Even with a rotating postal strike the mail gods have been good to me lately with some great returns. Some from players I wasn't expecting to get back and some from guys I thought were long lost requests. A refreshing change from a mostly disappointing success rate in 2018.
As usual with my mail posts, I start with the new additions to my NHL player collection and then I end with hockey autographs that fall outside of that NHL player collection. I currently have well over 100 baseball autographs, all with hockey connections, that I've posted here earlier. A couple months ago I decided to build on another, uniquely odd collection football-hockey autographs. I did a bunch of research and then created a little template, calling it Touchdown Hockey. After my research was more or less complete, I started making the cards. When that step was finished, I sent them all out in a couple batches. This is why there are so many football autographs in this post, the first batch has simply started to come back. Have gotten some great letters back from some of the CFL guys.
With 11 new NHL autographs the grand total of all-time NHL players sits at 5,975 unique autographs for 78% of everyone to ever play in the league.
I've tried writing to Steve Martinson a few times c/o the Allen Americans. Finally got a reply. Funny thing was, a day later I got another signed index back from him. That one dated back to 2016 so he must have found some time to get to his mail. From 1987-1992 Steve Martinson played 49 regular season game in the NHL. He recorded 3 points and 244 penalty minutes, which says pretty much all you need to know about what kind of player he was. He wasn't afraid to drop the gloves and went toe to toe with greats like Bob Probert.
Defenseman Brian Lundberg, a university of Michigan alumni, played 1 game in the NHL with the 1982/83 Pittsburgh Penguins. It was against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Maple Leaf Gardens.
Ray Markham played 14 regular season games and 7 NHL playoff games with the 1979/80 New York Rangers.
Swedish defenseman Lars Zetterstrom played 14 NHL games with the 1978/79 Vancouver Canucks. Internationally, he represented Sweden at the 1976 and 1977 World Championships, bringing home a silver medal in 1977.
From 1978 to 1984 Lars Lindgren played nearly 400 regular season games and another 40 playoff games in the NHL. He spent most of that time with the Vancouver Canucks but spent his last season with the Minnesota North Stars. The defenseman was a 1981 NHL All-Star. A Swede, he represented his country at the World Championships in 1977 (won silver) and 1978 as well as at the 1980 Canada Cup.
Steve Poapst graduated Colgate University in 1991 as an undrafted free agent. He worked his way up the pro hockey ranks, winning the AHL's Calder Cup in 1994 and being named an AHL All-Star the next year. Poapst made his NHL debut with the 1995/96 Washington Capitals. From then until 2006 the defenseman played over 300 NHL games. He played for the Capitals, Blackhawks, Penguins and Blues.
(Not to be confused with the Swedish Olympic hockey player by the same name) Roland Stolz spent all but 1 season of his pro hockey career in Sweden. He came to North America for one season after being signed by the Washington Capitals. He played 14 NHL games with the 1981/82 Capitals, scoring 2 goals and 4 points. Internationally, he represented Sweden a number of times. Most notable is the 1981 World Championships, helping Sweden capture Silver.
Steve Lyon played 3 NHL games with the 1976/77 Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a solid hockey player who put up some great numbers in the IHL.
C.J. Smith was signed by the Sabres directly out of UMass-Lowell. He joined the team late in the 2016/17 year and played 2 NHL games at the end of the season. Smith started the next season in the minors and has yet to get back with the NHL club but has put up some promising numbers in the AHL with Rochester.
Defenseman Nelson Nogier has played 10 games in the NHL, all with the 2016/17 Winnipeg Jets.
Defenseman Evan McEneny played 1 NHL game with the 2016/17 Vancouver Canucks. He was undrafted and signed by Vancouver after a junior career in the OHL.
I've scanned the front and back of these cards so you can read about the hockey connections, just click the image to enlarge them. A good mix of stories here.
On top of the very cool family connection, Bart actually played some pro hockey AFTER his CFL career was finished.
You can tell that I hadn't settled on a design yet when I sent to Mr. Toner.
This is what happens when your letter gets soaked in water. Who knows how it happened but somewhere along the journey it got really wet. Autograph is fine and card held up enough to keep.