Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Mail - Some WHA Signatures

Unlike my usual mail posts, this one features more "other" hockey autographs and only 4 NHL player signatures. TTM replies have been slow all across the board lately but I did get a few nice ones trickle in. 
I love getting returns from "WHA Only" guys. A couple of these ones came back with some great letters. I almost enjoy reading those more than adding the signature to the collection. A couple years ago I shared some of the responses here. I keep every letter I've gotten from my TTM returns and there are literally hundreds of them. Someday I plan on organizing them together in a book.
The post ends with a couple Team Canada women autographs. I try and pickup an autograph of every hockey woman to get a certified autographed card. There have been some new women in the last couple of Upper Deck's team Canada releases and I've slowly been picking away at the new signers. 

With 4 new NHL signatures the grand total of unique NHL player autographs stands at 5,281 for 71% of everyone who's ever played in the National Hockey League. 

Jon Disalvatore
Drafted in 2000 by the San Jose Sharks, Jon Disalvatore played 6 career NHL games. He played 5 games with the 2005/06 St. Louis Blues and 1 with the 2011/12 Minnesota Wild. Internationally, Disalvatore scored 6 goals and 9 points with Team USA at the 2001 World Junior Championships. I had sent Disalvatore a my usual custom index but for whatever reason he kept it and returned 2 signed cards instead (the other is available for trade).

Mario Larocque
Defenceman Mario Larocque was drafted 16th overall in 1996 by the Lightning. In 1997 he helped the Hull Olmpique win the QMJHL championship and Memorial Cup. Larocque played 5 NHL games for Tampa in 1998/99, his first year of pro. Although his NHL career was brief, Larocque bounced around the pro hockey world until retiring in 2015.

Bob Warner
Bob Warner made his NHL debut in the 1976 playoffs with Toronto Maple Leafs. He would later score a goal and an assist in 10 career regular season games with the 1976/77 Maple Leafs. Warner took an exceptionally unusual route to the NHL. The undrafted Warner played 4 seasons of Canadian University hockey at St. Mary's in Nova Scotia before being discovered by the Leafs and turning pro. 

Benoit Gosselin
Benoit Gosselin played 7 games in the NHL with the 1977/78 New York Rangers. He recorded 0 points but racked up 33 penalty minutes. Gosselin later signed with the Winnipeg Jets but wasn't able to crack their NHL roster.


Eric Heffler
Eric Heffler dressed in 3 NHL games as a backup goalie with the Edmonton Oilers from 1999 to 2000. Unfortunately, Heffler didn't answer any of my questions about his career as I would have loved to update his profile on my other blog, nhlbackups.com. 

Ken Desjardine
From 1972 to 1975 Ken Desjardine played over 150 games in the WHA. The defenceman was a member of the Quebec Nordiques, Indianapolis Racers and very briefly the Calgary Cowboys.

Gary Gresdal
Gary Gresdal played 2 regular season and 1 playoff game in the WHA with the 1975/76 Quebec Nordiques. Gresdal was a feared fighter who racked up 400 penalty in a single season while playing in the EHL with the Jersey Devils. In his only WHA playoff game he racked up 14 penalty minutes, allegedly starting a bench brawl against the Calgary Cowboys. 

Jerry Trooien
Jerry Trooien played 2 games in the WHA with the 1972/73 Chicago Cougars. His hockey career was so short that I couldn't find a period picture of him. I'm almost always able to find something somewhere on the internet, so this was certainly unsual. I settle for a modern pic, not something I'd normally do but better than nothing. I had asked if he had a period picture but didn't get a reply. Trooien made a name for himself post-hockey, becoming a successful realtor in the Minnesota area until he was brought down in a multi million dollar scheme just a few years ago. 

Duane Bray
Defenceman Duane Bray played 1 season in the WHA, scoring 2 goals and 8 points in 46 games with the 1976/77 Phoenix Roadrunners. 

Jim Turkiewicz
From 1974 to 1979 Jim Turkiewicz played nearly 400 games in the WHA, playing with the Toronto Toros and Birmingham Bulls. The defenceman scored 25 goals and 144 points over his WHA career.

Ann-Renee Desbiens
Quebec's Ann-Renee Desbiens won a Silver medal with Canada at the 2015 World Women's Championships. Since 2013 she's played in the NCAA with the Wisconsin Badgers.

Jillian Saulnier
Halifax native Jillian Saulnier won Silver with Canada at the 2015 and 2016 World Championships. From 2011 to 2015 Saulnier played with Cornell in the NCAA.

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