Passing of the Torch in Denver

In DEN on October 16, 2015 at 8:33 am

By Richard Poelker, Denver Spurs

Denver SpursSome stalwarts in the history of the Denver Spurs franchise have recently been released. While it was tough to see some of these franchise leaders go, it was time to bring in youth.

Three of the players released were fan favorites and team leaders so they will not only be missed by the most loyal fans in the GWMHL but by the organization and teammates as well.

In a special pre-season ceremony at the Denver Coliseum, home of the Denver Spurs, the first to be honored was the #2 scorer in franchise history with 767 points, Captain Vinny Lecavalier. Vinny has been a member of the franchise since he was picked number 1 overall in the 1999 rookie draft when the franchise was known as the Brooklyn Blackhawks. This lasted through the ’02-’03 season when the team moved to Illinois for one season in ’03-’04 and was known as the Illinois Chiefs. From there Vinny packed his bags and moved with the club to the sunny climes of California for the Sun Cats jersey from ’04-’05 through the ’07-’08 season. Then it was onto Texas to be known as the Midland Bulldogs from ’08-’09 through the ’10-’11 season.

Then the franchise arrived at their current home in Colorado at the Denver Coliseum and has been known as the Denver Spurs from the ’11-’12 through the present. So Vinny’s tenure with the club lasted 16 hard played seasons with many moves over the years! A bunch of nomads to be sure. Perhaps the club should be named the Nomads! I digress. Not only is Vinny the #2 all time scorer in franchise history (a mere 30 points behind Bill Guerin), he also is #3 in goals (293), #1 in assists (474), tied for 4th in PPG with 64, 6th in SHG with 7, 3rd in GP (1042) and surprisingly 4th in hits with 1,544!! It’s safe to say that Vinny’s skates won’t be filled for a very long time, if ever. His only regret has to be that he never hoisted the Gump Cup in his illustrious career and only went as far as the Conference finals 3 times when in California and Midland.

Also honored was Danny Briere, 6th in goals (228), 5th in assists (340) and 5th in points (568) in 734 GP (9th all time on the franchise leader board).

Next up was Mike Richards, who also appears in several of the franchise leader categories with some of the most notable being 12th in goals (139), 12th is assists (234), 11th in points (373), 14th in GP (625), 3rd in SHG (12), 5th in FO (50.46%) and #1 in corner win Pct (61.58).

Also leaving the franchise, but in a trade, was #1 all time franchise +/- leader Brian Campbell with a +184!! The offensive blueliner also was 17th in goals with 84, #2 in assists behind Vinny with 396, #6 in points with 480. Not bad for a blueliner in 704 gp. Pominville was the key acquisition in dealing Campbell. Another fan favorite for sure! Also leaving in a trade was Joffrey Lupul who was #9 in goal scoring in franchise history with 157.

As previously mentioned, all these will most certainly be missed by the fans and organization but hopefully the future is bright with recently drafted youngsters Josh Jooris, Cedric Paquette, Jiri Sekac, Curtis Lazar, Duncan Siemens & Joel Armia.


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