Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Milestone Mail - Autograph #6,000

This is a Milestone mail post because I've now reached 6,000 unique NHL player signatures. With 27 new autographs added recently, the grand total is now 6,002 unique NHL player signatures for 79% of everyone who has every played in the league.

I was about 12 when I got my first hockey autograph (Marc Denis when the Columbus Blue Jackets held a training camp in PEI one summer) and not long after that, I started to write to players. I started with the living Original 6 guys and just never stopped. I got some great letters back then which was really exciting for a young collector. Once I ran out of older guys to write to I started with the modern players. I was about 17 or 18 when I started contemplating the goal of getting everyone who ever played in the NHL. At that time, I thought I'd be lucky to ever get to 50%. I've been at it for a solid decade now and my slow but steady pace of continuously adding autographs has built up to something beyond my wildest dreams as a kid. Like most people, I've gone through a ton of life changes through that time but have somehow always managed to keep an interest in the hobby. Even in college, between drinking and exams, I still found time to write these letters and collect. I continue to thoroughly enjoy collecting autographs so unless a day comes when that flames flutters, you can continue to expect my slow but steady addition of hockey signatures.

                                 Mike Colman
Mike Colman was signed by the San Jose Sharks as an undrafted free agent who had attended Ferris State University. The defenseman played 15 NHL games with the 1991/92 San Jose Sharks, recording 1 assist and 32 penalty minutes. Tragically, Colman died in 1994 from a car accident. Because he was never a big prospect, a stay at home defenseman and he died suddenly so young, you rarely see his autograph. This came from a Sharks yearbook.

                              Roger Crozier
From 1963 to 1977 Roger Crozier played over 500 NHL games. He backstopped the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals. Crozier won the 1965 Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year and was also a 1965 NHL All-Star. In 1966, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy, backstopping the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup finals. He was the first player from a loosing team to be named playoff MVP. Crozier died in 1996 from cancer and to honor his memory the league currently awards the Roger Crozier Award to the NHL goalie(s) with the best save percentage.

                              Jim Jones
Defenseman Jim Jones played 2 NHL games with the 1971/72 California Golden Seals. He also played 1 game in the WHA with the 1973/74 Chicago Cougars. His brother, Bob, also played in the NHL and WHA. While I was able to find Bob, I could never locate Jim largely thanks to his common name.

                             Jack Carlson
Jack Carlson is famously a member of the Carlson brothers, who were the direct inspiration for the Hanson brothers in Slapshot. His brothers, Steve and Jeff, both played their roles in the film but Jack was replace by Dave Hanson because he was playing for Edmonton Oilers at the time of filming. Of the three brothers, Jack had by far the most success as a professional hockey player. He played a few seasons in the WHA and NHL. I was thrilled to get this one back because Carlson has a very notable place in hockey history but only has 1 hockey card and his signature isn't common.

                      Harvey Bennett Jr.
From 1974 to 1979 Harvey Bennett Jr. played 268 regular season games in the NHL, recording 44 goals and 90 points. He played for the Penguins, Capitals, Flyers, North Stars and Blues. Internationally, he represented the United States at the 1976 Canada Cup and 1978 World Championships. His father, Harvey Sr., played in the NHL as well as his brothers Curt and Bill.

                          Mark Holden
From 1981 to 1985 goalie Mark Holden played 8 games in the NHL. A Brown University alumni, he played for the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets. Holden was one of the very last living former NHL goalies I needed to find so very happy to get this one back. Ironically, I used to live just a couple blocks away from him when I lived in Nova Scotia. Small world. 

                                   Bobby Jay
Bobby Jay was signed by the LA Kings as an undrafted Merrimack College alumni. He played 3 NHL games with Wayne Gretzky's 1993/94 LA Kings.

                             Turner Elson
An undrafted forward, Turner Elson was signed by the Flames after a junior hockey career with the WHL's Red Deer Rebels. Elson played 1 NHL game with the 2015/16 Calgary Flames and recorded an assist in his only NHL match.

                          Dillon Simpson
The son of former NHL player and hockey personality Craig Simpson, defenseman Dillon Simpson played 3 NHL games with the 2016/17 Edmonton Oilers. He's a University of North Dakota alumni.

                        Joseph Cramarossa
Joseph Cramarossa scored 4 goals and 10 points in 49 NHL games with the 2016/17 Anaheim Ducks. Late that season he was claimed by the Vancouver Canucks on waivers and appeared in another 10 NHL games with Vancouver during the end of the 2016/17 season. Since then, Cramarossa has been stuck in the AHL. 

                        Mike Liambas
A tough customer, Mike Liambas played 1 NHL game with the 2016/17 Nashville Predators and 7 games with the 2017/18 Anaheim Ducks. He recorded 1 assist and 21 penalty minutes in 8 career NHL games. Liambas was an undrafted junior player who worked his way up from the ECHL to the AHL and then finally to the big leagues.

                        Zane McIntyre
Zane McIntyre is a University of North Dakota alumni who was a Hobey Baker finalist in his last season of college hockey. McIntyre backstopped the Boston Bruins in 8 NHL games during the 2016/17 season.

                            Rob O'Gara
Defenseman Rob O'Gara has played 33 games in the NHL between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. O'Gara was named the ECAC's Best Defensive Defenseman in his last two seasons at Yale University.

                     Grant Lewis
A Dartmouth College alumni, defenseman Grant Lewis played 1 NHL game with the 2008/09 Atlanta Thrashers.

