Saturday, October 28, 2017

Fall 2017 Mail - The Search Continues

Since the last mail post I've added 35 new unique NHL player autographs. The grand total now stands at 5,553 unique signatures for 74% of everyone to every play in the league.

Most of these come from a deal with a fellow autograph collector. A couple outstanding TTM requests also trickled in. I mailed a stack of new requests this week so hopefully I'll have more returns to post in the coming months. For the majority of the living retired guys I still need, if they're not impossible to find, I've likely already written them on multiple occasions at more than one address. It gets harder to find motivation to send new requests when you almost know the majority won't come back.

Tony Stiles
Defenseman Tony Stiles recorded 2 goals and 9 points in 30 career NHL games with the 1983/84 Calgary Flames. Stiles was an undrafted Michigan Tech alumni when his signed with Calgary in 1982. Internationally, Stiles was a member of Canada's 4th place team at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Pat Daley
From 1979 to 1981 Pat Daley played a dozen games in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets. Internationally, he represented Canada at the 1978 World Juniors. 

Claude Houde
From 1974 to 1976 defenseman Claude Houde played 59 games in the NHL with the Kansas City Scouts.

Chris Hayes
Chris Hayes played just 1 game in the NHL and it came in the postseason. Hayes played a playoff game with the Boston Bruins in 1972 for a team that went on to claim the Stanley Cup. Hayes didn't get his name on the Trophy for his one game appearance. Hayes actually qualified to have his name engraved but the Bruins choose not to include him. A little hockey trivia, Hayes is one of only 2 NHL players whose only experience in the league came during the Stanley Cup finals. The other, Doug McKay, by sheer coicidence, is also featured in this mail post.

Jay Johnston
From 1980 to 1982 defenseman Jay Johnston played 8 games in the NHL with the Washington Capitals. He's also notable for winning the AHL's Calder Cup in 1980 with the Hershey Bears. There's a nice little article from a blog that documents Johnston's full career.

Greg Meredith
From 1980 to 1983 Greg Meredith scored 6 goals and 10 points in 38 career NHL games with the Calgary Flames. He was a Notre Dame alumni who had been drafted by the Flames in 1978.

Rob Plumb
From 1977 to 1979 Rob Plumb played 14 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings. He scored 3 goals and 5 points. His brother, Ron, also played in the NHL.

Kent Ruhnke
Kent Ruhnke played 2 NHL games with the 1975/76 Boston Bruins. He signed with the Bruins as an undrafted free agent who had just completed his degree at the University of Toronto. It was then and still is a rare accomplishment to go from Canadian university hockey to the NHL. Ruhnke also played 2 seasons in the WHA with Bobby Hull's Winnipeg Jets.

Vic Teal
Originally drafted by the St. Louis blues in 1969, Vic Teal played 1 game in the NHL with the 1973/74 New York Islanders. The Islanders had signed Teal as a free agent in 1973. His brother, Skip, also briefly appeared in the NHL.

Gary Dillon
Gary Dillon played 13 games in the NHL with the 1980/81 Colorado Rockies. He was later signed by the Quebec Nordiques, hence the picture, but he was never able to make it out of their AHL farm team. His brother, Wayne, also played in the NHL.

Bruce Gamble
This would certainly be the "First Star" of the mail post. I have a soft spot for goalies and Bruce Gamble played in well over 300 NHL games from 1958 to 1972. MVP of the 1968 NHL All-Star game, Gamble played for the Rangers, Bruins, Maple Leafs and Flyers. Unfortunately, Gamble had heart trouble and passed away in 1982 at only 44.

Don Poile
From 1954 to 1958 Don Poile played 66 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings. He netted 7 goals and 16 points playing with Gordie Howe's Red Wings. His brother, Bud, also played in the NHL. 

Pete Kelly
From 1934 to 1942 Pete Kelly scored 21 goals and 59 points in 180 career NHL games. He played for the St. Louis Eagles, Detroit Red Wings and New York/Brooklyn Americans. He won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 1936 and 1937. Kelly passed away in 2004.

