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Friday, November 30, 2012

The Lost Rookies: Mike Moffat

    Can you name the goalie who backstopped Team Canada to it's first ever World Junior Hockey Championship (WJC) Gold medal?  If you said Mike Moffat, you are either know your hockey, or you guessed it from the title of the post. 
  Mike Moffat, a 8th round draft pick by the Boston Bruins in 1980, played his junior hockey with the Kingston Candians.  He played good enough, a 4.14 career OHL GAA which was actually good in those days, to get himself on Team Canada for the 1981 WJC.  Team Canada had never won a Gold medal in the WJC before.  With the exception of 1978, the Memorial Cup winners would represent Canada.  After a dismal 7th place finish in 1981, the Canada's Program of Excellence was created and the best under age nineteen players would represent Canada the following year and every year since.  Team Canada, not favoured to medal, exceeded all expectations.  They went 6-0-1 in the tournament, including a shocking 7-0 trouncing of the favorites, Soviet Union.  Mike Moffat recorded the shutout and he was between the pipes during the final game versus Czechoslovakia.  Team Canada, once again the underdog, needed a tie to clinch the Gold medal, while the Czechs needed a win.  Moffat would turn aside a late barrage by the Czechs to preserve a 3-3 tie and Canada's first WJC Gold medal.


  Moffat would make a splash in the NHL before the season was over.  Mike started the last two games for the Boston Bruins and was then anointed the starter for the play-offs, over incumbents Marco Baron and Rogie Vachon.  Although as shocked as anyone, Moffat played brilliantly through the first round and carried the Bruins into the second round.  Still only a teenager, the pressure started to get to Moffat as the Bruins fought the Quebec Nordiques in a grueling seven game series.  The fans and press were comparing Mike Moffat to a  young Ken Dryden.  As the series went on, Moffat allowed a few weak goals and the Bruins would eventually fall to the Nordiques in game seven, by a score of 2 to 1.  As the last few seconds ticked off the clock (and as Terry O'Reilly takes a swing at referee Andy Van Hellamond) Bruin coach, Gerry Cheevers attempted to console his young goalie.
 


  Mike Moffat would never again reach the level of play he had achieve in the 1981-82 season.  He would only play 17 more NHL games and by age 22, Moffat would officially retired from professional hockey.  The pressure of the Stanley Cup play-offs was too much for a 19 year old who previously had a total of 2 career professional hockey games under his belt.  Here's a quote from a Boston.com interview

“My mental game needed massive rebuilding,’’ he says. “I should have dealt
with that in the offseason, but I just kind of denied it, put my head down. I was 
fighting the demons and it was nobody’s fault but my own.’’

  I find Mike Moffat's story tragic.  A young player who is living the dream at age 19.  Winning a Gold medal for Team Canada and earning top goalie honours.  Starting and staring for the Boston Bruins in the playoffs.  Except by the time the 1982-83 season had started, Moffat was already on the downside of his career.  He was mentally worn out.  The Bruins must have had wind of this, as they traded for Pete Peeters in the offseason and to further Moffat's decline, Peeters went on to win 40 games and the Vezina  trophy.  What I also find tragic is that, based on the few interviews I have read, Moffat does not appear to cherish his time in the NHL.  In regards to the press clippings of his playing days, Moffat claims to never look at them since "“I guess it would make me cry."  I really do hope that's not the way he truly feels about his hockey days.  He just had too much pressure too soon. His career may have been totally different if had a few seasons in the AHL instead of being thrown directly into the spotlight.

  Mike Moffat never had a NHL card.  For the 1982 set, OPC went with Rogie Vachon, the Bruins #2 goalie during most of the 81-82 season, and newly acquired, and airbrushed, Pete Peeters.  Leaving rookie Mike Moffat and the teams #1 goalie Marco Baron without cards.  Coincidentally, Marco Baron never has never had a rookie card either.  So below is Mike Moffat's lost rookie card.

