Thursday, July 28, 2016

Golden Brett and 23 New Signatures

A total of 24 new NHL autographs to show this post, raising the grand total of unique NHL player signatures to 5,041 for 67.7% of everyone to play in the league since its creation in 1917/18. 

Since reaching the 5,000 autograph goal I've taken a little 'rest' from the hobby and haven't been sending out as many requests as I usually do. I think I may wait until Canada Post finishes their ridiculous negotiations before sending out another batch of requests. I have little sympathy for the workers only because my experiences with the organization have been largely negative. Just last year they lost a package of about 30 autographs that I had paid to get registered! It just 'disappeared' and the customer service was atrocious. That's just one of my bad experiences I've had over the years. I am continuously finding myself spending more on postage for what seems like less and less service, that's not a viable business plan and its no wonder they're getting little sympathy from the Canadian public. 

Most of these signatures come from COMC and I had bought them over the past two months or so. Its too bad that they're ending the flat 3$ shipping, but it was great while it lasted. With a certified autograph card of Brett Hull finally added, It leaves me with only Patrick Roy, Mark Messier, Brendan Shanahan, Peter Stastny and Steve Yzerman to get. When I add those glaring missing pieces, I'll pretty much have a signature of EVERY notable hockey star since the expansion. The only reason I've held off so long is that they're common, expensive signatures but with my wantlist now so small, I'm going to bite the bullet very soon. 

Brett Hull
At long last I have a certified Brett Hull autograph in the collection. It was a long time coming for one of hockey's most colourful stars of recent memory. He's a very deserving member of the Hockey Hall of Fame with two Stanley Cups (99 and 02), a Hart Trophy (91), Lester Pearson Trophy (91), Lady Byng (90), Olympic Silver Medal (02) and 11 NHL All-Star nods. He retired with 741 career goals in NHL and in 1990/91 he scored an incredible regular season total of 86 goals in 78 games. 

Jiri Hudler
Czech forward Jiri Hudler was drafted 58th overall by the Red Wings in 2002. In 2008 he helped Detroit win a Stanley Cup. Hudler had his best season with the 2014/15 Calgary Flames, scoring 31 goals and 76 points, winning the 2015 Lady Byng Trophy.

Alex Galchenyuk
The Habs drafted Alex Galchenyuk 3rd overall in 2012. He quickly made the jump to the NHL and has already played nearly 300 games with Montreal. In 2013 he helped USA win a Bronze at the men's hockey World Championship. His father was a USSR trained pro hockey player who was playing in the IHL in Milwaukee when Alex was born. 

Nikita Kucherov
Representing Russia at the World Junior Championships, Kucherov won a Silver Medal in 2012 and Bronze in 2013. A 2011 second round draft pick, Kucherov has been a pleasant surprise for the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring 28 and 30 goals over the last two seasons. In 2014/15 he lead the NHL in +/- with a +38.

Mike Halmo
An undrafted forward, Mike Halmo played 20 NHL games with the 2013/14 New York Islanders and recorded 1 goal. He recently signed with the Tampa Bay Lighting organization as a free agent. 

Shane Prince
Shane Prince was a full time NHLer in 2015/16, playing 62 regular season and 11 playoff games in the NHL. He was traded from Ottawa to the New York Islanders half way through the season and was recently signed to a two-year contract by the Islanders.

Emile Poirier
Drafted in the first round of the 2013 NHL draft, 22nd overall, Emile Poirier has played 8 NHL games with the Flames. The forward was a 2014/15 AHL All-Star.

Derek Forbort
Defenceman Derek Forbort was drafted 15th overall by the LA Kings in 2010. In 2011 Forbort won a Bronze medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships with USA. He attended the University of North Dakota and in 2015 made his NHL debut with the Kings. Forbort played 14 NHL games with the 2015/16 LA Kings. 

Kevin Fiala
Swiss forward Kevin Fiala was drafted 11th overall by the Predators in 2014. He's scored 1 goal in 6 NHL games with Nashville. This is actually a pretty nice card. I simply buy the cheapest autograph I can get my hands on so I was just lucky that someone was willing to part with it for a couple bucks. Looks really good in hand and I like the 'silver on black' concept. 

Bogdan Yakimov
Russian forward Bogdan Yakimov played 1 NHL game with the 2014/15 Edmonton Oilers. He was recently loaned to the KHL so it may end up being his only game in the NHL. In 2013 Yakimov was drafted in the 3rd round by Edmonton and in 2014 he won a Bronze medal at the World Junior Championships.

Curtis McKenzie
In his first season of pro hockey Curtis McKenzie was named the AHL's Rookie of the Year and helped the Texas Stars win the 2014 Calder Cup as league champions. Since 2014 McKenzie has played 40 NHL games with the Stars, scoring 4 goals.

