Colorado Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod is best-known for his fighting and chirping. However, he’s an energy player on the fourth line who’s even seen time in the top lines, He’s also one of the Avalanche’s alternate captains. In the 2014-15 season, McLeod played all 82 games and accrued 12 points (seven goals and five assists). He also earned 191 penalty minutes, second in the entire NHL only to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Steve Downie (238 minutes).
Cody McLeod, the Early Years
More from All-Time Lists
- Nathan MacKinnon not No. 1 on NHL Network Top-10 centers list
- Colorado Avalanche: Tough Guy Mount Rushmore
- Colorado Avalanche: Pick Your Top 5 Challenge
- Colorado Avalanche Decade in Review: 20 Memorable Moments
- Colorado Avalanche : Statistics to Watch Next Season
Cody McLeod was born in Binscarth, a tiny town in Manitoba, Canada. Truth be told, its main claim to fame is Cody McLeod.
McLeod played for the WHL Portland Winterhawks from the time he was 15 until he was 21, 1999 to 2005. He played the majority of the seasons all four years.
By his penultimate season he was starting to show his mettle — he earned 31 points but 227 penalty minutes, the most of his major junior career. The next season he still earned an impressive 195 penalty minutes, but he also scored 31 goals and earned 29 points. That was his last and best season in major juniors.
By then McLeod was starting to get an idea of what it would take for him to go pro. He told the Avalanche website:
"“With the Portland Winter Hawks, I knew that I would have to be a tougher player and stick up for my teammates if I wanted to have a career. I definitely took a lot of poundings in juniors before I got the hang of it. I still do, because you’re not going to win them all. It’s part of the game and I’ll just keep it going.”"
McLeod turned pro in 2005. He went undrafted, but he attended prospect camp for the Boston Bruins. He spent also attended Boston’s AHL-affiliate Providence Bruins training camp, but he ended up leaving without a contract. He played 33 games for the New Jersey Devils AHL-affiliate Lowell Lock Monsters. He also played 16 games with an ECHL team, which is a step below AHL. In both leagues he earned nine points — and a lot of penalty minutes.
Cody McLeod’s association with the Colorado Avalanche began when he signed a contract and attended training camp in 2006. He played that whole season with the team’s AHL affiliate at the time, the Albany River Rats.
McLeod got called up for the first time in December of 2007. He played his first NHL game on December 19, 2007, against the Anaheim Ducks. On December 27, 2007, he scored his first NHL goal — on legendary goal tender Dominik Hasek.
Soon, though, McLeod’s grit and nose for fighting made him popular with Avalanche fans — and earned him a permanent spot on the roster.
Cody McLeod, the Fighter
Funny fact — at the end of the 2008-09 season, he was third on the team for scoring goals. No joke, only winger Ryan Smith and then-captain Milan Hejduk had more goals that Cody McLeod. (Might explain why the Avs targeted a pure goal scorer in Matt Duchene in the 2009 NHL Draft, but that’s another story.)
Of course, though, Cody McLeod is known for being an energy player. Not exactly an enforcer, an energy player is counted on to bring grit, passion and, yes, aggression to the team every night.
Cody McLeod has participated in a lot of fights — over 100 in his eight-year career with the Avalanche. He’s dropped the gloves 118 times as an Avalanche to be exact. In fact, when asked how many fights he’d had during the 2014-15 season, McLeod tolod CBS Local, “19 or 20, I think — too many!”
According to Hockey Fights, 19 is the correct total. However, when he dropped the gloves against Jason Demers of the Dallas Stars on Valentines’ Day, he also laid a few punches on the Dallas bench, so that may count as two:
McLeod’s no goon, though. He’s a man with leadership skills. He was named alternate, or assistant, captain on April 1, 2013.
Many people have very strong opinion about left wing Cody McLeod, including a Mile High Sticking reader, Sweet MamaLou, who cheekily calls him “face of the franchise.” So, Avs Nation, what do you think of our Cody McLeod?
More Avalanche Player Profiles:
More from Mile High Sticking
- Could Colorado Avalanche move on from Pavel Francouz next offseason?
- 4 goalies to replace Pavel Francouz if he has to miss time
- Colorado Avalanche make sneaky signing with Tatar
- Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog could return in 2023-24 playoffs
- Colorado Avalanche rookie face-off tournament roster