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A Series: Looking into Avalanche and Nordiques Player Numbers: Number 41

Doug Pensinger

The number 41 hasn't been overly popular, and only three guys have worn it for more than two seasons for the Colorado Avalanche and Quebec Nordiques.

Jean-Marc Richard (88,90): Jean-Marc played four games for the Nords in 1988 and 1 game in 1990. In '88 he had 2 goals, 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes. In '90 he played a game had no points nor penalty minutes.

Doug Smail (92): Doug played 46 games for the Quebec Nordiques as a left wing in 1992. He had 10 goals, 18 assists and 47 penalty minutes. He made his way into the NHL records books by scoring the fastest goal after an opening faceoff - it only took him five seconds! HE found his way to Colorado and is now the head coach of the Rocky Mountain Roughriders U-15 AAA squad.

Jocelyn Thibault (94,95,96): Jocelyn was drafted 10th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1993 Draft. In 1994 he played 29 games, had 8 wins, 13 losses and 3 ties. In 1995 he played 18 games, had 12 wins, 2 losses and 2 ties and a save percentage of 0.917. In 1996 he only played 10 games before being traded. He had 3 wins, 4 losses and 2 ties. Jocelyn was traded along with Andrei Kovalenko and Martin Rucinsky for Partick Roy and Mike Keane. Like Doug, he's made his way to Colorado - he currently lives in Littelton.

Martin Skoula (01,02,03,04): Martin was drafted by the Avalanche 17th overall in the 1998 Draft. His first year in Colorado he played with the number 55. After that his first year he made the switch to the number 41. He played 303 games, had 24 goals, 73 assists and 178 penalty minutes during the regular season. In the playoffs he played 51 games, and 1 goal, 11 assists and 14 penalty minutes. He won the Cup with the Avalanche in 2001.

Mike Vernace (09): Mike was drafted in the 7th round by the Sharks in 2004 and was traded to the Avalanche for a 6th round pick in 2006. Mike would go on to play 12 games for the Avalanche. He didn't have any points, but he did have 8 penalty minutes.

Craig Anderson (10-11):
Craig was drafted twice, both times in the third round. First he was drafted by the Flames in 1999 and then by the Hawks in 2001. Colorado signed him Free Agency Day in the summer of 2009. His first year he played 71 games, had 38 wins, 25 losses and 7 ties and had 7 shutouts. In a playoff game that most fans still remember he made 51 saves to earn his first playoff shutout. In 2011 he struggled and then was traded to the Senators. Before being traded he played 33 games and was 13-15-3.

Tyson Barrie (12):
Tyson was drafted by the Avs in the third round in 2009. He has played 10 games for the Avs, the defenseman has no points, no penalty minutes and was a -2.