Thursday, February 22, 2018

BIG Mail Post Brings Grand Total to 5,700 Autographs

Mail - 61 new autographs for the collection. Most of these come from a trade with a local collector - Thanks Billy! Its not often that I get the opportunity to add so many new signatures at one time. With these new additions the grand total of unique NHL player signatures now stands at exactly 5,700 unique NHL signatures for 76.5% of everyone to ever suit up in the league since it was created in 1917/18.

Patrick Roy and Patrick Sharp represent a big milestone in the collection. I now have an autograph of every single NHL player who has had a certified signature produced. I have a couple Patrick Roy signatures in my possession (they are photos to be framed for my wall) but this was the first certified autograph card, and thus allows me to officially cross Roy off the list and add him into the collection. Its also why I wasn't in a rush to get one. They are plentiful but seeing as how it was the last certified NHL signature I needed, I felt it was due time to cross him off the list. As soon as I had the Patrick Sharp incoming, I knew I had to get the Roy. This means that unless there are some new vintage signatures in upcoming releases, then the only certified autographs you'll see in my mail posts going forward will be from new players, specifically 2015 and later.

                      Patrick Roy
Not much I can say about Patrick Roy other than he's undoubtedly one of the best goalies of all All-Time. His resume includes 4 Stanley Cups, 3 Conn Smythe Trophies, 5 Jennings Trophies, 3 Vezina Trophies and a Jack Adams as NHL coach of the year in 2014 for good measure.

                     Patrick Sharp
For a modern semi-star, Patrick Sharp has notably few autographs on the market. He only has a handful of certified autographs. They also tend to sell rather well, or have in the past. I finally was able to find one at a reasonable price. The eight time 20+ goal scorer won the Stanley Cup 3 times with the Chicago Blackhawks. Sharp is also notable for being on Canada's 2014 gold medal winning Olympic team.

                    Tyler Graovac
From 2014 to the current season Tyler Graovac has played over 60 games in the NHL. He spent his first three seasons in the league with the team that drafted him, the Minnesota Wild, but most recently played with the Washington Capitals. I tend to avoid The Cup cards because they are expensive and super thick (I store my collection in binders, not boxes). I had no choice here with Graovac as this is his only certified autograph card. I only paid a few bucks for this 3 color rookie patch. Almost feel bad for the guy who pulled it out of a $500 pack of cards. 

                            Doug Murray
From 2005 to 2014 defenseman Douglas Murray played over 500 games in the NHL. He spent most of that time with the Sharks but also dressed for the Penguins and Canadiens. Internationally, he represented Sweden at the 2010 Olympics and 2008 World Championships.

                               Brent Regner
Drafted in 2008 by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Regner spent years riding the buses in the minor leagues before making his NHL debut with the 2015/16 Florida Panthers. The defenseman played 7 career NHL games with the Panthers that season.

                              Kyle Rau
Kyle Rau made his NHL debut with the 2015/16 Florida Panthers. He's since played 36 games in the NHL, most recently as a member of the Minnesota Wild. Internationally, he represented the United States at the 2012 World Juniors. His brother, Chad, also played in the NHL.

                               Bob Wilkie
Bob Wilkie played 8 games with the 1990/91 Detroit Red Wings and 10 games with the 1993/94 Philadelphia Flyers for a total of 18 career NHL games.

                           Peter Marsh
Peter Marsh was a junior sensation who was drafted 2nd overall by the Cincinnati Stingers in the 1976 WHA draft and lured to the league by a big contract. He played three strong seasons in the WHA before being drafted 1st overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1979 NHL expansion draft. He spent five seasons as a quality NHL player but was never able to reach the success he had in the WHA.

                              Paul McIntosh
From 1974 to 1976 defenceman Paul McIntosh played 48 games in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres. 

                         Mike Robitaille
From 1969 to 1977 defenseman Mike Robitaille played nearly 400 games in the NHL. He became a hockey commentator/broadcaster after hanging up his skates. 

