Monday, November 19, 2018

Mail - TTMs & Touchdown Hockey

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.

                           Steve Martinson
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.

                         Brian Lundberg
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
Ray Markham played 14 regular season games and 7 NHL playoff games with the 1979/80 New York Rangers.

                        Lars Zetterstrom
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.

                        Lars Lindgren
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
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.

                         Roland Stolz
(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
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
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.

                          Nelson Nogier
Defenseman Nelson Nogier has played 10 games in the NHL, all with the 2016/17 Winnipeg Jets.

                        Evan McEneny
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.

                             Bart Hull
On top of the very cool family connection, Bart actually played some pro hockey AFTER his CFL career was finished. 

                                Joe Poplawski

                                 Dick Vermeil

                               Darrin Chiaverini

                                      John Alt

                              Jordan Reaves

                                    Nick Dzubnar

                                   Mark Rypien

                             Anthony Calvillo

                                   Wally Buono

                                Marshall Toner
You can tell that I hadn't settled on a design yet when I sent to Mr. Toner.

                            Brent Urban
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.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Week of Mail - Fall 2018

A mix of TTM returns and a few small purchases made this a great week of 'hockey ink in the mail.' This past week brought 18 new NHL player autographs and a bunch of 'other' hockey signatures. The NHL player autographs bring the grand total to 5,964 unique signatures for 78% of everyone to every play in the league.

                             Jim Krulicki
Jim Krulicki spent one season in the NHL, splitting it between the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings. He recorded 3 points in 41 NHL games during the 1970/71 NHL season.

                          Jim Hofford
From 1985 to 1989 Jim Hofford played 18 games in the NHL between the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings. The defenceman recorded no points but did rack up 47 penalty minutes.

                         Phil Hoene
From 1972 to 1975 Phil Hoene recorded 6 points in 37 career NHL games with the Los Angeles Kings. As you can see from the scan, his pen ran out before he could finish his signature so he had to finish with a different color.

                            Greg Vaydik
Greg Vaydik was drafted 7th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1975. He played 5 career NHL games with the team during the 1976/77 season. He grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

                            Mike Sands
Mike Sands appeared in 6 NHL games with the Minnesota North Stars during the 1980s. Internationally, he won a Bronze medal at the 1983 World Juniors as a member of Team Canada.

              David Goverde
From 1991 to 1994 David Goverde played in 5 NHL games with Wayne Gretzky's Los Angeles Kings.

              Scott Robinson
Scott Robinson played in 1 NHL game with the 1989/90 Minnesota North Stars. Because Robinson was never a big prospect or star player, I couldn't trace his whereabouts after hockey and his common name, I picked this up because I knew it would be hard to find another if I didn't.

              Dave Marcinyshyn
From 1990 to 1993 Dave Marcinyshyn played 16 games in the NHL. He had short stints with the New Jersey Devils, Quebec Nordiques and New York Rangers.

               Daniel Gauthier
Daniel Gauthier played 5 NHL games with the 1994/95 Chicago Blackhawks. He was high on my wantlist because it was the last signature I needed to complete the 94/95 season of debuts. See all 110 of the season's debuts here. Daniel Gauthier is a common french name so I simply couldn't locate him after he retired from hockey. This was one of those cases were I paid a little more than I usually would for a common signature simply because it was the only one available and If I missed out, I didn't know how much longer I'd be looking for another.

                   Mark Paterson
From 1983 to 1986 Mark Paterson played 29 NHL games with the Hartford Whalers. 

                   Kevin Evans
Kevin Evans played 4 NHL games with the 1990/91 Minnesota North Stars and 5 games with the 1991/92 San Jose Sharks. A tough customer, he recorded 1 assist and 44 penalty minutes in his 9 career NHL games. He holds the record for most penalty minutes in a single season of professional hockey with 648 with the 1986/87 IHL's Kalamazoo Wings. Incredibly, he also put up 19 goals and 50 points that season. Brothers Paul and Doug Evans both played in the NHL.

                    Matt Henderson
The index card I made and sent Matt Henderson to sign got a little water damaged on its journey to him. He was very nice in adding this signed card as well as signing the damaged index. Not many 1990s debuts left on my wantlist so I was pumped to get this one back. Matt Henderson played 2 games with the 1998/99 Nashville Predators and 4 games with the 2001/02 Chicago Blackhawks.

                Mitch Callahan
Mitch Callahan has played 5 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings. He's won the AHL Calder Cup twice, in 2013 and 2017. Internationally, he represented the United States at the 2011 World Juniors, bringing home a bronze medal.

                   Eric Selleck
Eric Selleck played 2 NHL games with the 2012/13 Florida Panthers and 1 NHL game with the 2015/16 Arizona Coyotes.

                      John Albert
Ohio State University alumni John Albert played 9 NHL games with the 2013/14 Winnipeg Jets. He recorded 1 goal during his stint in the big leagues.

                      Matt Carey
Undrafted, Matt Carey played 2 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks at the end of the 2013/14 season. Carey had just signed with Chicago after leaving St. Lawrence University. He scored a goal in those 2 games but it would turn out to be his only stint in the NHL.

                Craig Cunningham
From 2013-2016 Craig Cunningham played 63 NHL games between the Boston Bruins and Arizona Coyotes. His career ended abruptly due to health issues that saw him have his lower left leg amputated. 

               Kristers Gudlevskis
Kirsters Gudlevskis played in 3 NHL games through 4 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Gudlevskis is likely best remembered from the 2014 Olympics. He backstopped Latvia in a 2-1 loss to team Canada but stopped 55 of 57 shots in the process.


                          Donald Fehr
This return was a little strange. Fehr sent me back a letter saying how de doesn't sign business, but would sign the letter so that should be good enough due to people selling his signature on ebay. I found this slightly odd because I didn't ask for a signed business cards, I sent a custom index card as I usually do, and explain that I don't sell. I also don't see there being a big market for his autograph. Nonetheless, I'm grateful he did sign the letter for me and respond to my request. I used the signed letter to make this custom index. I like having a picture to accompany the autograph its binder. 

                     Mark Vines
Mark Vines was an NHL official who is best remembered for his time as a linesman in the 1990s. I really love how ProSet featured NHL officials in their set and wish we could see a current set do the same. I'm also a big fan of the coaches cards.

                       Willa Ford
This card has long been on my wantlist but I refused to pay more than a couple bucks for it. It took a few years, but I finally grabbed one at that price. Apparently she's a singer/model. Ford WAS married to former NHL star Mike Modano but since this card was released, the couple separated and Ford has remarried.

                             Dane Fletcher
Dane Fletcher played in the NFL with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He grew up playing hockey all the way through high school as a goalie. 

                               Chris Weinke
Former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke was captain of his high school hockey team. 

                              Sean Foudy
Sean Foudy's son, Liam, took to hockey and looks to be a future NHLer. Sean Foudy spent time in the CFL. 

                           Andrew Harris
Andrew Harris is a member of the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers but as you can see form the picture, he grew up playing hockey as well. 

                            Randy Ambrosie
If you follow the CFL, you might recognize this name because Ambrosie is currently the league's commissioner. He grew up playing hockey.

                      Joey Logano
There aren't many hockey-NASCAR connections so this is an interesting addition to my collection. One of the only NASCAR card I've ever owned so very happy to get it signed and I think its very cool that they did this hockey themed card.