Seems surprising it hasn’t been more popular, but we only have three players for the Avalanche sporting the double five. Two of these played out significant careers in Colorado. Lets take a look at our contestants for #55.
Anders Myrvold: D 1995-1996, 4GP, 0-1-1, 6PIM
Myrvold originally entered the NHL as Quebec’s 5th round selection in 1993. After two years in the AHL, Anders earned a starting spot on the Avs to begin the 1995-96 season. But after four games, he found himself headed back to the Hershey Bears and eventually traded to the Boston Bruins. After nine games with the Bruins Anders spent the rest of the season back in the AHL.
Not seeing his future gelling in the NHL, Myrvold returned to Europe. But every couple of years he’d be back trying to stick in the NHL. He played a handful of games with Islanders and the Red Wings amidst years in the AHL and various European leagues.
Martin Skoula: D 1999-2000 (#55), 2000-2004 (#41), 451GP, 28-99-127, 216PIM
A first round pick by the Avalanche in 1998, Skoula was the second of Colorado’s four selections in that draft (#12-Alex Tanguay, #17-Martin Skoula, #19-Robin Regehr, #20-Scott Parker). Martin spent the 1998 season in the OHL with the Barrie Colts and got his taste of the AHL in one playoff game with the Hershey Bears.
Skoula made the big club right out of training camp for the 1999 season and played nearly every game (he only missed three) over four-and-a-half years in Colorado. He played a solid defensive game and saw extensive power-play time. Nearly half of his goals happened with the man advantage. Martin was a key part of the 2001 Stanley Cup Championship team. Less than a year later, in early 2002, he got to represent his native Czech Republic in the Winter Olympics held in nearby Salt Lake City.
As a pending free agent, Colorado traded Skoula in February of 2004 to Anaheim for Kurt Sauer and a fourth round pick. Unfortunately for Martin, his free agency was spent back in the Czech Extraliga due to the NHL lockout. In 2005 he came back to a two year contract with the Dallas Stars but wound up in Minnesota at the trade deadline.
Skoula stuck with the Wild for three-plus seasons. At the 2009 trade deadline Minnesota traded Martin to the Maple Leafs which then flipped him to the Penguins. The next season, Pittsburgh sent him on to New Jersey. Skoula finished out the 2010 season with the Devils and officially retired from the NHL. He went on to play for various European leagues through the end of the 2014-15 season.
Cody McLeod: LW 2007-2017, 682GP, 68-52-120, 1412PIM
McLeod played nearly a decade with the Avalanche, yet he came by his association with the team via the least auspicious means. Having spent four years with the Portland Winter Hawks, Cody remained undrafted at the end of his WHL contract in 2005. So he tried attending Boston’s training camp. The Bruins pointed him in the direction of the AHL’s Providence Bruins and suggested he try out there. McLeod tried a third time with the Monsters in Cleveland and finally landed an AHL contract for 2005-06.
The Avalanche had an unofficial affiliation with the Monsters at the time (made official December of 2006) and offered an ELC in July and an invitation to their 2006 training camp. Cody’s first call-up finally came on December 19 of 2007. Four games later, he scored his first NHL goal and remained a staple in Colorado.
More an enforcer than a scorer, McLeod could be counted on to take a penalty every game. His career year came early on in the 2008-09 season in which he contributed 20 points. Cody’s fifteen goals were a personal best in either the AHL or the NHL. That season he shot a remarkable 12.7% and included three game winners. McLeod came close to duplicating the feat the next year hitting eighteen points – mostly assists this time – but that was the last season he’s come close to being a 20-point grinder.
McLeod leveraged those two seasons into an extended career in Colorado. Some fans referred to him as the Highlander for his take-no-prisoners attitude and obvious Scottish heritage. He did his best to try to revive the Avalanche rivalry with the Red Wings by throwing octopi back into the stands during games in Detroit. Cody also gave Wings defenceman, Nickolas Kronwall, a vicious cross-check in 2013 receiving a three-game suspension for the hit.
McLeod’s Avalanche career ended as a casualty of the disastrous 2016-17 season. In an effort to shake up the roster, he was traded to Nashville on January 13, 2017, in exchange for Felix Girard. Cody didn’t even leave Denver since the Predators were coming to Pepsi Center the next day. Indicative of Colorado’s fortunes for that season, McLeod scored his first goal for Nashville that very night against his freshly former team.
The Predators retained McLeod’s services for exactly one year and placed him on waivers in January of 2018. The New York Rangers claimed Cody and, impressed with his energy, awarded him a one-year contract for the 2018-19 season.
Not a lot to choose from but a reasonably difficult choice nonetheless. Cody McLeod definitely wore #55 longest, but did he wear it best?[qsm quiz=85]