Colorado Avalanche star Valeri Kamensky wasn’t known for his gritty play. But he once got the best of tough guy Ulf Samuelsson.
The Colorado Avalanche don’t have as storied a history as, say, the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, we’re legions better off than the Minnesota Wild. And you should always be proud of your history.
Retired left wing Valeri Kamensky will always be part of that history. He came over with the Nordiques from Quebec. He played four seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, for a total of 289 regular season games and 56 playoff games. He recorded 261 regular season points (106 goals, 155 assists) and 58 playoff points (24 goals, 34 assists).
Plus, of course, he won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche that first season in Colorado.
Kamensky is one of only five Avalanche players to wear the number 13. After him, Dan Hinote wore it from 2001 to 2006. Freddie Hamilton wore #13 for his brief sojourn in Colorado in 2015. Alexander Kerfoot started wearing the number in the 2017-18 season. And now another Russian, another Valeri — Nichushkin this time — wears the number again.
We’re going to look at some of the original Valeri’s moments, some of his most memorable with the Colorado Avalanche.
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I wish I knew more about this play. I came across it by accident, and I had to include it in this list because of who the two players were. Valeri Kamensky was known for being an elite scoring winger. Ulf Samuelsson of the New York Rangers was known a lot more for being a tough guy.
Samuelsson was credited with… considerably more. 57 fights, to be exact. What’s more, the defenseman was built like a brick truck while Kamensky was built like an acrobat.
Despite that, Valeri once dropped Ulf with a one-two punch:
Like I said, I don’t know exactly when this moment occurred. It may have happened in the November 27, 1996 game at McNichols Arena. Kamensky received a roughing penalty in the third period.
And. yes, back in the Wild 1990s, before the inception of the Department of Player “Safety,” the above action would have been roughing, if anything.
The Colorado Avalanche have had some tough guys through the years. Consider the Mount Rushmore of just those characters:
Valeri Kamensky would never make that list. If you ranked every Avs player ever, he’d be near the bottom. But this one time only, he got the very best of a tough nut — and it was fun to watch.