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Numbers Game: Number Changes

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
A few of the young players in the Avalanche organization will be sporting new jersey numbers when rookie and training camp roll around. Normally, most players with little or no NHL experience are assigned higher jersey numbers at camp.

However, as time goes on and they become more seasoned and established, the players often have the opportunity to change their sweater numbers to more “traditional” digits. Some players choose to follow that route, while others stick with their assigned numbers throughout their career. And in some cases, the decision on jersey numbers is left up to the team's coaches.

Below is a glance at some of the new numbers players will be wearing at this year’s training camp. Many of the players listed below were among the group of late-season call-ups that took the ice for the Avalanche in 2008-09.

“Last Worn By” denotes the last Avalanche/Nordiques player to wear the number during an NHL contest.

#2 – Wes O’Neill
O’Neill was one of a bevy of late-season call-ups to see their first NHL action in 2008-09. The defenseman made his NHL debut on March 27 vs. Vancouver and appeared in three contests while wearing No. 62 for Colorado. Ten players (including current assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre) have occupied No. 2 for Quebec/Colorado, all of them defensemen.
Last Worn By: Ken Klee (2006-07)

#6 – Derek Peltier
After wearing No. 50 during an 11-game stint with the Avalanche that began March 17 and ran through the end of the season, the former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher will enter training camp with No. 6 on his back.
Last Worn By: Jeff Finger (2007-08)

#7 – T.J. Hensick
Hensick spent the first two seasons (92 games) of his NHL career wearing No. 37. But for the 2009-10 campaign, T.J. will drop the first digit and simply go with No. 7. The significance of that number? He wore it while attending the University of Michigan, where he totaled 222 points (75g/147a) in 164 games with the Wolverines.
Last Worn By: Johnny Boychuk (2008)

#10 – Kyle Cumiskey
The speedy defenseman had occupied the No. 48 since making his NHL debut during the 2006-07 season, but will now make the switch to No. 10 (the same number he wore in Lake Erie last season). Cumiskey’s new sweater number is one of the most popular in franchise history, with 16 players having worn it in the past.
Last Worn By: Wyatt Smith (2007)

#11 – Philippe Dupuis
Dupuis enjoyed two separate stints with the Avalanche during the 2008-09 campaign, as the forward was recalled from Lake Erie for the first time on Dec. 11 and later again on Jan. 6. Appearing in eight games for Colorado while wearing the No. 59, Dupuis will enter September’s training camp sporting No. 11.
Last Worn By: Cody McCormick (2005-09)

#15 – Matt Hendricks
A hard-working forward with a nose for the net, Hendricks missed 12 weeks of action while playing for the Lake Erie Monsters last season, but still finished third on the club with 29 points (14g/15a) in 43 games. In four games with the Avalanche, Hendricks finished with a +1 rating and 13 penalty minutes while wearing No. 53.
Last Worn By: Andrew Brunette (2005-08)

#25 – Chris Stewart
Stewart was not on the first version of this list. A few days after the original article was posted, it was decided that Stewart would switch from No. 42 to No. 25 for the upcoming season. The forward wore No. 25 with Lake Erie during the 2007-08 campaign, but switched to No. 24 while skating for the Monsters in 2008-09.
Last Worn By: Shjon Podein (1998-2002)

#39 – T.J. Galiardi

Galiardi is yet another player who was a late-season call-up in 2008-09 and is now changing his uniform number. The forward’s new number (No. 39) will be the same one he wore in Lake Erie during his first professional season. Galiardi saw action in 11 games with the Avalanche during his rookie campaign, totaling four points (3g/1a) while occupying No. 43.
Last Worn By: Tyler Arnason (2006-09)
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