Friday, May 31, 2019

Month of Mail - May 2019

May delivered a number of hockey autographs that fall outside of the NHL collection. This post features 19 NHL autographs and a further 26 autoraphs that fall into my other hockey autograph collections. With 19 new NHL signatures the grand total now stands at 6,122 unique NHL signatures for 80% of everyone to ever play in the league.

The highlight of this month's mail has to be landing a Jaroslav Otevrel autograph. Someone had listed a bunch of lots of in person signed 1990s cards by team on ebay. Only one lot caught my eye, the San Jose Sharks lot, and that was thanks to just one card. There was pretty much only a two year window to get Otevrel's autographs, when he was in North America from 1992-1994 and he spent most of that time in the minors. He was paralyzed in 1996 so hasn't been able to sign anything since then. I was born in 1991 and I'm getting close to having an autograph of everyone to play in the NHL during my lifetime.  From the hundreds and hundreds of NHL debuts from 1990-2015, I'm left with only 25 players to find. Of those 25, and with Otevrel now found, I only have two left that I know I'll have to get lucky to find - Igor Vyazmikin and Dmitri Tertyshny. Both players were in North America only briefly and both are now deceased. The other 23 players I'm confident that I'll eventually be able to land with persistence, if not by TTM then on an old program or card. Vyazmikin, however, doesn't even have a hockey card to his name. Pretty much my only hope is finding some kind of team signed item from the 1990/91 Cape Breton Oilers, and who knows have many, if any, of those are floating around.

                   Jaroslav Otevrel
Czech forward Jaroslav Otevrel was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 1991. From 1992-1994 he played 16 games in the NHL with the Sharks, scoring 3 goals and 7 points. He returned to Europe for the 1994/95 season and played in Finland until 1996. During a game in 1996, he fell awkwardly into another player and suffered a career ending injury that paralyzed him from the neck down.

                           Lloyd Haddon
Defenseman Lloyd Haddon played 8 NHL games with Gordie Howe and the 1959/60 Detroit Red Wings. Haddon was also a good baseball player and actually played a season of pro baseball in 1957 with the Cleveland Indians organization.

                          Bjorn Johansson
Swedish defenseman Bjorn Johansson spent two seasons in North America, playing 15 games for the NHL's Cleveland Barons. Johansson had originally been drafted 5th overall by the California Seals in the 1976 NHL draft. Before entering the NHL, he represented Sweden at the 1974, 1975 and 1976 World Junior Championships.

                          Terry Kleisinger
Goalie Terry Kleisinger played 4 games in the NHL with the 1985/86 New York Rangers. Undrafted, he had spent 4 seasons at the University of Wisconsin before turning pro. After hanging up his skates, Kleisinger spent many years as an assistant coach at Colorado College.

                               Dan Lucas
Dan Lucas was drafted 14th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1978 after a very successful junior career. He had played with Wayne Gretzky on the 1977/78 Soo Greyhounds. Lucas scored 50 goals and 117 points in 61 games with the Great One. Lucas went on to play just 6 NHL games with the Flyers, scoring 1 goal in the NHL.

                            Don MacIver
After a few tries over the years I finally hit a good address with Don MacIver. An undrafted player who attended Canadian University at St. Mary's in Nova Scotia, defenseman MacIver payed 6 NHL games with the 1979/80 Winnipeg Jets.

                           Anssi Melametsa
Anssi Melametsa played 27 games in the NHL with the 1985/86 Winnipeg Jets. Internationally, he represented Finland at the World Junior Championships, World Championships and Olympics.

                           Wayne Groulx
Wayne Groulx played 1 game in the NHL with the 1984/85 Quebec Nordiques. He was a junior star with 3 consecutive 130+ point seasons, a league MVP award and Memorial Cup appearance with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He later found success playing pro in Austria and represented the country at the 1993 World Championships. He also added in a signed card of his son Daylon Groulx, who plays junior in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack.

