Thursday, January 7, 2016

Overdue TTM Post - Over 60 Returns

Going home for the holidays (from Ottawa to Prince Edward Island) allowed me to get my TTM (through the mail) returns. I still use my PEI address because as a graduate student I've lost count of how many places I've lived in the last few years and will no doubt be moving again soon. Since some TTM request take years, it makes sense to keep sending them to my childhood home. All but three of the autographs in this post came via snail mail.

43 of the autographs in this post are from people who appeared in the NHL. That increases my All-Time NHL player autographs to 4,743 unique player signatures and increasing the percentage to 65% of everyone who has played in the NHL since ints creation in 1917.

I was hoping that this month would also feature another 30 certified autographs that I had bought on  Unfortunately, it seems that our god awful postal service here in Canada, Canada Post, has struck again. COMC shipped my package on November 2, over two months ago yet nothing has arrived. At this point I've all but lost hope. Since beginning my Masters program at school I've been too busy to work, heavily affecting my hobby spending. That makes this lost package ever the more hard to take because it represented a huge chunk of my leisurely spending money. Damn you my old enemy Canada Post, damn you.

I'm happy to report that I was given some stamps for christmas, something I always ask for but usually don't receive since people consider it a 'boring' gift. For me, they will provide hours of entertainment in digging up new addresses and writing to new players. The sky high price of stamps usually keeps me from writing many more letters.

Sidney Crosby
I'll start off this post with one of the three certified autographs of this post, the other two being at the very end. Quality beats quantity here. I've needed a Crosby certified autograph for my collection for a while. I had met him years ago and have a couple other autographs, that I've since framed, but as per my grand collection, a certied autograph card was needed for my binders and the cost pushed me away. The story of this card starts with an impulse Walmart buy of a 2015/16 Upper Deck Series 1 box. I struck gold and pulled a Jack Eichel canvas young gun rookie card. Since I don't really collect unsigned cards, I offered it up for trade on a hockey hobby message board. An easy 1 for 1 deal was struck and the Eichel turned into this beauty. I really don't have to say anything about Mr. Crosby's amazing career. From my observations, his lacklustre 15/16 season hasn't much affected the high value of his recognizable signature.

Bryce Salvador
From 2000 to 2015 the recently retired Bryce Salvador was a reliable NHL d-man. He played 786 regular season NHL games between the St. Louis Blues and New Jersey Devils. From 2013-2015 he served as the 10th captain in New Jersey franchise history. I had been patiently awaiting his first certified autograph but one was never produced. For a modern day NHL captain to not have a certified autograph is a rare and unique occurrence. 

Doug Janik
From 2002 to 2012 Doug Janik played nearly 200 career NHL games. The defenceman was well travelled. He suited up for the Sabres, Lightning, Stars, Canadiens and Red Wings. He retired in 2015 and currently coaches in the AHL.

David Van Drunen
I dug around the internet but couldn't uncover an NHL picture of David Van Drunen. He played 1 career NHL game with the 1999/2000 Ottawa Senators. He was a long time minor-leaguer who played pro hockey until 2011.

Kevin Quick
Defenceman Kevin Quick played 6 career NHL games with the 2008/09 Tampa Bay Lightning.

Nick Tarnasky
From 2005 to 2010 gritty forward Nick Tarnasky played 251 regular season+playoff games in the NHL. He played for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers.

Greg Rallo
In 2011 Greg Rallo made his NHL debut as a 30 year old. He had played 4 yeas at Ferris State University but was never drafted. Rallo signed his first pro contract in the ECHL and worked his way up to the NHL from there. He played 11 career NHL games with the Florida Panthers and scored 1 goal. 

Carl Sneep
The Penguins drafted Carl Sneep with the 32nd overall pick of the 2006 draft. He spent 4 season at Boston College before turning pro. Sneep played 1 career NHL game with the Penguins in 2011.

Bill Arnold
Bill Arnold had a stellar college career at Boston College. He formed a lethal line with future NHLers Johnny Gaudreau and Kevin Hayes. The team won a National Championship in 2012. Arnold has played 1 NHL game with the Calgary Flames in 2014.

Carter Bancks
Undrafted forward Carter Bancks played 2 NHL games with the 2012/13 Calgary Flames.