Sergey Tolchinsky
Russian forward Sergey Tolchinsky put up solid numbers in the OHL but was never drafted. He was signed by the Carolina Hurricanes as a free agent. In 2015 Tolchinsky helped Russian bring home a Silver medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships. He recorded 1 assist in 2 NHL games with the 2015/16 Hurricanes.

Joni Ortio
Over the last three seasons Finn Joni Ortio has played in 37 NHL games with the Calgary Flames. He represented Finland at the 2013 World Hockey Championships.

Anton Slepyshev
Russian forward Anton Slepyshev brought home a Bronze medal from the 2013 and 2014 World Junior Championships. He made his NHL debut and played 11 games with the 2015/16 Oilers.

Brendan Ranford
Originally drafted by the Philly Flyers in 2010, Brendan Ranford was never signed by the team and acquired by the Stars as a free agent. He played 1 NHL game with the 2014/15 Dallas Stars. His uncle is well known goalie Bill Ranford. Brendan put up great numbers in the AHL and in 2014 won the Calder Cup as a member of the Texas Stars, scoring 8 goals and 16 points in 21 playoff games.

Rocco Grimaldi
A University of North Dakota product, Rocco Grimaldi was drafted 33rd overall by the Florida Panthers in 2011. He made his NHL debut with the 2014/15 Panthers and has since played 27 regular season NHL games with the club. He also played a couple playoff games with the Panthers in 2016. A native of Anaheim, Grimaldi is living proof that hockey has name headway in California. He helped USA win a Gold at the 2013 World Junior Championships.

Frederik Gauthier
The Leafs drafted Frederik Gauthier in the first round, 21st overall, in 2013. He played 7 NHL games in his first season of pro hockey, recording 1 assist for the 2015/16 Toronto Maple Leafs. He won a Gold with Canada at the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championships. That season he also helped Rimouski win the QMJHL league championship. 

Jason Dickinson
A 2013 first round pick, Jason Dickinson played 1 NHL game with the 2015/16 Dallas Stars and scored a goal in his big league debut.

Ryan Pulock
Ryan Pulock was drafted 15th overall by the New York Islanders in 2013. The defenceman played 15 regular season NHL games for the 2015/16 Islanders along with 6 playoff games. 

The next four autographs were obtained from a short visit to PEI's only hockey card stop, Backmandy. Its a great little shop with incredible service. They have a few binders of old TTM autographs from someone who hounded in the 1990s. Altough I've gone through them many times, I still managed to find some signatures I didn't have. 
Chris Dahlquist
From 1985 to 1996 defenceman Chris Dahlquist played over 500 games in the NHL. In 1991 Dahlquist started the season as a Pittsburgh Penguins but was traded mid-season in a huge deal that saw Larry Murphy going the other way. Both teams ended up making it to the Stanley Cup finals that season, with Dahlquist and North Stars coming up short. Dahlquist also played for the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators. He also represented USA at the 1990 World Hockey Championships.

Jamie Linden
Jamie Linden played 4 NHL games with the 1994/95 Florida Panthers, recording no points and 17 penalty minutes which included two fights. He's best remembered as the brother of retired NHL star Trevor Linden. I had tried to get him TTM multiple times but never got a response.

Pierre Lacroix
From 1978 to 1983 Pierre Lacroix scored 131 points in 274 career regular season NHL games. He spent most of that time with the Nordiques but had his last stop with the Hartford Whalers. His NHL career came to an end early due to Lacroix being seriously injured in a car accident. He sat out two seasons recovering. It can actually be hard to locate french guys like Pierre because in his likely place of residence, Quebec, there are literally hundreds of guys with the same name. I'll also point out that in hockey there's a different Pierre Lacroix who was Presdient and GM of the Avalanche.

Peter Lee
From 1977 to 1983 Peter Lee scored 114 goals and 245 points in 431 career NHL games, all with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He then moved overseas and continued playing pro in Germany until 1997. He still lives in Germany were he serves as CEO of the DEL's Eisbaren Berlin.  

Gene Sobchuk
Gene Sobchuk played 1 career NHL game and it came with the 1973/74 Vancouver Canucks. In the WHA he played 3 games with the 1974/75 Phoenix Roadrunners and a full season, 78 games, with the 1975/76 Cincinnati Stingers. With the Stingers Sobchuk, playing with his brother Dennis, scored 23 goals and 41 points.

To say I'm experience a dry spell when it comes to TTM returns would be an understatement. This is my only TTM NHL autograph of recent weeks. I haven't sent out anything lately but I still have literally hundreds of outgoing requests, the large majority of which I'll never get back. It is a little disheartning sometimes to see how few guys respond to mail. 

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Andre Gaudette
This autograph goes into the "WHA Only" collection. From 1972 to 1975 Andre Gaudette played 222 games with the Quebec Nordiques, scoring 61 goals and 166 points. His son, Maxim, is a relatively successful Canadian actor who has won awards for his work.