                        Michal Kempny
Czech defenceman Michal Kempny was signed by the Chicago Blackhawks as an undrafted free agent and made his NHL debut as a 25 year old rookie with the 2016/17 Hawks. He was traded to the Washington Capitals in 2018 and won the Stanley Cup with the Caps. Internationally, he's represented Czech Republic at the World Juniors, World Championships and World Cup.

                     Andreas Martinsen
Andreas Martinsen is an undrafted Norwegian forward was signed by the Colorado Avalanche in 2015. He's gone on to play over 150 NHL games, dressing with the Avalanche, Canadiens and Blackhawks. Internationally, he's represented Norway 9 times at the World Championships.

                            Lukas Sedlak
Czech forward Lukas Sedlak has played 3 seasons in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Before breaking into the NHL he won a Calder Cup with the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters in 2016. Internationally, he represented the Czech Republic at the World Juniors in 2012 and 2013.

                                 Mike Gillis
Mike Gillis was drafted 5th overall by the Colorado Rockies in 1978. Gillis played half a dozen seasons in the NHL, splitting that time between the Rockies and Boston Bruins. After hanging up his skates, Gillis earned his law degree and became a successful agent. Those connections later landed him the job of Vancouver Canucks GM, a position he held from 2008 to 2014.

                  Norm Dupont
From 1979 to 1984 Norm Dupont played 256 regular season games in the NHL. He played for the Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Hartford Whalers. The Canadiens drafted him in the first round, 18th overall in 1977.

                 Ryan Carpenter
Undrafted, Ryan Carpenter was signed by the San Jose Sharks after playing for Bowling Green University. He played 28 NHL games with the Sharks before being claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights off waivers. Carpenter has played 100+ NHL games with Vegas, helping the team reach the Stanley Cup finals in 2018. 

                   Mark Jankowski
Mark Jankowski was drafted 21st overall by the Calgary Flames in 2012. He spent 4 years at Providence College and then moved on to the NHL. He's played 2 full seasons in the NHL with Calgary. His grandfather, Lou Jankowski, also played in the NHL.

                 Jonny Brodzinski
Jonny Brodzinki was drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NHL draft by the Los Angeles Kings. Intriguingly, his younger was drafted in the same round a few selections earlier by the San Jose Sharks. Jonny had just played his first season of college with St. Cloud State while youngter brother Michael was committed to the University of Minnsesota. Michael has played pro in the San Jose system while Jonny has made it to the NHL. He's scored 6 goals and 11 points in 54 NHL games with the LA Kings.  

                    Kalle Kossila
Undrafted, Finn Kalle Kossila moved to North America to play college hockey. After four years with St. Cloud State, he was signed by the Anaheim Ducks. Kossila has played 19 NHL games with Anaheim, scoring 2 goals and 3 points.

                   Artturi Lehkonen
Finn Artturi Lehkonen was drafted in the second round by the Montreal Canadiens in 2013. He joined the Habs in 2016 and has played 3 full seasons in the NHL, scoring 41 goals and 80 points in 221 regular season games. Internationally, he represented Finland at the World Junior Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He brought home a Gold in 2014 and Bronze in 2013 from the World Juniors.

                                  Tyson Jost
Tyson Jost was drafted 10th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in 2016. Jost made his NHL debut in 2017 and has played two full seasons in the NHL. Internationally, he represented Canada at the 2017 World Junior Championships, bringing home Silver. He also represented Canada at the World Championships in 2018 and 2019.


                               Ted Sator
In 1985, Ted Sator was named head coach of the New York Ranges. He had served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers prior to joining the Rangers. In his first season as an NHL coach the Rangers advanced all the way to the 3rd round of the 1986 NHL playoffs, loosing to eventual Cup winners the Montreal Canadiens. Sator's success didn't last long and he didn't even make it through his second season as an NHL coach. From 1987 to 1989 he got a second stint as an NHL head coach with the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres lost in the first round both seasons and Sator's career as a head coach was over. He laster served as an assistant coach with the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and Hartford Whalers.

