A few through the mail returns here but most are very cheap purchases, less than the cost it would have taken me to buy a couple stamps and send to the player. A busy personal life has meant fewer requests being sent out than usual. I'm also at a point where I've sent to the majority of living players I need at least once so not many guys left to send letters to.
This post features 29 new NHL player autographs, raising the grand total to 5,917 unique signatures for 78% of everyone to ever play in the league.
Autographs 30-35 at the end of this post fall outside the NHL player collection but are very cool additions to my hockey collection, particularly Jim Davis. I grew up reading the Garfield comics so very cool to have the creator sign a very oddball Garfield hockey card.
From 1986 to 1988 Mike Dark played 45 NHL games with the St. Louis Blues. The defenseman contributed 5 goals and 11 points.
Jacques Richard was a junior sensation who showed flares of brilliance in the NHL but could never find consistency. He once scored 52 goals and 103 points in a single season with the 1980/81 Nordiques but just a couple years later he was out of the league. Richard later spent time in prison for trying to smuggle over a million dollars worth of cocaine into Canada and in 2002 died young in a car accident.
A Colgate University alumni, David McIntyre was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in 2006. After a couple trades and much development, he went on to play 7 NHL games with the 2011/12 Minnesota Wild. He scored 1 goal and 2 points during his short time in the NHL. He's currently playing in Switzerland.
Since 2015 defenseman Fredrik Claesson has played over 100 NHL games with the Ottawa Senators. Drafted by Ottawa in 2011, Claesson recently signed a contract with the New York Rangers. Internationally, he helped Sweden win Gold at the 2012 World Juniors.
Ryan Russell was drafted by the New York Rangers in 2005 but spent a few years in the minors before he got his only taste of the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Russell played 41 NHL games with the 2011/12 Blue Jackets. His twin brother, Kris, has gone on to have a much longer NHL career.
From 2016-2018 defenseman Yohann Auvitu played 58 NHL games between the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers. A rare NHL caliber player from France, Auvitu came to the Devils in 2016 as a 27 year old rookie.
Mark Van Guilder
Undrafted forward Mark Van Guilder spent 4 years at Notre Dame before embarking on this professional hockey journey. Van Guilder spent years in the minors before making his NHL debut at age 29 with the 2013/14 Nashville Predators. Van Guilder played just 1 NHL game.
Sergei Kharin came to the North America in 1990 as a seasoned professional. He played 7 NHL games with the 1990/91 Winnipeg Jets as a 27 year old rookie. He scored 5 points but it wasn't enough to keep him in the NHL but he's notable for being the first Soviet born player to play for the Jets. Kharin had represented the Soviet Union at the 1987 Canada Cup. Kharin NHL stint was short but he spent a decade playing pro in North America, even becoming a US citizen.
Wade Campbell took the road less traveled to the NHL. He was signed by the Winnipeg Jets in 1982 after a couple of years at the University of Alberta. From 1982 to 1988 he played over 200 games in the NHL, dressing for the Jets and Boston Bruins.
From 1991 to 1994 Al Conroy played 114 games in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers. He won a Silver medal at the 1986 World Juniors with Canada and in 1987 he won the AHL's Calder Cup with the Rochester Americans.
Glenn Mulvenna played 1 NHL game with the 1991/92 Pittsburgh Penguins and 1 NHL game with the 1992/93 Philadelphia Flyers.
From 1987 to 1990 Mark Kachowski played 64 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He recorded 11 points and over 200 penalty minutes.
From 1983 to 1988 Jean-Marc Lanthier scored 16 goals and 32 points in 105 career NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks. Lanthier is also notable for being Mario Lemieux's linemate in junior with the Laval Voisins.
Defenseman Eric Germain played 4 NHL games with the 1987/88 Los Angeles Kings. He recorded 1 point and a fight during his short NHL career.
From 1989 to 1994 Darcy Loewen played 135 games in the NHL. He played for the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators. He was a member of the inaugural Sens team. Internationally, he played for Canada's 1989 World Junior team, finishing the tournament 4th.
From 1981 to 1990 Steve Ludzik played 424 games in the NHL. He spent the majority of his career with the Chicago Blackhawks but last played for the Buffalo Sabres. Starting in 1999, he was head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning for 1 1/2 seasons. Sadly, Ludzik is currently battling Parkinson's disease.
I tried searching high and low for an address to send a card to Todd, even as far as sending him a Facebook message, which is always my last resort. Unfortunately he appears to have no interest in signing these days so I was happy to find this for about the cost of what it would have been to mail him one to sign myself. From 1983 to 1990 Charlesworth appeared in 93 NHL games. The defenseman spent the majority of that time with the Pittsburgh Penguins but did spend some time as a NY Ranger.
