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A Series: Looking into Avalanche and Nordiques Player Numbers: Number 55

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There can be only one...number 55
There can be only one...number 55
Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

5 different players have worn 55 for the Nordiques and the Avalanche. And the number 5 has appeared a total of 5 times in this article. Coincidence? Maybe.

Rene Corbet - Corbet had a 9-game call-up as a rookie during the 93-94 season, scoring a goal and an assist. The following season, he change to #20, which he wore for the remainder of his Nordique / Avalanche career.

Garth Butcher - I have used a few real life sports names for D&D type games over the years. For example, in Asheron's Call I had a wizard named Reggie the Tongue and an equipment mule named Terry the Porter. Oh, and an archer named Irwin the Fletcher (okay, not quite sports or real life on the last one). I've had a fighter named Thane Gash. But the one I've used the most is Garth the Butcher. In fact, the very first screen name I ever used way back in the 1990's was, in fact, Garth Butcher. The second was probably Christmas Yves Racine and then I moved to Draft Dodger. But I digress. In 1992, the Nordiques acquired defenseman Steve Duchesne in the Eric Lindros trade. He scored 20 goals and 82 points the following year...and then held out in '93-'94 for a bigger contract (he was looking for $1.2 million). Instead of ponying up, he was traded to the Blues in January for Bob Bassen, Ron Sutter and Garth frigging Butcher. None of the three remained with the club for long. Bassen played for two years but Butcher and Sutter were both traded after the season. Butcher played 34 games for the Nordiques and was traded the following summer to Toronto in the Wendel Clark deal and retired the following year. Sutter, interestingly enough, was traded to the Islanders for Uwe Krupp. But the teams also swapped '94 first rounders. The Nordiques took Wade Belak and, with Quebec's old pick, the Islanders took...Brett Lindros.

Anders Myrvold - Myrvold was a Norwegian blueliner drafted by the Nordiques in the 5th round of the 1993 draft. He played 4 games with the Avs in the fall of 1995. And here's where it gets interesting. Hockey-reference lists him at #55, but I discovered some photos of him wearing another interesting number. This was news to me so I did a little more digging, It appears that Myrvold did start the season wearing #33, meaning Sir Patrick is not the only player to wear #33 for the Avalanche. As far as I can tell, Myrvold never wore #55 for the Avs. Where did the photos of him in 55 come from? Perhaps from camp during the 1996 season - he was traded two months in along with Landon Wilson for Boston's 1st round pick. As such, Myrvold is sadly ineligible for voting in the poll that I'm not going to post. Myrvold, by the way, later had a stint with the Red Wings, making him one of the few players to play for both the Avs and Wings.

Martin Skoula - Elvish defenseman Martin Skoula wore #55 with the Avalanche as a rookie during the '99-'00 season and then changed to the more familiar #41 for his 2nd year and beyond. Skoula spent almost 5 years in Denver - playing on the 2nd Cup team - before being traded in 2004 to the Ducks for Kurt Sauer and a 4th round pick (later to be named Ray Macias). Skoula, 33, has been in the KHL for the last 3 years, but he and his team parted ways on December 31st.

Cody McLeod - The Highlander. He's not the greatest undrafted player in the history of the franchise but Cody has had a solid pro career despite going undrafted. Last night, McLeod played in his 350th NHL game, roughly 350 more than anyone reading this blog ever managed. McLeod has 38 goals, 29 assists and a whopping 778 penalty minutes, 5 behind Mario Marois for 6th on the franchise list. On the other side of the coin, his -37 jibbles ranks him 389th out of 402 players to play for the franchise. And he is, hand down, the guy who wore #55 the best.