                       Mike Marson
From 1974 to 1980 Mike Marson scored 24 goals and 48 points in 196 career games in the NHL. He holds a very notable place in hockey history as only the second black player, after Willie O'Ree, to play in the NHL. He's also a notoriously tough signer so I'm thrilled to add his signature to the collection. 

       Normand Lacombe
Normand Lacombe was drafted 10th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1983. From 1984 to 1991 he played over 300 games in the NHL, dressing with the Sabres, Oilers and Flyers. He's most notable for winning the Stanley Cup with the 1987/88 Edmonton Oilers.

                Michael Ware
From 1988 to 1990 Michael Ware played 5 career NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers. His 3 games with the Stanley Cup winning 89/90 Oilers wasn't enough to qualify for his name on the Trophy. Ware continued playing pro hockey overseas in Great Britain until 2004.

                   Ron Shudra
Defenseman Ron Shudra recorded 5 assists in 10 career NHL games with the 1987/88 Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky and the Oilers went on to win the Stanley Cup that season but Shudra's name wasn't included on the Cup for his 10 regular season game contribution. He spent most of his career in Great Britain, playing professionally until 2008.

                    Walt Poddubny
Walt Poddubny was a very productive NHL player, scoring 422 points in 468 career NHL games. He had two 38 goal seasons and a career year of 40 goals and 87 points in 75 games with the 1986/87 New York Rangers. Poddubny's life after the NHL wasn't easy and he passed away in 2009 at only 49. 

                 Tomas Forslund
From 1991 to 1993 Swedish forward Tomas Forslund scored 5 goals and 16 points in 44 career NHL games with the Calgary Flames. Internationally, he represented Sweden at the 1991 Canada Cup and from 1994 to 1996, three consecutive World Championship squads. Forslund helped his country bring home Bronze at the '94 Worlds. 

                    Pat MacLeod
From 1990 to 1996 Pat MacLeod played 53 games in the NHL. The defenseman recorded 5 goals and 18 points in the NHL. 

                   Michel Picard
From 1990 to 2001 Michel Picard scored 28 goals and 70 points in 166 career NHL games. He played for the Whalers, Sharks, Senators, Blues, Oilers and Flyers. He's one of those guys who put up incredible numbers in the AHL but could never stick with an NHL club. 

                    Andy Schneider
Andy Schneider played 10 games in the NHL with the 1993/94 Ottawa Senators. He spent most of his career in Germany, retiring only in 2011.

                     Daniel Guerard
Daniel Guerard played 2 games in the NHL with the 1994/95 Ottawa Senators. I could never find his current whereabouts to write to so happy to add this signature via trade. 

                     Jeff Lazaro
From 1990 to 1993 Jeff Lazaro played over 100 games in the NHL, dressing for the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators. 

                 David Williams
From 1991 to 1995 David Williams played 173 games in the NHL. The defenseman dressed for the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Mighty Ducks. He's the first player born and raised in New Jersey to play in the NHL.

                    Corey Foster
Drafted 12th overall by New Jersey in 1988, from 1989 to 1997 Corey Foster played 45 games in the NHL. The defenseman was a member of the Devils, Flyers, Penguins and Islanders. 

                 Craig Redmond
From 1984 to 1989 Craig Redmond played 191 games in the NHL, suiting up for the LA Kings and Edmonton Oilers. He sat out most of the 1987/88 NHL season because the Kings refused to let him play on Canada's Olympic team. He retired in 1989 but returned to play one more season in the AHL in 1995/96. 

                  Rick Chartraw
From 1974 to 1984 defenseman Rick Chartraw played over 400 games in the NHL. He won 4 Stanley Cups as a member of the Montreal Canadiens from 1976 to 1979. In 1984 he won the Cup for a 5th time as an Edmonton Oiler, was awarded a Cup ring but with just 1 playoff games and 24 regular season games, didn't qualify to have his name engraved on the Trophy. Internationally, he represented the United States at the 1976 Canada Cup.

