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Valeri Kamensky Alumni Night

by Zachary Balside / Colorado Avalanche
All fans in attendance at Monday's game will receive a free Valeri Kamensky poster from renowned painter Stephen Holland
Stanley Cup winner. Olympic gold medalist. NHL All-Star. Former Colorado Avalanche left wing Valeri Kamensky has been honored many times in his career and will again be recognized Monday by the Avalanche Alumni Association.

The final player being honored by the Association for 2009-10, Kamensky spent 11 seasons in the NHL, eight of which came with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche franchise.

Before setting foot on NHL ice, Kamensky made a name for himself in his native Russia, playing from 1982-83 through 1990-91 in the Russian Hockey League. The winger was chosen to the USSR First All-Star Team in 1989-90, and in 1990-91 was named the USSR Player of the Year after racking up 46 points (20g/26a) in 46 games. He also made two appearances at the Olympic Winter Games, winning a gold medal with the Soviet Union in 1988 and a silver medal with Russia in 1998.

Quebec drafted Kamensky in the seventh round of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. He quickly proved to be a bargain pick, as he delivered 153 points (60g/93a) in his first four years for the Nordiques before the franchise moved to Colorado.

During the 1995-96 campaign, the club’s inaugural season in Denver, Kamensky helped bring the Stanley Cup to Colorado by posting the most prolific scoring numbers of his career. Kamensky recorded 85 points (38g/47a) in 81 games, the highest marks he would total in each major scoring category during his time in the NHL. He also added 22 points (10g/12a) in 22 playoff games.

As Colorado defended its title during the 1997 playoffs, Kamensky posted 22 points (8g/14a) again, this time in just 17 games. The Avs advanced to the Western Conference Finals, but lost to the Detroit Red Wings in six games.

The 1997-98 season was also a highlight in Kamensky’s career, as he tallied 66 points (26g/40a) and made his only NHL All-Star appearance, representing the “World” team.

His last season with the club would be 1998-99, when a broken forearm would cause him to miss the last 15 regular season games and the first nine playoff outings.  He would finish with 44 points (14g/30a) in 65 regular season contests.

During his eight years with the organization, Kamensky totaled 414 points (166g/248a) in 460 games, the eighth highest point total in franchise history.

Kamensky would sign as a free agent with the New York Rangers before the 1999-2000 season and would spend two years in the Big Apple. The Dallas Stars then signed Kamensky for the 2001-02 season, and would trade him to the New Jersey Devils in January of that campaign.

Following the 2001-02 season, Kamensky left the NHL and returned to his native Russia, where he would play for two more years before retiring in 2005. During his NHL career, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward posted 501 points (200g/301a) in 637 regular season games and 60 points (25g/35a) in 66 playoff appearances.

Kamensky is also one of only 22 hockey players to be a member of the “Triple Gold Club,” an unofficial group consisting of players who have won an Olympic gold medal, an IIHF World Championship (Kamensky won in 1986, 1989 and 1990) and a Stanley Cup.
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