Brian Chapman played 3 NHL games with the 1990/91 New York Islanders, recording no points but 29 penalty minutes. His NHL career wasn't long but he did have a lenghty professional hockey career in North America, playing in the IHL and AHL.
Josh Ho-Sang was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft by the New York Islanders. Through 2 season of pro, he's scored 22 points in 43 NHL games with the Islanders.
A Swedish forward who attended Boston University, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson played 1 NHL game with the 2016/17 Bruins. He was drafted by Boston in the 2nd round of the 2015 NHL draft. Internationally, he represented his country at the 2016 World Juniors.
Russian forward Ivan Barbashev was drafted 33rd overall by the St. Louis Blues in 2014. He's scored 25 points in 83 NHL games with the Blues over two seasons. Internationally, he has a bronze and silver medal from representing Russia at the World Juniors in 2014 and 2015.
A University of Michigan alumni, J.T. Compher has played 90 NHL games over a couple seasons with the Colorado Avalanche. Internationally, he represented the United States at the 2016 and 2017 World Championships and in 2015 the World Junior Championships.
A UMass-Amherst alumni, Conor Sheary was signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent. He helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017 as a full time member of the team.
Jon Gillies has played a dozen games in the NHL with the Calgary Flames. He was an NCAA Goalie of the Year with Providence College and in 2013 won a Gold medal representing USA at the World Juniors.
The Philadelphia Flyers drafted Samuel Morin 11th overall in 2013. The defeseman has since played 3 NHL games with Philly. He remains a top prospect but has had injury problems recently. Internationally, he won Gold at the 2015 World Junior Championships with Canada.
Remi Elie played his first full season of NHL hockey last year with the Dallas Stars. Through 90 NHL games he's scored 21 points as a left winger.
Nick Paul was drafted by the Dallas Stars in 2013 and later traded to Ottawa in the deal that saw Jason Spezza go to Dallas. With Ottawa, Paul has scored 3 goals and 6 points in 36 NHL games.
The LA Kings drafted Adrian Kempe in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft. He's played over 100 NHL games as has emerged as a solid contributor for the Kings. In 2018, he helped Sweden win Gold at the World Championships. Brother Mario Kempe has also played in the NHL.
Russian defenseman Mikhaiil Sergachev was drafted 9th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 2016. He made his NHL debut with Montreal but was traded shortly after to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Jonathan Drouin. Sergachev has emerged as quality offensive defender with the Lightning, scoring 40 points in 79 games with the 2017/18 NHL team.
Big shout out to fellow collector Jason, who sent me this Walter Gretzky autograph looking for nothing in return because he knew I was looking for one. Walter doesn't sign via mail so I never had the opportunity to add one before. This completes my 'Gretzky' collection of signatures with Wayne, Brent and Keith. I used this imaged because I own and have read Walter's book a couple times. Great book and its what I'll remember him for instead of being Wayne's father.
Denis Morel was an NHL referee from 1972 to 1994. He officiated over 1200 NHL games as well as a couple Stanley Cup finals. He wrote me back a great little note saying what a thrill it was for him to officiate the finals.
I only collect baseball autographs with a connection to hockey. As you can see here, Ken Oberkfell's connection is that he has a pretty cool hockey reference on the back of this baseball card.
I've been making more of an effort lately to find the Fans of the Game NHL signed cards i don't have. When these were first released I couldn't justify the cost of them. I find some from this set rather difficult to find but the market has still cooled down significantly and now I've been able to add them at opening bid prices. I can say with certainty that this is the first horse jockey autograph I've ever owned. Apparently, Chantal Sutherland is the Danica Patrick of horse racing and is a big Leafs fan.
Raghib "Rocket" Ismail
In 1991, Rocket Ismail made headlines when the college football sensation signed a huge contract with the CFL instead of the NFL. The hype was so big that the hockey market even had to capitalize on it with a couple odd Rocket Ismail hockey cards. He never played the sport, just put on some gear and had some fun for publicity purposes. I'm happy that he signed this card for me as its a very interesting oddball.
In 1992, Skybox released a 100 card Garfield trading card set. This was the only hockey card, featuring Gafield as goalie Garf Gruntsky. I picked it up because I thought it was an interesting oddball card. When I found out that Jim Davis signs through the mail, I thought it would be cool to get the Garfield creator to sign Garfield's only hockey card. I grew up reading Garfield so I really like this unique card that I can add to my hockey autographs.