Andreychuk went to Tampa when they were crap, and now he is captaining the team to within 2 games of the Stanley Cup. Certainly his leadership was far more critical to Tampa's transition from laughing stock to contenders than Bourque was to Colorado, who pretty much just went to a team already full of leaders and used them to get a championship for himself.
Holy crap, what is your problem with the Avs? If it's not one thing it's another.
Do you even know about what you're arguing about? The Avs haven't won another cup since Bourque left--sure it's a stretch proving that it's more than a coincidence, but certainly the past 3 years of playoffs have certainly lacked leadership in the lockerroom. The 2001 year was driven by hope and inspiration that the team would "Win it For Ray." Since then, this team has run around trying to win games on talent while leaving their effort and hard work (last seen in 2001) at home for games at a time.
How can you even attempt to pass off Sandis Ozolinsh's importance to the Avs in higher light than Bourque's? Colorado chose to dump Ozolinsh in the summer of 2000 so that they could afford to resign Bourque for another year. If Colorado didn't resign Bourque and went about their business with Ozolinsh, then there's a good chance that the Devils would have cruised to another Stanley Cup against a team other than the Avs. But if you really think Ozolinsh was more instrumental to the Avs than Bourque, then put your money where your mouth is an open a public poll on the Poll Board here. I too would be interested to see the predictable outcome of such a poll.
Again, I think comparing what Bourque did in Colorado with what Andreychuk might do (but has yet to do) in Tampa is silly as well. Tampa was an incredibly young team with a super talented nucleus which needed a bit of veteran leadership. But to try and insinuate that Andreychuk's arrival in Tampa instantly made them a threat is a huge stretch. Perhaps it had a heckuva lot more to do with getting a proven world class goalie (who is constantly on people's top 10 lists), picking up and polishing the gem that eventually would become MVP candidate Martin St. Louis, and furthering the development of their younger stars such as Lecavalier, Kubina, and Richards. In fact, there's been a debate on these very boards questioning Andreychuk's actual leadership abilities (which is a whole different debate that I'm not looking to get involved in). So honestly, you're not helping your argument by bringing the school of thought that 'Andreychuk meant more to TB than Bourque did to Colorado' into this equation--especially considering that Tampa needs to win the next two of two games to win the cup.
You also say that Dallas in particular recognizes its link to its former club moreso than Colorado. How so? I'm not seeing either being much different in that respect. Perhaps you've read certain things that would give you such an opinion. If you have, please share them with me, because I'd like to educate myself on the subject. If not, then it's kinda pointless bringing this point up altogether.
So yeah, as a whole, Colorado retiring Bourque's number is a bit cheezy. But I can fully understand the organization wanting to thank someone who was so instrumental in helping them reach World Champion status once more. Bourque was more important to the team's overall success than the freaking head coach even was for pete's sake! I guess I'm starting to understand why people like Shoeverine and go kim jonsson are so quick to criticize the Avs for such a move--correct me if I'm wrong here guys, but you've each never been able to watch "your" team win the Stanley Cup. I feel for you each...really I DO--but there's no reason that you have to be so bitter and attack another team for your own misfortunes.
I disagree. Tonelli was an essential part of the cup winning teams yes, but I think all of the numbers that are up there now is all the recognition that will be given to the dynasty, each one of them being more than deserving.
5 - Denis Potvin
9 - Clark Gillies
19 - Bryan Trottier (certainly took long enough, what with the Pens debacle)
22 - Mike Bossy
23 - Bobby Nystrom
31 - Billy Smith
As for numbers that have been blackballed, I haven't seen 16 (Pat LaFontaine), or 6 (Ken Morrow) given out in recent memory.
I am an advocate of retiring #18 - Ed Westfall, our first captain