Who Wore It Best: #10

Ten players have sported the number ten with the Colorado Avalanche.  And they are quite the mixed bag of positions, talent, and tenures. Take a look and pick your favorite via the survey at the end. Will you choose the player with the overall best stats, or one that had the best season while bearing the number ten?

 

Troy Murray: C 1995-1996, 71GP, 7-14-21, 41PIM

Murray’s career is all about the Chicago Blackhawks with single seasons on some other teams, including the Colorado Avalanche. Drafted by the ‘Hawks in the 3rd round of 1980, he remained at North Dakota State eventually leading them to an NCAA Championship in 1982. The next season he joined Chicago and remained for nine seasons.

For the 91-92 season, Murray was traded to Winnipeg. The next four seasons took him back to Chicago, to Ottawa, to Pittsburgh, and finally to Colorado for the 95-96 Cup winning team.

After spending the next year with the Chicago Wolves, Murray retired from skating and joined the Blackhawks’ broadcast team. He has been doing play-by-play ever since including Chicago’s recent Stanley Cup victories.

Josef Marha: C 1995-1996 (#15) , 1996-1998 (#10), 19GP, 2-7-9, 4PIM

Drafted in the 2nd round by the Nordiques, Marha found himself unable to crack the Avs roster. Instead he was an occasional call-up for his three seasons with the Avalanche. Traded to Anaheim for two seasons, the Czech center finally skated a full season on an NHL team with Chicago. Even then he was known as the, “Captain of the 4th Line.”

Marha finally found his fit in 2000 when he returned to Europe to play for Davos of the Swiss League. His participation over the next twelve years would include five National League titles.

Warren Rychel: LW 1995–1996 , 1997–1998 (#16), 1998-1999 (#10), 118GP, 7-5-12, 294PIM

His profile says “Left Wing” but Rychel was employed as a grinder/enforcer. Thus his goals were few and his penalty minutes abundant. His best years were spent with the LA Kings from 1992 to 1995. Average stats for a pugilist encouraged Colorado to take a flyer on him. As a result, Warren got in on the ’96 Stanley Cup celebrations.

The next two season were spent in Anaheim with the Ducks. The Avs gave him two more seasons to end his career. Rychel’s stats wearing the Colorado ten for the 98-99 season: 30 games, 3 assists, and  80 penalty minutes.

Serge Aubin: C 1998-1999 (#44), 1999-2000 (#49), 2002-2003 (#10), 104GP, 6-8-14, 80PIM

Drafted in the seventh round by Pittsburgh in 1994, Aubin bounced around in the various farm teams of the Penguins and the Avalanche before seeing his first NHL game. He got one game in 1998. The Avs were feeling more generous (or desperate) in the 99-00 season as Serge participated with the big club for fifteen regular season games and 17 in the playoffs leading to the Western Conference Finals.

The Columbus Blue Jackets picked up Aubin as a free agent for the next two seasons. Colorado invited him back for the 02-03 season (71 games, 4 goals, 6 assists, 68 penalty minutes). Afterwards, The Avs left him unprotected and he was taken by the Atlanta Thrashers in the expansion draft.

Ville Nieminen: LW 1999-2001 (#39), 2001-2002(#10), 127GP, 28-28-56, 88PIM

Originally from Finland, Nieminen was picked by Colorado in the third round of 1997 and spent the next three seasons with the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Playing only one game for the Avs in 1999, Ville got the permanent call late in 2000. He played 50 regular season games and all 23 of the playoffs contributing 4 goals and 6 assists towards the eventual Stanley Cup Championship.

As #10 on the team, he Nieminen skated about two-thirds of the season before being traded to Pittsburgh. His numbers were not stellar (53GP, 10-14-24, 30PIM) but he earned a reputation as a colorful player and a fan favorite.

After three more seasons spent with the Rangers, Sharks, and Blues respectively, Ville returned to Europe for eight more seasons of professional hockey before transitioning into a successful sports broadcasting career in his native Finland.

Brad May: LW 2005-2007, 67GP,  3-6-9, 90PIM

This entry is strictly perfunctory. His paltry stats say it all.

Kyle Cumiskey: D 2006-2009 (#48), 2009-2011 (#10), 141GP, 10-27-37, 50PIM

For players repping the 10, Cumiskey had the longest career with the Avs. Even then, he really only played one full season. He wore #48 whilst bouncing between Denver and the Monsters of Lake Eire, choosing #10 once guaranteed a roster position with the NHL team.

Kyle was a seventh round pick for the Avalanche in the 2005 draft, considered by some a sneaky sleeper pick for a fast D with a good shot. Dubbed “Road Runner” and “Wheels” by some fans, his speed came at a cost as he struggled constantly with groin injuries.

Cumiskey earned a full-time roster slot with the Avs to begin the 09-10 season. That year, he played sixty-one games plus another six in the playoffs. This would be his best NHL season with 8 goals and 14 assists. The next year he would be sidelined by injuries and only start in eighteen games. He was released by the Avs following the season.

He continued skating for various AHL and Euro teams until finally retiring from professional hockey in 2017.

Wyatt Smith: C 2007-2008, 26GP, 0-3-3, 8PIM

A ninth round pick by Phoenix in 1997, Smith played a handful of games for the Coyotes but spent most of his time in the AHL. That’s been the essence of his career with stops at the Islanders in 2005, Minny in 2006, and Colorado in 2007. He went to play AHL games for the farm teams of Tampa and Pittsburgh. He finished out his career in the German League.

Ben Street: C 2014-2016, 10GP, 0-0-0, 4PIM

Another career AHLer to don the ten when with the big club, Street originally signed with Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent. After two years and little opportunity for advancement, Ben signed on with the Calgary Flames. Again he toiled mostly in the AHL playing but a handful of games in Calgary. Signing this time with the Avalanche produced the same results: ten NHL games in two years but lots of games in Lake Eire and San Antonio.

That’s not to say he didn’t do well in the AHL. Street tends to be the 1 or 2C in the AHL. For the Lake Eire Monsters he produced 39 points in 44 games; he was given the captaincy during his time with the San Antonio Rampage.

Following his routine two-year stint in the AHL system of an NHL team, Street next signed with the Detroit Red Wings to play on their AHL team.

Sven Andrighetto: RW 2016-2018, 75GP, 14-25-39, 24PIM

Hands down the most significant scoring threat wearing the 10, Andrighetto scores at a half-point-per-game pace over his two seasons with the Avalanche.

The Swiss national was a third round selection by Montreal in the 2013 draft. Playing mostly in the AHL, Sven got the occasional call-up with the Canadiens but couldn’t seem to break into a regular roster position with the NHL team. At the 2017 trade deadline Montreal and Colorado swapped struggling minor leaguers sending Andrighetto to the Avs for Andreas Martinsen. The change in scenery did wonders for Sven’s career.

Placed on a line with Nathan Mackinnon and Mikko Rantanen, Andrighetto would score sixteen points (5 goals, 11 assists) in the remaining nineteen games of the season. He played fifty games for the 17-18 season plus the first round of the playoffs. Sven signed a two-year contract at the end of the 2017 season.

 

At first, ten seemed like a lot of players to have represented the Avs with any particular number. However, it turns out that ten jersey numbers have been used by ten or more players. Now you get to choose which of these ten wore #10 the best!

[qsm quiz=44]
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