28 Eric Lacroix
1997-1998 Third Season
Starter Mesh. No set tag. Neck tagging 58-R-8-21.
MeiGray No. 103599
The jersey shows very heavy wear with numerous team repairs on the arms, as well as some unrepaired damage. The sewn-on items exhibit signs of heavy laundering, to the point that the numbers have taken on a slight burgundy tint. The crest is very well worn from washing and shows numerous stick marks. The elbows have many repairs, including a couple done with white thread, instead of the normal burgundy; by far the most repairs I have seen on an Avalanche jersey. The fight strap is damaged, with the velcro pulling away on one side, and one of the snaps partially torn out on the other. It also sports a very nice stick mark high on the rear "2". The jersey features the unique inlaid number construction typical of the 97-98's, in which the layering of the numbers is reversed from the traditional top-to-bottom. In this version, the main portion of the number is inlaid, with the two outer colors raised even with each other. The 97-98 road jerseys feature the "Starter" name spelled out on the hem. One unusual aspect of this jersey is a variation in the size tag; most jerseys have the size designated as "56R", while this jersey has the size hyphenated "56-R". The jersey is accompanied by the Avalanche LOA.
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Eric Lacroix has been an industrious left-winger since making his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1993-94. He earned respect throughout the league for his tenacious work in the corners and his unselfish commitment to defensive hockey.
The Montreal native was selected 136th overall by Toronto after playing a year with the Dummer Prep school in 1989-90. He then accepted a scholarship to St. Lawrence University where he played for two years. Lacroix was a solid competitor on the AHL's St. John's Maple Leafs for two years and impressed the Toronto brass during a two-game playoff stint in 1994. A few months later, Cliff Fletcher raised a few eyebrows by including the industrious forward in a multi-player trade with the L.A. Kings that involved mostly minor leaguers.
Lacroix emerged as a solid grinder on the Kings over the next two years and was sought as a role player by the powerful Colorado Avalanche. The defending Stanley Cup champions thought enough of Lacroix that they gave up goalie Stephane Fiset in return. Lacroix scored 34 goals during his two years in Denver, played solid defense and causing traffic in front of the net on the power play.
In 1998-99, the rugged forward played with the Avalanche, Kings, and Rangers in a very tiring year. He perfomed a checking role for a year and a half for the Blueshirts before he was acquired by the Ottawa Senators at the March deadline in 2001.
Left wing - Shoots left
Born: July 15, 1971 - Montreal, Quebec
6-2, 210 lbs.
Toronto's sixth choice, 136th overall in 1990 Entry Draft. Traded to Los Angeles by Toronto with Chris Snell and Toronto's 4th round choice (Eric Belanger) in 1996 Entry Draft for Dixon Ward, Guy Leveque, Kelly Fairchild and Shayne Toporowski, October 3, 1994. Traded to Colorado by Los Angeles with Los Angeles' 1st round choice (Martin Skoula) in 1998 Entry Draft for Stephane Fiset and Colorado's 1st round choice (Mathieu Biron) in 1998 Entry Draft, June 20, 1996. Traded to Los Angeles by Colorado for Roman Vopat and Los Angeles' 6th round choice (later traded to Ottawa - Ottawa selected Martin Prusek) in 1999 Entry Draft, October 29, 1998. Traded to NY Rangers by Los Angeles for Sean Pronger, February 12, 1999. Traded to Ottawa by NY Rangers for Colin Forbes, March 1, 2001.