Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mail - Package from COMC

17 new autographs to show in this post. They raise the grand total of unique NHL player signatures in the collection to 4,885 for 67% of everyone who's ever dressed in the league. 

They all came in one package from As my certified autograph want list withers down to only new players (post 2013/14 debuts), my buying from has slowed accordingly. With Upper Deck given an unfair advantage to run the NHL hockey card hobby, the amount of new NHL payers with certified autographs had gone down fairly significantly. Pannini was great with diversifying their rookie signatures in products. Upper Deck, however, gets a handful of rookies to sign and put those same guys in almost every set. I wish the NHLPA valued the collector over their bottom line because if they did they might do something to help the already dying hockey card industry. I'm glad Leaf has picked up ITG's place in producing some unlicensed cards to produce some kind of competition for Upper Deck, albeit highly unfair for Leaf. 
I've been resisting the temptation to buy some of the newest NHL player signatures until they inevitably come down in price to a couple dollars or less. Recently, I've been focusing much of my time and efforts finding, writing and sending TTM letters. Really hoping to hit the 5,000 mark soon and it gives me a lot of motivation to send new letters because I'm so close. 

Cam Neely
From 1983 to 1996 Cam Neely scored 395 goals and 694 points in 726 career regular season games in the NHL. During the 1993/94 season Neely scored 50 goals in less than 50 games, one of only a handful of NHLers ever to accomplish the feat. Unfortunately, his career was cut shorty by injuries. Neely was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005. 

John Blue
From 1992 to 1996 John Blue played 46 NHL games between the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres. Blue represented the USA at the 1988 Olympics with the team finishing 7th. He was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets and later traded traded to the Minnsota North Stars but it wasn't until he signed with the Bruins as a free agent that he got his first taste of the NHL. It was really surprised to see John Blue on this checklist, he's one of the last guys I'd expect to get a modern day NHL cert, but also happy because I hadn't been able to locate him for a TTM request. 

Seth Helgeson
Defenceman Seth Helgeson was drafted in 2009, spent four years at the University of Minnesota and made his NHL debut in 2014 with New Jersey. He's since played 39 career NHL games with the Devils. I don't usually add The Cup rookie patches to my collection since the cheapest autograph usually does just the same for me. In this case, Helgeson's best rookie was had for only a couple bucks. Its a good reason why I don't buy packs/boxes anymore, especially products as expensive as the Cup.

Klas Dahlbeck
Swedish defenceman Klas Dahlbeck made his NHL debut with the 2014/15 Chicago Blackhawks and in the same season he was traded to the Arizona Coyotes. He's since become a full time member of the Arizona blue line and has played in almost 90 career NHL games. Unlike Helgeson, this Cup rookie was on my want list because its Dahlbeck's only certified autograph.

Scott Mayfield
Since 2014, defenceman Scott Mayfield has played 8 regular season and 2 playoff games in the NHL with the New York Islanders. The former University of Denver player was drafted 34th overall by the Islanders in 2011.

Jan Mursak
From 2010 to 2013 Jan Mursak scored 2 goals and 4 points in 46 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings. Mursak, a Slovenian, represented his county at the 2014 Winter Olympics. This particular autograph has been on my want list for a while and It leaves me with only two autographs left of the 149 players who made their debuts during the 2010/11 NHL season. I patiently waited a rather long time for this autograph, that is until I could get one for a few dollars. Its his only certified autograph. 

Filip Forsberg
Filip Forsberg was drafted 11th overall by the Washington Capitals in 2012 but was traded to the Nashville Predators before making his NHL debut. The Swedish forward quickly developed into a star scorer with Nashville and in 2015 represented the Predators at the NHL All-Star game. 

Darnell Nurse
The Edmonton Oilers drafted Darnell Nurse 7th overall in the 2013 NHL draft. The big defenceman has already played over 60 NHL games with Edmonton. Darnell's father, Richard, was a former CFL pro football player.

Liam O'Brien
An undrafted grinder, Liam O'Brien was invited to Washington's 2014 training camp. He surprised everyone by earning a three-year contract and starting job on Washington's roster. He scored 1 goal and  2 points in 13 games with the Capitals to start the 2014/15 NHL season. He finished the season in the AHL and hasn't been back in the NHL since. 

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is in his second season as a full time member of the Philadelphia Flyers. He's already played 142 games in the NHL, scoring 11 goals and 22 points. Bellemare is one of only five NHL players to have been born and raised in France. He's an undrafted player who spent most of his career playing pro in Sweden. He was recently signed by the Flyers and made his NHL debut as a 29 year old NHL rookie in 2015. 

Brett Ritchie
The Dallas Stars drafted Brett Ritchie with the 44th pick of the 2011 NHL draft. Since 2014 he's played 36 games with the Dallas Stars. His brother, Nick, also plays in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks. 

Luke Glendening
The Red Wings signed Luke Glendening as a free agent after he completed four seasons at the University of Michigan. He was team captain in his last two season of college hockey. Since 2013 Glendening has played over 200 NHL games with the Red Wings. 

Kyle Baun
Since 2015 Kyle Baun has played 5 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks. Undrafted, Baun was signed as a free agent by the Blackhawks after three years at Colgate University. He's actually the grandson of Toronto Maple Leafs legend Bob Baun. 

Josh Anderson
Josh Anderson had a strong junior career. His London Knights won the Ontario Hockey League championship in 2012 and 2013. Anderson and the Knights played for the Memorial Cup in 2012, 2013 and 2014, coming up short each time. In 2014 Anderson also played for Team Canada at the World Juniors, finishing a disappointing fourth place. Anderson made his NHL debut with the 2014/15 Blue Jackets and in his career has recorded 1 goal and 4 points in 16 NHL games with Columbus.

Philip Samuelsson
Since 2013 Philip Samuelsson has payed 12 NHL games between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Arizona Coyotes. Samuelsson is a Swedish defenceman who's spent most of his life in North America. His father, Ulf, had a lengthy NHL career and his brother, Henrik, has also played in the NHL and is also with the Coyotes organization. It looks likely that this will be Philip Samuelsson's only certified autograph since he didn't get any official NHL autograph card during his rookie year. 

Andrew Copp
Andrew Copp was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 2013 after his first year of college at the University of Michigan. In 2015 he jumped from college to the NHL as has been a full time Winnipeg Jet ever since. The Michigan native has already played 66 NHL games with the Jets, contributing 3 goals and 7 points. 

Nick Shore
Nick Shore was drafted by Los Angeles in the third round of the 2011 NHL draft, he had just completed his first year at the University of Denver. Shore has already played nearly 100 NHL games with LA and has been a full time member of the team this season. His brother, Drew, also plays in the NHL.

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