82-83 OPC -Lost Rookie - Mike Moffat


82-83 OPC -Lost Rookie - Mike Moffat - back
   

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

TTM Success: Jean Beliveau


  It took 405 days to get this return back, but I am extremely happy with it.  Jean Beliveau is one of hockey's greatest players.  He won 10 Stanley Cups as a player and another 7 as an executive with the Montreal Canadiens.  Beliveau was the first ever winner of the Conn Smythe trophy, back in 1964-65.  At age 39, in his 20th season, Believeau scored 76pts in 70 games, good enough for 9th spot in the league scoring race.  Beliveau finished his career with 507 goals and 1219 points.  He was a first ballot HHOFer in 1972.  I sent this request back in October of 2011.  This is my longest return and first to make the round trip of a calendar year.  Definitely worth the wait.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The 90's Goalie Project

  A new project I am going to be working on is getting the rookie year card of every goalie who played in the 1990s.  To be technical, from the 1989-90 season to the 1999-2000 season.  There are 195 goalies who played at least a single game during those season, but 22 of them never had a NHL card produced of them.  So that leaves 173 cards to collect.
 
A Sample of 90s Goalie Goodness

  I have decided to put a few rules into place.
  1) Player must be in a NHL uniform.  So that mean no World Junior Championship cards or Canada Cup cards.
  2) No draft picture cards.  This rules outs Martin Brodeur's true rookie and instead leaves me with one of this 1992-93 cards.
  3) Preference given to horizontal pictures.
  4) Reprints will be acceptable for the most expensive cards (ie Patrick Roy) which I already own.  This is meant to be a cheap project.  I won't have one card with a greater cost than the other 172 combined.

   Below is the complete list of goalies who played in the 1990s and had a card produced.  Included is the year their "rookie" card was produced.  Some of these goalies only had a single card of them made.  I already have a bunch, have some incoming, and I am sure I have more that are still hiding in boxes.  I think this will make for a fairly interesting set once I get them all into a binder.


PlayerRCOwnPlayerRCOwnPlayerRCOwn
Tom Askey1998Brian Hayward1986Steve Passmore1999
Jean-Sebastien Aubin1998Glenn Healy1990Pete Peeters1980
Scott Bailey1995yGuy Hebert1992Jean-Marc Pelletier1999y
Mike Bales1995Ron Hextall1987Frank Pietrangelo1990
Tom Barrasso1984Corey Hirsch1992yFelix Potvin1991
Don Beaupre1981Milan Hnilicka2001Daren Puppa1989i
Stephane Beauregard1990Kevin Hodson1996Andre Racicot1991i
Ed Belfour*1990yBruce Hoffort1990Jamie Ram1996i
Jean-Claude Bergeron1990Jim Hrivnak1990Bill Ranford1987
Daniel Berthiaume1987Kelly Hrudey1985Daryl Reaugh1990y
Allan Bester1984Jani Hurme2000Pokey Reddick1990
Zac Bierk1998Peter Ing1990Jeff Reese1990i
Craig Billington1991Arturs Irbe1991Damian Rhodes1993i
Martin Biron1996Pat Jablonski1991Mike Richter1990
John Blue1992Pauli Jaks1994iVincent Riendeau1990i
Brian Boucher1999Brent Johnson1998iDwayne Roloson1996
Fred Brathwaite1993Curtis Joseph1990yRoberto Romano1986
Martin Brochu2000Nikolai Khabibulin1994Dominic Roussel1991
Martin Brodeur1990yTrevor Kidd1991Patrick Roy*1986
Sean Burke1988Scott King1992Tommy Salo1995y
Jim Carey1994Rick Knickle1993Geoff Sarjeant1994y
Jon Casey1989Dieter Kochan2000Paxton Schafer1997i
Frederic Chabot1997Olaf Kolzig1990Corey Schwab1995i
Tim Cheveldae1990Les Kuntar1994Steve Shields1997
Alain Chevrier1986Jean-Francois Labbe2000Mikhail Shtalenkov1994
Dan Cloutier1997Patrick Labrecque1995iPeter Sidorkiewicz1989
Jacques Cloutier1990yBlaine Lacher1994Peter Skudra1997
Marcel Cousineau1996Mark LaForest1990yGarth Snow1993y
Byron Dafoe1994Patrick Lalime1996Tommy Soderstrom1992
Matt DelGuidice1991Marc Lamothe1999Christian Soucy1994y
Marc Denis1996Scott Langkow1999Robb Stauber1990y
Philippe DeRouville1995Ray LeBlanc1992Greg Stefan1984
Tom Draper1991Manny Legace1998Jamie Storr1994
Parris Duffus1997Reggie Lemelin1981Rick Tabaracci1990y
Mike Dunham1996Mike Lenarduzzi1993Kari Takko1990y
Robert Esche1999David Littman1993Robbie Tallas1997
Bob Essensa1990Mike Liut1980John Tanner1990i
Scott Fankhouser1999Danny Lorenz1992Chris Terreri1990
Manny Fernandez1995yRoberto Luongo1997Jose Theodore1996
Eric Fichaud1994Darrin Madeley1993yJocelyn Thibault1993
Stephane Fiset1990yClint Malarchuk1986Mike Torchia1995y
Mark Fitzpatrick1990Norm Maracle1998Andrei Trefilov1992
Wade Flaherty1995Chris Mason2000Ron Tugnutt1989y
Norm Foster1991Kirk McLean1989yRoman Turek1996
Mike Fountain1996Jamie McLennan1993Steve Valiquette2000y
Bob Froese1983Roland Melanson1983John Vanbiesbrouck1986
Grant Fuhr*1982Alfie Michaud1999Mike Vernon1987
Joaquin Gage1995Greg Millen1979Tomas Vokoun1997
Dave Gagnon1991 iMike Minard2000Jimmy Waite1990
Troy Gamble1990Andy Moog1981Darcy Wakaluk1991
Tyrone Garner1999Tyler Moss1997Rick Wamsley1982
Jean-Sebastien Giguere1997Jason Muzzatti1993yKevin Weekes1997
Scott Gordon1990Jarmo Myllys1990iSteve Weeks1982
Mario Gosselin1985Sergei Mylnikov1990iKay Whitmore1990
John Grahame1999Evgeni Nabokov1999Derek Wilkinson1997
Jeff Hackett1990Mike O'Neill1992iKen Wregget1987
Glen Hanlon1979Chris Osgood1993Wendell Young1990
Dominik Hasek1991Rich Parent2000

