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07-29-2011, 10:14 PM
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C Stephane Yelle

2x Stanley Cup Champion
PK TOI Ranks on team(since stat was recorded): 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3
Top 30 PK TOI Ranks in entire NHL(since stat was recorded, 50 game minimum): 2, 10, 10, 21, 23, 24, 27

In 1995–96, his and the Avalanche's first season in the NHL, Yelle became a regular as he played in 71 games on route to the Stanley Cup Championship. Known as an excellent faceoff taker and a gritty, hard-working player, Yelle played seven seasons for the Avalanche from 1995 to 2002, capturing another Stanley Cup in the 2000–01 season.

On October 1, 2002, prior to the 2002–03 season, Stephane was traded by the Avalanche, along with Chris Drury, to the Calgary Flames for Derek Morris, Dean McAmmond and Jeff Shantz. Yelle's transition was seamless as he established himself on the Flames checking line, helping Calgary to a 2004 Stanley Cup final appearance after a seven year playoff hiatus. Throughout his five seasons with the Flames, Yelle's versatility and defensive prowess was often highlighted as he would often fill-in as a defenseman when others were out injured.

Yelle was the Avs' third-line center for nearly seven seasons, making valuable contributions to two title teams.

Stephane Yelle was a very smart player who could read the oncoming attacks with great proficiency. As such, he became one of the NHL's most knowledgeable defensive forwards in the later 1990s and in the 2000s.

His hockey smarts were his greatest asset, because the sum of his skills were average at best. He was a good skater, but lacked the speed to be much of a threat. His hand skills made him a limited player offensively. Physically he was tall and rangy, not well built to battle against the league's biggest brutes.

Yet somehow Yelle was able to use his understanding of the game of hockey combined with his hard work to become a key role player and key penalty killer with the ritzy Colorado Avalanche. He helped the Avs win championships in 1996 and 2001, and helped the Calgary Flames reach the finals in 2004. He was a very popular player with the fans and his teammates, but most especially with the coaching staffs.

Yelle is best known with the Avalanche, where he played 3rd line center in the shadows of Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg. Yelle was more than a throw-in in the big trade that took him to Calgary. He was moved along with Chris Drury, to the Flames for Derek Morris, Dean McAmmond and Jeff Shantz.

Yelle, who also played with Boston and Carolina for short stints late in his career, retired in 2010 with 991 games played with 96 goals and 265 points. In the playoffs, where he earned his reputation as a valued NHL player, he chipped in 11 goals and 32 points in 171 post-season games. Underwhelming numbers to be sure, but his two Stanley Cup rings are far more reflective of his true worth.

Yelle was traded by New Jersey to the Quebec Nordiques on June 1, 1994, and made his pro debut in the AHL with the Cornwall Aces during the 1994-95 season. In 1995-96, both he and the Nordiques franchise relocated to Colorado. The Nords became the Avalanche and Yelle became an NHL regular. Yelle played in 71 regular season games and 22 playoff games for the Avalanche in his first season en route to the Stanley Cup championship.

With the Avalanche, Yelle continued to improve on his checking and penalty killing skills. Strong on faceoffs and considered one of the premier defensive players in the league, injuries limited Yelle to 50 regular season games with Colorado in 2000-01, but he returned for the playoffs and contributed to the Avs' Stanley Cup victory at year's end. The Bourget, ON native played one more season in Colorado before being traded to the Calgary Flames prior to the 2002-03 season. Upon his arrival with the Flames, Yelle continued his strong play in his own end and was a key player in the team's drive to the 2004 Stanley Cup final.

ASSETS: Is a good skater and gutsy shot-blocker. Has excellent anticipation when killing penalties or opposing quality centers. Provides leadership and face-off skills.

General manager Jim Rutherford calls Yelle "a proven winner" who "adds depth and experience to the Hurricanes at the center position."

and solid two-way centre Stephane Yelle...

It doesn't matter Stephane Yelle is a grizzled vet who's played in nine Game 7s in his career.

Deep inside the Calgary Flames forward is still the little child playing with friends on the pond or in the street.

Yelle, Colorado's 3rd line center and the team's best penalty killer...

"Stephane did a great job for us in killing penalties and playing a good checking role," Hunter said. "So it's going to be a big job to fill."

Calgary, Alberta - Stephane Yelle is something of the Zelig of the NHL. You don't notice him much. But there he is, always in the picture at this time of year.

No NHL player has been to the Western Conference finals more times in the past nine seasons than Yelle - seven. If he wins a Stanley Cup championship next month with the Calgary Flames, it will be the Ottawa native's third since joining the league in 1995-96.

In return, linemates Stephane Yelle, xxx and xxx delivered in all aspects for the Calgary Flames.

The post-season race is coming down to the short strokes and the Flames' made-for-the-playoffs line provided all that could be asked of them and more in yesterday's 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Set the tone on the first shift? Check.

Stem the tide after the opposition scored? Check.

Kill penalties? Win faceoffs? Score the comeback-igniting goal? Check, check and -- you betcha -- check.

"They had a huge start to the game. They had a huge start to the third period and, obviously, getting the goal by them set the work ethic for our team," said Playfair as he tipped his hat to the gritty vets.

While the other elements should come as no surprise, the trio played their biggest role in the opening minute of the third period of the important contest before the announced crowd of 10,178 at the United Center.

"The best defence is when you're 200 feet from your net," Yelle said. "We worked hard down low along the boards and spent a lot of time in their end. We were trying to work it more to the net, get more shots, and knew if we stuck with it we'd get more chances. That was one of them."

"I think we've missed just that for a lot of the year, especially on the road, a line that gets it in and controls it in their end," said defenceman xxx. "It's not a lot of fancy stuff, just mucking it up, grinding it out in their zone. That goes a long way, especially in tiring out their D. Not a lot of flash there but they take a lot of pride in what they do. That line has realized how they can be successful."

Colorado's third line (Stephane Yelle, Mike Keane and Eric Messier) is very good at what it does...

Colorado Avalanche forward Stephane Yelle, one of the team's top faceoff men...

Last edited by BillyShoe1721: 07-31-2011 at 05:12 PM.
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