Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Mail - 50 New NHL Autographs

A bit of a mix bag of mail as usual. Most of these come from a lot I purchased from another collector but there a some TTM returns, a smaller trade, some small purchases and a couple unexpected gifts from fellow collectors.

This posts features a good deal of Russians and other Europeans who prove difficult to track down once they retire as players. I've never had any luck writing to players in Russia, even writing them in Cyrillic with Russian return stamps.

With 50 new NHL player autographs added here the grand total now stands at 5,860 for 77% of everyone to ever play in the league.

                             Cam Newton
During the early 1970s, Cam Newton played in 16 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He then jumped to the rival league and played over 100 games in the WHA.

                             Brian Perry
From 1968 to 1970 Brian Perry scored 16 goals and 45 points in 95 NHL games with the Oakland Seals. He played 1 more NHL game with the 1970/71 Buffalo Sabres then jumped to the WHA. He went on to score a very respectable 33 goals and 64 points in 145 career WHA games.

                       Mike Boland (born 1949)
I added the year of birth for Mike Boland because during the 1974/75 NHL season, the league actually saw two people named Mike Boland make their NHL debuts. This particular Mark Boland played just 2 games in the NHL that season with the Philadelphia Flyers, his only appearance in the NHL. Prior to joining the Flyers, Boland had spent a season in the WHA with the Ottawa Nationals.

                         Kim MacDougall
Defenseman Kim MacDougall played 1 game in the NHL with the 1974/75 Minnesota North Stars.

                           Phil Crowe
From 1993 to 2000 Phil Crowe played 94 games in the NHL. He suited up for the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators.

                           Eric Godard
From 2002-2011 tough guy Eric Godard recorded over 800 penalty minutes in 335 career NHL games. He played for the Islanders, Flames and Penguins.

              Wayne Stephenson
Wayne Stephenson tended net in the NHL from 1971 to 1981. Before entering the NHL, he played on the Canadian national team, winning Olympic Bronze in 1968. As a member of the Broad Street Bullies he won the Stanley Cup in 1975 and went to the NHL All-Star game in 1976 and 1978. Stephenson died from cancer in 2010.

                     Travis Scott
Undrafted goalie Travis Scott played 1 game in the NHL with the 2000/2001 Los Angels Kings. He retired in 2011 after a few seasons in Russia and Germany.

                   Jordan Willis
Jordan Willis appeared in 1 NHL game as a member of the 1995/96 Dallas Stars.

                   Parris Duffus
Parris Duffus played in 1 game in the NHL with the 1996/97 Phoenix Coyotes. Internationally, he's notable for backstopping the USA to a bronze at the 1996 World Championships.

            Bob Murdoch (b. 1954)
Two Bob Murdochs played in the NHL during the 1970s, this is the lesser known of the two. From 1975 to 1979 this Bob Murdoch scored 72 goals and 157 points in 260 career NHL games. He played for the California Seals, Cleveland Barons and St. Louis Blues.

                    Brian Lawton
Brian Lawton was drafted 1st overall in 1983 by the Minnesota North Stars, the first American ever chosen with the top pick. Lawton spent a decade in the NHL, playing just under 500 games in the league. He later became a player agent then manager and from 2008 to 2010 was General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

                 Alexei Yegorov
Russian forward Alexei Yegorov scored 3 goals and 6 points in 11 career NHL games with the San Jose Sharks during the mid 1990s. He died in 2002 from a drug overdose at just 26 years old.

                   Billy Tibbetts
Billy Tibbetts has very unique story in that the undrafted Tibbetts played in the ECHL in 1995/96, sat out the next full four seasons as he served a jail sentence, then returned to hockey in 2000 only to make his NHL debut that season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. From 2000-2003 Tibbetts recorded 10 points and 269 penalty minutes in 82 career NHL games. He suited up for the Penguins, Flyers and Rangers. His career was largely marked by behavioral incidents, both on and off the ice.  

                    Peter Smrek
From 2000 to 2002 Peter Smrek scored 2 goals and 6 points in 28 career NHL games. He played for the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. He's represented his home country of Slovakia at the Olympics and in 2002 helped his country win Gold at the World Championships, Slovakia's only ever Gold from the tournament.

                  Tomas Divisek
From 2000-2002 forward Tomas Divisek played 5 games in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring 1 goal. The Czech native spent most of his career playing pro in his home country.

