Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A WHA Kind of Day

86 NHL autographs in this mail post.  Since 3 of the Motown Madness autographs replace old TTM autographs my grand total grows by 83 signatures to reach 2,995 unique NHL autographs.  I also obtained 10 new signatures for my growing WHA collection.   

Parker MacDonald and Ron Harris
Both long time NHLers, Parker MacDonald and Ron Harris received their first certified autograph in ITG's Motown Madness.  They replace TTM signatures I had previously obtained of both players.
Joakim Andersson and Connie Dion
I was happy to see Joakim Andersson included in this set because Upper Deck and Panini failed to get his autograph into one of their products last year.  When a player doesn't get a certified autograph during their rookie year Its unlikely they will ever get one.  Andersson has also emerged as a solid player for the Red Wings.
ITG went the extra mile to track down Connie Dion for this product.  The former goalie played 40+ games for the Wings between 1943 and 1945.  He's one of the last living players from his era.  I had previously obtained his autograph TTM. 
Brian Glennie and Greg Terrion
Brian Glennie spent 9 seasons with the Maple Leafs in the 1970s and retired after a year with the LA Kings in 1979.  He's notable for being a member of Team Canada's 1972 Summit Series victory. 
Greg Terrion started his career with the LA Kings in 1980 but is best known for his 6 seasons as a Maple Leaf.  He was mostly a bottom line forward and I was surprised to see his name on the checklist for this set.  
Jonas Andersson
Jonas Anderson played 5 games for the 2001/02 Nashville Predators and 4 games for the 2010/11 Vancouver Canucks.  This rare KHL issue is my favourite card of the post because its Andersson's first and only certified autograph and I really like these SeReal cards.  Its my fourth card from the set with a couple more on the way.  
Dennis Riggin and Barry Brust
I was surprised to see Dennis Riggin's name show up in a couple new sets.  I would have never thought he would have gotten a certified autograph.  He only played a total of 18 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings.  His son Pat also became an NHL goalie.
Barry Brust tended net on 11 occasions for the 2006/07 Los Angeles Kings.
Michael Leighton and Corey Schwab
Michael Leighton has played 100+ NHL games between the Blackhawks, Predators, Hurricanes and most notably the Flyers.  
Corey Schwab played just under 150 career NHL games.  He won a Stanley Cup as the Devils backup goalie in 2003.  
Rick Vaive
Rick Vaive is one of the most notable players in Toronto Maple Leaf history as he scored 50+ goals for the team on three separate occasions.  
Al Iafrate and Chris Pronger
After being chosen 4th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1984 Al Iafrate immediately started his stellar NHL career.  The defenseman made 4 All-Star game appearances and is notable for holding the league's hardest shot record for 16 years.  
Future Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Pronger's resume includes 2 Olympic Gold Medals, a Stanley Cup, Norris Trophy and Hart Trophy.  
Keith Tkachuk and Claude Lemieux
A 5 time NHL All-Star, Keith Tkachuk retired with over 500 goals and 1000 points scored.  Had the Rocket Richard Trophy existed in 1997 he would have claimed it with a league leading 52 goals. 
Known as a playoff performer, Claude Lemieux won the Stanley Cup 4 times with 3 different teams.  He won the Conn Smythe as an Avalanche in 1995.  He does look rather out of place in this Coyotes uniform.
Craig Simpson and John Cullen
Current HNIC broadcaster Craig Simpson won the Stanley Cup twice as an Edmonton Oiler, 1988 and 1990.  He's also served as an assistant coach with the Oilers.
A 2 time NHL All-Star, John Cullen scored 100+ points during the 1990/91 season.  He won the 1999 Bill Masterton Trophy for overcoming cancer to play for the Lightning.  
Doug Brown and Bruce Shoebottom
A veteran of nearly 1000 NHL games, Doug Brown won the Stanley Cup twice as a Detroit Red Wing, in 1997 and 1998.