                   Craig Ferguson
From 1993 to 2000 Craig Ferguson played 27 games in the NHL. He was dominant at the AHL level but was never able to transition his game to the next level. 

                    Paul Dipietro
From 1991 to 1996 Paul Depietro played just under 200 regular season games in the NHL. He's best remembered for helping the Montreal Canadiens win the 1993 Stanley Cup. He scored 8 goals and 13 points in 17 playoff games for Montreal. He played in Europe after leaving the NHL and got his Swiss citizenship to represent Switzerland at the 2006 Olympics. DiPietro and the Swiss team are remembered for upsetting team Canada during those games. 

                     Jim Korn
From 1979 to 1990 Jim Korn played nearly 600 regular season games in the NHL. The defenseman played for the Red Wings, Maple Leafs, Sabres, Devils and Flames. 

                   Jerry Butler
This one is signed in pen so it didn't scan well, unfortunately. From 1972 to 1983 Jerry Butler played 643 regular season games in the NHL. He played for the Rangers, Blues, Maple Leafs, Canucks and Jets. 

                  Willie Huber
This Willie Huber autograph scanned poorly but the pen signature is very visible in person. Huber died of a heart attack in 2010 at just 52 so its autographs aren't plentiful. From 1978 to 1988 he played 655 regular season games in the NHL. He represented the Red Wings at the 1982/83 NHL All-Star game. At 6'5" and 228 lbs he was one of the biggest players of his generation.

                     Billy Harris
There have been 2 people by the name of Billy Harris to play in the NHL. This Billy Harris is the more recent. From 1972 to 1984 he played just shy of 900 regular season games in the NHL. Harris was drafted 1st overall by the Islanders in 1972. He then went on to have 6 20+ goal season in New York. Unfortunately for Harris, he was traded to the LA Kings in 1980, just before his Islanders when on a 4 year Cup dynasty. 

                     Alain Daigle
From 1974 to 1980 Alain Daigle played nearly 400 games in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks. 

                  Sylvain Turgeon
I had tried writing to Sylvain Turgeon a few times over the years so it was nice to finally acquire this one via trade. Turgeon was drafted 2nd overall by the Hartford Whalers in 1983. He showed some flashes of brilliance with a 45 goal season with the 1985/86 Whalers but he fizzled out rather quickly and was out of the NHL by 1995. His brother, Pierre, had a much more successful NHL career. 

                            Anatoli Semenov
From 1990 to 1997 Russian forward Anatoli Semenov scored 68 goals and 194 points in 362 regular season NHL games. He played for the Oilers, Lightning, Canucks, Mighty Ducks, Flyers and Sabres. Internationally, he represented Russia on numerous occasions, winning an Olympic gold medal in 1988.

                          George "Dusty" Blair
Dusty Blair played 2 games in the NHL with the 1950/51 Toronto Maple Leafs. He played professional hockey around North America until 1965. Blair passed away in 2010.

                             Chuck Blair
Chuck Blair played 1 career NHL game with the 1948/49 Toronto Maple Leafs. He spent most of his career in the AHL, playing pro hockey until 1961. Brother of Dusty, Chuck passed away in 2006.

                             Gary Marsh
Gary Marsh played 6 NHL games with the 1967/68 Detroit Red Wings and 1 NHL game with the 1968/69 Toronto Maple Leafs. He scored a goal and 4 points in 7 career games.

                             Glen Sonmor
From 1953 to 1955 Glen Sonmor played 28 games in the NHL with the New York Rangers. He's better remembered for his time behind the bench in both the WHA and the NHL. In the NHL he coached the Minnesota North Stars from 1979 to 1983, leading them to the Stanley Cup finals in 1981. Sonmor passed away in 2015. 

