Sunday, March 29, 2015

Recent Mail: Bourque, Bure & 32 More

I've managed to add 34 new NHL signatures to the collection since the last post. The grand total of unique NHL player autographs now stands at 4,270. My goal for 2015 is to reach 4,500.

Since the last post, I've gotten a package from and a few odds and ends. My favourite addition is a vintage Fred Hunt signature obtained from an old letter. I'm visiting home soon so next mail post should have a number of TTM autographs. As I look at my shrinking wantlist I realized that there are only a few more stars, retired or current, that I need. There are a few glaring holes to be filled by the likes of Crosby, Kane, Toews, Yzerman and Roy. After that, the bulk of it are very obscure or long deceased players. The more obscure, the more challenging it to find a signature but the more rewarding it is when I find one. It looks that an increased amount of my budget will be going towards postage stamps and vintage pieces instead of certified autograph cards.

Thanks to all who have sent me a message or email this past month. Its nice to see there are people who enjoy my blog. I make no effort to publizse this site. I do it all because its my stress relieving hobby.

Ray Bourque
Ray Bourque was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. He won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenceman five times, was named an NHL All-Star 19 times and in 2001 won the Stanley Cup. He maintains a strong fan base and his autographs consistently sell well.

Pavel Bure
Russian forward Pavel Bure exploded into the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks and won the 1991/92 Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year. In 1994 he lead NHL in goals scored and lead the Canucks to the Stanley Cup finals. With the Florida Panthers he won the 2000 and 2001 Rocket Richard Trophy. Bure was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. 

Michel Goulet
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998, Michel Goulet netted 50+ goals in a season fours years in a row with the Nordiques. He played over 1000 games in the NHL between 1979 and 1994. As Director of Player Personnel with the Colorado Avalanche, Goulet had his name engraved on the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001. 

Terry O'Reilly
Terry O'Reilly spent his entire career with the Boston Bruins. He spent a couple season as team captain and returned to the bench as head coach from 1986 to 1989. Know for his tough play, O'Reilly is an all-time fan favourite in Boston.

Clark Gillies
Clark Gillies was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002. He was a integral part of New York's Stanley Cup dynasty from 1979 to 1983. He scored 30+ goals in a season six times during his 14 year NHL career. 

Matt Duchene
I bought this card from and didn't realize how thick it was. I may replace it in the future. Even though I like the card, its so thick its hard to store. I like having my autographs in binders vs boxes because I like looking through them. This will still go in the binder with all the other rookies that made their debuts during the 2009/10 season but like other thick cards, its a pain to store. Drafted 3rd overall by the Avalanche in 2009, Duchene was a member of Team Canada's 2014 Olympic gold medal winning team at Sochi.  

Jonathan Huberdeau
The Florida Panthers drafted Jonathan Huberdeau 3rd overall in 2011. He won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year for the 2012/13 season. I sorta like this card with Huberdeau portrayed in his hockey gear. 

Zach Parise
Although his autographs hasn't stayed this nice, this card is from his rookies season, Parise still maintains once of the nicest signatures of any recent NHL star. He's played almost 700 games in the NHL since 2005. Parise is a former NHL All-Star, was captain of the New Jersey Devils and in 2010 help Team USA win an Olympic silver medal. His father, J.P., who recently passed away, was also a long time NHL star. 

Brad Marchand
Living in Nova Scotia, I hear Marchands name all the time. He's a local kid and fan favourite and Halifax also has strong connections with Boston. He's played nearly 400 NHL games with Boston since 2009 and helped them capture the Stanley Cup in 2011. 

Evander Kane
Evander Kane was drafted 4th overall by the Atlanta Thrashes in 2009 and jumped right into the NHL. He has played 361 games between the Thrashers and Jets since 2009. He was recently traded to the Buffalo Sabres. Although I was never a fan, I kind of like adding Atlanta Thrashes cards. They're the first team to go defunct during my recollection as a fan of the NHL. I was just a little young to remember Hartford or Quebec. 

Justin Schultz
Justin Schultz was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks but didn't want to sign with them. In 2012 he was signed by the Oilers as a free agent and made hockey headlines across North America. The college star has played nearly 200 games with Edmonton over three seasons but hasn't emerged as the star some thought he would be. 

Martin Jones
Martin Jones was never drafted but he was named the 2009/10 WHL goalie of the year in his last season of junior. He also helped Team Canada capture a silver medal at the 2010 World Junior Championships. He's entering his second season as LA's backup goalie. Playing behind Jonathan Quick, Jones was a member of LA's 2013/14 Stanley Cup winning team.

Frederik Andersen
Its interesting to note that while this is an official NHL rookie card, Andersen is pictured here in the AHL with the Norfolk Admirals. Andersen has played nearly 80 NHL games over just two seasons in Anaheim. The Denmark native was named to the 2013/14 NHL All-Rookie Team. 

Mikhail Grigorenko
Russian forward Mikhail Grigorenko was drafted 12th overall by the Sabres in 2012. He was a scoring machine in junior but hasn't been able to translate that to the NHL level. He has scored 4 goals in 60 games with the Sabres since 2012.

J.T. Miller
J.T. Miller was drafted 15th overall by the New York Rangers in 2011. The centerman has played over 100 games with the Rangers since 2012. In 2013, he helped the USA capture a World Junior Championship gold medal. 