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

TTM Success: R.J Umberger


  R.J. Umberger has been an all-star in terms of responding to ttms, and now with Rick Nash out of Columbus, the Blue Jackets hope he can be an All-Star for them.  Umberger has been second on team in goals in three out of the past four seasons.  Umberger is also the franchise's all time leading goal scorer in post season play.  He scored 3 goals in 2008-09, the only time the Blue Jackets have ever made the play-offs.  They were swept in four games, and outscored 17-7 by the Detroit Red Wings. 



Sunday, November 18, 2012

TTM Success: Ken Morrow

  In 1980, Ken Morrow was the first ever player to win an Olympic Gold medal and a Stanley Cup in the same season.  With the addition of professional players in 1998, it a feat that was bound to be repeated, but it wasn't until 2010 until Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook would win gold with Canada and a cup with the Black Hawks.  Morrow won his gold medal as part of USA's "Miracle on Ice" and his Stanley Cup, first of four straight, was with the New York Islanders.  Morrow, a stay at home defenceman, would score 105 points in 550 carer NHL games, all with the New York Islanders.  Ken Morrow currently works with the New York Islanders scouting department.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TTM Success: Ron Ellis


  Ron Ellis played 16 NHL seasons, all with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Ellis was part of the 1967 Stnaley Cup winning team.  Another career highlight was being a member of Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series.  Ellis played all eight games and collected three assists.  After the 1974-75 season, Ellis abruptly retired, stating that he no longer had the passion for the game.  The passion would return, as Ellis joined Team Canada in the 1977 World Hockey Championship and then return to play four more seasons as a Toronto Maple Leaf.  Ellis ranks in the top 5 in career goals, 332, and games played, 1034, for the Toronto franchise. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

TTM Success: Brent Gilchrist


  Brent Gilchrist  played 792 games during 15 seasons in the NHL.  Gilchrist was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens and was traded away to the Edmonton Oilers just before the 1992-93 season, as part of the deal that brought Vincent Damphousse to Montreal.  While the Habs went on to win the Cup that season, Gilchrist would eventually get to sip from Lord Stanley's Cup in 1998, as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Injuries would hamper Gilchrist for the rest of his career, playing in only 29 games the following two seasons.  Brent would eventually suffer a career ending back injury while playing for the Nashville Predators, in a game against one of his former teams, the Edmonton Oilers.
  I once read in a TTM forum, a collector complaining about Gilchrist's auto.  How that is it just a big B and G.  I think he has a cool signature.  Some players you can't make out a single letter of their auto.  His auto has some panache to it, while still being legible.