                      Maxim Bets
Russian forward Maxim Bets played 3 games in the NHL with the 1993/94 Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

                    Alexei Tezikov
From 1998 to 2002 Russian defenseman Alexei Tezikov played 30 games in the NHL. He played for the Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks.

                     Eric Manlow
From 2000 to 2004 Eric Manlow played 37 games in the NHL between the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders. He's also notable for helping the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs claim the Calder Cup in 2007.

    Fredrik Lindquist (aka Bremberg)
Frederik is now known by the last name Bremberg but was born Lindquist. Originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 1991, he spent the first half of his career playing pro in Sweden. In 1998 he came to North America and ended up playing 8 NHL games with the 98/99 Edmonton Oilers. He's represented Sweden internationally at the World Championships.

               Clayton Beddoes
From 1995 to 1997 Clayton Beddoes played 60 games in the NHL with the Boston Bruins, scoring 2 goals and 10 points. He was signed by the Bruins as an undrafted Lake Superior State University alumni. His career later took him to Europe and he currently coaches Italy's National hockey team.

                    Chris LiPuma
From 1992 to 1997 Chris LiPuma played 72 games in the NHL, dressing with the Lightning and Sharks. The defenseman was originally signed by the Lightning as an undrafted free agent.

                  Bryan Fogarty
Defenseman Bryan Fogarty was drafted 9th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1987. He scored 155 points in just 60 games from the blueline during his last season of junior in the OHL and was thought to be a future NHL superstar. Fogarty played over 150 games in the NHL but his career was overshadowed by drug and alcohol abuse, ultimately leading to his death in 2002 at just 32.

                    Robin Bawa
From 1989 to 1994 Robin Bawa played 61 games in the NHL, scoring a goal and 7 points. He played for the Capitals, Canucks, Sharks and Ducks. Bawa is most notable for being the first person of Indian descent to play in the NHL.

                 Viacheslav Fetisov
Slava Fetisov was in his 30s when the Cold War ended and he was able to make his NHL debut. Still, the talented Russian went on to play a decade in the North American big leagues and win 2 Stanley Cup championships as a member of the Red Wings. A couple years later he won a third Cup as an assistant coach with the 2002 New Jersey Devils. Internationally, he won 2 Olympic Golds and a Silver as a member of the Soviet Union. Fetisov is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

                    Miikka Elomo
Finnish forward Miikka Elomo played 2 games in the NHL with the 1999/00 Washington Capitals.

                      Pat Neaton
University of Michigan alumni Pat Neaton scored 1 goal and 2 points in 9 career NHL games with the 1993/94 Pittsburgh Penguins.

                 Maxim Galanov
Russian defenseman Maxim Galanov played 122 games in the NHL from 1997 to 2001. He played for the Rangers, Penguins, Thrashers and Lightning. Internationally, he represented Russia at the World Juniors and World Championships.

                   Mike Prokopec
From 1995 to 1997 Mike Prokopec played 15 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks.

                 Radoslav Suchy
From 1999 to 2006 Radoslav Suchy was a regular NHL defenseman, playing 451 NHL games, most with the Phoenix Coyotes. He represented Slovakia many times on the world stage, winning a Silver  (2000) and Bronze (2003) at the World Championships.

                 Brian Wesenberg
Brian Wesenberg was originally drafted 29th overall by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 1995. He was later traded to Philadelphia and played his only NHL game with the 1998/99 Flyers.

                      Mike Watt
From 1997 to 2003 Mike Watt scored 15 goals and 41 points in 157 NHL games. He played for the Oilers, Islanders, Predators and Hurricanes.

                 Warren Luhning
From 1997 to 2000 Warren Luhning played 29 games in the NHL, suiting up for the NY Islanders and Dallas Stars. 

                    Sean Gagnon
From 1997 to 2001 Sean Gagnon played 12 games in the NHL. He was a member of the Phoenix Coyotes and Ottawa Senators. The defenseman won the Memorial Cup as a junior with the 1993 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. 

                    Craig Reichert
Craig Reichert played 3 games in the NHL with the 1996/97 Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

                 Dmitri Yakushin
Ukrainian defenseman Dmitri Yakushin played 2 NHL games with the 1999/00 Toronto Maple Leafs.

               Alexander Vasilevski
Also known as Olexander Vasilevski, the Ukrainian forward played 4 NHL games with the St. Louis Blues during the mid-1990s.