Christopher Breen
6'7" defenceman Chris Breen played 9 NHL games with the 2013/2014 Calgary Flames. He's currently in the Boston Bruins organization. 

Kevin Czuczman
Defenceman Kevin Czuczman was signed by the Islanders as an undrafted member of Lake Superior State University. He played 13 NHL game with the 2013/2014 NY Islanders.

Brett Gallant
Tough guy Brett Gallant accumulated 17 penalty minutes in 4 career NHL games with the 2013/2014 New York Islanders. He's a fellow Prince Edward Islander so this autograph is an extra special addition to the collection. Only a handful of players from my province have recently made it to the NHL.

John Persson
Swedish forward John Persson scored 1 goal in 10 career NHL games with the 2013/14 New York Islanders.

Julien Brouillette
Julien Brouillette was never drafted but worked his way to the NHL. After junior he spent 3 seasons in the ECHL, worked his way up to the AHL and after another 4 seasons of pro hockey he finally made his NHL debut. Defenceman Brouillette played 10 NHL games with the 2013/14 Washington Capitals and 1 game with the 2014/15 Winnipeg Jets.

Julian Melchiori
Defenceman Julian Melchiori played 1 NHL game with the 2013/2014 Winnipeg Jets.

Paul Carey
From 2013 to 2015 Paul Carey played 22 games with the Colorado Avalanche. He was later traded to the Boston Bruins and recently signed with the Washington Capitals.

Brian Dumoulin
Defenceman Brian Dumoulin is one of those rare full-time NHLers who don't have a certified autograph. Originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes but acquired in the Jared Staal trade, Dumoulin has played almost 50 NHL games with the Penguins. 

Brad Hunt
Brad Hunt has played 14 career NHL games for the Edmonton Oilers. He's an undrafted Benji State University alumni.

Brett Bellemore
From 2012 to 2015 defeceman Brett Bellemore played 121 NHL games with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Mike Sislo
An undrafted University of New Hampshire alumni, forward Mike Sislo played 24 NHL games for the New Jersey Devils between 2013 and 2015.

Zach Sill
Undrafted grinder Zach Sill made his NHL debut as a 25 year old rookie with the 2013/14 Pittsburgh Penguins. He's also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals.

Ted Fauss
In the letter I wrote to Mr. Fauss I mentioned that I was unable to find a picture of him with the Leafs and so made a custom index of him with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs. He not only singed that but also included this great little picture of him with the Leafs that I've decided to keep instead. From 1986 to 1988 D-man Ted Fauss played 28 career NHL games with the Leafs.

Dick Gamble
Dick Gamble is best known for wining the Stanley Cup with the 1953 Montreal Canadiens. He played almost 200 games in the NHL at a time when there was only six teams.

Matt Ravlich
From 1962 to 1973 Dick Gamble played over 400 NHL games. A feared fighter, defenceman Ravlich spent time with the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Los Angles Kings. 

John Grisdale
From 1972 to 1979 John Grisdale played 250 games in the NHL. The defenceman was a member of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and later the Vancouver Canucks. He's currently commissioner of the British Columbia Hockey League. 

Kevin McCarthy
From 1979 to 1982 Kevin McCarthy was captain of the Vancouver Canucks. The defenceman played over 500 games in the NHL and represented the Canucks at the 1981 NHL All-Star game. He won the Stanley Cup in 2006 as an assistant coach with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Hugh Harris
Hugh Harris spent one season in the NHL, playing 60 games with the 1972/73 Buffalo Sabres. He was a solid contributor who scored 12 goals and 38 points during his short NHL career. He later moved to the WHA and spent five seasons in the league, playing well over 300 games. He was a well traveled player in the WHA, seeing time with the New England Whalers, Vancouver Blazers, Phoenix Roadrunners, Calgary Cowboys, Indianapolis Racers and Cincinnati Stingers. He was a solid contributor who scored over 100 goals and almost 300 points in his WHA career.

Dave Fenyves
From 1982 to 1991 Dave Fenyves played over 200 NHL games between the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers. He was twice named the AHL's best defenceman and in 1987 was the AHL playoff MVP as he lead the Rochester Americans to a Calder Cup championship.