Jay Onrait
This one is for the growing binder of completely random hockey autographs that don't fit elsewhere. Jay Onrait never played pro hockey or worked for any pro hockey team. For many years Jay and Dan were the best part of waking up a sports fan in Canada. I haven't regularly watched a sports highlight show since they left. I own and have read Jay's book (a good laugh) and have always been a fan. When the opportunity to grab this at a low price came by, I jumped right away. I also like having a "Jay" autograph in my collection as there aren't many of us around. I really do miss Panini being in the hockey market because they occasionally went off the board got some really intersting signers. Upper Deck NEVER does. Their autograph checklists are always boring and repetitive.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Mail - 5,000 Autograph Milestone

Its been too long since my last post but I've been busy with new work, school and a summer move. 22 New NHL autographs and 1 WHA autograph to show in this post. The grand total of unique NHL signatures in the collection is now exactly 5,017 for 67% of everyone who has ever played in the league. With the 5,000 mark milestone reached my next goal is for 75% of everyone to play in the NHL. 

Jay Beagle
Since 2009 Jay Beagle has played over 300 NHL games with the Washington Capitals. He was an undrafted grinder who has carved out a solid career as a 3rd/4th line NHL player. He still hasn't gotten a certified autograph card. 

Eriah Hayes
From 2013 to 2015 Eriah Hayes played 19 NHL games with the San Jose Sharks and scored 1 goal. He was signed by the Sharks as an undrafted Minnesota State alumni.

Sam Carrick
Drafted by the Maple Leafs in 2010, Sam Carrick played 19 games for the team from 2014 to 2016. He was recently signed by the Chicago Blackhawks. His younger brother, Trevor, has also played in the NHL.

Aaron Volpatti
An undrafted Brown University alumni, Aaron Volpatti went on to play over 100 games in the NHL between 2010 and 2015. He was a member of the Vancouver Canucks and Washington Capitals. This autograph is notable because I now only need one more player to complete the 2010/2011 debuts. The last player I need from the 149 debuts that season is Mark Fayne (who I've written to 3 times already). 

John Emmons
John emmons was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 1993 but never suited up for the club. He spent four years at Yale University before starting his pro career in 1996. In 1993 and 1994 Emmons represented USA at the World Junior Championships. From 1999 to 2002 he played 85 games in the NHL, dressing for the Senators, Lightning and Bruins.

Dan Focht
Defenceman Dan Focht was drafted 11th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996 making him the first player ever drafted by the Coyotes. His six for six frame and 240 pound build made him such a desirable prospect but Focht never developed into a star player. He spent a while in the minors and from 2001 to 2004 he played just 82 career games in the NHL between the Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jeff Christian
 From 1991 to 1998 Jeff Christian played 18 career games in the NHL, scoring 2 goals and 4 points. He was a member of the Devils, Penguins and Coyotes. As you can see the, unfortunately Christian's marker was dying a little. It pales to another return I should have been able to post this week. Iiro Jarvi returned my request all the way from Europe but he used such a bad marker that you can barely tell he even signed it. This one is far from that bad and the scan actually makes it appear worse than it really is. 

Greg Brown
A Boston College alumni, Greg Brown represented USA at the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics. From 1990 to 1995 the defenceman played 100 regular season+playoff games in the NHL. He played for the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets. Since 2004 Brown has been an assistant/associate coach with Boston College. His brother, Doug, also played in the NHL.

Paul Cavallini
Defenceman Paul Cavallini is best remembered for representing the St. Louis Blues at the 1990 NHL All-Star game. It was a well deserved honour as Cavallini won the NHL Plus-Minus Award that season with a +38 rating. From 1986 to 1996 Cavallini played 564 regular season games in the NHL between the Capitals, Blues and Stars. His younger brother, Gino, also played in the NHL.

Doug Palazzari
One of the shortest players to make the NHL, at 5'.05" Doug Palazzari went undrafted but gained attention due to stellar career at Colorado College from 1970 to 1974. In 1973 and 1974 he was a member of America's World Championship Hockey teams. The son of NHLer Aldo Palazzari,  from 1974 to 1979 Doug played just over 100 NHL games with the St. Louis Blues and in 1976 was named to USA's Canada Cup team. After retiring he became deeply involved in USA Hockey and in 2000 Palazzari was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

Bruce Major
A University of Main alumni, Bruce Major played 4 NHL games with the 1990/91 Quebec Nordiques. 

Bill Riley
A native of Amherst, Nova Scotia Bill Riley played three years of senior hockey in BC after his junior career was over. It was in the senior leagues that Washington found Riley and made him just the third black hockey player ever to play in the NHL. Doing a little reading about Mr. Riley, one thing is clear is that he's a great person and ambassador to the game. I think from this wonderful signature alone you can tell Riley is someone that would be a joy to meet. 

