Sunday, February 2, 2020

Month of Mail - January 2020

January, 2020 saw 29 new NHL signatures arrive in the mail. My TTM returns lately have not been stellar but I have had success in finding some of the older, deceased guys. The grand total of unique NHL player signatures now stands at 6,453 for 83% of everyone to ever play in the NHL. Thanks everyone I dealt with this month, especially to Phil!

                         Toe Blake (d. 1995)
A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Toe Blake has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup 11 times. Blake was a star player, a member of the Punch Line with Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard. Blake later became a very successful coach with the Canadiens. 

              Jim Bedard (d. 1994)
Not to be confused with the goalie, this Jim Bedard, born in 1927, played 22 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks during the early 1950s. The signature didn't scan well but its actually very clear in person.

                         Ralph Nattrass (d. 1994)
From 1946 to 1950 defenseman Ralph Nattrass played over 200 games in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks.

                          Stan Smrke (d. 1977)
Stan Smrke played 9 NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens during the 1950s. He spent most of his professional hockey career in the AHL with the Rochester Americans.

                    Bucko McDonald (d. 1991)
From 1934 to 1945 Bucko McDonald played 448 regular season games in the NHL. He was a member of the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers. He won the Stanley Cup in 1936, 1937 and 1942. He later spent time as a member of the Canadian Parliament.

                     Jack McDonald (d. 1990)
John "Jack" McDonald played 1 season, 43 games, in the NHL with the 1943/44 New York Rangers. He scored 10 goals and 19 points.

                        Ken McAuley (d. 1992)
Ken McAuley spent 2 seasons as starting goalie of the New York Rangers. From 1943 to 1945 he played 96 games in the NHL with New York.

                         Red Almas (d. 2001)
Red Almas appeared in 3 total NHL games. 1 with the 1946/47 Red Wings, 1 with the 1950/51 Blackhawks and 1 with the 1952/53 Red Wings. He spent most of his career was a starter in the AHL. 

                       Fern Gauthier (d. 1992)
During the 1940s Fern Gauthier played over 200 games in the NHL between the Rangers, Canadiens and Red Wings.

                        Buzz Boll (d. 1990)
From 1933 to 1944 Buzz Boll played 436 regular season games in the NHL. He scored 133 goals and 263 points between the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York/Brooklyn Americans and Boston Bruins.

                       Walt Atanas (d. 1991)
Walt Atanas played 1 season in the NHL. He scored 13 goals and 21 points in 49 NHL games with the New York Rangers.

                             Wayne Hall
Wayne Hall played 4 games in the NHL with the 1960/61 New York Rangers.

                          Robbie Holland
From 1979 to 1981 goalie Robbie Holland played 44 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

                             Roger Pelletier
Roger Pelletier played 1 game in the NHL with the 1967/68 Philadelphia Flyers. He spent nearly a decade in the AHL as a pro hockey player.

                        Ken Yaremchuk
From 1983 to 1989 Ken Yaremchuk scored 92 points in 235 career regular season NHL games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Internationally, he represented Canada at the 1988 Olympics. 

                       Ron Anderson b. 1950
There were two players by the name of Ron Anderson who played in the NHL during the 1970s. This Ron Anderson scored 9 goals and 16 points in 28 NHL games with the 1974/75 Washington Capitals. 

                    Jacques Deslauriers (d. 2018)
Jacques Deslauriers played 2 games in the NHL with the 1955/56 Montreal Canadiens. 

                  Gordie Bruce (d. 1997)
From 1940 to 1946 Gordon "Gordie" Bruce played 28 regular season and 7 playoff games in the NHL with the Boston Bruins.

               Paul Terbenche (d. 2012)
From 1967 to 1974 Paul Terbenche played 189 games in the NHL, dressing for the Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres. He then went on to play nearly 300 games in the WHA.

