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Monday, December 5, 2011

TTM: Mikko Makela

 Mikko Makela scored 265 points in 423 games.  He had his best season in 1987-88, scoring 36 goals and 76 points.  He played with the New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and also spent several years playing in Europe.  Mr. Makela is currently a teacher at the Warner Hockey School in Alberta.  I sent two cards on November 3rd and received them back on November 25th. 

88-89 OPC: Kane, Fleury and Hull

Evander Kane has been tearing it up of late for the Winnipeg Jets, with 9 goals in the past 10 games.  Perhaps it has something to do with his jersey number, #9.  
#68 - Evander Kane
The 1st overall pick in the 2003 NHL entry draft, Marc-Andre Fleury has won a Stanley Cup and an Olympic Gold medal, but is he an elite goalie?  The Penguins were a stacked team when they won the Cup and Fleury spent his time in the press box as the 3rd string goalie for Team Canada in the 2010 Olympics.  Fleury has only once finished in the top 10 in GAA or Save Percentage.  Is Fleury this generation's Grant Fuhr?

#69 - Marc-Andre Fleury

  On March 7th 1988, the Calgary Flames traded Brett Hull and Steve Bozek for Rob Ramage and Rick Wamesley.  The Flames would win the Stanley Cup the following year.  Brett Hull would go on to score 741 career NHL goals.  Good Trade?  Would you give back a Stanley Cup to have the top NHL goal scorer of the 90s with no guarantees of winning another Stanley Cup?  Tough call.

#113 - Brett Hull

Thursday, December 1, 2011

TTM: Alex Tanguay

  After a forgettable year in Tamp Bay, Alex Tanguay returned to the Calgary Flames.  Tanguay finished 2nd on the team in scoring last year and currently leds the Flames in scoring through 24 games.  There is one thing Alex needs to do more of... shoot!  Tanguay has the best shooting percentage of all active players and is 21st all-time with a 18.6 shooting percentage.
  Mr. Tanguay signed all three cards I sent.  They were sent on October 27th and received on November 25th.

TTM: Gilles Gilbert

  I will admit, I didn't know much about Gilles Gilbert before sending him a TTM, but that's part of the fun of TTM; learning about the players.  I decided to send to Mr. Gilbert after seeing some other TTM returns.  He has one of, if not, the best autograph I have seen.  So when I decided to TTM him, I also had to do some research for my Letter of Request.  Then I had to search for pictures since I wanted to send a custom picture.  In the end, even though he's been retired for almost 30 years, Gilles Gilbert got another fan.  Mr. Gilbert signed all 3 items sent and kept the extra picture, as offered.

Sent: November 7th, 2011
Received: November 23rd, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TTM: Edgar Laprade

  Edgar Laprade played 10 season with the New York Rangers from 1945 to 1955.  In three of those season, he didn't register a single penalty minute.  Edgar was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.
  There was a recently an article on him in the Globe and Mail where autographs ttm is briefly mentioned.  I wonder how many he gets.  The card he signed for me was in the mentioned stack.  I sent the card out on October 26th, and received it on November 22nd.  It was postmarked November 13th.
  To check out all my TTMs, there is a link to my TTM Tracker under the Projects widget.

Monday, November 28, 2011

TTM: Basil McRae

3 card return from Basil McRae, all signed with ballpoint pen.  It's hard to be disappointed with any auto you get TTM but they are a lot nicer when signed with a sharpie.  I have read of some TTMers sending a sharpie along with their items, LOR and SASE.  Basil McRae currently runs a Financial Services Firm in London, Ontario.
Sent: November 3rd, 2011
Received: November 23rd, 2011


Sunday, November 27, 2011

TTM: Eric Nesterenko

  In 1956, Eric Nesterenko attended classes at the University of Toronto during the week, then on the weekend, he played for the Chicago Black Hawks.  Could you imagine that ever happening in today's NHL?  I sent him a parkhurst card and a 4x6.  I also sent an extra copy of the4x6 for him to keep.  Mr. Nesterenko returned the card and both 4x6s signed.  Thank you Mr. Nesterenko.

TTM: Dale Hunter


  An excellent 3 card return from the NHL's #2 All-Time in Penalty Minutes.  Dale Hunter spent the majority of his career with the Washington Capitals but I will best remember him as a Quebec Nordique.  He played in an era when a rivalry, such as Montreal vs Quebec, meant bad blood, and lots of it.
  While Quebec fans may have been sad to see Dale Hunter go, part of the packaged they received was the Washington Capital's 1st round pick in the 1987 draft.

