The 4 Retired Numbers of the Colorado Avalanche
When the National Hockey League’s Quebec Nordiques relocated west to Denver after the 1994-95 season and became the Colorado Avalanche, they took four retired jersey numbers with them. As the Avalanche, the retired numbers of J.C. Tremblay (3), Marc Tardif (8), Michel Goulet (16) and Peter Stastny (26) were put back into circulation. Since, the Avalanche have retired four numbers of their own.
Joe Sakic was the heart and soul of the franchise from the day he stepped on the ice for the Nordiques in 1988-89. Joe was taken fifteenth overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by Quebec. He played his entire career with the club, moving west for the 1995-96 season and retiring after 2008-09. Number 19 was raised to the rafters of the Pepsi Center in 2009 in his honour. Sakic is Colorado’s all-time leader in career games played, goals, assists and points. He holds the team’s single season record for most goals with 54 in 2000-01 and most points with 120 in 1995-96.
Sakic captained the Avalanche to their only two Stanley Cup victories. He won the Hart Memorial Trophy as NHL MVP once and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup playoffs MVP once. He has been a member of Canada’s Olympic team on three occasions and is one of 22 members of the Triple Gold Club, meaning he has won a Stanley Cup, World Championship Gold and Olympic Gold.
Peter Forsberg played his first year of NHL hockey with the Quebec Nordiques in 1994-95. Forsberg was originally a sixth overall pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991 but came to Quebec in the Eric Lindros debacle. He played with the Avalanche until the end of the 2003-04 season and added a handful of games in 2007-08 and 2010-11 before retiring. He also spent time with the Flyers and Nashville Predators late in his career. His number 21 was retired by the club in 2011.
Forsberg was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1994-95 as the league’s top rookie. He was part of two Stanley Cup teams in Colorado. In 2002-03, the year that would prove to be his last full season before injuries got the best of him, Peter won the Hart Trophy as MVP and the Art Ross as scoring leader with 106 points. His best offensive season came in 1995-96 when he posted 116 points. Like Joe Sakic, Peter is also a member of the IIHF’s Triple Gold Club.
Patrick Roy was a disgruntled member of the Montreal Canadiens in 1995-96 when he was traded mid-season to the Avalanche. Roy was a third round pick of the Canadiens in 1984 and had been part of two Stanley Cup winning team with Montreal. He remained with Colorado until the end of the 2002-03 season. His number 33 has been retired by both the Avalanche and the Canadiens.
Roy was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006. Patrick hold the NHL record for the most Conn Smythe Trophies with three, two with Montreal and one with Colorado. Between the two teams, he has been a part of four Stanley Cup winners.
Ray Bourque, like Patrick Roy, has his number 77 retired by two teams. After spending most of his 21 year NHL career with the Boston Bruins, Bourque came to Colorado during the 1999-00 season in hopes of winning a Stanley Cup before retiring. The Avalanche didn’t win that season, but did the following year with Ray on defense.
The five-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL’s best defenseman remains the league’s all-time leader for career points by a defenseman with 1,579. Originally an eighth overall draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 1979, Bourque was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.