The Franchise Four. The Mount Rushmore. Four players who tell the story of an organization. For criteria, I’m choosing one forward, defenceman, goaltender and a wild card from any position.
Entering the NHL from the WHA in 1979, the Quebec Nordiques reached the postseason nine times in 16 seasons, winning the Adams Division in 1985-86.
During said time frame, the Nordiques iced the likes of Peter Stastny, Michel Goulet, Normand Rochefort, Stephane Fiset, Joe Sakic, Real Cloutier, Anton Stastny, Marian Stastny, Peter Forsberg, Dale Hunter, Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan, Marc Tardif, Alain Cote, Wilf Paiement, Paul Gillis, Robbie Ftorek, Mario Marios and Adam Foote.
So, which players make their “Franchise Four?”
4. The Goalie – Stephane Fiest
Fiset played six seasons with the Nordiques. During the 1994-95 season, Fiest ranked ninth in save percentage (.910) and shutouts (two). In Nordiques franchise history, Fiset ranks fourth in games played (151), second in goals-against average (3.42), save percentage (.891), shutouts (five) and third in wins (62).
3. The Defenseman – Normand Rochefort
A stay-at-home, defensive defenseman, Rochefort played eight seasons with the Nordiques. Rochefort is the club’s all-time leader with a plus-81 rating, which is impressive considering some of the squads he played with during the 1980s. Among Quebec defensemen in franchise history, Rochefort ranks third in games played (480), fourth in goals (32), assists (104), points (136) and sixth in penalty minutes (452). Across 59 postseason contests, Rochefort accrued nine points and netted two game-winning goals.
2. The Wild Card – Michel Goulet
A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Goulet skated eleven seasons with the Nordiques. A five-time All-Star, Goulet was also a three-time NHL First Team All-Star. Goulet registered four consecutive campaigns of 50 goals or more, seven seasons of 40 plus goals and eight seasons of more than 30 goals. Goulet finished in the top ten in goals scored, on six occasions. In 1981-82, Goulet led the league with six short-handed tallies and in 1983-84. Across 66 postseason contests, Goulet recorded 34 goals, 30 assists and 64 points. In Nordiques franchise history, Goulet ranks first in games played (813), goals (456), power play goals (146), short-handed goals (15), game-winning goals (48) and second in assists (489) and points (945).
1. The Forward – Peter Stastny
A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Stastny skated ten seasons with the Nordiques. In 1980-81, Stastny earned the Calder Memorial Trophy, becoming the first player to eclipse the 100-point mark (109) in his rookie campaign. Stastny captained the Nordiques from 1985-1990. With Quebec, Stastny was a six-time All-Star, recording seven seasons of more than 100 points. Stastny finished in the top six in points on six occasions and in the top nine in helpers on seven instances. Stastny posted five seasons of 40 plus goals and eight seasons of 30 plus goals. Across 64 postseason contests, Stastny registered 25 goals, 57 assists and 82 points. In Nordiques franchise history, Stastny ranks first in points (1,048), assists (668), second in games played (737), goals (380), power play goals (120) and game-winning goals (43).