Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mail: 4,802 Autographs for 66% of Every NHLer

In this post I've got 22 new autographs to show with 19 being former NHLers. The grand total of unique NHL signatures in the collection is now 4,802 for 66% of everyone who has ever dressed in the National Hockey League since it was created in 1917. All are certified autographs in this mail post but the next one should include a bunch of TTM requests since I'm expecting a package from home with all my recent returns. I very much look forward to the day when I'm finished with school and have a permanent location I can send my mail to. Since I move almost every year I have to address my autograph requests, which can take months-years to return, to my childhood home of Prince Edward Island (about 1,000 miles away from my current location). I do, however, get my purchases sent directly do me in Ottawa, hence posts such as this. 

I've gotten a nice stash of international stamps lately for TTM use including some Russian, Finnish and German stamps. My biggest impediment is the ridiculously high prices of Canada Post. It costs me $2.50 to send a small letter via International mail in Canada. If you look at other countries and compare what they pay to ship the same envelope around the world, its usually about half of what we Canadians have to cough up. It was only a few years ago when I could send the same letter via Canada Post for just over a dollar, a reasonable price. If you add up the price of all the stamps and materials, it currently costs me about $5 to send a single international autograph request. With about a 50% return rate, each international autograph I get back represents a good $10 investment. Unfortunately, this is no longer a cheap hobby. 

Jean Ratelle
Jean Ratelle spent 21 seasons in the NHL and scored over 1,200 points. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985. He's also notable for being a member of the 1972 Canadian team that defeated the Soviet Union in the Summit Series.
A certified Ratelle autograph has long been at the top of my want list but he has relatively few on the market. I must also add that he has a beautiful signature. 

Tom Barrasso
Tom Barrasso was drafted 5th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1983 and jumped straight into the NHL.   In 1984 he won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year and the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie. He was still a teenager and had jumped from high school right into the NHL. A three time NHL All-Star, Barrasso won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992 with Pittsburgh. Over twenty years he played for the Sabres, Penguins, Senators, Hurricanes, Maple Leafs and Blues.

Mike Palmateer
Mike Palmateer is best known for his six years as a Toronto Maple Leafs goalie. From 1976 to 1984 he played 356 regular season games in the NHL between the Leafs and Washington Capitals. He was a solid net minder but didn't win anything of note other than a Memorial Cup as a junior. He maintains a strong fan base due to his time in Toronto, also his hometown. 

Thomas Gradin
A former NHL All-Star, Swedish centre Thomas Gradin scored 209 goals and 593 points in 677 regular season games in the NHL. He helped Vancouver reach the 1982 Stanley Cup finals, scoring 19 points in 17 playoff games.
The last card I need to find from the 2004/05 ITG Franchises set is a Bill Hicke autograph. It remains my all time favourite autograph set and I can only wish there will be another comprehensive vintage autograph checklist that includes so many first time signers.

Don Lever
Don Lever was drafted 3rd overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 1972. From then until 1987 he played over 1000 games in the NHL. Lever scored at least 20 goals in 9 seasons and scored over 300 goals during his career. From 1977 to 1979 he was captain of the Canucks and from 1982 to 1984 he was captain of the New Jersey Devils. Lever later spent a dozen seasons in the NHL as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres and St. Louis Blues.

Joacim Eriksson
Swedish goalie Joacim Eriksson was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2008 but was never signed by the club. In 2013 he was signed to a two-year deal by the Vancouver Canucks. Eriksson spent most of that two years in the AHL but did appear in one NHL game, a total of 36 minutes, with the 2013/14 Canucks. He's also notable for winning a bronze medal at the 2014 World Championships with Sweden.

Mikko Jokela
Finn Mikko Jokela has spent the majority of his career playing in Europe. The defenceman played 1 career NHL game with the 2002/2003 Vancouver Canucks. He later helped Finland win a Bronze at the 2008 World Championships.

Tomi Pettinen
From 2002 to 2006 Finnish defenceman Tomi Pettinen played 24 games in the NHL with the New York Islanders.