Bruce Shoebottom is one of the strangest autographs to appear in a recent product.  He was an enforcer who only played 35 career NHL games.  He must have a fan at Panini.  
Corey Perry and Tie Domi
Corey Perry's impressive resume includes a Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold medal, Hart Trophy, Rocket Richard Trophy, numerous All-Star appearances and a Memorial Cup.  
Tie Domi has the third most penalty minutes in NHL history with over 3500.  He was a childhood favourite of mine and doesn't have all that many autograph releases so I'm extra happy to add him to my collection.  
Sylvain Cote and Sergio Momesso
Sylvain Cote retired in 2003 with 1200+ NHL games played.  In 19 seasons he was unable to win the Stanley Cup although he did make it to the finals with the 2000 Dallas Stars.
Sergio Momesso spent 13 seasons in the NHL.  He was a member of the 1986 Montreal Canadiens but injuries sidelined him for the playoffs and although he has a Stanley Cup ring, his name was left off the trophy.
Stephane Richer and Geoff Courtnall
Stephane Richer scored 50+ goals in a season twice for the Montreal Canadiens.  He retired with 1000+ games played and won the Stanley Cup twice, in 1986 and 1995.  
Geoff Courtnall retired in 2000 with well over 1000 games played.  He won a Stanley Cup with the 1988 Edmonton Oilers.  
JP Dumont and Niklas Hagman
Jean-Pierre Dumont played 800+ NHL games and scored 20+ goals in a season 6 times.  He played for the Blackhawks, Sabres and Predators.
A vet of 800 NHL games, Niklas Hagman's best season was a 27 goal performance for the 2007/08 Dallas Stars.  
Matt Bradley and Marty Reasoner
Between 2000 and 2012 Matt Bradley played 700+ NHL games.   He established himself as a solid third and fourth line right winger.  
Currently a member of the New York Islanders, Marty Reasoner has been in the NHL since making his debut for the 1998/99 St. Louis Blues.  
Jiri Slegr and Mika Alatalo
Jiri Slegr played over 600 NHL games between the Canucks, Oilers, Penguins, Thrashers, Red Wings and Bruins. He won an Olympic Gold medal with the Czech team in 1998.  His father is former NHLer Jiri Bubla.
Finnish forward Mika Alatalo spent 2 seasons in North America with the Phoenix Coyotes.  
Ron Hainsey and Lasse Pirjeta
In 2011 Ron Hainsey followed the defunct Thrashers team to Winnipeg were he became an original member of the reincarnated Jets team.  The 13th overall draft pick from 2000 was a major figure on the players side of the 12/13 lockout. 
Between 2002 and 2006 Finn Lasse Pirjeta played just short of 150 NHL games between the Blue Jackets and Penguins. 
Jaroslav Modry and Jason Blake
Between 1993 and 2008 Jaroslav Modry played well over 700 NHL games.  
Winner of the 2008 Bill Masterton Trophy for overcoming leukaemia, Jason Blake's best season was a 40 goal year in 2006/07 as a New York Islander.  
Jamie Baker and Rob Ray
Through the 1990s Jamie Baker saw 400+ games of NHL action between the Nordiques, Senators, Sharks and Maple Leafs.  He's currently a color commentator for the San Jose Sharks.
Rob Ray retired with over 3000 career penalty minutes, 6th most in NHL history.
Kevin Hatcher and Donald Brashear
United States Hockey Hall of Famer Kevin Hatcher played in 5 NHL All-Star games.  He retired with well over 1000 games played.
Enforcer Donald Brashear was one of the league's most feared fighters in his prime.  He left the NHL with over 1000 games played and 2500+ penalty minutes. 
Mattias Weinhandl and Fernando Pisani
Swede Mattias Weinhandl played 180+ NHL games between the Islanders and Wild.  
Fernando Pisani retired with just shy of 500 career NHL games played.  His only season playing outside of Edmonton was his last, in 2010/11, when he played for the Blackhawks.  His most notable accomplishment is leading the 2006 NHL playoffs in goals scored with 14 when his Oilers reached the finals.  
