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Lost in the Avalanche: Patrick Bordeleau

A start of a new series looks at an old character for the Avs

Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild - Game Three Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images

“Lost in the Avalanche” is a new series we’re starting up today at MHH. Credit goes to Casey M. Cheatum for coming up with this idea to tell unique stories of former Avs players. From his own words, here is the criteria for this new series:

This player is meant to be one that has been mostly forgotten about, who’s played three to six seasons in an Avalanche sweater. They couldn’t have ended their playing career in Colorado or are still playing in the NHL today. They need to have something unique or eventful happen with them in their time in Colorado.

So, without further ado, here is the first piece for “Lost in the Avalanche.”

Patrick Roy’s days as the Colorado Avalanche head coach saw him bring in another Patrick in the form of Patrick Bordeleau. He came to the Avalanche for three seasons from 2012-2015, being the enforcer in the remarkable 2013/14 season.

Before he came to the Avs, the left winger started in the QMJHL, QJAAAHL and SJHL with several various teams from 2003 to 2007. His best season was in the QMJHL with Val d’Or Foreurs in 2005/06 with 24 goals and 33 assists in 72 games. He then played one game at St. Thomas University before advancing to the ECHL with the Charlotte Checkers after being drafted 114th overall by the Minnesota Wild back in 2004.

From the span of 2007 to 2009, he played for nine different teams in the AHL and ECHL. In the 2008/09 season, he played for six different teams alone. His time was spent mostly in the ECHL. When he was called up in the AHL that season, he played with the Albany River Rats, Springfield Falcons, Lake Erie Monsters and Milwaukee Admirals.

Acadie-Bathurst Titans v Quebec Remparts Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

All of his AHL playing time was less than six games before being sent back down to the respective ECHL affiliates. Finally, in the 2009/10 season, he found a home back with the Lake Erie Monsters after a PTO. He situated himself nicely in Cleveland for four seasons, playing 213 games recording nine goals and 21 assists in those four years.

He finally earned his big break midway through the 2012/13 season, earning his first NHL call-up to join the Avalanche. He had been in and around training camp but could never get over the hump until this time. He would play 46 games for the Avs that season, recording two goals and three assists.

In 2013/14, he played all 82 games for the best season of his career. He tallied six goals and five assists in that span. He was today’s version of Kurtis MacDermid, being the big enforcer and consistently leading the team in hits but not able to contribute much going forward. Not many wanted to duel with the 6”6’ Canadian monster.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Bordeleau always had consistent penalty issues though. He rounded up an astonishing 115 penalty minutes in the regular season, and another 10 minutes in the playoffs that year. The enforcer of the team did his job, never did much of anything offensively, and yet hurt his team at the same time with penalties.

Colorado Avalanche Photo by Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images

It was revealed in the 2014 offseason that he had back surgery and would miss the first three months of the season. In his first game back from surgery, he would fracture his kneecap and be out for the rest of the 2014/15 season. That was all to be said for his NHL career.

He continued to play in the US with the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL for one season before moving overseas to the Cardiff Devils for one year. He then played in the LNAH for the next four seasons before the pandemic.

Off the ice, Bordeleau ran into personal issues with his marriage and gambling problems. He would end up being arrested in France in February of 2020 for criminal harassment, defrauding his ex-stepfather-in-law, and sentenced for five months in prison and 160 hours of community service.

Bordeleau has not played hockey since his arrest and at 35 years old, looks as if his career is short-lived. The big ‘58’ for the Avs never turned into anything special offensively and was mostly just a big body to scare the opposing team. Personally, 13 year old me at the time just remembers him being big and in the shadows for the Avs, nothing too special.

Check out all of his stats throughout his career here. What do you remember about Patrick Bordeleau? Let us know your thoughts and comments about the big man below.