                            Pat Ferschweiler
Pat Ferschweiler has been an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings since 2015. During the 90s he played a number of years of pro hockey in the ECHL and IHL. Ferschweiler and Sator both get added to the NHL GMs, Coaches & Ass. Coaches with no NHL player experience collection.

                             Ron Anderson
Defenseman Ron Anderson played over 100 games in the WHA, dressing for the Chicago Cougars and Cleveland Crusaders. The next bunch of autographs go in the World Hockey Association only collection, guys who played in the Rebel League but not the NHL.  

                            Rich Coutu
Goalie Rich Coutu played 24 games in the WHA. He played for the Chicago Cougars and Cincinnati Stingers. 

                      Jacques Lemelin
Goalie Jacques Lemelin played 9 games in the WHA with the inaugural 1972/73 Quebec Nordiques.

                           Paul Larose
Originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1970, the WHA gave Paul Larose a new opportunity and he played for the inaugural Quebec Noridiques team. Larose also played a few games for the WHA's Baltimore Blades

                         Steve Sutherland
Steve Sutherland spent 6 seasons in the WHA, playing for the Los Angeles Sharks, Quebec Nordiques and Baltimore Blades. Sutherland was a reliable scorer who had 3 seasons of 20+ goals.

                              Bill Laing
From 1974 to 1976 Bill Laing scored 10 goals and 26 points in 96 career games in the WHA with the Edmonton Oilers.

                            Tom Serviss
Tom Serviss played nearly 300 games in the WHA, dressing for the Los Angeles Sharks, Michigan Stags/Baltimore Blades, Quebec Nordiques and Calgary Cowboys.

                         Rychard Campeau
Rychard Campeau joined the WHA when it was created in 1972. Over two seasons the defenseman played 82 games in the league with the Philadelphia/Vancouver Blazers. 

                             Glen Shirton
Defenseman Glen Shirton was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1963. He never signed with the Habs and later attended Bowling Green State University. He eventually played 1 season of pro hockey, appearing in 4 WHA gams with the 1973/74 Cleveland Crusaders.

                           Heikki Riihiranta
Finnish defenseman Heikki Riihiranta played 3 seasons in the WHA with the Winnipeg Jets. He helped them win the Avco Trophy in 1976. Internationally, he represented Finland at the World Championships, Olympics and Canada Cup.

                           Danny Arndt
Danny Arndt played 120 regular season games in the WHA, dressing for the New England Whalers, Edmonton Oilers and Birmingham Bulls. Internationally, he represented Canada at the 1975 World Junior Championships. 

                           Darwin Mott
Darwin Mott played 1 game in the WHA with the 1972/73 Philadelphia Blazers.

                    Laura Stacey
Laura Stacey represented Canada at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, winning a silver and bronze medal. She also represented Canada at the 2018 Olympics, bringing home a silver medal. This autograph goes into The Women of Hockey In Autographs collection. 

Ending the post with an usually high number of baseball autographs.  I now have a sizeable collection of hockey related baseball signatures. 

                                                       Rob Manfred

                                                           Bud Selig

                               Walt Hriniak
Walt Hriniak was a star high school hockey player.

                                 Reggie Cleveland
A Canadian, Reggie Cleveland lettered in hockey in high school. 

                    Tom Burgmeier
Burgmeier played hockey in hockey school.

                                     John Burkett
The card notes that "John is an avid fan of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins."

                                     John Habyan
The card mentions "One of John's favorite activities is street hockey."

                                      Jeff Samardzija
Sam Samardzija played semi-pro hockey in Chicago for a few years but I couldn't find any stats.

                     Logan Shore
The card notes he "lettered in high school hockey"

                                Ernie Clement
Card notes Clement "was an ice hockey player in high school"

                           Donald Lutz
As the card notes, Lutz "preferred hockey as a youngster." Lutz holds the distinction of being the first German developed MLB player, having grown up there.

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