Freddie Hamilton
Since making his NHL debut with the 2013/14 San Jose Sharks, Freddie Hamilton has played 20+ games in the NHL between San Jose and Colorado. He was traded to the Avalanche in 2015. His brother, Dougie, also plays in the NHL. 

Shawn Lalonde
Shawn Lalonde has spend the last two seasons in Europe. He played 1 game in the NHL with the 2012/13 Chicago Blackhawks. 

Ondrej Palat
A 7th round pick in 2011, Czech native Ondrej Palat has continued to surprise many with his solid NHL production. He's scored 120 points in just over 160 career NHL games. In 2013/14 he was named one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. He was also chosen to represent the Czech Republic at the 2014 Olympics. 
Side note - I really like these NHL INK cards. Yet another reason I'll miss Panini cards. *Shakes fist at money hungry executives who control but don't care about this hobby.* 

Jason Akeson
Jason Akeson has played 14 games with the Philadelphia Flyers since making his NHL debut during the 2012/13 season. He was never drafted but singed as a free agent after leading the entire OHL in scoring during his last season of junior. 

Daniel Bang
An undrafted forward, Swede Daniel Bang signed a one-year contract with the Nashville Predators in 2012. He spent just one season in North America. Bang played 8 NHL games for the 2012/13 Predators but spent most of the season in the AHL. 

Alexander Nikulin
Russian forward Alexander Nikulin spend three seasons in North America, mostly playing in the NHL. He dressed in two NHL games with the 2007/08 Ottawa Senators and one with the 2008/09 Phoenix Coyotes. He's spent the last six seasons in the KHL.

Olli Maatta
The Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Olli Maatta 22nd overall in 2012. He's already an effective blueline with the Penguins and in 2014, as 19 year old, he helped Finland win an Olympic bronze medal in Sochi. 

Victor Rask
Victor Rask has spent the entire 2014/15 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. The rookie has scored a respectable 30 points in just over 70 NHL games. Playing with Sweden Victor Rask won a gold medal in 2012 and silver in 2013 at the World Junior Championships. 

Kerby Rychel
Kerby Rychel was drafted 19th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2013. He's played 5 NHL games with the 2014/15 Blue Jackets. His father, Warren, also played in the NHL.

Jozef Cierny
Jozef Cierny played one game in the NHL with the 1993/94 Edmonton Oilers. Some of these old certified Classic autographs don't show up very often and I think these are the last two from the set I needed. 

Robert Petrovicky
Robert Petrovicky made his NHL debut with the 1992/93 Hartford Whalers. From then until 2001 he payed just over 200 games in the NHL. The 41 year old is still playing pro hockey in Slovakia.

Vladimir Ruzicka
Czech star Vladimir Ruzicka was drafted by the Maple Leafs in 1982 but didn't come to the NHL until 1989. He was a member of the 1989/90 Stanley Cup winning Edmonton Oilers. He was awarded a Cup ring, included in the team photo but did not qualify to have his name engraved on the trophy. He scored 39 goals and 75 points with the 1991/92 Boston Bruins. In the Olympics he won a silver medal in 1984 and a Gold medal in 1998. His son of the same name was drafted by the Coyotes in 2007.

Fred Hunt
This signature comes from a letter by Fred Hunt written while he was GM of the AHL's Buffalo Bisons. I sent the seller a best offer much lower than the asking price and to my delight it was accepted. Hunt played 15 games in the NHL with the 1940/41 New York Americans and 44 NHL games with the 1944/45 New York Rangers. He passed away in 1977 and this is the first time I've had the opportunity to buy his signature.

Lefty Wilson
Lefty Wilson was a trainer and pactise goalie for the Detroit Red Wings. He dressed as an emergency goalie in the 1950s with the Red Wings, Maple Leafs and Bruins. He passed away in 2002.

Brandon Segal
Between 2008 and 2013 Brandon Segal played 103 games in the NHL. He scored 11 goals and 22 points. Segal dressed with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and New York Rangers. 

Peter Leblanc
Peter Leblanc played 1 game in the NHL with the 2013/14 Washington Capitals. The University of New Hampshire alumni was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2006. He has spent the 2014/15 season playing in Sweden. 

Patrick Wey
Patrick Wey played 9 games in the NHL with the 2013/2014 Washington Capitals. He won 2 national championships in four season with Boston University. He has been injured most of the 2014/15 season.

Nate Schmidt
Nate Schmidt has played 65 NHL games over two seasons with the Washington Capitals. The former University of Minnesota All-American may get a certified autograph but until then this will do for the collection.

Chris Driedger
When I started putting together this mail post Chris Driedger was in the backup only category. He recently relieved Andre Hammond and saw some real NHL minutes, moving this card up to NHL player signature level.

Autographs #35 and 36 of this post go into my other hockey collections.

Brian Walsh
Brian Walsh played 5 games in the WHA with the 1975/76 Calgary Cowboys. He scored 2 assists. Walsh signed two blank index cards but didn't sign the card I made, which leads me to believe the picture wasn't right. I dug up the only other picture of Mr. Walsh I could find and made this one.

Melodie Daoust
Melodie Daoust was named to Team Canada's national women's team in 2011. In 2014 she helped Canada capture an Olympic gold medal. This is the first of many new certified women's signatures I'll be adding. I've had to wait unusually long for these cards to come down to my affordibility level. Team Canada cards tend to be well collected. Oddly, the regular autograph versions are rare and these patch/auto cards are selling cheaper than the regular autographs. 

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