Bob Dupuis
Bob Dupuis is notable for two things. In 1980 he was Team Canada's goalie at the Winter Olympics and later in the year he was signed and played 1 NHL game with the 1979/80 expansion Edmonton Oilers. 

David H. Jensen
There were two NHL players named David Jensen who played during the 1980s. They actually both played on the 1984 US Olympic team, which I'm sure confused a number of people. This David Jensen played 18 career NHL games with the Minnesota North Stars from 1984 to 1986. In 1986 he also represented USA at the World Hockey Championships.

Timo Blomqvist
From 1981 to 1987 defenceman Timo Blomqvist played 243 regular season games in the NHL. He spent most of that time with the Capitals but ended his North Amrican career a New Jersey Devils. He later captain team Finland at the 1988 Winter Olympics, leading the team to a Silver medal. He also represented Finland at the 1992 Olympics.

Randy Johnston
Defenceman Randy Johnston played 4 games with the 1979/80 New York Islanders, a team that went on to win the Stanley Cup that season. He put up great numbers in the minors but was in a strong Islanders organization until he retired in 1983. 

Lawrence Sacharuk
In Larry Sacharuk's last season of junior hockey, while a member of the Saskatoon Blades, the defenceman scored 50 goals. According to Greatest Hockey Legends, that makes him the only rearguard to accomplish such a feat in a professional or major junior league, surpassing even Bobby Orr for the record. From 1972 to 1977 Sacharuk played over 150 games in the NHL and scored 20 goals from the blueline but wasn't able to stick in the league. His shot, however, was still known as one of the hardest around. Sacharuk also later played 15 games in the WHA for the Indianapolis Racers.

Bob Berry
Bob Berry made his NHL debut with the 1968/69 Montreal Canadiens, playing two games for a club that went on to claim their second Stanley Cup in as many years. It was with LA that Berry found his game. With the LA Kings Berry was an NHL All-Star in 1973 and 1974. He scored a career high 36 goals for the 1972/73 Kings. After retiring he returned to the NHL as a head coach and spent time as bench boss for the LA Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues.

Terry Murray
From 1972 to 1982 defenceman Terry Murray played over 300 games in the NHL. He played for the California Seals, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals. 

Ian Cushenan
I've heard that Cushenan is a tough signer so I was thrilled to get this request back. The only strange thing about this return is that Cushenan seems to have wanted to keep my index card so he (or a helper/relative) scanned it and printed a copy, which he then signed and sent to me. I usually double check tough old signers to make sure the autograph is legit and this one is as it matches all examples I have of Cushenan's signature. He was known as a tough defenceman and from 1956 to 1964 Cushenan played 129 games in the NHL's Orignial Six era. He was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings. He's most notable for winning the Stanley Cup with the 1959 Montreal Canadiens and being named an NHL All-Star in 1958 while with Chicago.

Kelly Burnett
I had tried sending to Burnett once before and this was such a quick return that I have to believe the post office lost the first one. Kelly Burnett scored 1 goal in 3 career NHL games with the 1952/53 New York Rangers. He wrote back that his career highlight was scoring a goal in his first NHL game.

Rey Comeau
Rey Comeau made his NHL debut with the 1971/72 Montreal Canadiens but couldn't become a regular on the star-studded roster. From 1972 to 1978 he became an impact player for the Atlanta Flames. Comeau also spent a couple season with the Colorado Rockies before retiring in 1981 with well over 500 games played in the NHL. This was a different return. Comeau kept the index I made and instead of sending me a signed card to replace it, he included 13 old cards! I had a hard time deciding which to keep for the collection but this one had, in my opinion, the nicest signature. 


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Richard Dumas
This one goes into the ever growing WHA collection of guys who played in the Rebel League but not the NHL. Richard Dumas appeared very briefly in 1 WHA game with the 1974/75 Chicago Cougars. In his note he said that he got invited to a Cougars training camp and from there was assigned to their farm club in Long Island. He said that in addition to playing in that game he also dressed as a backup in 8 more WHA games over his two years with the organization. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Mail - A pile of TTM, 65 New Graphs

65 New NHL autographs and 72 total new hockey autographs to show since the last post. The grand total of unique NHL autographs in the collection is now 4,995 autographs. That accounts for 67% of the 7,446 different people who have played in the NHL between 1917 and 2016. 

The first three autographs here come from a trade and the many signed cards following my TTM responses all came from another trade, a big one with another NHL autograph collector. Unfortunatetly I haven't had the stamp money to send out more TTM requests lately but evidently I'm still reaping the rewards from all the letters I sent this past winter and before. 


Brendan Gallagher
Good Montreal Canadien players always command a premium so it took me a little while to get my hands on this Brendan Gallagher autograph. Gallagher finished in second place for the 2012/13 Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. Since then his been a vital member of the Habs, scoring over 150 points and recently being named an assistant captain.