                               Jim Mayer
Jim Mayer played 4 games in the NHL with the 1979/80 New York Rangers. Before that, he played 74 games in the WHA, dressing for the Calgary Cowboys, New England Whalers and Edmonton Oilers.

                             Bob Kabel (d. 2016)
From 1959 to 1961 Bob Kabel scored 5 goals and 18 points in 48 NHL games with the New York Rangers. He had a long pro hockey career in the WHL and AHL.

                        Ron Talakoski (d. 2009)
Ron Talakoski played 8 games in the NHL with the New York Rangers during the 1980s.

                        Mikko Leinonen
From 1981 to 1985 Mikko Leinonen scored 109 points in 162 NHL games. He spent most of that time with the New York Rangers but also briefly played for the Washington Capitals. Over his career he represented Finland at the World Junior Championships, World Championships, Olympics and Canada Cup.

              Steve Smith (born 1963)
During the 1980s this particular Steve Smith played 18 games in the NHL between the Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres. Not to be confused with the much more famous Steve Smith, who was also a defenseman and played in the NHL around the same time. That, and the fact that Steve Smith is such a common name, made this signature a challenge to find.

                          Bill McDougall
From 1990 to 1994 Bill McDougall played 28 games in the NHL, scoring 5 goals and 10 points. He played for the Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning. He had a very interesting career and is known for his record setting performance during the 1993 AHL playoffs. He scored an incredible 26 goals and 52 points in just 16 games, leading his team to the Calder Cup.

                         Wade Skolney
An undrafted defenseman, Wade Skolney played 1 game in the NHL with the 2005/06 Philadelphia Flyers. Skolney was the last player I needed to complete the 2005/2006 Season in Autographs, one of the most significant years of debuts in league history.

                  Francis Belanger
Francis Belanger played 10 games in the NHL with the 2000/2001 Montreal Canadiens. He tallied 0 points but posted 29 penalty minutes. Belanger was the last player I needed to complete the 2000/2001 Season in Autographs.

                  Wally Schreiber
From 1987 to 1989 Wally Schreiber scored 8 goals and 18 points in 41 NHL games with the Minnesota North Stars. He's most notable for representing Canada at the Olympics in 1988, 1992 and 1994.

                           Jake Dotchin
Defenseman Jake Dotchin has played just over 100 games in the NHL between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Anaheim Ducks.

                  Cory Clouston
From 2009 to 2011 Cory Clouston was Head Coach of the Ottawa Senators.

                          Sasha Pokulok
One of my more recent side projects is collecting NHL first rounders who never played in the NHL. I decided to start collecting them because they do have a notable piece of hockey history, as a team's first round pick in any given year is usually very notable. Futhermore, the large majority of them do play in the NHL.

                                         Dick Littlefield (d. 1997)
I pair this Dick Littlefied autograph with the card show next to it that mentions he was "also a good amateur hockey player." A pitcher, Littlefield spent 9 years in the majors. This goes with my baseball-hockey autograph collection.

                                        Glenn Kulka
Glenn Kulka was predominantly a professional football player in the CFL and a professional wrestler in the WWF. He also played junior hockey in the WHL and then had a brief pro career in the ECHL. What I find interesting is that he came back to hockey to play in the ECHL after almost a decade of being a CFL player. He was a huge guy so he would have been quite the sight on skates. A fascinating career. This goes with my collection of football-hockey autographs.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Month of Mail - December 2019

December, 2019 saw 7 new NHL signatures arrive in the mail. The total of unique NHL player autographs in my collections now stands at 6,424.

In addition to this mail post, December saw a little housekeeping get done and I've posted the 2017/18 year of debuts as well as my NHL officials autographs.

                       Irv Spencer (d. 1999)
From 1959 to 1968 Irv Spencer played 230 regular season NHL games between the Rangers, Bruins and Red Wings. From 1972 to 1974 he also played 73 games in the WHA with the Philadelphia/Vancouver Blazers.