Ryan Keller
Ryan Keller took the long road to the NHL. After junior he spent time in the UHL, AHL and played two full seasons in Finland before signing his first NHL contract. He played 6 career NHL games with the 2009/10 Ottawa Senators as a 25 year old rookie. The well travelled Keller has spent the last four seasons in Switzerland.

Geoff Kinrade
Geoff Kinrade played one career NHL game with the 2008/09 Tampa Bay Lightning. The Michigan Tech alumni has spent the last five seasons in Europe.

Mathieu Perrault
Mathieu Perrault has emerged as a reliable scorer with the Winnipeg Jets. Since 2009 he's played well over 300 NHL games between the Capitals, Ducks and Jets. He's scored 76 goals and 185 points in the NHL.

Ben Smith
Ben Smith is best known for being a member of the 2013 Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks. Even though he only played 1 regular season and 1 playoff game with the team, it was enough to get his name on the Trophy and his day with the Cup. He's played nearly 200 NHL games between the Hawks and San Jose Sharks.

T.J. Oshie
T.J. Oshie is best known by most American hockey fans for his shootout success at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Although Team USA didn't capture a medal, Oshie was the team's hero. Oshie was a 2005 first round draft pick by the Blues. He's played almost 500 career NHL games and is currently a member of the Washington Capitals.

Christian Folin
Swedish defeceman Christian Folin took an unusual route to the NHL. The undrafted European spent two years playing NCAA hockey in America before signing as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild. Since 2014 he's played over 50 NHL games with the Wild.

Dennis Everberg
The Colorado Avalanche signed Swedish forward Dennis Everberg as an undrafted free agent. Since 2014 he's played 70 NHL games with Colorado, recording 3 goals and a dozen points.

Justin Hodgman
Justin Hodgman scored a goal in 5 career NHL games with the 2014/15 Arizona Coyotes. He was never drafted and after stints in the ECHL and AHL found himself in Finland by 2011. After a year in Finland and two seasons in the KHL Hodgman destroyed the odds and finally found an NHL contract with the Coyotes.

Barclay Goodrow
As a junior Barclay Goodrow was captain of the OHL's Brampton/North Bay Battalion for two seasons before signing an NHL contract with the Sharks as an undrafted free agent. Since 2014 he's played 74 NHL games with San Jose, contributing a few goals and 15 points.

Joe Whitney
Joe Whitney played four season of NCAA hockey with Boston College and then signed with the Devils organization as a free agent. From 2014 to 2015 he scored 1 goal in 5 career NHL games with the Devils. In the summer of 2015 he signed with the New York Islanders but has spent all of his time with their AHL affiliate.

Phil Varone
Originally drafted by the Sharks in 2008, Phil Varone made his NHL debut with the 2013/14 Buffalo Sabres. He's since played over 40 NHL games with Buffalo, contributing 5 goals and 8 points.


Maxime Daigneault
Maxime Daigneault dressed as an NHL backup goalie for two games with the 2005/2006 Washington Capitals. He served as Olaf Kolzig's backup. This goes into my NHL Backups Only collection.

Anthony Stolarz
Over two seasons Anthony Stolarz has dressed as a backup goalie for a half dozen NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyer. He's currently on the team's NHL roster so there remains a good chance this autograph will eventually move from my "backup only" binder to actual NHL player status.

Meghan Duggan
Meghan Duggan won a Silver medal at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics with the USA. She's also won five Gold medals at the World Championships. She's also notable for being captain of Team USA since 2014. 
This gives me an autograph of all USA women players who have a certified autograph on the market except for one. I still have yet to find a 2014 Topps Hilary Knight autograph at a reasonable price and the market has seemed to have dried up.


  1. AutographGuy, is your collection of the NHL players the largest in the world?

    1. Thanks for the comment. I do know of collectors with more total autographs and although I am aware of a couple collectors with over 4,000 unique signatures, I do not know anyone with more unique NHL player signatures than I have. So if you define largest in terms of total autographs, then no. However, if you define largest in terms of unique player signatures, then I would have to say yes.

    2. In any case, this is a huge hard work to collect as many unique autographs.
      Such perseverance and the pursuit of objectives worthy of respect.