Cody McLeod: Avalanche Star of the Week


Colorado Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod is, well, an energy player. That’s the polite way of putting it. He also serves as the team’s alternate captain, which is a source of great ire for many Colorado Avalanche fans. Nonetheless, McLeod has his role, and he plays it very well.

Every Sunday during the off season we’re going to take a look at different Colorado Avalanche players and the contributions they made to the team. This week let’s look at the Avalanche’s blue collar alternate captain, Cody McLeod.

Cody McLeod Statistics

It might come as no surprise that Cody McLeod, with 82 games, still came in lower for points than a Brad Stuart who was injured and a Max Talbot who was traded. In fact, McLeod was 17th on the team with his 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists).

It should also come as no surprise that McLeod led the team in penalty minutes with 191. The next-closest was captain Gabriel Landeskog with 79 — or less than half. Indeed, 191 penalty minutes was good for #2 in the entire NHL, behind only former-Avs tough guy Steve Downie (238).

Another statistic that should be no surprise — McLeod had 268 hits last season, or 17.5 hits per 60 minutes. That was a little over three hits per game — and not gentle hits either. McLeod also had a career-high 19 fights, which I’m pretty sure led the NHL. (When asked how many fights he had last season, McLeod sheepishly said, “Too many.”)

Something I find interesting — McLeod had more goals than assists. In fact, one of those was a short-handed goal, which is no mean feat. Likewise, his turnover ratio was a respectable +5.

Nonetheless, looking at Cody McLeod’s statistics, it’s pretty clear he’s meant to be offensive — and not the goal-scoring kind of offensive.

Cody McLeod’s Statistics from Sporting Charts:

Colorado Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod’s statistics. Phot credit: Sporting Charts

Cody McLeod Role

Cody McLeod is a poor man’s Corey Perry. I don’t mean that as disrespect for McLeod. Rahter I posit he’s as good at getting under opponents’ skin as Perry but obviously not nearly as good at scoring.

Nonetheless, McLeod is a very versatile player. He’s the kind of guy who can work down on the fourth or “energy” line. He can be a part of a checking line. He can even skate a time or two with the big boys up in the top-six, though obviously that tends to be more of an energy assignment. McLeod also sees time on the penalty kill.

As stated above, McLeod also serves as the Colorado Avalanche’s alternate captain — the blue collar sort. That’s because he’s a hard worker and the type of leader who leads by example. No one can question that Mcleod is willing to do the dirtiest of dirty work, whether it’s battling in the corners or battling with his fists. Hockey’s a gritty game, and McLeod’s a gritty guy.

When asked about his alternate captaincy, McLeod sheepishly (I deliberately use that word again to show his demeanor) remarked, “I guess it shows the guys like me.”

By all accounts, as much as McLeod is hated by opponents is how much he’s loved by teammates.

Here’s McLeod doing what he does best against a team we Avs fans all hate, the Minnesota Wild:

Just an observation — Cody McLeod makes an average $1.3 million a year, which is akin to a mid-level executive in a top company. I think McLeod’s road is a little tougher.

Cody McLeod’s Future

Cody McLeod has only ever played for the Colorado Avalanche. At 31 years old, he has nine years’ experience with the Avalanche.

Prior to the 2014-15 season, the Avalanche extended McLeod’s contract through the 2017-18 season. At the time, Avalanche GM Joe Sakic said of him:

"“Cody has been an Avalanche his entire career. He brings grit, energy and passion to the rink every single day. We are excited to have him under contract for another three years.”"

With his low cap hit, McLeod likely has a future with Colorado for the duration of his contract. The big question is if he’ll remain an alternate captain that whole time. At the moment head coach Patrick Roy gives no indication that he’s changing that. McLeod fills his role as alternate for the blue collar guys.

Next: McLeod vs Perry for Most Annoying Forward

More from Mile High Sticking

More from Avalanche Sunday Star