The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42. But first, who wore 42 best in Colorado Avalanche history? Only four have donned this magical number. But is 42 also the answer to minor league experience not leading to NHL players? Let’s find out.
Chris Stewart (2008-2009)
Stewart was the 18th overall selection by the Avalanche in the 2006 NHL entry draft. Stewart is the last player to have significant AHL games played, 104 to be exact, in the Avalanche system to go on and become a NHL regular. He began playing with the Avalanche wearing 42 in 2008 switched to 25 in the year he got traded to St. Louis for Erik Johnson. He would score 113 points in 166 games for the Avalanche but Stewart would spend another 486 games in the NHL playing for St. Louis, Minnesota, Anaheim, Buffalo and Calgary scoring 208 more points. Stewart is currently without a contract so this might be the end of the line for him.
Ray Macias (2011)
A 125th overall draft pick of the Avalanche in 2005, Macias was a career minor leaguer who recieved two recalls to the big club after playing a total of 177 games in the AHL for Lake Erie including four in the historic and only playoff appearance for the Avalanche’s affiliate in 2011. The first call-up was for six games in the 2008-09 season as he wore the number 47 and scored one point. His second second call-up was in 2010-11 sporting the 42 for zero points. Macias moved on to a mostly ECHL career for a couple more years after that.
Brad Malone (2011-2014)
Everyone’s favorite depth player, Brad Malone is one of the other few rare cases to emerge from the Avalanche development system and play more than a handful of games in the NHL, just for another organization. A fourth round pick at 105th overall by Colorado in 2007, Malone would complete a four-year career at North Dakota before signing with the Avalanche in 2011. In three years Malone would play 168 games in the AHL for Lake Erie and 60 games for the Avalanche for a total of nine NHL points, all wearing the number 42. Malone would leave as a UFA in 2014 to sign with the Carolina Hurricanes where he played 122 games all in the NHL and amassed 21 points. Since then Malone has bounced around a few organizations, although he continues to get NHL contracts, and currently resides in the Edmonton Oilers system.
Sam Henley (2016)
Perhaps the perfect night. One game, one shot, one goal. At 5:18 minutes of ice time was the length of Henley’s NHL career. He was an undrafted signee out of Val-d’Or by the Avalanche and a good minor league soldier for three years who played 164 games in the AHL and was rewarded with one recall. The game in Denver was against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the infamous 2016-17 season and was one of the few bright moments of the whole year. Henley has left the game of hockey for the time being but the memory remains. May the number 42 rest in peace.