                   Grant Warwick (d. 1999)
Grant Warwick played nearly 400 games in the NHL and is most notable for winning the 1942 Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. He was also an NHL All-Star in 1947. Internationally, he's also notable for winning Gold at the 1955 World Championships. His brother, Bill, also played in the NHL.

                           Tim Sheehy
During the 1970's, Tim Sheehy played over 400 games in the WHA between the New England Whalers, Birmingham Bulls and Edmonton Oilers. From 1977 to 1980 he played 27 games in the NHL between the Detroit Red Wings and Hartford Whalers. Internationally, Sheehy won Silver at the 1972 Olympics with the United States.

                        Florent Robidoux
From 1980 to 1984 Florent Robidoux scored 7 goals and 11 points in 52 career NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks.

                            John Miner
John Miner scored 2 goals and 5 points in 14 career NHL games with the 1987/88 Edmonton Oilers. He was carried as a reserved during the playoffs when Gretzky's Oilers captured the '88 Stanley Cup but it wasn't enough for Miner to get his name on the Cup. He's also notable for being part of the trade that sent Gretzky to the Kings.

                        Dale Rominski
I was thrilled to get this one back. I've tried sending to Rominski a number of times of the years and this one was at an addresses I'd tried a couple times before. Finally got in touch with him (Thanks again Dale!!) and added the last autograph I needed to complete the 1999/00 season of debuts. Rominski was an undrafted University of Michigan grad who played just 2 seasons of pro hockey, including 3 NHL games with the 1999/2000 Tampa Bay Lightning. 

                   Bob Janecyk
During the 1980s Bob Janecyk backstopped over 100 NHL games between the Chicago Blackhawks and LA Kings. He's been a scout with the Ottawa Senators for the past two decades.


                          Larry Israelson
A Notre Dame alumni, Larry Islraelson scored 22 goals and 53 points in 105 career WHA games between the Vancouver Blazers and Calgary Cowboys. Isrealson goes into my collection of players who played in the WHA but not the NHL.

                          Angela Ruggiero
Angela Ruggiero is one of hockey's most notable female players. She's a four time Olympic medalist who was a long time member of USA's International team. She briefly played for the CHL's Tulsa Oilers in 2004/05, a men's professional hockey team. That makes her the second female other than Haley Wickenheiser to play a forward/defense position in men's pro hockey. She was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015. This goes into my collection of female hockey player autographs.

                            Mike Hasenfratz
A one time police officer and private investigator, Mike Hansenfratz has been a regular NHL referee since 2000.

                                Roger Haggerty
Roger Haggerty spent four seasons playing professional baseball in the Boston Red Sox organization. His son, Ryan Haggerty, is a pro hockey player who is in his 6th year in the AHL. This goes with my surprisingly large collection of baseball player signatures with a hockey connection.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Referees & Linesman - NHL Official Autographs

Sharing another aspect of my hockey autograph collection: referees and linesman of the NHL. This page has been added to the main collection page and will be continuously updated, as are my other collection pages. 
This little collection is a favorite of mine. I have tremendous respect for these individuals.  Unfortunately, I've found it challenging reaching former/current officials for autographs.  

Neil Armstrong

Ron Asselstine

Wayne Bonney

Gord Broseker

Bill Chadwick

Scott Cherrey

John D'Amico

Pat Dapuzzo

Paul Devorski

Ron Finn

Wayne Forsey

Ron Fournier

Kerry Fraser

Bill Friday

Terry Gregson

Mike Hasenfratz

Bob Hodges

Ron Hoggarth

Bruce Hood

Don Koharski

Bob Langdon

Bryan Lewis

Dan Marouelli

Wes McCauley

Randy Mitton

Denis Morel

Scotty Morrison

Matt Pavelich

Brian Pochmara

Ray Scapinello

Dan Schachte

Rob Shick

Jay Sharrers

Leon Stickle

Red Storey

Frank Udvari

Andy Van Hellemond

Mark Vines

Cameron Voss

Brad Watson