will seize the opportunity and take a look at some of the players the Barons are rumored to be interested in.
28-year-old Kelly Fairchild
will kick off the series. In the following days, we will also take a closer look at Derek King, Marty Murray and Mark Beaufait.
Although Kelly Fairchild did not play a single game for the Colorado Avalanche last season, he got a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup last Saturday. Assigned to the Hershey Bears of the AHL for most of the season, the forward remained property of the Avalanche organisation and was on hand when Colorado edged out New Jersey in game seven.
Although Colorado´s front office stressed that Fairchild´s role in the organisation has yet to be determined, the center has become a free agent and is seeking new challenges. At 5’11” (181 cm), 195 lbs (88 kg), he could cause some physical impact in the German DEL.
Born April 9, 1973 in Hibbing/Minnesota, USA, Kelly began playing hockey at age four. As a young prospect, he tallied 73 points (28 goals, 45assists) in 28 games in his senior year at Grand Rapids (MN) High School. He then went on to play college hockey at the University of Wisconsin. In 1993-94, Kelly led the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in scoring and was named to the WCHA First All Star Team. Moreover, he finished as the runner-up for the Hobey Baker Award in 1994.
Fairchild was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings 152nd overall in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. In 1994, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. As a free agent, he signed with the Dallas Stars in July 1998 and joined the Colorado Avalanche organisation two years later, August 29, 2000.
He made his NHL debut with Toronto vs. Detroit on March 20, 1996. Kelly recorded his first NHL point (assist) in the same game. He has appeared in a total of 24 NHL games since, posting three assists and four penalty minutes.
Kelly Fairchild has spent most of his professional career in the minors, tallying 444 points (177 goals, 267 assists) in 528 AHL and IHL regular season and playoff appearances. He led the Michigan K-Wings in assists (41) and points (62) in Michigan's final season in the IHL during 1999-00. Moreover, Kelly led all St. John's players in games (78), goals (29), assists (49), points (78), shorthanded goals (5) and game winning goals (5) while with the Baby Leafs in 1995-96. He also played in the 1996 American Hockey League All Star Game. Kelly scored his first goal as a professional October 11, 1994 vs. the Cape Breton Oilers in the AHL.
Last season, Kelly Fairchild registered 63 points (23 goals, 40 assists) in 70 regular season games with the Hershey Bears of the AHL. He added another 11 points (2 goals, 9 assistst) in the postseason, but his contribution was not enough to put his team into the AHL Finals. The Hershey Bears lost to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in their semi-final series.