Sent: October 19th
Received November 21st
c/o London Knights


Saturday, November 26, 2011

88-89 OPC Tribute: Kane, Thomas and Smith






 Here comes a long overdue update for the 88-89 OPC Tribute Set.  Patrick Kane has made a name for himself, on and off the ice.  The 1st overall pick from the 2007 NHL draft has made a Sylvain Turgeon card worth more than a dime, won a Calder Trophy, partied hardy, punched a cabbie, harnessed the power of the mullet, and scored the 2010 Stanley Cup winning goal.  If he could learn to use a mouthguard he could be unstoppable.







  Tim Thomas has been finding almost everything stoppable of late.  Thomas is a two time Vezina trophy winner and last year's Conn Smyhte winner from the Stanley Cup Champions, Boston Bruins.  Tim Thomas got a late start in the NHL, only playing NHL 4 games before age 31.  Tim Thomas was originally a 9th round draft pick, 217th overall,  by the Quebec Nordiques in 1994.  He later spent time in the Edmonton Oilers farm system before signing with the Boston Bruins in 2002.  Thomas is  great inspiration for player still toiling in the minors in the mid-20's.





  Craig Smith has been an early surprise contender for the rookie scoring race.  A 4th round pick from 2009,  Smith is currently second in rookie points behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.  If Smith keeps his scoring pace up, he could be a finalist for the Calder Trophy.  If not, Smith might best be remembered for his empty net miss.  He had better luck attacking empty nets while playing with Wisconsin.  Ain't Karma a bitch?
 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TTM: Don Beaupre

  This return from Don Beaupre was sent out October 26th and was received November 21st.  It was sent to his home but the postmark on the return envelope was from his business address.
  Beaupre spent the majority of his career with the Minnesota North Stars and the Washington Capitals before finishing his career with stints in Ottawa and Toronto.
  Mr. Beaupre signed both cards and a 4x6 for me.  He kept the extra copy of the 4x6.  It is just as exciting to have a player keep a custom as it is to get it back signed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

TTM Success: Stephane Richer

  I remember when Stephane Richer became a household name in the late 80s.  He had two 50 goal years with the Montreal Canadiens in the late 80s.  His is one of only 2 players to have 2 or more 50 goal seasons with the Canadiens.  He never came close to 50 goals again.  He led the New Jersey Devils in scoring in the 1995 Playoffs while wining his second career Stanley Cup.
  I sent the letter out on October 5th and received it on November 16th.  I sent Mr. Richer two copies of the picture and offered the extra to him.  He signed and returned both.  He signed even farther outside the auto box on the other copy.

Stephane Richer TTM

 I haven't updated a lot of late.  I had to juggle shifts last week, and this upcoming week, so I could escape to Edmonton for the weekend.  You know you are in tough when Edmonton in late November is considered an escape.  I picked up some cards I want to blog about and found a few TTMs in my mailbox when I returned home today.  So if I can find the time and the gumption, I should have several posts this week.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TTM Sucess: Dickie Moore

  I received two returns from Montreal Canadiens HHOFers on November 15th.  The second being Dickie Moore.  Dickie Moore won back-to-back Art Ross Trophies in 1958 and 1959.  In 1959 he set a record with 96 points in a season, which stood for seven seasons.  The Hockey News ranked Dickie Moore as the 4th best Left Winger of all-time.
  This was a quick return as I sent it out October 27th and received it on November 15th,  Thank you Mr. Moore.
  There are a couple of noteworthy items regarding this TTM.  It's the first look at the Dickie Moore 88-89 OPC Tribute card and it's my first return of a 2006-07 Parkhurst card.  I have about a dozen of those cards out in the mail now and will continue to peck away at the set.  The most exciting part of this return was that Dickie Moore kept the extra copy of the 88-89 OPC Tribute picture.  I double checked the envelope a few times to make sure it wasn't stuck in there.  This is the first time anyone took up my offer of keeping a copy of the picture.  The thought that he tossed the extra in garbage along with the LOR has crossed my mind but screw off Mr Pessimism.  There is a 88-89 OPC Tribute card on Mr. Moore's fridge at this very moment. I can see it now.  Sweet!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TTM Success: Guy Lafleur

88-89 OPC Tribute #103 - Guy Lafleur
  Received a nice return from HHOF legend Guy Lafleur.  We sent 3 pictures, plus an extra of each for him to keep if he wished.  He didn't wish it, so he signed all of them and returned them.  So we got 2 copies of each picture.  I say we since my girlfriend picked out Guy Lafleur for the TTM.
  She got his autograph back in 2006 (I think) at the Toronto Sportscard Expo.  She then gave that auto to her dad.  Since she wanted an autograph for herself, the third picture we sent to Mr. Lafleur was that of her and Guy together at the show.  Guy inscribed "Amities" on the picture above his name. For the one of the customs, he didn't sign in the box in one picture, but the auto in blue looks sharp against the red jersey.
  The pictures were sent out on September 26th and received November 15th.  Thank you Mr. Lafleur.