Aaron Ekblad
Aaron Ekblad was a born star, granted exception status as a junior, he was drafted 1st overall in 2014 and in 2015 took home the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. In 2015 the young star also helped Canada win Gold at the World Hockey Championships.

Jori Lehtera
Finnish centerman Jori Lehtera was drafted in the third round of the 2008 draft by the Blues. He spent a number of years in the KHL and in 2014 finally made his NHL debut with St. Louis. Since then he's played over 150 NHL games and has been a solid contributor, netting 23 goals and 78 points.

Tim Sestito
This is an ebay purchase and it was bought because it was had for very cheap, less than the cost of its shipping. I'd likely add a few more of these certified KHL autos if so many of them didn't have ridiculously high asking prices by a couple sellers. Sestito didn't get a certified autograph during his brief NHL career. From 2009 to 2015 he played just over 100 games in the NHL, his first with the Oilers and the rest with the New Jersey Devils. He did play 1 playoff game in the Devils improbable 2012 run to the Cup finals. His brother, Tom, also played in the NHL.

Connor Knapp
Connor Knapp has spent the majority of his pro hockey career toiling in the ECHL but when a string of goalie injuries struck the 2013/14 Buffalo Sabres he got the opportunity to see action in 2 NHL games. The Miami University alumni is unlikely to make it back to the show as the Sabres didn't resigned him.

Jordan Hendry
Defenceman Jordan Hendry will best be remembered for his small role on the Stanley Cup winning 2010 Chicago Blackhawks. Hendry was acquired by Chicago as an undrafted defenceman who had played for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. From 2007 to 2011 Hendry played 129 regular season NHL games with the Hawks. He also played 2 NHL games with the 2012/13 Anaheim Ducks.

Cody McLeod
Since 2007 grinder Cody McLeod has played well over 600 NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche. He was an undrafted free agent signing who worked his way up from the ECHL. McLeod has been assistant captain of the Avalanche since 2013.

Aaron MacKenzie
An undrafted defenceman who graduated from the University of Denver in 2003, Aaron MacKenzie played 5 NHL games with the 2008/09 Colorado Avalanche.

Derek Peltier
From 2008 to 2010 defenceman Derek Peltier played 14 career NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche. The University of Michigan grad has since left hockey and is now working in the insurance business.

Zack Smith
The two protective index cards and even the return envelope all have the same identification #15-101 yellow sticker on them, which is somewhat interesting. It seems likely to be the team's system of autograph requests. Shout out to the Sens for taking care of their fans unlike some such as Detroit who refuse fan mail. Since 2009 Zack Smith has played 400 NHL games with the Ottawa Senators. He recently had a career year, scoring 25 goals for the 2015/16 Senators.

Chad Billins
I sent this letter to Chad Billins in Sweden where he's been playing but he must have sent it when he returned home to America and he added the extra postage so many thanks Chad! Billins played 10 games in the NHL with the 2013/14 Calgary Flames. The defenceman was an undrafted Ferris State alumni.

Karl Stollery
Karl Stollery played his way into an NHL contract after graduating from Merrimack College as a free agent in 2012. The defenceman has since played 12 NHL games between the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks.

Kellan Lain
An undrafted forward, Kellan Lain played 9 NHL games with the 2013/14 Vancouver Canucks, scoring 1 goal and recording 21 penalty minutes. He actually holds the NHL record for fastest fight in an NHL career, dropping the gloves just 2 seconds into his big league debut.

Joe Jensen
Originally drafted by the Penguins in 2003, St. Cloud State alumni Joe Jensen scored 1 goal in 6 career NHL games with the 2007/08 Carolina Hurricanes.

Andy Roach
Andy Roach made his NHL debut with the 2005/06 St. Louis Blues as a grizzled 32 year old NHL rookie. To say he took the path less travelled would be an understatement. The defenceman graduated from Ferris State undrafted in 1997. After three seasons of North American pro hockey in the IHL he moved to Germany in 1999. He played pro in the German DEL leagues until 2004, when he moved to Switzerland for a year. It was from there that he finally got his shot at the NHL with St. Louis. Roach recorded 1 goal and 3 points in 5 career NHL games with the 2005/06 Blues.

Lee Goren
From 2000 to 2007 Lee Goren played 67 regular season games and 5 playoff games in the NHL. He scored 5 goals and 9 points while dressing with the Bruins, Panthers and Canucks.

Kirk Nielsen
A Harvard alumni, Kirk Nielsen played 6 career NHL games with the 1997/98 Boston Bruins. He retried from hockey relatively young in 1999 at 24, the decision likely aided by his Harvard degree. His younger brother, Jeff, also played in the NHL. 

Brian Felsner
Brian Felsner scored 1 goal and 4 points in 12 career NHL games with the 1997/98 Chicago Blackhawks. His brother, Denny, also had a brief stint in the NHL.