Ted Hodgson
Ted Hodgson played 4 games in the NHL with the 1966/67 Boston Bruins. He later spent a couple seasons in the WHA, playing over 100 games in the league between 1972 and 1974. In the WHA he played for the Cleveland Crusaders and LA Sharks. 

Lee Fogolin Sr.
From 1948 to 1957 Lee Fogolin Sr. played 427 regular season games in the NHL, playing for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. He's most notable for helping Detroit win the Stanley Cup in 1950. His son, who also goes by Lee Fogolin, became a longtime NHL player. Fogolin Sr. passed away in 2000.

Roger Lemelin
From 1974 to 1978 defenseman Roger Lemelin played 36 games in the NHL. He played for the Kansas City Souts and Colorado Rockies.

Ted Snell
From 1973 to 1975 Ted Snell scored 7 goals and 25 points in 107 career NHL games. Snell played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings and Kansas City Scouts. 

Larry Gould
Larry Gould played 2 games in the NHL with the 1973/74 Vancouver Canucks. He played pro hockey for a decade, from 1972 to 1982. His brother, John Gould, also played in the NHL.

Chris Pusey
Goalie Chris Pusey appeared between the pipes for 1 NHL game with the 1985/86 Detroit Red Wings. Interesting note, Pusey later played senior hockey with the Brantford Blast and helped them compete for the Allen Cup. Its notable because he did so as a defenseman, not a goalie.

Jack Hughes
From 1980 to 1982 defenseman Jack Hughes played 46 NHL games with the Colorado Rockies. He spent most of 1980 playing and travelling with the US Olympic team. Unfortunately for Hughes, he was cut shortly before the Olympics and missed out on being part of the Miracle team. 

Bruce Eakin
From 1981 to 1986 Bruce Eakin scored 2 goals and 4 points in 13 career NHL games. He played for the Calgary Flames and later the Detroit Red Wings. Eakin spent most of his pro hockey career in Germany, playing until 1999.

Mike McMahon jr.
The son of an NHLer by the same name, Mike McMahon jr. played over 200 games in both the NHL and WHA. In the NHL McMahon played for the Rangers, North Stars, Blackhawks, Red Wings, Penguins and Sabres. He passed away in 2013.

Dave Rochefort
Dave Rochefort played 1 game in the NHL with the 1966/67 Detroit Red Wings. His most success came as a junior hockey player, winning the Memorial Cup in 1963 and 1966 with the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Earl Ingarfield jr.
From 1979 to 1982 Earl Ingarfield jr. played 39 games in the NHL. He played for the Atlanta/Calgary Flames and Detroit Red Wings. His father, Earl Sr., had a long career in the NHL.

Ken Mann
Undrafted forward Ken Mann played 1 game in the NHL with the 1975/76 Detroit Red Wings. He was a star junior player who scored 44 goals in just 58 games with the 72/73 Windsor Spitfires.

Doug Halward
From 1975 to 1989 Doug Halward played 653 regular season games in the NHL. The defenseman put up a very respectable 293 points over a career that saw him play for the Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings,Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers.

Ray Staszak
Ray Staszak was a star college player who scored 37 goals and 72 points in just 38 games with the 1984/85 University of Illinois-Chicago hockey team. The Detroit Red Wings won a bidding frenzy for the free agent Staszak and Staszak became the first college hockey player to sign a million dollar NHL contract. It was huge money in 1985 and caused a ripple throughout the league. Staszak's NHL career, however, only lasted 4 games with the Red Wings. He scored 21 points in 26 AHL games but was forced to retired after part of just one pro hockey season due to injuries.

Tom Mellor
A Boston College alumni, Tom Mellor is most notable for helping the United States take home a silver medal from the 1972 Olympics. Mellor later played 26 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings.

