Larry Zeidel and Connie Madigan
Zeidel’s first certified autograph card, he won the 1952 Stanley Cup as a Detroit Red Wing. He was picked up by the Flyers in the 1967 expansion draft. He was a feared player on the ice, earning him the nickname “The Rock.” I really like it when the player adds a little something to his signature, even with the limited space. My favorite autograph of this post is Connie “Mad Dog” Madigan. This is not only his first autograph card, but his first hockey card. Panini added Mr. Madigan to their set because of the interesting NHL record he holds. He’s the league’s oldest rookie, debuting with the St. Louis Blues in 1973 at the ripe old age of 38. He only played 20 games for the Blues. He also appeared in the movie Slap Shot as Ross “Mad Dog” Madison.
Ross Lonsberry and Larry Goodenough
Ross Lonsberry played 15 seasons of solid NHL hockey and won back to back Stanley Cups with the Philadelphia Flyers. The 1972 NHL All-Star had 7 20+ goal seasons. Larry Goodenough was a rookie when he won the 1975 Stanley Cup with the Flyers. He would play only 4 more NHL seasons between Philly and Vancouver. In The Game’s new set, Broad Street Boys, gives both players first time autograph cards.
Jack Evan’s only certified autograph comes in Famous Fabrics. While these are not on my wantlist due to scarcity I do pick up the odd cut signature when the price is right. Evans had a long NHL career, playing 14 seasons in the league and then coaching for an additional 8 years. He got his name on the Stanley Cup as a member of the 1961 Chicago Blackhawks. He passed away in 1996.
Ron Delorme and Alex Pietrangelo
ITG’s 04/05 Franchises set produced so many new signers that I still have a few to pick up, Ron Delorme having been one of them. Dolorme spent the first 5 seasons of his NHL career with the Colorado Rockies and his last 4 with the Vancouver Canucks. The right winger’s best season was with the Rockies in 79/80, that year he scored 19 goals and 43 points. Ales Pietrangelo’s signature came to me unexpectedly after having bought a couple packs of this year’s SPA, I rarely bust wax. Luckily I hadn’t yet picked up an autograph of this year’s St. Louis’ Blues All-Star defeseman. The 4th overall pick in 2008 scored 51 points from the blueline this year.
Ed Chadwick and Andrew Raycroft
There were some great new signers in this year’s Between the Pipes set, Ed Chadwick being one of the most intriguing. He was a Toronto Maple Leafs starting goalie during the Original 6 era. He started 140 consecutive games for the Leafs over a couple seasons in the late 1950s. He also dressed a few games for the Boston Bruins. After retiring as a player Chadwick scouted with the Edmonton Oilers and was part of all 5 of the team’s Stanley Cups, getting his name on the trophy 3 times. Andrew Raycroft won the 2004 Calder Trophy and then faded to mediocrity. After leaving Boston he saw time in Toronto, Colorado, Vancouver and Dallas.
Paul Bissonnette is known throughout the league not for his playing skills but his hilarious twitter account. BizNasty has played 3 seasons in Pheonix, becoming a fan favorite. He made his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 08/09. Since he did not have any autographs in his rookie season his signatures are a little hard to come by.
Kelly Chase and Dean McAmmond
In under 500 NHL games Kelly Chase spent over 2000 minutes in the sin bin and was reguarded as one of the NHL’s best fighters. If you take into account post season games then Dean McAmmond played in over 1000 NHL contests. He was a reliable secondary scorer who had two seasons of 50+ points.
Brent Severyn and Brad Smyth
Severyn spent the better part of a decade dropping the gloves in the NHL. He share’s his thoughts on life as an NHL enforcer here, a great read. Brad Smyth played 88 games between the Panthers, Kings, Rangers, Predators and most recently the 02/03 Senators.
Byron Dafoe and Robbie Tallas
Dafoe made his debut for the 92/93 Washington Capitals. From 1995-97 he was the LA King’s starting goalie and then from 1997-02 he tended goal for the Boston Bruins. He made the 98/99 NHL All-Star team. He finished his career with the Atlanta Thrashers. Robbie Tallas spent four years with Boston and one for the Blackhawks.
Sean Brown and Rene Bourque
Sean Brown played nearly a decade of NHL hockey with Boston, Edmonton, New Jersey and Vancouver. He last played for the Devils and Canucks in 05/06. The current Montreal Canadien, Rene Bourque had 3 seasons of 20+ goals playing for the Flames.
Erik Westrum and Danny Syvret
Westrum played 15 games for the 03/04 Pheonix Coyotes, 10 games for the 05/06 Minnesota Wild and 2 games for the 06/07 Maple Leafs. Danny Syvret made his NHL debut with the 05/06 Edmonton Oilers. He has played 50+ games between the Oilers and Flyers, most recently playing for the 10/11 Philly team. He was a member of the 04/05 London Knights team that went 31 straight games without a loss.
