a img { display:none; } a:hover img { display:block; } -->

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

1980-81 OPC Ken Dryden

  After winning a fourth Stanley Cup in four years with the Montreal Canadiens,  Ken Dryden abruptly retired.  You have to wonder what could have been.  Dryden, and the Canadiens could have won a few more Cups.  Perhaps there would have never been a New York Islanders dynasty and the torch would pass from the Canadiens directly to the Edmonton Oilers.  Dryden would have a few more cards produced and he'd likely swap his iconic mask for the combo mask, that was introduced to the NHL by his brother, Dave Dryden.  Before retiring, Ken did test the mask combo, but only during practices.  Here's was a 1980-81 OPC Ken Dryden could have looked like.


1980-81 OPC Ken Dryden

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

2012-13 Limited Box Break

  I recently opened a box/pack of 2012-13 Limited.  1 box = 1 pack = 7 cards.  Let's look at the goods.




   I don't like the red background on the regular base cards.  I prefer the colour scheme of the Silver parallels.  In fact, I really like the silver parallels.



  The Back to the Future card features Zach Kassian on the front.  Jakob Silfverberg has gotten out to a good start with his new team, the Ducks. 



  The star of the pack is the Jonathan Quick Silver Monikers.  Not great, but not horrible, but nothing here for my PC.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

1981-82 OPC Bill Ranford + Bonus Ranford

  It's been a while since I posted so here's two retro Bill Ranford cards.  I stumbled across a picture on eBay.  I have never seen pictures of Bill Ranford in an Oilers uniform while wearing a cage.  I am guessing that this picture was taken on November 9, 1988.  For one, the Oilers only played two road games against the New Jersey Devils that season, and two, #23 for the New Jersey Devils, Bruce Driver, only played in 27 games that season, and only one at home versus the Oilers.  Ranford must have donned a mask later in the season.  He has one on for his 1989-90 Panini Sticker.

  For some reason, I felt the picture scream 81-82 OPC.



  Afterwards, I felt it'd be better as an 88-89 OPC, is if it was from the update set.


  Since I'm using his picture, I may as well provide a link to his auction.  Guy has tons of 3x5 pics from the 80s. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

One Star, One Sheet: Vincent Damphousse

Vincent Damphousse

432 Goals
1205 Points
1993 Stanley Cup



  Vincent Damphousse was drafted 6th overall in the 1986 Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.  He is the highest scoring player from that draft year, and arguably had best career, with the exception of Brian Leetch, who was drafted 9th overall.
  Damphousse immediately became a regular on the Leafs.  In 1989-90 Damphousse finished second on the team with 94 points.  The following season he led the team in points with 73, which was 34 points higher than the next Leaf.  Damphousse also made waves around the NHL scoring four goals and earning MVP honours at the All-Star game in 1991.
  The Leafs, desperate for goaltending help, sent Damphousee to the Edmonton Oilers in a package that brought Grant Fuhr and Glen Anderson to Toronto.  Damphousse led the Oilers with 89 points but the Oilers felt a need to toughen up, and sent Damphousse to the Montreal Canadiens in a deal for Shayne Corson.
  Damphousse enjoyed the best years of his career in Montreal.  In his first season, 1992-93, with the Canadiens, he led the team in scoring during the regular season and during the play-offs.  1993 was Damphousse's first and only Stanley Cup victory.  Damphousse scored 90+ points three times while with the Canadiens, including a career high of 97 in 1992-93.  Damphousse also served as team captain from 1996 until he was traded in 1999 to the San Jose Sharks.
  By this time in his career, Damphousse was no longer a point a game player.  His best season with the Sharks was his first full season, 1999-2000, when he scored 70 points.  A free agent in 2004, he signed with the Colorado Avalanche, but announced his retirement after the 2004-05 season was canceled.
  Damphousse was a solid, but unspectacular, star throughout the 1990s.  He never topped 50 goals, 100 points or make the top ten in goals, assists or points. While he never played with any top tier scoring talent, he played with a lot of tier two and three players. 
  On a side note, I love how the 2003 Pacific Exclusives Gold scanned.  That set was notorious for coming out of the back in bad condition,  a lot of chipping on the corners and edges.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

74-75 OPC WHA Customs

   I decided to do a few 74-75 OPC WHA style cards.  I believe the guy on eBay I been bitching about, took these off another eBayer.  So I decided to try my hand at them. Pretty simple, other than trying to get the right radius for the rounded corners.


  Gary Simmons is the all-time winningest NHL goalie to be born in Prince Edward Island. He has 30 more wins than the second best goalie, Drew McIntyre, who has zero.


