Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mail - Final ITG Franchises Auto Found

Had some time over Easter weekend to sort and scan my recent mail. These autographs come from a COMC package and some TTM returns. For the amount of requests I've been mailing out, its a disappointed amount of returns this past couple weeks. I'm hoping as the season ends for some teams and leagues, players will start to open their mail. Its been an absolutely brutal and costly year for mail requests so far. The highlight of this post is a Bill Hicke Franchises autograph because its a card I've long needed from a set I love and one that got me into autograph collecting.
19 New NHL player autographs raises the grand total to: 5,326 for 71.5% of everyone to ever suit up in the league since its creation in 1917.

Bill Hicke
From 1959 to 1972 Bill Hicke played well over 700 games in the NHL and was a member of two Stanley Cup championships in Montreal. He was also an NHL All-Star in 1969, scoring 25 goals that season with the Oakland Seals. His brother, Ernie, also made it to the NHL.
I've had this particular card on my wantlist for a very long time and the recent release of ITG Vault brought some rare cards back into the market. I was able to finally pick one of these up for just a few bucks. Hicke passed away in 2005, shortly after this set was released and its his only certified autograph card. I have many 04/05 ITG Franchises autographs in my collection, this one was the last I needed. The Franchises autograph set will forever be one of my favorite and one that really got me into autograph collecting as it contained some great first time signers on a nice clean design.

Bob Sauve
From 1976 to 1989 Bob Sauve played 420 regular season games in the NHL, dressing with the Sabres, Red Wings, Blackhawks and Devils. He was a solid goalie who shared the Vezina Trophy in 1980 and the William Jennings Trophy in 1985. He later became a very successful player agent. Bob Sauve's brother, J-f, and Bob's son, Philippe, also played in the NHL.

Chris Nilan
Enforcer Chris Nilan is one of only 9 players in the history of the NHL to amass over 3,000 career penalty minutes. Nilan also holds the notorious record of most penalties in a single game with 10. Nilan was a member of Montreal's 1986 Stanley Cup winning team. He was also selected to play in the 1991 NHL All-Star game while with the Boston Bruins but missed the contest due to a broken ankle.

Vitali Prokhorov
From 1992 to 1995 Vitali Prokhorov scored 19 goals and 30 points in 83 career NHL games with the St. Louis Blues. Internationally, in 1992 Prokhorov won Gold at the 1992 Olympics with Russia.
When I first started this collection my wantlist had many of these old Classic autograph cards on it. This was the last one and it had evaded me for far too long. I check COMC regularly for their new additions and when this card popped up and my best offer wasn't accepted, I still decided to spring and overpay simply because I wanted off my wantlist and they rarely pop up.

Milan Lucic
Prior to making his NHL debut, Milan Lucic helped the Vancouver Giants win the 2007 Memorial Cup, being named tournament MVP in the process. He imminently jumped to the NHL and has since played well over 700 games. Lucic was an instrumental part of the Bruins team that claimed the 2011 Stanley Cup championship.

Morgan Rielly
The Maple Leafs drafted defenceman Morgan Rielly 5th overall in 2012. Since 2013/14 he's played well over 300 games in the NHL. In 2016 Rielly helped Canada win Gold at the World Championships and also represented North America at the World Cup later that year.

Oscar Klefbom
Swedish defenceman Oscar Klefbom was drafted 19th overall by Edmonton in 2011. He made his NHL debut with the 2013/14 Oilers and has since played nearly 200 NHL games. Internationally, Klefbom helped Sweden win Gold at the 2012 World Junior Championships. He also represented Sweden at the men's 2015 World Championships.

Teemu Pulkkinen
Since making his NHL debut with the 2013/14 Detroit Red Wings, Teemu Pulkkinen has played 83 games in the NHL, scoring 13 goals and 22 points. He's played for the Red Wings, Minnesota Wild and Arizona Coyotes. Internationally, Pulkkinen helped Finland win Silver at the 2016 World Championships. He also represented Finland at the 2011 and 2012 World Junior Championships.

Max McCormick
Forward Max McCormick spent 3 years at Ohio State University before joining the Senators. Since 2015 McCormick has scored 2 goals and 4 points in 27 NHL games with Ottawa.

Sven Andrighetto 
Since making his debut in 2014, Sven Andrighetto has scored 16 goals and 43 points in 102 NHL games as a member of the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. Internationally, Andrighetto scored 7 points in 7 games on Switzerland's 2016 Men's World Championship team.

Adam Pelech
Defenceman Adam Pelech has played over 50 NHL games with the New York Islanders since making his debut during the 2015/16 season. Internationally, he represented Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championships.

Taylor Leier
A 2012 4th round draft pick, Taylor Leier has played in 16 NHL games with Philly since 2015/16. Internationally, he represented Canada at the 2014 World Juniors, finishing a disappointing 4th.

Marko Dano
Marko Dano was drafted in the first round, 27th overall, by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2013. He made his NHL debut with the 2014/15 Blue Jackets, scoring 8 goals and 21 points in just 35 games. That summer he was involved in a major trade that saw Dano go to the Blackhawks. He played 13 games with the 2015/16 Hawks before another trade saw him go to the Winnipeg Jets. Dano has played over 100 games in the NHL between those three teams. Internationally, he's represented Slovakia at the 2013, 2015 and 2016 World Championships.

