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A Series: Looking into Avalanche and Nordiques Player Numbers: Number 43

Frederick Breedon

After our Holiday hiatus the jersey series begins once again. We left off on December 21st with the number 42, fitting wasn't it? There have been eight guys to wear the number 43 for the Quebec Nordiques/ Colorado Avalanche, none of them played excessive games for their team.

Bryan Fogarty (90-92): Bryan was selected 9th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1987 draft. Six spots above Joe Sakic. He would play 110 games for the team, notching 16 goals, 44 assists and 71 penalty minutes. In 1990 his +/- was an atrocious -47. Seriously. His overall +/- averaged -24.333. Bryan fought alcoholism throughout his career starting in his Junior days.The Nords tried to help him by sending him to rehab and having a psychologist on hand. During rehab, he met another hockey player, the Nords got them to room together hoping they'd keep each other clean. Unfortunatly his friend was unable to stay clean, and died. Fogarty was soon traded from the Nords for Scott Young. He played his last NHL game in 1995. In total he played nine seasons as a professional hockey player in seven leagues for 17 teams. He died in 2002. He was the first Nordiques defenseman to score a hat trick and the last Nordique to record a natural hat trick.

Len Esau (93): Len was originally drafted by the Maple Leafs in the 5th round of the 1986 draft. He was traded to Quebec for Ken McRae. He played a total of four games for the Nords. He had one assist, 2 penalty minutes and was a +1. He never had a NHL goal in his career.

Dan Smith (99-00): Dan was drafted by the Avalanche during the 1995 draft. The Avalanche took him in the 7th round. He played 15 games for the Avalanche and had no points in that time.

Jaroslav Obsut (02): Jaroslav was drafted by the Jets in the 8th round of the 1995 draft. He played three games for the Avalanche, earning no points, no penalty and was a +/- 0.

Mikhail Kuleshov (04)
: Mikhail was drafted in the first round by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1999 draft. He played three games for the Avalanche earning no points and was a -1.

TJ Galiardi (09): TJ was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the 2007 draft. He played for the Avs from the 2009 season until he was traded to San Jose before the deadline in 2012. He only wore the number 43 for his first season. In those 11 games he had 3 goals, 1 assist and 6 penalty minutes.

Justin Mercier (10): Justin was drafted by Colorado in the 6th round of the 2005 draft. He played nine games for Colorado earning 1 goal, 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes.

Cameron Gaunce (11): Gaunce was drafted by the Avs during the second round of the 2008 draft. He played 11 games for the Avs, notching 1 goal and 16 penalty minutes. Currently Cameron plays for the Lake Erie Monsters.