Nick Vachon
Nick Vachon's lone game in the NHL came in 1996 with the New York Islanders. Outside of that brief stint in the NHL, he's most notable for being the son of legendary LA Kings goalie Rogie Vachon. He actually became an actor for a some time after his hockey career and even had a minor role in the 2003 Samuel L. Jackson blockbuster S.W.A.T. 

Stephane Richer
There were two Stephane Richers who played in the NHL in the 1990s that both happen to be born in 1966 and I now have both of them in the collection. From 1992 to 1995 this particular Stephane Richer  played 27 career games in the NHL, scoring 1 goal and 6 points. The defenceman was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers. He's been in Germany since 2003 playing, coaching and now managing in his adopted nation.

Mike Stothers
From 1984 to 1988 defenceman Mike Stothers played 30 NHL games between the Flyers and Maple Leafs. He returned to the NHL as an assistant coach with Philly from 2000 to 2002 and the Atlanta Thrashers in 2010/11. Stothers is currently head coach of the AHL's Ontario Reign. 

Brandy Semchuk
Brandy Semchuk wrote me back a great little note, "Thanks for the interest in my signaure. Its nice to know I am not completely forgotten lol. My best memory was the one and only regular season game I played against the Flames." That game was with the 1992/93 Los Angeles Kings.

Don Biggs
Don Biggs played 1 NHL game with the 1984/85 Minnesota North Stars and another 11 with the 1989/90 Philadelphia Flyers. The centerman scored 2 goals with Philly. His son, Tyler, was a 2011 first round pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Patrick Lebeau
Between 1990 and 1999 Patrick Lebeau scored 3 goals and 5 points in 15 career NHL games. His brief NHL career still saw him dress for four different teams; the Canadiens, Flames, Panthers and Penguins. He's most notable for helping Canada win a Silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics. His brother, Stephane, also played in the NHL.

Jim Pettie
Pettie apologized for signing "John" instead of "Jay." I found it rather comical because oddly enough my father's name is John and it genuinely doesn't bother me. He wrote me back a wonderful note about playing with Gerry Cheevers and being coached by Don Cherry. Jim Pettie played in 21 NHL games with the Boston Bruins in the late 1970s.

Alex Pirus
From 1976 to 1980 Alex Pirus scored 30 goals and 58 points in 159 regular season games in the NHL. Most of that time was spent with the Minnesota North Stars but Pirus did play a handful of games for the Detroit Red Wings. 

Dave Richter
From 1981 to 1990 tough defenceman Dave Richter played 365 regular season games in the NHL as a member of the North Stars, Flyers, Canucks and Blues. The University of Michigan grad recorded over 1000 penalty minutes in his NHL career.

Dean Turner
From 1978 to 1983 defenceman Dean Turner played 35 games in the NHL. He dressed with the New York Rangers, Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Kings.

John Taft
John Taft played 15 NHL games with the 1978/79 Detroit Red Wings. Taft spent a number of years on the US National team and in 1976 captained team USA at the Winter Olympics, finishing in fifth place. 

Bob Bodak
Bob Bodak played 3 NHL games with the 1987/88 Calgary Flames and 1 game with the 1989/90 Hartford Whalers. The tough forward didn't record a point in his 4 career NHL games but did get 29 penalty minutes. 

Warren Miller
From 1975 to 1983 Warren Miller played over 200 games in both the WHA and NHL. In the NHL he scored 40 goals and 90 points between the Rangers and Whalers. The Minnesota native represented America at the 1981 Canada Cup and 2 World Hockey Championships.

Don Nachbauer
From 1980 to 1990 Dan Nachbaur played well over 200 games in the NHL as a member of the Whalers, Oilers and Flyers. Since hanging up his skates in 1994, he's spent a couple decades coaching, mostly in the WHL.

John Blum
An undrafted University of Michigan alumni, defenceman John Blum played 250 regular season games in the NHL between 1982 and 1990. He spent time with the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings.

Bob Joyce
Bob Joyce scored 52 goals in his last year of NCAA hockey with North Dakota. The next season he played for Canada at the 1988 Olympics, finishing fourth. From 1988 to 1993 Joyce played over 150 NHL games between the Bruins, Capitals and Jets. He's also notable for playing 23 playoff games in 1988, helping the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup finals.

Hannu Virta
From 1982 to 1986 defenceman Hannu Virta played 245 regular season NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres. In 1994 he helped Finland with a Bronze at the Olympics. He also won a Gold at the 1995 World Championships with Finland. 

Mark Kumpel
From 1984 to 1991 Mark Kumpel played well over 300 regular season+playoff games in the NHL. He was a member of the Nordiques, Red Wings and Jets. Kumpel also represented America at the 1984 Olympics. 

Gord Hampson
An undrafted University of Michigan alumni, Gord Hampson played 4 career NHL games with the 1982/83 Calgary Flames. His father, Ted, was a long time NHLer and he wrote me a great note about how his father managed to make the trip to see Gord's first NHL game.

