Sweater #6 has a pretty gritty history with the Avs, let’s look at who had the honor of wearing it:
Wolly wore it in the Avs inaugural season. He was acquired by the Nordiques for Peter Stastny back in 1990 in a trade with New Jersey. He had a decent season as a fill in defenseman with 7G/20A but drew the ire of Patrick Roy for his play in the Conference Semis vs Chicago and was never seen again. He was traded to Tampa for a 2nd rounder after the Cup Finals.
Drafted 12th overall by Quebec in ’94, he turned pro in ’96 spending most of the next two and a half seasons with Hershey in the AHL while getting some callups with the Avs. He played a total of 35 games with a goal, an assist and 109 PIMs. Belak was traded to the Flames at the deadline in 1999 along with Rene Corbet, Robyn Regehr and a pick that became Jarret Stoll for Theo Fleury and Chris Dingman, who took not only his job but his jersey number as well.
Dinger only wore #6 once after coming over from Calgary but he stayed with the Avs until 2001. He ended up with 110 games played, 9 goals, 4 assists and 247 PIMs. He did have 4 assists in the 2001 Cup run tho, but that didn’t save him from being traded to the Canes soon after.
Took the #6 from Dinger in 01-02 and played 57 games on D before being traded to the Pens for Darius Kasparaitis. In total he played 76 games for the Avs with 4 assists.
I have no recollection of Smith but he played 130 minutes in 34 games for the Avs in 2002-03. The journeyman D had been acquired at the previous deadline from Nashville for a 9th round pick.
The current coach of the Florida Panthers and long time owner of the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL finished out his playing career with the Avs in two seasons bookending the 2004-05 lockout. He was acquired from Carolina at the deadline in ’04 for a prospect and some picks then played 11 regular season and 11 playoff games. After the lockout he played 41 games tallying a goal and 6 assists before retiring.
Drafted by the Avs in the 8th round in 1999, Finger played two seasons before the Maple Leafs signed him as a free agent thinking he was Kurt Sauer. With Colorado he played 94 games racking up 9 goals and 15 assists.
Wore number 6 in a few callup games in 2010. He was a 6th round pick by the Avs in 2004 and spent a couple seasons with the Monsters before leaving for Peoria and ultimately the German League.
Another 6th round pick of the Avs, this time in 2008, Holøs was the last player to wear #6 before the current occupant. He spent about half a year with the Avs in 2010-11 then decided not to pursue North American hockey anymore when he wasn’t guaranteed NHL time in 2011-12. “It’s all about the ø“
After wading through all that grit we finally get to hands down the best Avs player to don the #6 of all time. Johnson was acquired in the dead of night on February 19th, 2011 along with Jay “Square Peg” McClement and a 1st round pick that became Duncan Siemens for Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris GD Stewart and a 2nd rounder that became Ty Rattie. The debate on which side won this trade has raged for 7 years now and by pure longevity and still having EJ and Duncan in the org I think the Avs can’t be anything but pleased with the results.
Johnson has grown into an alternate captain and #1 defenseman, a consistent 0.4 points per game scorer and top possession D on the team. He’s scored 50 goals and 121 assists in 7+ seasons for the Avs. The one black mark is durability, only reaching 80 games once and missing 23% of the Avs games during his tenure. Aside from that he’s been exactly what they were looking for when they acquired him and even at age 30 going into next season, there’s no clear threat to his role in the organization.