Geordie Robertson
Geordie Robertson scored 1 goal and 3 points in 5 career NHL games with the 1982/83 Buffalo Sabres. He was a prolific scorer in the AHL and won the Calder Cup in 1983 and 1986. His brother, Torrie, was a long time NHLer.

Bob LaForest
Bob Laforest scored 1 goal in 5 career NHL games with the 1983/84 Los Angeles Kings. His brother is former NHL goalie Mark LaForest.

Jim Wiemer
From 1983 to 1994 Jim Wiemer played well over 300 career NHL games, nearly 400 if you include playoff games. He was a member of the Sabres, Rangers, Oilers, Kings and Bruins. He played 12 regular season games and 2 playoff games for the 1988 Stanley Cup winning Edmonton Oilers. It wasn't enough to get his name of the Cup but he was awarded a championship ring by the team.

Brent Hughes
From 1988 to 1997 Brent Hughes played nearly 400 regular season+playoff games in the NHL. He played for the Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders.

Mike Forbes
From 1977 to 1982 Mike Forbes played 50 NHL games between the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers.

Dave Hudson
From 1972 to 1978 Dave Hudson played over 400 career NHL games. He was a member of the New York Islanders, Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies.

Bruce Cassidy
Between 1983 to 1990 Bruce Cassidy played 37 regular season+playoff games in the NHL, all with the Chicago Blackhawks. He later moved behind the bench and was head coach of the 2002/03 Washington Capitals.

Ross Fitzpatrick
From 1982 to 1986 Ross Fitzpatrick scored 5 goals in 20 career NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Stewart Malgunas
Between 1993 and 2000 Stewart Malgunas played 129 games in the NHL. He was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, Winning Jets, Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames.

Ryan McGill
From 1991 to 1995 defenceman Ryan McGill played 151 career NHL games. He suited up with the Chicago Blackhawks, Philly Flyers and Edmonton Oilers. He recently spent time as an NHL assistant coach with the Calgary Flames.

Randy Heath
Randy Heath played 13 NHL games for the New York Rangers in the mid 1980s. He was a star junior player and lead the Portland Winter Hawks to the 1983 Memorial Cup championship.

Craig Norwich
Craig Norwich was an NCAA star who signed his first pro contract with the WHA's Cincinnati Stingers. He played over 100 games in the Rebel League before moving to the NHL. He then played over 100 games in the NHL, dressing for the Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues and Colorado Rockies.

Gerry Fleming
From 1993 to 1995 tough customer Gerry Fleming recorded 42 penalty minutes in 11 career NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens.

Ben Lovejoy
I put this autograph is the final spot because its most certainly my least favourite from the post. At first glance you can barely see its signed. Not only should it be obvious to the player to sign in the big white space, but I ask them in a very short letter to please sign over the faded logo. I mean, is it not just common sense? He also used a silver pen that's hard to see over the photo. I know its hard to complain since Lovejoy did take the time to sign and return my letter, but I think I'll likely try to find a replacement for this at some point. 


I always end my mail posts with a couple to a few hockey related signatures that fall outside of the NHL player collection. This month, I had a unusually high number of such autographs.

Ryan Vinz
Ryan Vinz appeared as an NHL backup goalie in 1 game with the 2013/14 Buffalo Sabres. He was signed to an emergency contract when the Sabres traded Ryan Miller and left without a second goalie. Vinz had never appeared in a pro hockey game before his NHL appearance. Vinz noted in his note back to me how welcoming everyone was that night and that even the players were happy for him.

Andre Tourigny
Andre Tourigny came into the hockey world as a head coach and GM with the QMHL's Rouyn-Noranda Huskies from 2003 to 2013. From 2013 to 2015 he was an NHL assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche and since the start of this season he's been an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators.

Jeff Blashill
Jeff Blashill made his NHL coaching debut as an assistant with the 2011/12 Detroit Red Wings. From 2012 until 2015 Blashill was head coach of the Red Wings' AHL team. When Mike Babcock signed with the Maple Leafs Blashill took over as head coach of the Red Wings, making him Detroit's 27th head coach since the franchise was created in 1926.

Kevin Constantine
Kevin Constantine spent time as an NHL head coach with the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils. He left a priceless little note with the autograph, "Good luck in your mission. Your Sharks picture is when I was a young stud - except for the mustache."