Dave Fortier
From 1972 to 1977 defenceman Dave Fortier played over 200 games in the NHL. He was a member of the Maple Leafs, Islanders and Canucks. Fortier also spent a season in the WHA with the 1977/78 Indianapolis Racers. The request took a couple years to get back to me but Fortier actually took to the time to add a wonderful letter about his career that was a joy to read. 


Jim Niekamp
In the early 1970s defenceman Jim Niekamp played 29 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings. From 1972 to 1977 Niekamp played nearly 400 games in the WHA between the LA Sharks and Phoenix Roadrunners.

Al McLeod
Al McLeod spent one season in the NHL, playing 26 games with the 1973/74 Detroit Red Wings. He then spent the next 6 years in the WHA, playing 342 regular season games in the great rebel league. 

Ron Boehm
Ron Boehm scored 2 goals and 3 points in 16 career NHL games with the 1967/68 Oakland Seals. He had two stints in the New York Rangers organization but was never able to crack their NHL roster.

George Konik
Big thanks to his relative or nurse who returned the request with a little heartbreaking note. Whomever said George have it the best signature he could but he's currently suffering from Parkinson's and dementia. They also said George's favourite memories are playing against some of the famous guys like Bobby Orr. Konik played 52 games in the NHL with the 1967/68 Pittsburgh Penguins and 54 games in the WHA with the 1972/73 Minnesota Fighting Saints.

Ron Buchanan
Ron "Bucky" Buchanan played 3 games with the 1966/67 Boston Bruins and later 2 more NHL games with the 1969/70 St. Louis Blues. He's better known for playing over 200 games in the WHA during the 1970s, dressing with the Cleveland Crusaders, Edmonton Oilers and Indianapolis Racers. He father, Ralph "Bucky" Buchanan, also had a short NHL career.

Dan Gratton
Maybe Dan liked the picture on the card I sent or for whatever reason he kept the index and sent me a card in its place. No problem with that on my end as this card serves the same purpose. In 7 career NHL games with the 1987/88 Los Angeles Kings Gratton recorded 1 goal and a fight with Minnesota's Bob Brooke. Gratton had been drafted 10th overall by the Kings in 1985.

Chad Wiseman
Chad Wiseman played 9 career games in the NHL, 4 with the San Jose Sharks and 5 with the New York Rangers. He's currently head coach and GM of the NWHL's New York Riveters.

Darren Reid
Darren Reid played 7 NHL games with the 2005/06 Tampa Bay Lightning and 14 games with the 2006/07 Philadelphia Flyers.

Kris Vernarsky
From 2002 to 2004 forward Kris Vernarsky played 17 games in the NHL with the Boston Bruins and recorded 1 goal. Originally a second round Toronto Maple Leafs pick in 2000, Vernarsky was traded to the Bruins in 2002.

Matt Walker
From 2002 to 2012 defenceman Matt Walker played over 300 games in the NHL. He was a member of the St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Philly Flyers.

Matt Cooke
I've written to Matt Cooke a number of times but have had the misfortune of never getting a return from him. Its actually amazing to me that the guy has never gotten a certified autograph. What other modern day NHLer who's won a Stanley Cup and played over 1,000 games doesn't have a certified signature? Perhaps he refused to sign for the card companies. Cooke won a Gold at the 2004 World Hockey Championships with Canada and a Stanley Cup in 2009 with the Penguins. 

Daniel Corso
From 2000 to 2004 Daniel Corso scored 14 goals and 25 points in 77 regular season NHL games. Most of that was with the St. Louis Blues but he did spend some time with the 03/04 Atlanta Thrashers.

Brennan Evans
Brennan Evans' NHL career lasted just 2 games and they came in the 2004 playoffs with the Calgary Flames. Unlike the statistics websites, I organize my year of debuts slightly different, including guys with playoff debuts in the year they played in the playoffs. NHLreference.com, for example, has a great list of NHL debuts by year but list guys with playoff debuts in the following season, when they played in the regular season for the first time. A guy like Evans, who only played in the playoffs, justifies my OCD about organization and including a 2004 playoff debut in the 2003/04 season. 

David Cullen
From 2000 to 2002 David Cullen played 16 NHL games with the Phoenix Coyotes and another 3 with the Minnesota Wild. The defenceman was help pointless in his short NHL career. The University of Maine alumni has received his Masters in Education since retiring from hockey in 2010.

Mitch Fritz
This might by my favourite autograph of the entire post. I've wanted a Mitch Fritz autograph ever since he and the Islanders came to PEI in 2008 for some training camp games and a preseason contest against the Florida Panthers. I say this because we got such a kick out of watching Fritz in particular. The tough guy looked comically out of place, obvisouly there for his fighting skills and not scoring abilities. I also remember him towering above the other players at 6.7' and almost 250 he was force. Fritz played 20 NHL games with the 2008/09 NY Islanders. He didn't record a single point but accumulated a few fights and 42 penalty minutes. He retired in 2011 and I hadn't been able to located him for a TTM request. 