Ryan Jones and John Mitchell
Ryan Jones has played 282 NHL games between the Predators and his current team, the Oilers.
John Mitchell has just under 300 career NHL games played on his resume.  He has dressed for the Leafs, Rangers and Avalanche.  
Zac Rinaldo and Matt Read
Tough guy Zac Rinaldo has 300+ penalty minutes in less than 100 regular season NHL games.  
Undrafted university graduate Matt Read scored 24 goals as a rookie with the 11/12 Philly Flyers.
Brian Strait and Corey Tropp
Brian Strait broke into the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins but found a permanent spot with the 2012/13 New York Islanders after being claimed from waivers.  
Corey Tropp played 34 NHL games for the 2011/12 Buffalo Sabres.  
Denis Hamel and Filip Novak
Denis Hamel played just under 200 NHL games while dressing for the Sabres, Senators, Thrashers and Flyers.
Filip Novak played 11 games for the 2005/06 Ottawa Senators and 6 games for the 2006/07 Columbus Blue Jackets.  
Mike Weber and Eric Gelinas
Since 2007 Defenseman Mike Weber has played just shy of 200 NHL games for the Buffalo Sabres.
So far Eric Gelinas has played 1 NHL game, for the 2012/13 New Jersey Devils.    
Nathan Smith and Christian Backman
Between 2003 and 2010 Nathan Smith played 30 career NHL games.  He dressed for the Canucks, Penguins and Wild.
A veteran of 300+ NHL games, Christian Backman won an Olympic Gold medal with team Sweden in 2006.  
Brodie Dupont and Braydon Coburn
Brodie Dupont is a 'one game wonder' having dressed in a single contest for the 2010/11 New York Rangers.  
Picked 8th overall in the 2003 NHL draft by the Atlanta Thrashers, Braydon Coburn is coming off his seventh season as a Philadelphia Flyer.  
David Savard and Jonathan Matsumoto
Offensive defenseman David Savard has 10 points in 35 career NHL games for the Columbus Blue Jackets.  
Jon Matsumoto played 13 games for the 2010/11 Carolina Hurricanes and 1 game for the 2011/12 Florida Panthers.  He scored 2 NHL goals as a member of the Canes.  
Joel Rechlicz and Chris Thorburn
Joel Rechlicz fought his way into 26 career NHL games between the Islanders and Capitals.  He's a goon if there ever was one, scoring only 9 points in his entire pro hockey career since 2004.  
Chris Thorburn has played 468 career NHL games between the Sabres, Penguins, Thrashers and Jets.  He's an original member of the reincarnated Jets team.  
Alec Martinez and Daniel Girardi
Alec Martinez helped the Los Angeles Kings win the 2012 Stanley Cup.  He played in all 20 games during the team's playoff run.
An alumni of the 2005 London Kings, one of the best junior teams ever assembled, Dan Girardi has spent his entire 500+ NHL game career with the New York Rangers.  He was a 2012 NHL All-Star.  

Riley Cote and Jay Leach
Between 2006 and 2010 Riley Cote fought his way through 150+ NHL games with the New Jersey Devils.  He's currently an assistant coach in the AHL.
Jay Leach played 70 NHL games and has dressed for the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens and San Jose Sharks.  
Lynn Powis and Murray Hall
Lynn Powis played 2 seasons in the NHL, one with the Blackhawks and the other with the Kansas City Scouts.  He later spent three years in the WHA.
Between 1961 and 1972 Murray Hall played 150+ NHL games between the Blackhawks, Red Wings, North Stars and Canucks.  He also spent four seasons with the WHA's Houston Aeros.  
Bob Cunningham and Bill Fairbairn
Bob Cunningham played 4 games for the New York Rangers in the early 1960s.  He sent me a nice typed letter apologizing for the short delay.  