  Jacques Plante will be best remembered for his time with the Montreal Canadiens and for being the first goalie to regularly wear a mask in the NHL.  He did spend 2 1/2 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Plante led the league in GAA during his first season with the Leafs in 1970-71.  Plante had a 1.88 GAA, the other Leafs goalies combined for a 3.39 GAA.


  Cesare Maniago made a name for himself playing for the Minesota North Stars.  He joined the North Stars for their debut season in 1967.  Before the 1967 expansion, Maniago played briefly with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers.  He would retire as a Vancouver Canuck.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Amazing Drawing: Jacques Plante


  I wish I could draw like this, or at the very least, buy a drawing like this.  I first thought it was a photograph when I saw it while googling for Jacque Plante pictures.  It's done by Jean-Francois Verreault.  He posted work-in-progress pics of it as well on deviantart.




Saturday, September 7, 2013

Another eBay rip-off from my blog; Same Seller

  I first found this seller back in November of 2012.  He was taking the pictures of the 88-89 OPC Tribute set I was posting to my blog and then selling them as his own on eBay.  Some of the listings were the exact same picture he lifted off my blog but most were ones were he replaced the pictures but kept the framework.  Some of his work was quite sloppy.  The shadow of the name box was often cropped very poorly. 
  I contacted him, he denied it.  I sent him a link to my blog with proof, he never replied.
  So I started putting a Blargh copymark across the pictures I posted of new custom cards.  It seemed to work, until I did a search on eBay and found this from the same seller as before.


  Which looks like it may be an exact copy of this picture from a post in October of 2012..


  Okay, before I call this eBay seller a piece of shit, let's try to verify it.  When I did my 1980s OPC, I did the entire template.  I didn't scan a Canadiens card from the set, cut out the picture and put in a new one.  I do all the lines and shapes to make the boxes to be as close to the original card as possible.  So odds of his lines being the exact same as mine are highly unlikely.  Ditto for the font and text.  The picture below is his card layered on top of mine (without the Blargh mark), with his set at 50% opacity.

 

  Gee, what a surprise, it's identical.  What are the odds of that?  But how did he get a copy without the big Blargh across the top?  Even if he photoshopped it, the lines wouldn't match exactly the same.  And why remove the OPC symbol on the bottom?  I did originally post the picture without the Blargh mark on it but added it a few weeks later after finding the eBay copies of my pictures.  If he saved a copy back in October of 2012, then why wait until now to post it on eBay?
  I did some checking and I found out that Blogger stores all your pictures you uploaded in a Picasso album.  I am not sure if someone can access it, but the original 83-84 Roy, without the big Blargh, was still online in the Picasso album.  I have gone through and deleted anything I don't want copied.  While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, if any one makes money off me ripping off OPC, then it should be me

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

One Star, One Sheet; Bill Guerin

Bill Guerin

2 Stanley Cups
429 Career Goals
2002 2nd Team All-Star


    Bill Guerin was an upper tier power forward in the 1990s and early 2000s.   He twice topped the 40 goal mark and played with eight teams over his 18 year career.
  Originally drafted 5th overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 1989 draft, Guerin chose to go to college.  He played two seasons at Boston College before making the jump to pro hockey in 1991.  After being a point a game player with the Utica Devils in the AHL, Guerin earned a permanent spot on the Devils roster during the 1992-93 season.  Guerin was a physical force for the Devils and helped the Devils win a Stanley Cup in 1995.  In a game against the San Jose Sharks on Novemeber 11th, 1995, Guerin earned his first career Gordie Howe Hat Trick, scoring a goal, an assist and also getting into two fights.
   Guerin was selected to team USA for the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.  While Guerin was unable to score a goal, he provided toughness for the team and won a stunning upset over the heavily favoured Team Canada.  Guerin followed it up leading the Devils in goals, with 29.
  Prior to the 1997-98, Guerin sat out training camp, hoping to get a better contract.  Of course it made huge waves with Devils fans, but it also made national sports headlines as the Devils GM, Lou Lamarillo, who was also the GM of the USA Olympic team, left Guerin off the preliminary roster for the Olympics.  The situation drew the ire of the NHLPA and other USA hockey stars, but in the end it was Guerin who blinked first.  Guerin, begrudgingly, signed a 3 year, $5 millions dollar deal, not so much to play for the Devils, but to play for team USA in the 1998 Olympics.
  By January of 1998, the saga drew to a head, as the New Jersey Devils shipped Bill Guerin to the Edmonton Oilers in a four player deal.  Guerin got to play for team USA in the the 1998 Nagano Olympics.  Team USA had a regrettable performance on the ice, finishing 6th, and off the ice, trashing their hotel rooms.  Before the off-ice incident Guerin was asked if the team should have a curfew, his reply was prominently featured in the papers after the room trashing.  "No.  Why should we?  We are all grown men.  We know how to handle ourselves."