                Jaroslav Kristek
Czech forward Jaroslav Kristek played 6 NHL games with the 2002/03 Buffalo Sabres. As a junior player, he helped his Czech team win the 2000 World Junior Championships, taking home Gold.

                    Greg Crozier
I tend to avoid multi-signed cards at all costs but I couldn't pass on the opportunity to add a Greg Crozier autograph considering I haven't been able to get a TTM success (although I do know he's a spine specialist in Rhode Island). The University of Michigan alumni played 1 game in the NHL with the 2000/01 Pittsburgh Penguins. His father, Joe Crozier, coached and played in the NHL.

                   Sergei Zinovjev
Russian forward Sergei Zinovjev was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2000. He came to North America as a high touted prospect but lasted just part of 1 season, spending the rest of his career in Russia. In his only stint in North America, Zinovjev played 10 NHL games with the 03/04 Bruins, recording just a single point. Even tough his NHL career was a bust, Zinovjev had a successful career in Russia. He won Gold at the World Championships in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, he represented Russia at the Olympics.

                   Jon Kalinski
From 2008-2010 Jon Kalinski played 22 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers. The forward was originally drafted by Philly in the 6th round of the 2007 NHL draft.

                   Gabe Gauthier
From 2006 to 2008 undrafted University of Denver product Gage Gauthier played 8 games in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings.

                 Curtis Hamilton
Curtis Hamilton was a 2nd round draft pick by the Edmonton Oilers in 2010. He went on to play 1 game in the NHL with the 2014/15 Oilers.

                    Rinat Valiev
Russian defenseman Rinat Valiev has played a dozen games in the NHL between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. He was acquired by Montreal in the Tomas Plekanec trade and recently re-signed with the Habs.

                             Dominik Uher
Czech forward Dominik Uher played 2 NHL games with the 2015/16 Pittsburgh Penguins.

                              Joel Vermin
Swiss forward Joel Vermin played 24 games in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks. He recently won a Silver medal with Switzerland at the 2018 World Championships.

                      Alex Friesen
Alex Friesen played 1 game in the NHL with the 2015/2016 Vancouver Canucks.

                   Brett Lernout
Origionally drafted by Montreal in 2014, Brett Lernout made his NHL debut with the 2015/16 Canadiens. Since then the defenseman has played 21 games for the Montreal Canadiens.

                              Ryan Johnston
From 2015-2017 Ryan Johnston played 10 games in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens. The undrafted defenseman is a product of Colgate University.

                 Vojtech Mozik
Undrafted Czech defenseman Vojtech Mozik spent a couple seasons in North America as property of the New Jersey Devils. He played 7 games in the NHL with the 2015/16 Devils, spending the rest of his time with their AHL affiliate.


                                Phil Osaer
Phil Osaer dressed in 1 NHL game as a backup goalie with the 2003/04 New York Rangers. A series of injured Rangers goalies that season paved the way for Osaer to sit as an NHL backup. He dressed behind Jussi Markkanen in his only NHL game.

                     Leon Stickle
Starting in 1969 and retiring in 1998, Leon Stickle officiated in over 2,000 regular season NHL games. 
I always enjoy adding NHL officials signatures to my collection. I'd love to add more but I've never been able to find an address to send to current officials and the retired guys are hard to locate. 

                      Ron Finn
Ron Finn officiated in the NHL from 1969 to 2000. The linesman worked 2,373 regular season games in the NHL and did many All-Star, International and playoff games on top of that. 

                                                      Ted Fristch jr.
Ted Fritsch jr. played for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins during the 1970s. As you can see on the back of this card, I added it to my small football/hockey collection because of Fristch's hockey history. Fristch also replied to me with a wonderful little letter explaining his hockey career. He was actually a goalie and did play for a club team during college.

                                                               Glenn Hyde
From 1977 to 1987 Glenn Hyde played for the NFL's Denver Broncos, Baltimore Colts, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs. As noted on the back of his card, Hyde also played hockey in college. Unfortunately he wasn't able to answer my hockey related questions as I got a note from his wife in the return noting that Mr. Hyde recently suffered a bad stroke so he isn't signing as well as he used to.

                                                             Jim Hallet
Like the two football cards, this PGA golf card notes Jim Hallet's interesting hockey connection. He went to hockey on a hockey scholarship but left a golfer. He played on the PGA tour from 1988 to 1993.
There are numerous examples of hockey players golfing, especially during the off season. There are, however, few examples of professional golfers playing hockey. 

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