1 Craig Billington
1996-1997 Second Season
Starter Mesh. Set tag "P". Hem tagging 56G-2SS8.
MeiGray No. 102977
This jersey was acquired from a private owner through the Meigray Group. It was originally purchased by a private individual directly from the team, and has had at least one other owner. The jersey is a good example of the liberties the Avalanche began taking with jersey sizing and alterations in their second season. A goalie cut, the sleeves have been shortened and altered with the addition of a mesh panel added at the inner sleeve seam. Unique to this season is the location of the size tag on the inside hem. The size tag also contains numbers for not only the general shirt size, but for the sleeve size and cuff width, as well. This is also the only year the hem embroidery contains both the logo and company name together. Also evident on this shirt is the trouble the Avalanche had in the first two years trying to fit longer names on the shirt backs. The name "Billington" is slightly lower and straighter on shirt, as opposed to shorter names. This is the last year the Avalanche used larger numbers; the following year the numbers were reduced approximately one inch, thus eliminating the crowding problem with certain name and number combinations. The crest has been enlarged from the first year, and certain nuances have been elimintated from the letters in the nameplates. This particular jersey is marked with a "P" in the neck, presumably indicating playoffs, although the wear would indicate it was used at the end of the regular season, as well. Of note is the washing tag, which appears to be a single tag in this jersey. Close inspection, however, reveals the remnants of a second tag ("Ripon Athletic" tag evident in many 95-96 jerseys) which has been carefully cut out. The jersey shows decent game use, considering it was worn by the backup goalie. Although it is marked as a playoff set, Billington saw very little time in the playoffs, indicating the jersey was carried from the end of the regular season. There is an array of black marks on the left (glove side) sleeve, and an interesting stick mark in the letters of the name plate. The crest is slightly puckered, which is evidence of the apparent shrinkage problem the Avalanche had with the 96-97 jerseys. The inside collar contains a good amount of pilling, which is not typical of the Avalanche jerseys in general, but is evident in the goalie jerseys. The jersey comes with the standard Avalanche LOA.
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Since making his NHL debut in 1985-86, goalie Craig Billington has made over 300 appearances for five different clubs. Although his role has chiefly been as a backup, he has experienced the full gamut of defensive support ranging from the powerful Colorado Avalanche to the early struggles of the Ottawa Senators.
The native of London, Ontario played junior B with the local Diamonds before heading to the OHL's Belleville Bulls. After recording 20 wins in 1983-84, Billington was chosen 23rd overall by the New Jersey Devils in the Entry Draft. The young talent remained in junior and was named to the OHL First All-Star Team after registering 26 wins in 1984-85.
During his first five years as pro, Billington started a few games in New Jersey but spent more time with Utica of the AHL. In 1987-88, he led the league with 59 appearances and three years later spent a season with the Canadian National Team. He returned to the Devils in 1991-92 and played 26 games as a back up to Chris Terreri. The next year he won 21 games for New Jersey and participated in the NHL All-Star Game.
Billington was traded to the Ottawa Senators in 1993-94 before joining the Boston Bruins in 1994-95 where he served as Bill Ranford's backup. He then filled the same role behind Patrick Roy for the Colorado Avalanche for three years beginning in 1996-97. Billington's latest move came in 1999-00 which saw him join the Washington Capitals where he spelled Olaf Kolzig for three seasons before calling it a career after five games in 2002-03.
Goaltender - Catches left
Born: September 11, 1966 - London, Ontario
5-10, 170 lbs.
Selected by New-Jersey Devils round 2 #23 overall 1984 NHL Entry Draft. Traded to Ottawa by New Jersey with Troy Mallette and New Jersey's 4th round choice (Cosmo Dupaul) in 1993 Entry Draft for Peter Sidorkiewicz and future considerations (Mike Peluso, June 26, 1993), June 20, 1993. Traded to Boston by Ottawa for NY Islanders' 8th round choice (previously acquired, Ottawa selected Ray Schultz) in 1995 Entry Draft, April 7, 1995. Signed as a free agent by Florida, September 5, 1996. Claimed by Colorado from Florida in Waiver Draft, September 30, 1996. Traded to Washington by Colorado for future considerations, July 16, 1999. Officially announced retirement, January 7, 2003.
- Named Best Goaltender at WJC-A (1985)
- OHL First All-Star Team (1985) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1993)