Colorado Avalanche: Pick Your Top 5 Challenge

With the Colorado Avalanche observing the NHL season pause, one fan proposed the Top 5 Challenge — who are your top five outside the Big 3?

Colorado Avalanche fans are getting creative during the hockey hiatus. We’re developing ways to keep ourselves occupied during the NHL’s pause in the season.

Yesterday, one Avs fan came up with what I’m calling the Pick Your Top 5 Challenge:

You can click on the link to follow along with the answers. However, the premise is a good one that should make any Avs fans think deeply — who are your top five players of all time if you discount the big three of Peter Forsberg, Joe Sakic, and the great Patrick Roy?

Boy, there are some of approaches to take with that question. Let’s look at a few.

Greatest Scorers

A relatively easy method would be to tally who have been the greatest scorers for the Avalanche in their time with the team. You have to take Forsberg and Sakic out, but we know who goes next on that list — Milan Hejduk. In 1,020 games with Colorado, he earned 805 points (375 goals, 430 assists).

Next up is our current superstar, Nathan MacKinnon. He’s played 525 games and has earned 495 points (190 goals, 305 assists).

Third on the list is Alex Tanguay — 488 points (167 goals, 321 assists) in 598 games. Fourth is current captain Gabriel Landeskog — 460 points (198 goals, 262 assists) in 633 games. Paul Stastny finishes the list with 458 points (160 goals, 298 assists) in 538 games.

So, the list looks like this:

  1. Milan Hejduk
  2. Nathan MacKinnon
  3. Alex Tanguay
  4. Gabriel Landeskog
  5. Paul Stastny

Fun fact: If you change the parameters to goal scoring only, the list looks like this:

  1. Milan Hejduk
  2. Gabriel Landeskog
  3. Nathan MacKinnon
  4. Matt Duchene
  5. Alex Tanguay

That’s right. Duchene had 178 goals to Stastny’s 160, but only a total of 428 points (586 games) to Stastny’s 458.

Most Influential on the Colorado Avalanche

Now we get into a category that we can argue about. Undoubtedly, the three we’re not allowed to list are some of the most influential players this team has ever seen. Who comes after them?

Well, one way to do it is to list the three captains besides Sakic. The longest-tenured captain after Sakic is Landeskog. Adam Foote was the captain for two seasons, Milan Hejduk for one. As far as team tenure go, those three also make the cut.

What about the remaining two spots? If you look at tenure, the next two players are Cody McLeod and Alex Tanguay. Do you discount our current MVP, Nathan MacKinnon? How about our current longest-tenured player, Erik Johnson?

And, to be honest, Duchene deserves to be in this conversation. Before his trade, he was basically the dividing marker between the Golden Era and the New Age. And in trade he brought us gems.

I’d put the list this way:

  1. Gabriel Landeskog
  2. Milan Hejduk
  3. Adam Foote
  4. Nathan MacKinnon
  5. Matt Duchene

I’d love to hear your thoughts on that list down in the comments section below.

Favorite Players

If you look at the parameters for the Top 5 Challenge, it asks for YOUR top five of all time. So, we get to the most subjective way to complete the challenge — who are you top 5 favorite Avs players of all time?

I can’t list Patrick Roy five times because he’s excluded from the challenge. That’s ok. We know who my favorite players, past and present, are. Some of them anyway.

My favorite players right now are Erik Johnson and Tyson Jost. Old timers are Sandis Ozolinsh and Rene Corbet. Who to pick for that final spot, though?

Yeah, I’m going to go Duchene for this one. He was my original hockey son. I really don’t care how he left the team — he was all-in when he was with the Colorado Avalanche.

So, MY top five list looks like this:

  1. Erik Johnson
  2. Rene Corbet
  3. Tyson Jost
  4. Matt Duchene
  5. Sandis Ozolinsh

What would your top five favorites list look like? If you were allowed to include them, what would your list look like with the big three?

Next: Avs Things to Do During Hockey Hiatus

So, Colorado Avalanche fans, please leave some comments below on how you’d organize your own list and what you think of my organization.

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