Avalanche Throwback Thursday: Who Wore Jersey Number 2 Best?


Some fanbases don’t understand (Minnesota Wild) — when you have a history like the Colorado Avalanche does, it’s fun to sometimes live in the past. True the Avalanche don’t have as storied a history as, say, the Original Six, but in 20 years in Colorado, the team still accomplished a lot. (And that’s not counting the 23 years the franchise was the Quebec Nordiques.)

For this Avalanche Throwback Thursday, we’re going to start looking at some of the best players to wear a specific number. Some are obvious since the number was retired for the player — 19 (Joe Sakic), 21 (Peter Forsberg), 33 (Patrick Roy), 52 (Adam Foote), 77 (Ray Bourque). However, a lot of the numbers present a challenge.

Avalanche jersey number 2 is a small challenge. The number 2 is currently worn by popular Avalanche defenseman Nick Holden. He’s an engaging guy and hard to dislike as a person. However, as a blueliner… well, let’s just say he’s still young and learning.

However, Avs Nation, did you remember that four other players have also worn #2 for the Colorado Avalanche?

I think it would be hard to argue against who the greatest jersey #2 was for the Colorado Avalanche, right? It’s got to be Sylvain Lefebvre.

Lefebvre’s Career

More from History

When you talk gifted shut-down defensemen, that’s a conversation that includes Sylvain Lefebvre. In the 1990s, teams tended to have offensive defensemen such as Sandis Ozolinsh and your shut down guys, Lefebvre (and, of course, Adam Foote.) Two-way action didn’t exist as much on the blueline.

Lefebvre came to the Quebec Nordiques the year before they became the Colorado Avalanche. He was part of a blockbuster deal that packaged him with Wendel Clark, Landon Wilson and a 1994 first-round draft pick. The Nordiques sent their own 1994 first round draft pick (true story) along with Garth Butcher, Todd Warriner and star center Mats Sundin.

Lefebvre helped the Avs shore up the blue line. He wasn’t the guy to make a lot of goals — he earned nine regular-season goals in his four years with the Avs — but he prevented opponents from scoring a whole lot.

The defenseman was also one of those guys who tried to keep the pressure off the stars, especially in the playoffs. Touch Joe Sakic, and you might have to answer to #2. At a prime size of 6-foot-2, 204 pounds, he wasn’t the biggest guy on the ice, but he was one of the tougher.

Lefebvre played for the Avalanche from 1995 to 1999, at which time he signed with the New York Rangers. He was part of that glorious Cup-winning team, of course. His Stanley Cup celebration was especially precious — he had his daughter baptized in the bowl.

Though this is not Avalanche-related, Lefebvre’s Ice Bucket Challenge was pretty cool, too.

Note About Nick

Current Avalanche defenseman — and wearer of jersey #2 — Nick Holden doesn’t have his name on the Stanley Cup. And, no, he hasn’t exactly solidified his playing style yet. He’s pretty good with pinching in, but… let’s just say his two-way play needs a bit of work.

Holden is one of those guys you can’t stay mad at, no matter how grizzled a hockey fan you are. He’s just too big a goofball — and looks like he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. (Which, again, is a hindrance as a defenseman, but it pretty spot-on for a human.)

We’ll always love his puckishness last season as the Avs neared their first playoffs in four years:

Lefebvre may have been a tougher cookie back in his day, but Holden seems to be putting his own personal stamp on Colorado Avalanche jersey #2.

Next: TBT: Avs Beat Wings to Advance to Cup Finals

Next: TBT: Brenden Shanahan a Goon in Avs-Wings Playoff Game

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