Monday, November 14, 2011

TTM Success: Peter Stastny

  On September 16th, I sent two copies of my 88-89 OPC Tribute picture to Peter Stastny.  One to get signed and one I offered for him to keep.  I received both pictures in the mail today.  Peter Stastny stuck to his one auto per request and I received one signed and one unsigned.  Stastny had a great career and very influential in opening the NHL to players from Eastern Europe.  
Stastny has a real nice auto and I am very happy to get this card signed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

84-85 OPC

Is an 84-85 OPC Tribute set on the horizon?  I doubt it, doing the 88-89 Tribute is grueling enough.  But now that I made the template, it'd be a crime not to make a few more.  Although I will have to fix the Player's Face circle.  It's too close the the edge.

Will the real 84-85 OPC please step forward

Friday, November 11, 2011

88-89 OPC Tribute: Koivu, Theodore, and Lemieux

  The captain of the Minnesota Wild, Mikko Koivu, is also the little brother of Saku Koivu.  Mikko havs carved out a nice career himself, including a 71 point season in 2009-10.  Jose Theodore has gone from the Montreal Canadiens next great hope down to being a placeholder for the Florida Panthers.  Theodore has never been able to duplicate his success of 2001-02 when he won the Vezina and Hart Trophies.  He has had a strong start in 2011-12 for the surprising Florida Panthers.

  
#64 - Mikko Koivu#65 - Jose Theodore

  Mario Lemieux's name is often brought up when debating who was the best player ever.  Lemieux played 17 season but played 70 games or more only six times.  How good could Lemieux have been if his career hadn't been plagued by back injuries, or not had cancer in his prime of his career, or missed a season due to radiation treatments, or be retired for 3 years before making yet another comeback or had a better supporting cast earlier in his career.  Mario Lemieux retired in 1997 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Novemeber of that year.  Three years later Lemieux returned to the ice and lead all players in goals per game, assists per game and Points per game.
  The picture I chose for the card isn't the sharpest image, but for me, it's an iconic image.  It's of his epic goal on Jon Casey in the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals.

#112 - Mario Lemieux


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

88-89 Tribute: Eberle, Montoya, and Francis

  Jordan Eberle is part of a young Edmonton Oilers nucleus.  A first round pick in 2008, Eberle scored a highlight reel goal in his first NHL game.  Eberle finished his rookie season with 43 points in 69 games.
#62 - Jordan Eberle
  The New York Islanders have a logjam in the crease this year and in usual Islanders fashion, they are screwing things up again.  They are stuck with porcelain doll's, Rick Dipietro, albatross of a contact so they feel the need to play him.  Then they have 36 year old Evgeni Nabokov, who has a no trade clause.  Lastly,  they have Al Montoya, who has been the best goalies for the Islanders since he joined them late last season. Yet the Islanders are determined to play them equally.  Hopefully the Islanders will do the right thing.  That would be get Nabokov to waive his no trade clause then ship him out and then put Dipietro on the bench.  But these are the Islanders and the ghost of Milbury is still meddling.

#63 - Al Montoya

  Ron Francis played in the NHL for 23 seasons.  His 1788 career points are good for 4th all-time and his 1249 assists place him 2nd all-time.  While Francis is a long way off from reaching the top in career points or assists, the 2004-05 lock-out cost him a chance at being the career leader in games played.  Francis played 1731 games, just 36 short of Gordie Howe's 1767.

#111 - Ron Francis

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

TTM Success: Dale Hawerchuk

  Excellent return from Dale Hawerchuk.  I sent Mr. Hawerchuk 2 cards and a picture to sign.  I sent an extra copy of the picture for him to keep if he wished, but instead he signed it and returned it.  So I ended up 2 cards and 2 pics signs.
  I sent the letter care of The Barrie Colts on October 11th.  I received the cards on November 4th.