Jim Shires
From 1970 to 1973 Jim Shires played 56 games in the NHL. He was a member of the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Pittsburgh Penguins. He was originally signed by the Red Wings as a free agent who had played 4 years of college hockey at the University of Denver.

Pat Rupp
Goalie Pat Rupp played 1 NHL game with the 1963/64 Detroit Red Wings. He's most notable for his International career, representing the United States at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics.

Danny Gruen
From 1972 to 1974 Danny Gruen played 20 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings. He then spent three seasons in the rival WHA before returning to the NHL in 1976/77 to play for the Colorado Rockies. Gruen scored 9 goals and 22 points in 49 career NHL games.

Ed Stankiewicz
From 1953 to 1956 Ed Stankiewicz played 6 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings. His brother, Myron, also played in the NHL.

Doug McKay
Doug McKay played just 1 game in the NHL and it came during the 1950 NHL playoffs with the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings went on to win the championship but McKay's name was left off the trophy. In a rare feat, he also won the AHL's Calder Cup in 1950 with the Indianapolis Capitals. He was a much bigger part of that team's win.

Al Jensen
From 1980 to 1987 goalie Al Jensen appeared in 179 NHL games. He played for the Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings. Jensen and Pat Riggin won the 1983/84 William M. Jennings Trophy for backstopping the Capitals to the NHL's lowest goals against average that season. Internationally, he represented Canada at the 1977 and 1978 World Juniors. Jensen has been a long-time NHL scout since hanging up his skates.

Bob Hoffmeyer
From 1977 to 1985 Bob Hoffmeyer played a couple hundred games in the NHL, dressing with the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils. From 1987 to 1989 Hoffmeyer briefly returned to the NHL as an assistant coach with the Devils. He then turned to scouting as has been a Devils pro scout since 1993.

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Clare Drake
Clare Drake is best know for his time at the University of Alberta where he coached the school's hockey team for nearly 30 years with great success. In 1975/76, Drake spent time as head coach of the WHA's Edmonton Oilers. From 1989 to 1991 he had a short stint in the NHL as an assistant coach with the Winnipeg Jets. In 2017, Drake was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Back from a Hobby Break - Mail


   Not much to show for TTM returns because I've taken my longest break from the hobby in about a decade. Most of these come from a single COMC.com package as well as a couple cheap eBay buys. 
TTM returns have been brutal all year. I would have expected a few responses to trickle in, but nothing in a couple months. That's a little disappointing considering the hundreds of outstanding requests I have from the past few years. 

   A total of 18 new NHL autographs to share. The grand total is now 5,518 unique signatures for 74% of everyone to ever play in the NHL. 

Teuvo Teravainen
Finn Teuvo Teravainen was drafted 18th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012. He made his NHL debut with the 2013/14 Hawks as their top prospect. During the 2015 NHL playoffs, Teravainen scored 4 goals and 10 points in 19 games as he and the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. With salary cap restrictions looming, the Hawks traded Teravainen to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2016.

Noah Hanifin
Defenseman Noah Hanifin was drafted 5th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2015 after a year at Boston College. He immediately jumped to the NHL and is entering his third full season as a Carolina Hurricane. Internationally, Hanifin represented the United States at the 2015 World Juniors along with the 2016 and 2017 World Championships. 

Tobias Rieder
German Tobias Rieder was orginally drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 2011. In 2013, he was traded to the Coyotes. Rieder caught on immediately with the Coyotes and is entering his fourth season in the NHL. He's score 43 goals in 234 games with Arizona so far. Internationally, he's represented Germany at the World Juniors and the World Championships. 

Robb Zepp
I LOVE this card. Its nothing short of amazing that 14 years after this card was released Zepp made his NHL debut. Rob Zepp played 10 NHL games as a 32 year old rookie with the 2014/15 Philadelphia Flyers. He was originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999. To put that into context, the Thrashers drafted Zepp in the franchise's first NHL draft. By the time Zepp made his NHL debut, the team didn't exist anymore. Zepp was a well traveled goalie before making it to the NHL. His stops included a full 7 seasons in Germany with the Berlin Polar Bears. 