                  Alexander Khavanov
Russian defenseman Alexander Khavanov played 348 regular season NHL games from 2000-2006. He spent his first 4 seasons with the St. Louis Blues and his last with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Internationally, he represented Russia at the 1999, 2000 and 2003 World Championships. He also represented Russia at the 2004 World Cup.

                 Greg Johnston
From 1983 to 1992 Greg Johnston scored 26 goals and 56 points in 187 career NHL games. He played for the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. Internationally, he won a Gold medal with Canada at the 1985 World Juniors.

                 Murray Eaves
From 1980 to 1990 Murray Eaves played 57 games in the NHL, dressing with the Winnipeg Jets and Detroit Red Wings. A member of the AHL Hall of Fame, Eaves won the Calder Cup in 1985 and 1989. His brother, Mike, also played in the NHL.

                                 Shane Harper
Undrafted forward Shane Harper scored 2 goals and 3 points in 14 career NHL games with the 2016/17 Florida Panthers.

                   Daniil Tarasov
Russian forward Daniil Tarasov played 5 NHL games with the 2014/15 San Jose Sharks. He's spent the last few seasons playing in the KHL with Dynamo Moscow.

                Borna Rendulic
Borna Rendulic is the first person born and raised in Croatia to make it to the NHL. He played 15 games in the big leagues, dressing for the Colorado Avalanche and briefly with the Vancouver Canucks.

              Raman Hrabarenka
Raman Hrabarenka played 1 NHL game with the 2014/15 New Jersey Devils. Internationally, he has represented Belarus at 4 World Championships.

                  Jeff Greenlaw
From 1986 to 1994 Jeff Greenlaw played 57 regular season games in the NHL. He spent most of that time with the Washington Capitals, who drafted him 19th overall in 1986. Internationally, Greenlaw won a Silver medal at the 1986 World Juniors with Canada.

                       Wes Jarvis
From 1979 to 1988 Wes Jarvis played 237 games in the NHL, scoring 31 goals and 86 points. Jarvis played for the Capitals, North Stars, Kings and Maple Leafs. 

                 Perry Anderson
From 1981 to 1992 Perry Anderson played 400 NHL games. He recorded 50 goals, 109 points and over 1000 penalty minutes. Anderson played for the St. Louis Blues, New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks. Before reaching the NHL, he was also a heck of a baseball player who even had a tryout with the Toronto Blue Jays.

                     Paul Gagne
From 1980 to 1990 Paul Gagne scored 110 goals and 212 points in 390 career NHL games. He spent most of his time with the New Jersey Devils but also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders. 

                   Jeff Sharples
From 1986 to 1989 Jeff Sharples scored 14 goals and 49 points in 105 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings. The defenseman put up solid numbers in his short NHL career but still couldn't crack the big leagues full time and spent the majority of his career in the minors, retiring in 2000.

                      Petr Kanko
This was the best example of Petr Kanko's autograph I could find but I hope to upgrade in the future. I have a TTM request out to him via his current Czech team so if I'm lucky, that might eventually come back. The Czech forward played 10 NHL games with the 2005/06 LA Kings.


                             Punch Imlach
Hockey Hall of Famer Punch Imlach spent many years as head coach and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres. He guided the Toronto Maple Leafs to 4 Stanley Cup championships and is one of the NHL's most notable figures from the 60s and 70s. Punch passed away in 1987.

                 George Kingston
George Kingston was head coach of the San Jose Sharks from 1991 to 1993. He also served as an NHL assistant coach with the Minnesota North Stars (88-89), Atlanta Thrashers (99-01) and Florida Panthers (01-07). Kingston reached the NHL after a long coaching career at the University of Calgary and for Canada's National team.

                               Drew Remenda
Drew Remenda is best know as a hockey personality who currently does color commentary for the Edmonton Oilers. He started his hockey career as a coach and as an NHL assistant with the San Jose Sharks form 1991 to 1995.

                      Bob Hodges
Bob Hodges officiated in the NHL from 1972 to 1998. He officiated 3 Stanley Cup finals and nearly 2,000 NHL regular season+playoff games in total.

                    Jason Soules
I like to collect autographs of first round NHL picks who didn't make it to the big leagues. Soules is especially interesting, drafted 15h overall by the Oilers in 1989, because he got an official Upper Deck NHL rookie card without ever playing an NHL game.

                             Ted Brown
Ted played in the NFL and his son, J.T., played in the NHL.

                           Paul Nastasiuk
Paul was a star CFL player and his son, Zach, has become a professional hockey player.

                         James Tuck
CFL player James Tuck grew up playing competitive hockey but concentrated on football as he grew older.

                           Danny Banda
Danny Banda was a stellar football player with the Saskatchewan Roughriders who was also a star senior hockey player.

                             Fred Rogers
I found this, of all places, on the local Facebook marketplace. I say that because being from a small city, nothing collection related ever catches my eye, until this piece. The best part about it was the price. I'm confident I could sell it for 10x what I paid but that will never happen because it will forever be in my collection. The hockey connection is the scanned 'Celebrity Captain' cards. With Rogers having passed away in 2003, I'm throwing in the towel on every being able to find/afford a signed card but having this piece displayed with the card is the next best thing. I remember this ProSet card from my childhoold, hockey and Mister Rogers both being prominent parts of my adolescence. 

No comments:

Post a Comment