Did You Know...  
Brent Gilchrist is the NHL's all-time career leader in games played, 
goals, assists and points for player who wore #41. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TTM Success: Rich Pilon


  Rich Pilon was a key member of the 1993 New York Islanders play-off run.  He's best remembered for the Kevin Stevens incident in the first period of game 7 of the Patrick Division final.  Stevens has knocked unconscious while attempting to lay a big hit on Pilon.  Stevens' face hit against Pilon's visor, and he was unconscious before he slammed to the ice, face first.  Stevens would need extensive facial surgery.  The Islanders would go on to win the game in overtime, ending the Penguins' chance at a third straight cup.  Before getting all Don Cherry on Pilon, please know that Pilon's career was almost ended in 1989, after getting hit in the eye with a puck, that shattered his orbital bone.  Pilon's entire career was mired by injuries and eventually ended with a wrist injury eight games into the 2001-02 season.  Pilon now lives in Saskatchewan.  He teaches youth the benefits of hockey and the dangers of substance abuse.


Monday, November 5, 2012

The Lost Rookies: Garth Butcher


  It took Garth Butcher 6 seasons and 383 NHL games before OPC would give Garth a rookie card in the 1988-89 set. All it took was Garth leading the Canucks in PIM for four straight seasons.  Although it could have been worse, Butcher made Pro Set before he ever made it into Topps.  Here's what his rookie might have looked like.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Suspicious eBay Listing

  I was always a bit concerned that my 88-89 OPC Tribute would be copied and reproduced.  I thought people might print them off for themselves.  In the end, I decided "whatever".  As long as they aren't passing them off as their own or trying to sell them.  When I think about it, all I am doing is reproducing someone else work anyways and then adding in someone else's picture I found on the internet.  Although I do put a lot of work into the templates.  I don't scan a card, erase the picture and then put in a new one.  Every template started as a blank file.  I guess you can call them original duplicates, but I do consider the templates my own.
  Today I was on eBay looking to see if a certain player had any cards listed.  The cards he had listed was a custom card.  I have seen this seller before and I decided to see what else he had.  What I saw looked too familiar.  He had several 88-89 OPC cards.  The pictures on them were not the ones I used but the card design just looked way too familiar.  Upon further checking, I am pretty sure he copied my file.



  Compare the two sets of cards above.  My version is on the left and his is on the right.  Notice how similar the borders, fonts and positioning of the logo are.  When I did the tribute set, the hardest part was the Pin and the shadow.  Let's put my picture on top of his and set mine to 50% opacity and compare.


  Upon comparison, every lines up exactly with the exception of the pin marks that cover the player picture.  My picture has the shadow on top of the player picture, but his doesn't.  The first reason that jumps to mind is because when he removed the picture from my version, he also had to remove the shadow.  Compare side by side and the with mine over top at 50% opacity. 


  The shadow lines up perfectly.  Even where the shadow dots met the upper border of the picture.  To do the shadow I used the pencil tool, did a bunch of dots and then used the copy and paste.  I had to adjust the size of the shadow dots as I got to the bottom of the shadow as well.   Even the marks on the Pin are exactly the same.  I had a hell of a time with the pin originally since using the paint dump tool would results in more and more of the black marks inside the pin to be colored over.  The pin marks were made with the pencil tool set at 1 pixel. 
  Also, of interest is the use of trademark on the team logo.  On some team logos, I erased the trademark and on others I left it.  The original 88-89 set had trademarks on all the logos.  For both mine and his cards, there is a trademark for the Penguins and Canadiens.  For the Oilers card, there is not a trademark for either.
  Here the link for the one of his auctions. His user ID is norm202020.

 Part of me feels pissed about this.  Part of me feels flattered.  Part of me thinks it's the pot calling the kettle black.  Do you think he has copied my cards and put in his own player picture?  Or just a coincidence?  What do you think of custom cards and selling them?  How would you feel in this situation?