Bill Fairbairn played 700+ NHL games between the Rangers, North Stars and Blues.  
Scott Sandelin and Jeff Teal
Scott Sandelin saw 25 games in the NHL between the Habs, Flyers and North Stars.
Jeff Teal played 6 games for the 1984/85 Montreal Canadiens.  
John Gruden and Dave Forbes
John Gruden played 95 games in the NHL, most recently with the 2003/04 Washington Capitals.
Dave Forbes spent half a dozen season in the NHL, playing for the Bruins and Capitals.  He also spent a year in the WHA with the Cincinnati Stingers. 
Pat Murray and Jeff Harding
Pat Murray played 25 games for the Philadelphia Flyers in the early 1990s.  
Jeff Harding played 15 career NHL games for the Flyers.  He's got a pretty weak autograph and also signed in pencil.  
Marquis Mathieu and Claudio Scremin
Between 1998 and 2001 Marquis Mathieu played 16 games for the Boston Bruins.  
Claudio Scremin only played 17 NHL games but holds a place in history as being one of the original San Jose Sharks of 1991/92.  
Myles O'Connor and John Hilworth
Myles O'Connor split his 43 game NHL career between the Devils and Mighty Ducks.  He suited up in 5 games with the inaugural 93/94 expansion Anaheim team. 
John Hilworth played 57 career NHL games for the Detroit Red Wings. 
Nick Beverley and Chris Tancill
Nick Beverley played 500+ NHL games between the Bruins, Penguins, Rangers, North Stars, Kings and Rockies. 
Chris Tancill played 144 games in the NHL.  He dressed for the Whalers, Red Wings, Stars and Sharks.
Randy Skarda and Randy Holt
Randy Skarda played 26 games for the St. Louis Blues.  
Between 1974 and 1984 Randy Holt played 400+ NHL games between the Blackhawks, Canucks, Kings, Flames, Capitals and Flyers.  
Jean-Marc Routhier and Wayne King
Jean-Marc Routhier played 8 games for the 1989/90 Quebec Nordiques.  
Wayne King played all 73 of his career NHL games for the California Seals.  He recorded 5 goals and 23 points.  
Jim Jackson and Todd Okerlund
Jim Jackson played 100+ games for the Calgary Flames during 1980s and a few games for the Buffalo Sabres in the late 80s.
Todd Okerlund played 4 games for the 1987/88 New York Islanders. His father is famous wrestling announcer Mean Gene Okerlund.  

I also received 10 additional autographs of players who only played in the World Hockey Association.  These are not counted in my grand total.   
Russ Gillow and Bill Berglund
Russ Gillow spent four seasons in the WHA, two with the Los Angeles Sharks and two with the San Diego Mariners.  He made a brief appearance in the NHL as a Flyer backup goalie.  You can read the story here
Bill Berglund played 5 WHA games for the New England Whalers.  
Leif Holmqvist and Brad Buetow
Leif Holmqvist spent 1 season in North America, playing 19 games for the 1975/75 Indianapolis Racers.
Brad Buetow played 1 season in the WHA, 25 games for the 1973/74 Cleveland Crusaders.  
Bob Ash and John Gray
Bob Ash played 200+ WHA games between the Winnipeg Jets and Indianapolis Racers.
John Gray spent 5 season in the WHA.  He played for the Roadrunners, Aeros and Jets.  He won the Avco Cup with the 1979 Jets.  
Brian Gibbons and Frank Golembrosky
Brian Gibbons spent 3 full seasons in the WHA.  His brother Gerard also played in the league.
Frank Golembrosky spent 1 year in the WHA.  He played for both the Philadelphia Blazers and Quebec Nordiques.  
Mike Hobin and Tom Cottringer
Mike Hobin played 77 games for the Phoenix Roadrunners over 2 seasons.  He scored a modest 18 goals and 37 points.  
Goalie Tom Cottringer tended net twice for the 1972/73 Philadelphia Blazers.  

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