Andrei Vasilevskiy 
Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was drafted 19th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012. He's recently emerged as Tampa's #1 goalie and is entering his fourth year as a member of the NHL club. He's represented Russian Internationally on numerous occasions. He has two bronze medals and a silver from three World Junior tournaments. He also has a Gold medal from the 2014 World Championships and a Bronze from the 2017 World Championships.

Juuse Saros
Finn Juuse Saros was drafted 99th overall by the Nashville Predators in 2013. He's emerged as a reliable NHL backup goalie and has appeared in 22 games with the Nashville Predators. Internationally, he won a Gold medal at the 2014 World Juniors and a Silver medal at the 2016 World Championships.

Derek Ryan
Derek Ryan ended his junior career in 2007 as an undrafted free agent. He spent 4 years at the University of Alberta and then another 3 playing in Europe. In 2015, he signed his first NHL contract and made his NHL debut with the 2015/16 Carolina Hurricanes. The 28 year old rookie forward broke all the odds and has played 73 NHL games with Carolina, scoring a respectable 13 goals and 31 points. 

Colton Parayko
The St. Louis Blues drafted defenseman Colton Parayko in 2012 and at the time he had been playing Junior A hockey in Alberta. He attended the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and made his NHL debut with the 2015/16 St. Louis Blues. He made an immediate impact, played the entire season and was named to the NHL All-Rookie team. In 2017, he represented Canada at the World Championships and brought home a Silver medal. He was also named to the tournament's All-Star team. 

Esa Lindell
Esa Lindell made his NHL debut with the 2015/16 Dallas Stars and has since played 77 NHL games with Dallas. Internationally, he's represented Finland at the World Juniors, World Championships and World Cup. He won Gold at the World Juniors in 2014 and Silver at the World Championships in 2016. 

Brandan Leipsic
Brandan Leipsic was drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2010. In 2015, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs and played 6 NHL games with the 2015/16 Leafs. He scored a goal and a couple assists. This past off-season he was claimed by the Las Vegas Knights in the expansion draft. His mother was actually an Olympic gymnast. 

Nikita Soshnikov
From 2015 to 2017 Russian forward Nikita Soshnikov scored 7 goals and 14 points in 67 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was signed by the Leafs in 2015 as an undrafted free agent.

Nikita Tryamkin
Defenseman Nikita Tryamkin was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in 2014. From 2015 to 2017 he played 79 NHL games for the club. Internationally, he represented Russia at the 2014 World Juniors and brought home a bronze medal. 

Shayne Gostisbehere
Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was drafted by the Flyers in 2012 and in 2013 he won a Gold medal at the World Juniors with the United States. He was an NCAA All-Star but still wasn't considered a premier prospect until he reached the NHL. Gostisbehere took the NHL by storm in his rookie season. He emerged to be one of the NHL's top rookies, was named to the league's All-Rookie team and was 2nd in voting for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. In 2016, he participated in the World Cup of Hockey with Team North America.

Brandon DeFazio
An undrafted forward, Brandon DeFazio attended Clarkson University from 2007 to 2011. He spent the next few seasons in the AHL before making his NHL debut with the 2015/16 Vancouver Canucks. DeFazio played 2 career NHL games with the Canucks. He later was property of the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins but couldn't make it back to the NHL with either club. 

Joseph Blandisi
Joseph Blandisi was originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 2012. The club never signed him and in 2015 he signed with the New Jersey Devils as a free agent. He scored 52 goals in his last year of junior in the OHL and finished 2nd only to Connor McDavid as league MVP. Blandisi has gone on to play 68 NHL games with the Devils, scoring 8 goals and 26 points. 

