Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Monthly Mail Update - February 2019

13 New NHL autographs and a few additional hockey signatures to show for the month of February. Some nice TTM returns here with Les Kozak being my favorite. He responded with a wonderful letter.

The grand total of unique NHL player signature is now 6,067 for just under 80% of everyone to ever play in the league.

                        Murray Balfour
From 1956 to 1965 Murray Balfour played over 300 NHL games, dressing for the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. He's best remembered as a Blackhawk and helped them win the 1961 Stanley Cup. Balfour died tragically young in 1965. He was only 28 when a tumor in his lung took his life.
I'm not a big fan of the encasing and will free it down the road for a custom index card. I like having flat items with an accompanying picture so I can easily store it in the appropriate binder.

                             Les Kozak
Leslie Kozak played 12 NHL games with the 1961/62 Toronto Maple Leafs. His career ended abruptly that same season when he was forced to retired to to a head injury sustained during an AHL game. 

                       George Standing
George Standing played 2 NHL games with the inaugural 1967/68 Minnesota North Stars. He spent most of his professional hockey career playing for the EHL's Nashville Dixie Flyers.

                        Ken Richardson
From 1974 to 1979 Ken Richardson scored 8 goals and 21 points in 49 career NHL games with the St. Louis Blues.

                          Dan Chicoine
From 1977 to 1980 Dan Chicoine played 31 NHL games between the Cleveland Barons and Minnesota North Stars. 

                       Lindsay Middlebrook
From 1979 to 1983 Linday Middlebrook appeared between the pipes in 37 NHL games. He suited up for the Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota North Stars, New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers. 

                           Jiri Hrdina
Czech forward Jiri Hrdina made his NHL debut as a 29 year old forward with the 1987/88 Calgary Flames. His NHL career only lasted 5 seasons but he was on 3 Stanley Cup winning teams - the 1989 Flames, the 1991 Penguins and the 1992 Penguins. Internationally, he made a number of appearances with Czechoslovakia, winning Olympic Silver in 1984 and a World Championship Gold in 1985. 

                         Mike Pandolfo
Mike Pandolfo was originally drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 1998. He wasn't signed by the club and attended Boston University, graduating in 2002. He was then signed by Columbus and played 3 NHL games with the 2003/04 Blue Jackets. He's the brother of Stanley Cup champion Jay Pandolfo.

                           Sean Bentivoglio
An undrafted Niagara University grad, Sean Bentivoglio played 1 NHL game with the 2008/09 New York Islanders. A big thanks to the Cardiff Devils organization for helping me get Bentivoglio to sign this. He was unresponsive to TTM requests so I reached out to a team official who I'm grateful was able to give me a hand. I desperately wanted this autograph because it was the last needed of the 170 debuts from the 2008/09 season, which I can now mark as 100% complete. 

                             Matt Lindblad
From 2013 to 2015 Matt Lindblad played 4 NHL games with the Boston Bruins. He was an undrafted forward who had attended Dartmouth College. Injuries shortened his career and he retired in 2016 but returned to the Bruins as a scout.

                            Aaron Dell
Aaron Dell was never drafted, he attended the University of North Dakota and was later signed by the Sharks as a free agent. He is currently in his third NHL season as a full-time member of the Sharks as their backup goalie. 

                              Sean Kuraly
Sean Kuraly was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 2011 but was traded to the Boston Bruins before turning pro. He's in his second season as a full time member of the Bruins.

                     Alex Foster
An undrafted forward, Alex Foster was signed by the Leafs while he played for Bowling Green State University. Foster played 3 games in the NHL with the 2007/08 Maple Leafs.

                  Clark Donatelli
Clark Donatelli played 25 NHL games with the 1989/90 Minnesota North Stars and 10 NHL games with the 1991/92 Boston Bruins. As head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins AHL club, he was able to lift the Stanley Cup as part of the 2016 Penguins celebrations but didn't get his name engraved on the trophy. Internationally, he represented the United States at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, he was team captain in 1992.


                            Zach Sikich
Zach Sikich dressed in 1 NHL game as an emergency backup goalie with the 2012/13 Anaheim Ducks. He had played a few years of pro and at the time of his NHL appearance, he operated a goalie school. Big thanks to Zach for sending me a great little package along with the autograph. This one goes into my NHL Backups Only collection.

                              Tom Renney
Currently CEO of Hockey Canada, Tom Renney was head coach of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers. He also coached internationally for Canada in 10 World Championships and the 1994 Olympics, helping Canada win Silver. This signature goes into my collection of NHL GMs/coaches without NHL playing experience.

                            Ron Rolston
In 2013, Ron Rolston spent parts of two seasons as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. He was a long time coach at the college level, coaching schools such as Boston College, Harvard and Clarkson. In 2018, he was team USA's assistant coach at the Olympics. Currently, Rolston is associate head coach of Providence College. 

                           Bob Nicholson
Currently CEO of the company that owns the Edmonton Oilers, Bob Nicholson is best remembered as CEO of Hockey Canada from 1998 to 2014. He did a commendable job with Hockey Canada and was even awarded the Order of Canada for his work.

                               Chris Hetherington
Former NFL player Chris Hetherington actually grew up playing hockey and played through high school. There's aren't too many NFL guys with hockey backgrounds so this is a great addition to my football-hockey autograph collection. 

                     David Tyree
NFL player David Tyree supporting the New Jersey Devils. He's best know for the 'Helmet Catch' in 2008 on the Giants' final drive of Super Bowl XLII. See all my "Touchdown Hockey" autographs.

                    Torey Lovullo
Lovullo is the current manager for the MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks and he is also a former MLB player. This goes into my baseball-hockey autographs.

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