Friday, December 16, 2016

Mail - 13 New Graphs

I have a total of 13 new autographs to show since the last post, 11 for the NHL collection and 2 additional hockey signatures. The 11 new NHL autographs makes the new grand total 5,147 unique NHL signatures for 69% of everyone whose ever played in the league.

There isn't a large amount of autographs to show since my last mail post, but that's for good reason. I recently won a nice lot of team signed sheets from Classic Auctions that has eaten up most of my budget but will soon produce a great post of new and rarer signatures. I also have a nice little package on the way from COMC with my Black Friday sales purchases. At this rate I should be starting 2017 at, or very nearly at, the 70% completion mark. 

Grant McNeill
Tough defenceman Grant McNeill played 3 games in the NHL with the 2003/04 Florida Panthers and recorded 1 fight. McNeill later spent time in the Washington Capitals organizations, playing a few preseason games for the club, but never made it back to the NHL regular season. He wrote back that his career highlight was his NHL fight with tough guy Chris Simon and winning 2 Calder Cups in the AHL. McNeil noted in his reply that his signature has changed since leaving hockey. 

Dan Woodley
The Vancouver Canucks drafted Dan Woodley 7th overall in 1986 after seeing him lead the WHL's Portland Winterhawks to the Memorial Cup finals. In his first season of pro hockey Woodley was named the IHL's Rookie of the Year and earned a 5 game NHL call up with the Canucks, scoring 2 goals. Unfortunately for Woodley and the Canucks, that would be the extent of his NHL career. 

Taylor Hall
Yes, this is the original Taylor Hall NHL player, born 1964. In the mid 1980s Taylor Hall played 41 games in the NHL, scoring 7 goals and 16 points. He dressed for both the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. It was my third or fourth time trying Hall via the Tulsa Oilers, a team he has long managed. I'm glad to get this one off the wantlist simply because it would be a headache finding his autograph with that other player who bears the same name.

Jean-Guy Trudel
Jean-Guy Trudel played 1 game with the 1999/00 Phoenix Coyotes, 3 games with the 2001/02 Coyotes and 1 game with the 2002/03 Minnesota Wild for a total of 5 career games in the NHL. The undrafted forward played pro hockey until 2010 and has recently been head coach of the Peoria Rivermen. I can't say Trudel has an overly impressive signature, especially for someone who can't get many requests for it. Although I am grateful he took the time to return my request, I'm always a little disappointed when I get a signature that's hardly more than a couple checkmarks. 

Jan Hejda
From 2006 to 2015 defenceman Jan Hejda played well over 600 games in the NHL. The Czech split most of that time between the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets. Internationally Hejda won a gold with Czech Republic at the 2005 World Championships, a Silver at the 2006 World Championships and represented his country at the 2010 Olympics. I must add that very few people can play so long in today's NHL and never get a certified autograph, something I was waiting for but never came as Hejda's NHL career appears over.

Iiro Jarvi
Unfortunately Jarvi signed the autograph in a marker than was on its final legs. Fortunately, the autograph is clearer in hand, bad scan, so I'll put it in the collection but might send another to Jarvi down the road. Iiro Jarvi played 116 NHL games for the Quebec Nordiques from 1988 to 1990. The Finn netted 18 goals and 61 points for the Nords. He was instrumental in helping Finland capture Silver at the 1988 Olympics, scoring 7 points in 8 games over the tournament.

Billy McNeill
From 1956 to 1964 Billy McNeill played 257 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, scoring 21 goals and 67 points. It bothers me that the creator of the card left an "l" off his name so I may turn it into a custom index someday. McNeill passed away in 2007.

Tony Curtale
Drafted 31st overall by Calgary in 1980, defenceman Tony Curtale played 2 NHL games for the Flames in 1980/81, and spent the rest of the year in junior. He made the jump to pro hockey for the 1982/83 season but never made it back up to the NHL.

Thomas Eriksson
From 1980 to 1986 Swedish defenceman Thoms Eriksson played over 200 games in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers. He represented Sweden at the 1980 and 1988 Olympics, taking home a bronze each time. He's also notable for being the first European trained player to play for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Steve Wojciechowski (also signed Steve Wochy on back)
Steve Wojciechowski aka Steve Wochy played 54 regular season games in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings between 1944 and 1947. 

Orval Tessier
Orval Tessier played 4 games for the 1954/55 Montreal Canadiens, 23 games for the 1955/56 Boston Bruins and 32 games for the 1960/61 Bruins for a total of 59 career NHL games. Tessier later returned to the NHL as a head coach with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1980s. I had tried sending to Tessier a multiples times but never got a response. With the last RTS I decided to spring for a cheap lot of old AHL signatures that had just one autograph I needed, this Tessier.


Autographs #12 and #13 of this post fall outside of my NHL collection. One goes in my WHA binder and the other in my NHL officials binder.

Don Larway
From 1974 to 1979 Don Larway played well over 300 games in the WHA, suiting up for the Houston Aeros and Indianapolis Racers. He was a solid player who put up three seasons of 20+ goals while playing for the Aeros. He was drafted 18th overall by the Boston Bruin sin 1974 but never played in the NHL.
Whenever I buy an autograph from a seller on ebay, after I feel comfortable buying from him/her, and make a purchase, I make a point to look through the other items for sale. If they combine shipping and have other autographs, I might buy some additional graphs or make offers on some. In this case, I bought this Larway and a couple other from the seller after originally buying the Tessier lot. I always feel satisfied when dealing with a seller who will accept reasonable offers on a lot, and I'm sure they're happy to get rid of signatures that have likely long been sitting. 

Pat Dapuzzo 
Between 1984 and 2008 linesman Pat Dapuzzo officiated over 1,500 NHL games. Dapuzzo's NHL officiating career came to an ugly end in 2008 when he suffered a vicious skate slash to the face in an accident during an NHL game. 
I wish I had an address to send current NHL officials. I've tried a few but to no avail, I even had a promising lead when someone who works there said he'd forward some letters but never did. Would love to add more autographs of current officials to my collection. 

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