Bo Horvat
The Vancouver Canucks drafted Bo Horvath 9th overall in 2013. Horvat had been a junior star with the London Knigs. He made his NHL debut with the 2014/15 Canucks and is entering his fourth season as an NHL regular. Last season he scored 20 goals and 52 points for the Canucks, making him the team's leading scorer in both points and goals.

Oliver Kylington
Swedish defenseman Oliver Kylington was drafted 60th overall by the Calgary Flames in 2015. He played 1 game in the NHL for the Flames in 2015/16 as an 18 year old rookie. Internationally, he represented Sweden at the World Junior Championships in 2017.

Shaun Sabol
Defenseman Shawn Sabot dressed in 2 NHL games with the 1989/90 Philadelphia Flyers. He's also notable for winning the 1988 Calder Cup in the AHL with the Hershey Bears.
I picked up this autograph and the following Larocque signature from an old AHL program.

Denis Larocque
In 1986, defenseman Denis Larocque won the Memorial Cup with the OHL's Guelph Platters. That summer he was drafted 44th overall by the Los Angeles King. Larocque recorded 1 assist and 18 penalty minutes in 8 career NHL games with the 1987/88 Los Angeles kings. He did get record a fight with one of the NHL's most famous tough guys, Bob Propert. He was later traded to the New York Rangers but only played for their minor league team.

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And to finish off the mail post, a few hockey autographs that fall outside of the NHL collection...

Craig Hillier
The Penguins drafted Craig Hillier 23rd overall in the 1996 NHL draft. He was a top goalie prospect who never lived up to his potential. Craig Hillier appeared in 3 NHL games with the 1998/99 Pittsburgh Penguins as a backup.

Zachary Fucale
Zach Fucale had a sensational junior career playing with the Halifax Mooseheads and with Team Canada. In 2013, he won a Memorial Cup and in 2015 he won a Gold medal at the World Juniors. The Montreal Canadiens drafted Fucale 36th overall in 2013. He's appeared in 4 NHL games as a backup with the Habs but has yet to see any official time between the pipes. 

Marie-Philip Poulin
Marie-Philip Poulin won Olympic Gold with Canada in 2010 and 2014. In 2010 she scored both goals as Canada beat US 2-0 to claim Olympic victory. In 2014 she one again scored the game winning Olympic goal, this time in overtime to give Canada another Gold. Since 2015 she's been captain of Canada's National team.

Catherine Ward
Defenseman Catherine Ward won Olympic Gold in 2010 and 2014 with Canada. Ward is a member of the women's Triple Gold Club, having won Olympic Gold, a Women's World Championship Gold and the Clarkson Cup.

Dan O'Toole
I have the Jay Onrait from this set and it just looked so lonely withtout the O'Toole. Years ago this pair was the best thing about getting out of bed in the morning. It was a ritual to watch their show at breakfast. In 2013 they left TSN for jobs at Fox Sports in America. That gig didn't last and now Jay and Dan are back on Canadian TV. He and Jay started at TSN in 2003.

Jason Priestley
I keep a wantlist of all the NHL related 'fans of the game' autographs but I don't normally go out of my way to pick them up. I only do so when the price makes sense. I'm not nearly as well versed in pop-culture as I am in the sports world so I didn't even know to Jason Priestley was before this card. He's a Canadian actor who's best known for his role in Beverly Hills 90210.
My beef with these particular cards is Upper Deck's usual laziness. They don't have any explanation of why Priestley is a Canucks fan. When Panini produced Fans of Game subsets, at least they included an explanation of why that particular fan is worthy of a hockey card. I had to do my own research to confirm that Priestley is indeed a big Canucks fan

Lindsay Crouse
This seems like a very unsual autograph autograph to feature in a hockey signature post eh? Well, there is a very good explanation for this oddball signature. I've been attempting to get an autograph of  all the main cast members of the great 1977 hockey movie Slap Shot. Lindsay Crouse played Lily Braden, wife of Chiefs star player Ned Braden.