Bill Torrey
From 1972 to 1992 Bill Torrey was General Manager of the New York Islanders. He has his name on the Stanley Cup four time and in 1995 Torrey was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Les Jackson
Les Jackson was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1972 but never made the NHL as a player. From 1985 to 1987 Jackson spent time as an NHL assistant coach with the Minnesota North Stars. He's most notable for being co-General Manager of the Dallas Stars from 2007 to 2009.

Ray Kinasewich
Ray Kinasewich was head coach of the 1972/73 WHA Alberta Oilers. Although he never reached the NHL, Kinasewich spent a decade playing pro hockey before becoming a coach.

Jerry Rollins
Jerry Rollins played in 130 career games in the WHA. In 1972 he was drafted by the WHA's Toronto Toros and NHL's Detroit Red Wings. I asked if he was ever offered a contract by the Red Wings. He wrote back to me, "yes, Detroit offered me a contract when I signed with the Toros. When Phoenix folded, Detroit signed me and later traded my contract to Indianapolis."

Wayne Zuk
Wayne Zuk played 2 career WHA games for the 1973/74 Edmonton Oilers. He wrote back to me that his favourite memory was playing against Bobby Hull in the preseason.

Ron Walters
Forward Ron Walters spent three seasons in the WHA. He scored 44 goals and 85 points in 166 career games, suiting up for the Alberta Oilers, LA Sharks and Indianapolis Racers.

Brian Morenz
From 1972 to 1976 Brian Morez played well over 200 games in the WHA, suiting up for New York and San Diego. He's a distant relative of the legendary Howie Morenz. Brian wrote back to me that his greatest thrill was playing junior hockey in Oshawa with Bobby Orr

Cap Raeder
Cap Raeder saw action in 28 WHA games with the New England Whalers. "Montreal did offer me a contract but they had very established goales in the organization starting with Ken Dryden. Best chance to play was Whalers." Raeder is best known as a coach in the NHL. He spent time as assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning. He was head coach for 1 NHL game with the 2002/03 Sharks.

Dan Lodboa
Dan Lodboa scored 15 goals and 33 points in 58 career WHA games with the 1972/73 Chicago Cougars.

Wayne Mosdell
Wayne Mosdell played 8 games in the WHA with the 1972/73 Philadelphia Blazers.

Lori Dupuis
Loris Dupuis won an Olympic Gold medal in 2002 and Olympic Silver in 1998 with Team Canada.

Therese Brisson
Therese Brisson was a member of Team Canada's national team for a decade. From 1999 to 2001 she was captain, leading the team to Gold in multiple World Championships. She has an Olympic silver medal from 1998 and an Olympic Gold from 2002.

Lesley Reddon
Lesley Reddon was a member of Team Canada's national team in the 1990s. She was backup to Manon Rheaume in 1998 and took home an Olympic Silver medal. Like Rheaume, she also broke ground in the 1990s. With the University of New Brunswick, she became the first woman to play in mens CIS hockey.

Gretchen Ulion
Gretchen Ulion is most notable for scoring a goal and helping Team USA defeat Canada in the 1998 Olympic Gold medal game. Ulion was even featured on a Wheaties cereal box, one of the highest honours for American Olympians. I'm slowly trying to get an autograph from all members of both the Canadian and American 1998 women's Olympic teams.

Andy Van Hellemond
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999, Andy Van Hellemond is one of the best known NHL officials of his time. He officiated well over 1,500 NHL games and 20 Stanley Cup finals.

Ron Hoggarth
Ron Hoggarth was a long time NHL referee. From 1971 to 1994 he officiated well over 1,000 NHL games.

Laura Fortino
I was able to make two trades last month, one big (Crosby) and this much smaller trade. I traded a couple of inserts from the same 15/16 Upper Deck box break to someone trying to build the set. Laura Fortina has been on Team Canada's roster since 2011. In 2014 she help Canada bring home a Gold at the Olympics. 

Jamie Lee Rattray
The only ebay purchase from this mail post, and it was a very cheap pickup. I've been slowly building by women's hockey autograph collection and the new certs from Upper Deck really help. I just hate how thick these cards are, they're difficult to store. Jamie Lee Rattray brought home a Silver medal at the 2015 World Champonships with Canada. 

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