Phi Di Giuseppe
After completing his first season at the University of Michigan, Philippe Di Giuseppe was drafted 38th overall by the Hurricanes in 2012. Since making his NHL debut in 2015 DiGiuseppe has scored 8 goals and 24 points in 77 games with Carolina.

Brett Pesce
Defenceman Brett Pesce was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NHL draft by the Hurricanes after completing his first year a the University of New Hampshire. Since 2015, Pesce has played over 150 games in the NHL with Carolina.

Gord Buynak
Defenceman Gord Buynak played 4 NHL games with the 1974/75 St. Louis Blues. In 1974 he had been drafted in both the NHL and WHA but choose to sign with the St. Louis Blues over the Phoenix Roadrunners.

Brian Kinsella
From 1975 to 1977 Brian Kinsella played 10 games in the NHL with the Washington Capitals. The right winger recorded 1 assist.

Dave Kryskow
From 1972 to 1976 Dave Kryskow scored 33 goals and 89 points in 231 regular season games in the NHL. He was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Flames. Kryskow later spent a couple season in the WHA, playing with the Calgary Cowboys and Winnipeg Jets. He's notable for helping Winnipeg claim the 1978 AVCO Cup as league champs, scoring 4 goals and 8 points in 9 playoff games. In the NHL, he also helped Chicago reach the 1973 Cup finals and was on the Washington Capitals inaugural NHL roster in 1974.

Howie Hughes
From 1967 to 1970 Howie Hughes scored 25 goals and 57 points in 168 regular season NHL games with the Los Angeles Kings. He was on LA's inaugural NHL roster in '67

Finishing up, as usual, with a number of additional hockey autographs of guys who never appeared in the NHL. There's 1 for my stash of notable International hockey players, 3 for the WHA only stash, 1 for the GM stash, a couple for the coaches binder, 1 for the officials stash and finally 1 for the super random 'other' binder of pro sports players with close links to the great game of hockey.

Vladislav Tretiak
Vladislav Tretiak is one of the game's most legendary goaltenders. He was the Soviet goalie in the storied 1972 Summit Series. He won Olympic Gold 3 times and World Championship Gold 10 times with the USSR and in 1989 was the first Soviet player inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
This joins my stash of certified USSR autograph cards now including Yakushev, Mikhailov, Shadrin, Petrov, Myshkin, Gusev and Maltsev. Only Valeri Vasiliev remains on the certified auto card wantlist. All are Soviet legends who never got the chance to play in the NHL. 

Dave Given
Dave Given played 1 game in the World Hockey Association with the 1974/75 Vancouver Blazers. The Brown University alumni had been drafted by the Blazers in the WHA and Buffalo Sabres in the NHL.

Alan Globensky
From 1974 to 1976 defenceman Alan Globensky played 42 games in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques. He wrote me back a great little letter, thanks Alan!

Craig Falkman
Defenceman Craig Falkman played one season in the WHA, dressing in 45 games with the 1972/73 Minnesota Fighting Saints. He's also notable for representing the USA at the 1968 Olympics, 1967 World Championships and 1972 World Championships. I got a heartbreaking letter back from a family member with a note saying that Falkman recently had a bad stroke and although he enjoyed my questions about his career, isn't able to do much more than sign, which would sadly explain the difference from other earlier examples of his signature.

Chuck Fletcher
Chuck Fletcher graduated from Harvard in 1990 and from 1993 to 2002 was assistant GM of the Florida Panthers, briefly serving as interim GM for a time. From 2002 to 2009 he served as an assistant GM with both the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 2009 that role with the Pens got him his name on the Stanley Cup and a promotion. Since 2009 Fletcher has been GM of the Minnesota Wild. His father, Cliff, was also an NHL General Manager.

Jon Cooper
Jon Cooper was a practicing lawyer before he made the unusual transition to pro hockey coach. In 2012 he won the Calder Cup as head coach of the AHL's Norfolk Admirals and since 2013 has been head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Kurt Kleinendorst
Kurt Kleinendorst spent time as an NHL assistant coach with the 2001/02 New Jersey Devils, a team he had long scouted with. He's currently head coach of Ottawa's AHL team, the Binghamton Senators.

Kerry Fraser
Legendary NHL official Kerry Fraser called over 1,900 NHL games between 1973 and 2010. If you watched any amount of NHL hockey during that period, Fraser's name is likely familiar. He holds the league record for most regular season and playoff games officiated. I also love the inscription on this autograph. A grandfather clause gave Fraser the ability to go many years without wearing a helmet and being able to show off his hair.

Patrice Bernier
This goes into my very random binder of pro sports autograph that have some kind of tie to hockey. Patrice Bernier is a Canadian born pro soccer player who's played in Europe and is currently captain of the MLS Montreal Impact. I picked up this card because Bernier actually played a couple seasons in the QMJHL. He was a decent defenceman with the 1996/97 Val d'Or Foreurs, a team featuring future long time NHLers Roberto Luongo, JP Dumont and Steve Begin. Bernier scored a very respectable 73 points in 143 QMJHL games.
Patrice Bernier with the Foreurs

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