Jason Morgan
Jason Morgan bounced around the North American pro hockey scene for a long time. Between 1996 and 2007 he played 44 regular season games in the NHL. Morgan played for the LA Kings, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild. 

Kyle Freadrich
From 1999 to 2001 Kyle Freadrich played 23 games in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He recorded 1 assist and 8 fights in his short NHL career.

Greg Classen
From 2000 to 2003 Greg Classen scored 7 goals and 17 points in 90 career NHL games with the Nashville Predators. He's still playing pro hockey in Germany.

Zdenek Kutlak
From 2000 to 2004 Czech defenceman Zdenek Kutlak played 16 games in the NHL with the Boston Bruins. He's helped the Czech Republic capture Silver at the 2006 World Championships and Bronze at the 2012 World Championships.

Dmitry Afanasenkov
From 2000 to 2007 Dmitry Afanasenkov played over 200 games in the NHL as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers. He's most notable for helping the Lightning win the 2004 Stanley Cup. He retired in 2013 after a few seasons in his native Russia. Retired Russians are nearly impossible to find TTM so I'm happy to add this signature. 

Dieter Kochan
From 1999 to 2002 Dieter Kochan appeared in 20 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He also appeared in 1 NHL game with the 2002/03 Minnesota Wild and dressed as a backup with the NY Islanders during the 2003/04 season. Kochan was originally drafted by the Canucks in 1993 and then spent four years at Northern Michigan University.

Gregg Naumenko
Gregg Naumenko appeared in 2 NHL games with the 2000/01 Anaheim Mighty Ducks. The Chicago native played for America at the 2002 World Hockey Championships.

Todd Richards
From 1990 to 1992 Todd Richards played 8 regular season and 11 playoff games with the Hartford Whalers. He's had more success in the NHL as a head coach, from 2009 to 2011 he was bench boss of the Minnesota Wild and from 2011 to 2015 was head coach of the Blue Jackets.

Peter White
I still have the elusive Peter White 01/02 Signature Series autograph on my want list but for now this Peter White autograph will due just fine for the collection. From 1993 to 2004 Peter White bounced around the North American pro hockey scene. He appeared in over 200 NHL games and was a member of the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks.

Russell Romaniuk
From 1991 to 1996 Russell Romaniuk played over 100 games in the NHL. He was a member of the Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers.

Erich "Rick" Goldmann
German defenceman Rick Goldmann played 1 game in the NHL with the 1999/00 Ottawa Senators. He represented Germany in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics.

Jason Lafreniere
From 1986 to 1994 Jason Lafreniere scored 34 goals and 87 points in 146 regular season NHL games. The skilled forward suited up with the Quebec Nordiques, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning. His father, Roger, also played in the NHL.

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Hockey autographs #66-72 of the post fall outside of my NHL player collection.

Pete Donnelly
Pete Donnelly appeared between the net in 100 WHA games. He played for the New York Raiders, Vancouver Blazers and Quebec Nordiques.

Ron Hansis
From 1976 to 1978 Ron Hansis scored 17 goals and 29 points in 100 career games in the WHA with the Houston Aeros. He wrote back to me that his highlight was playing with the great Gordie Howe.

John French
I had sent my request to French's Canadian address but he must have been in the USA when he returned, not a problem because French was such a gentleman he added the US postage! Thanks Mr. French! From 1972 to 1978 John French played over 400 games in the WHA. He scored over 100 goals and 300 points while dressing for the New England Whalers, San Diego Mariners and Indianapolis Racers.

Bill Gilligan
A Brown University alumni, Bill Gilligan played well over 100 games in the WHA with the Cincinnati Stingers from 1977 to 1979. He scored 27 goals and 67 points in his 2 seasons with the Stingers. He also represented America at the 1978 World Hockey Championships. Gilligan wrote back to me noting his highlight in the WHA was playing against the likes of Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and Wayne Gretzky.

Mike Valley
Mike Valley only appeared in the NHL but only as a backup goalie. He appeared on the bench with the Vancouver Canucks once during the 1998/99 season. He was backup to Corey Hirsch in a loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Since retiring in 2004 Valley has spend almost a decade in the NHL as a goalie coach with the Nashville Predators and then the Dallas Stars.

Wayne Bonney
Wayne Bonney officiated over 1,600 NHL games and 700 WHA games during his lengthy career that started in the 1970s and lasted until 2004. He also officiated over 200 NHL playoff games including five Stanley Cup finals.

Blane Comstock
Blane Comstock goes into my growing collecting of hockey Olympians who never played in the NHL. Comstock was America's second goalie at the 1976 Olympics. The team finished the tournament in 5th place and outside of the medals. Comstock also represented the USA at the 1975 World Championships.