Today’s tour of #30 gets us back to the only part of this series you should care about: obscure back-up goalies! Here’s FIVE netminders to populate your waking nightmares:
Marc Denis: ’96-’00; (Avalanche regular season #’s): 28-10-10-4, 2.55 GAA
Denis was a 25th overall pick by the Avalanche in 1995. A product of Chicoutimi in the Q, he got one NHL game in ’96-’97 before spending the next two seasons in Hershey. He was the starter there for two years with 4 spot appearances in the NHL in ’98-’99. He assumed the backup duties in Denver in 2000, seeing action in 23 games (9-8-3, 0.918 S%). In June of that year, he was traded to the Blue Jackets, no doubt a target of Chris MacFarland. He played for Columbus for 4 more years before being traded to Tampa. He managed a couple of years in the Sunshine State before being bought out and then signing with the Habs in 2008. He got one more NHL game that season playing mostly in Hamilton.
Philippe Sauvé: 2003-2004; 7-7-3, 3.04 GAA
Colorado took NHL legacy Sauvé in the 2nd round (#38) of the 1998 draft. He saw time in the Q on three different teams before going pro with Hershey in 200-2001. He’s stay in the AHL until he got 17 games in Denver in ’03-’04. He spent the lockout season playing for the SeaWolves in the ECHL before being traded to Calgary for a 7th round pick just before the start of the 2005-2006 season. He managed to fight David Aebishcer later that year. Sauvé got some spot duty in the NHL over the next year with Calgary, who traded him and old friend Steven Reinprecht to Pheonix, and the next season in Boston, who traded the Yotes Tyler Redenbach for his services. However, most of those years were spent in the AHL. His last pro season was for Hamburg in Germany in 2008.
Brian Elliott: 2010-2011; 2-8-1, 3.83 GAA
Lil’ Tank arrived in Denver via a trade with Ottawo that saw Craig Anderson going the other way. Ottawa got their starting goalie for the next 7+ seasons, the Avs got an integral part of the machine that landed them the #1 overall pick! The Avs declined his QO and Elliott signed with the Blues as a free agent for the league minimum. Elliott pulled his shit together and turned his career around with a 23-10-4 season with the Blues. A couple of contracts later, and he was traded to Calgary for 2nd and 3rd round picks. An-up-and-down season saw him not retained and he went to Philly on a two-year deal starting last season where he turned in a solid 23-11-7 season.
Sami Aittokallio: 2012-2014; 0-1-0, 3.36 GAA
Colorado took the Finnish netminder 107th overall in the 2010 draft. AFter two more years in Europe, Sami made the jump to North America with the Lake Erie Monsters in 2012. He also got his first brief taste of the NHL in one relief appearance. He bounced around the Avalanche system for the next two seasons with some truly horrific statistics, before landing in Fort Wayne (4.90 GAA in 4 games! )of the ECHL in 2014-2015. Despite being offered a QO by the Avs, he elected to return Finland’s pro ranks. Last season saw him in the Czech Extraliga and he recently signed a one-year deal back in Finland with Vaasan Sport.
Spencer Martin: 2016-present; 0-2-1, 4.35 GAA
Another Colorado draftee (63rd overall in 2013), Spencer plied his trade in Mississauga of the OHL before turning pro in 2015-2016. He’s seen time with Fort Wayne and San Antonio for the most part. He got a cup of coffee during the horror season of 2016-2017 but spent all of last year in the AHL (except when warming the bench in Denver for the second half of last season). He is some kind of pad design savant too! He just signed a one-year deal with the Avalanche for the upcoming season, which is anticipated to be primarily with the new AHL affiliate Colorado Eagles where he should split time with either Joe Cannata or Pavel Francouz.