Ryan White and Ben Maxwell
Ryan White has played 60+ NHL games for the Montreal Canadiens and was recently resigned by the team. In under 50 games Maxwell has dressed for the Canadiens, Thrashers, Jets and Ducks. He recently resigned with Winnipeg.
Connor James and Carsen Germyn
Connor James played 16 NHL games, 2 with the LA Kings and the rest with the Penguins. He scored 1 goal for the 07/08 Pittsburgh team. He also played single game for the Cup winning 08/09 club. Germyn played 4 games for the Calgary Flames from 2005-07.
Martin St. Pierre and Matt Beleskey
From 2005-2010 St. Pierre played 38 NHL games between the Blackhawks, Bruins and Senators. He scored 2 goals and 8 points in those NHL games but was a point per game player in the AHL were he was a 4 time all star. Matt Beleskey has played a couple seasons in Anaheim and is currently a full time Duck.
Drew Stafford and Mike Cammalleri
The first round pick in 2004, Stafford has been a mainstay in Buffalo since 2006. He’s already had 3 20+ goal seasons for the Sabres. Cammalleri’s best NHL season was a 39 goal outburst for the 08/09 Calgary Flames.
Jack Skille and Jiri Tlusty
The 7th overall pick by the Blackhawks in 2005 Jack Skille had to get traded to Florida before he found himself with a full time NHL gig. Jiri Tlusty was the 13th overal pick in 2006. Taken by the Toronto Maple Leafs he struggled with the club but has recently broken out with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Over the past 2 seasons Mark Olver has seen 42 games of NHL action with the Colorado Avalanche.
Don McKenney and Len Frig
Don McKenney enjoyed a lengthy and distinguished NHL career. He won the 1960 Lady Byng Trophy and appeared in 7 All-Star games. He won the Stanley Cup with the 1964 Toronto Maple Leafs. Defeseman Len Frig played over 300 NHL games between Chicago, Cleveland, California and St. Louis.
Steve Witiuk and Ed Kachur
Steve Witiuk played 33 games for the 1951/52 Chicago Blackhawks and scored 11 points. Ed Kachur spent 2 seasons with the Blackhawks in the late 1950s.
Peter Scamurra and Gary Sampson
Peter Scamurra spent 4 years with the Washington Capitals. Between 1975 and 1980 he scored 33 points in 132 NHL games with the Caps. Gary Sampson also spent 4 years in Washington. He played 105 games with the Capitals between 1983 and 1987.
Blake Wesley and Paul Gillis
Blake Wesley played just under 300 regular season NHL games having dressed with Philadelphia, Hartford, Quebec and Toronto. He’s the older brother of long time NHLer Glen Wesley. The bulk of Paul Gillis’ career was an 8 year stint with the Nordiques. He finished his NHL career one fight short of 1500 career penalty minutes.
Tom Gorence and Dwight Carruthers
Tom Gorence played just over 300 NHL games with all but a handful being with the Philadelphia Flyers from 1978-1983. Dwight Carruthers played 1 game for the 1965/66 Detroit Red Wings and 1 game for the 1967/68 Philadelphia Flyers.
Paulin Bordeleau and Thommy Abrahamsson
From 1973-76 Paulin Bordeleau played for the Vancouver Canucks and scored 89 points. He later spent 3 years in the WHA with the Nordiques. Thommy Abrahamsson played 32 games for the 80/81 Hartford Whalers.
Walt Ledingham and Bill McCreary Jr.
Walt Ledingham played 15 NHL games in the 1970s between the Blackhawks and Islanders. Son of an NHLer, Bill McCreary Jr. appeared in 12 games for the 80/81 Toronto Maple Leafs and scored 1 goal.
Sergei Starikov and Shayne Stevenson
One of the first Soviet stars to come to North America, Sergei Starikov played 16 games for the 89/90 New Jersey Devils at the end of his hockey career. He won 2 Olympic gold medals and 1 silver while playing for the USSR before coming to the NHL. Shayne Stevenson’s NHL career lasted 27 games, 14 for Boston in the early 90s and 8 for Tampa Bay.
John Bednarski and Chad Alban
John Bednarski played 100 NHL games, all but 1 with the New York Rangers. He played 1 game for the 79/80 Edmonton Oilers. Chad Alban goes into my “backup only” binder as he dressed for the Dallas Stars in 2001.
John Ziegler and Pete Ward
From 1977-1992 John Ziegler was president of the National Hockey League and oversaw such events like the WHA/NHL merger. Another “oddball” autograph, Pete Ward’s connection to the NHL is that his father was long time NHL player Jimmy Ward.
John ForslundI finish off this post with yet another “oddball” autograph. John Forslund has been the voice of the Hurricanes since they moved to Carolina.