                                Bill Cupolo
Bill Cupolo played 1 season in the NHL, scoring 11 goals and 24 points in 47 games with the 1944/45 Boston Bruins. Cupolo passed away in 2005.

                             Cy Thomas
Cy Thomas spent 1 season in the NHL, splitting his 14 career NHL games between the 1947/48 Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Thomas passed away in 2009.

                               Darren Veitch
Though the 1980s Darren Vietch played over 500 NHL games. He played for the Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. He was originally drafted 5th overall by Washington in 1980. 

                               Garry Swain
Garry Swain was drafted 4th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1968. He played 9 career NHL games with the Penguins during the 1968/69 NHL season. He toiled in the minors for a few years before joining the WHA's New England Whalers. He played 3 seasons with the Whalers, scoring 22 goals and 55 points in 171 career WHA games played. 

                           Doug Morrison
From 1979 to 1985 Doug Morrison scored 7 goals and 10 points in 23 career NHL games, all with the Boston Bruins. His brother, Mark Morrison, also played in the NHL. 

                          Normand Aubin
From 1981 to 1983 Normand Aubin scored 18 goals and 31 points in 69 career NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was a junior phenom, scoring 258 goals in 244 QMJHL games.

                            Vic Heyliger
From 1937 to 1944 Victor Heyliger played 33 games in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks. He's best known for his coaching career as the long time bench boss of the University of Michigan. He coached the school to 5 NCAA Division 1 titles during the 1950s.

                               Harry Bell
Harry Bell played 1 game in the NHL with the 1946/47 New York Rangers. He recorded 1 point, an assist, in his only NHL game. Bell passed away in 2009.

                            Al 'Red' Staley
Alan 'Red' Staley recorded 1 assist in his only NHL game with the 1948/49 New York Rangers. 

                              Billy Reay
As a player, Billy Reay playing in nearly 500 NHL games, mostly with the Montreal Canadiens. He won the Stanley Cup in '46 and '53 with the Habs. Even so, it was as the long-time head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks that he will likely best be remembered. Reay also spent a couple seasons as bench boss of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

                              Stan Baluik
Stan Baluik played 7 NHL games with the 1959/60 Boston Bruins. Baluik was an even better golfer, won pro tournaments and became a golf pro later in life. 

                        Aggie Kukulowicz
From 1952 to 1954 Aggie Kukulowicz played 4 games in the NHL for the New York Rangers. The forward scored 1 goal for the Rangers. Fluent in Russia because of his heritage, Kukulowicz is also notable for being Canada's official translator of the 1972 Summit Series. He passed away in 2008.

                            Aldo Palazzari
Aldo Palazzari spent 1 season in the NHL. He played 36 games in the NHL, splitting his time between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. His son, Doug, also played in the NHL.

                           Frank Sullivan
From 1949 to 1956 Frank Sullivan played 8 games in the NHL. He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and later the Chicago Blackhawks. His brother, Peter, also played in the NHL. Frank passed away in 2009. 

                             Alex Shibicky
From 1935 to 1946 Alex Shibicky scored 110 goals and 201 points in 322 regular season games in the NHL. He spent his whole career with the New York Rangers and won the Stanley Cup in 1940. He is said to be the first NHL player to use the slapshot.

                           Darryl Edestrand
From 1967 to 1979 Darryl Edestrand played about 500 regular season+playoff games in the NHL. Edestrand played for the Blues, Flyers, Penguins, Bruins and Kings. He recently passed away, October 2017.

                                Mike Boland
Not only were there two NHL players by the name of Mike Boland, but they both made their NHL debuts during the same season: 1974/75. This particular Mike Boland played 1 game with the Kansas City Scouts that season. He toiled in the minors until the Buffalo Sabres gave him a second shot at the NHL. Boland played 22 NHL games with the 1978/79 Sabres.

                           Tony Featherstone
During the 1970s Tony Featherstone played over 100 games in both the NHL and WHA. He was originally drafted by the Oakland Seals 7th overall in 1969.

