preissing played just 4 games for the Avalanche and his contract was bought out during his second season so that the Avalanche could hit the cap floor. Please shoot me. Preissing is still active; he's currently playing in Sweden.

Greg Mauldin - You know, the one with the smile. He played 29 games for the Avalanche two years ago and scored 10 points. He is currently playing in Switzerland.

Well, there you have it. It should be an easy vote, but there are a couple of popular role players on the list as well.