               Barry Boughner
From 1969 to 1971 Barry Boughner played 20 games in the NHL with the Oakland/California Seals. 

                 Gord McRae
During the 1970s Gord McRae backstopped the Toronto Maple Leafs in 71 NHL games. 

                   Hal Phillipoff
Harold Phillipoff was drafted 10th overall by the Atlanta Flames in 1976. From 1977 to 1980 he played 141 games in the NHL, dressing with Atlanta and later the Chicago Blackhawks. 

                      Ron Wilson
There are actually 2 Ron Wilsons who have made waves in the NHL and the hockey scene during about the same time period. This is likely the lesser known of the two even though he played over 800 games in the NHL From 1979 to 1994. This Ron Wilson also became a coach but at the AHL level.

                   Peter Lappin
Peter Lappin played 6 NHL games with the 1989/90 Minnesota North Stars and 1 NHL game with the 1991/92 San Jose Sharks. Not sure why he signed the card on the back but I'll try and look for an upgrade down the road. If have a couple outstanding TTM requests to Lappin so who knows, if I'm lucky one of those might show up in the mail someday. 


                    Kerry Bond
This one took over 5 years to get back to me! Had a 2013 stamp on it. Its nice to get a return like this now and then only to give me hope in the thousands of outstanding requests I have dating back years and years. Kerry Bond spent two seasons in the WHA, playing 86 games for the Indianapolis Racers.

                               Pierre Creamer
During the 1980s Pierre Creamer spent 3 years coaching the AHL's Sherbrooke Canadiens, affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens. In 1985 he coached the team to a Calder Cup championship. Creamer coached the Pittsburgh Penguins for one full season. He guided Mario Lemieux and the 1987/88  Penguins to a 36-25-9 record before he was relieved of duties at season's end. Interestingly, it was the only season Creamer spent coaching at the NHL level. He holds the distinction of being the only coach in NHL history to have coached just 1 season in the league and it be a winning record.

                           Terry Bangen
Terry Bangen has spent decades in the hockey world, mostly as a head coach in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers and Tri-City Americans. He spent 1 season in the NHL, as an assistant coach with the 1996/97 Vancouver Canucks. He's currently an assistant coach in the ECHL. 

                           Lisa Brown-Miller
Throughout the 1990s Lisa Brown-Miller was a staple on the US women's national team. She's most notable for helping the Americans defeat Canada and win Gold at the 1998 Olympics.

                                                             Joe Morgan
I don't normally share my baseball autographs but since these two came via TTM and are cool old school guys, I thought I'd share. I collect baseball signatures from players who have played hockey or have a notable connection to the game of hockey. I have a surprising amount, enough that I had to recently move the collection into a larger binder. As you can see from the explanation on the back of this vintage Topps baseball card, Joe Morgan was an All-American hockey player in college. You can read about his hockey career here

                                                         Dennis Ribant
Like Joe Morgan, Dennis Ribant grew up playing hockey along with baseball. Ribant actually played junior hockey in the Red Wings organization with guys like Paul Henderson. Read about Ribant's hockey career here.

                     Steve Levy
I've been slowly picking away at these 'Fans of the Game' autographs. The 2013/14 Panini Fans of the Game in Crown Royale were different from previous years in that they didn't have a base counterpart and seem to be a little harder to find. This goes into my 'voices of the game' binder as Levy is a long-time NHL sportscaster who currently works for ESPN. Although I tend to pick up these cards long after the release date, when the prices die down, and don't give them much priority on the wantlist, I do enjoy them very much. Its a shame that the NHLPA and NHL don't give a rats ass about collectors and grant Upper Deck an exclusive to produce sub-par boring products. At least Panini tried to mix it up a little with stuff like this. Panini also had a much broader autograph checklist for NHL rookies. Upper Deck sticks to virtually the same bunch all year.