Guerin, #12, can bare to watch

  Guerin spent three seasons with the Oilers.  He had his first 30 goal season and had 64 points in 1998-99 but he followed that up with a disappointing 24 goal and 46 points in the following season.
  Guerin, a restricted free agent after the 2000-01 season and eligible to be an unrestricted free agent in 2002, played himself out Edmonton, by that I mean out of Edmonton's price range.  In the 2000-01 season, Guerin was fourth in the league in scoring with 22 points after 21 games when he was traded to the Boston Bruins in a deal for Anson Carter and draft picks, one of which was used to select Ales Hemsky.  Guerin would continue his point a game pace and finished with 40 goals and a career high of 85 points. 
  Guerin would sign a one year deal with the Bruins and set a career high with 41 goals, which was 2nd best in the NHL that season.  He was chosen as a Second Team All-Star.  He won a silver medal at the Olympics in Salt Lake City.  Guerin was seen as one of the biggest names available during the 2002 free agency period and he was set to cash in, and he certainly did.
  The Dallas Stars signed Guerin to a 5 year, $45 million dollar contract.  Straddled with high expectaions, Guerin struggled to produce.  Scoring 25 and 34 goals in the first two seasons of the contract.  After the 2004-05 lockout, with rules in place to increase scoring, Guerin looked lost, scoring only 13 goals, a career low, excluding the 1995 lock-out season where he scored 12 goals.  He was still selected to his third Olympics but Team USA put in a horrible performance, finishing 8th The Stars cut Guerin loose, buying him out of the remaining two years on his contract.
  Guerin signed a one year deal with the St. Louis Blues for $2 million.  Guerin was rejuvenated in St. Louis, scoring 28 goals in  61 games.  The Blues, who were out of the play-off chase come the trade deadline, sent Guerin to the San Jose Sharks for a pair of prospects and a 1st round draft pick.
  Guerin had 8 goals in 16 games with the Sharks, but Sharks failed to make it out of the second round in the play-offs.  Guerin, an unrestricted free agent, signed a 2 year, $9 million contract with the New York Islanders.  Guerin led the Islanders with 23 goals in 2007-08.  The Islanders were an abysmal team, finished 26th in the NHL in 07-08 and were on thier way to a 30th place finish when they dealt Guerin to Pittsburgh Penguins.
  The Penguins, who had lost in the Stanley Cup finals the previous season, were looking for Guerin to add veteran leadership to a young team.  Guerin played incredibly well in the play-offs, scoring 15 points in 24 games and helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup.  It was Guerin's second career Stanley Cup.  Guerin would play one more season with the Penguins.  Guerin scored 21 goals, his 13th 20+ goal season.
  Guerin was invited the Philadelphia Flyers training camp in 2011, but failed to make the team.  With no other offers for in his services, Guerin officially retired in December of 2011.


  Guerin was elected to the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.  He currently works in Player Development with the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

One Star, One Sheet; Grant Fuhr

Grant Fuhr

403 Wins
4 Stanley Cups
2003 HHOF


  Grant Fuhr is considered one of hockey's top clutch goalies.  Fuhr won four Stanley Cups and was in net for Team Canada's memorable 1987 Canada Cup victory.  Accolades, controversy and curiosity were prevalent in Fuhr's career.
  Fuhr was born to a bi-racial couple but was put up for adoption shortly after birth and was raised by a white family.  Fuhr's skin colour made headlines as the Edmonton Oilers selected him 8th overall in the 1981 draft.  Fuhr made the team out training camp, lost his first game but then set a rookie record by going unbeaten in his next 23 games.  He finished the season 28-5-14, with a 3.31 GAA and was the runner-up for the Vezina trophy.  His rookie season was the only time Grant Fuhr finished in the top ten for GAA.  Fuhr's play-off legacy would get off to a rocky start as he was involved in the Miracle in Manchester and a first round exit by the Oilers.


  Fuhr struggled the following season and was actually demoted to the AHL for a month.  Although the Oilers made it to the Stanley Cup finals, Fuhr only played 11 mins in the play-offs.  The Oilers went with Andy Moog during the 1983 play-offs.  For fives seasons Moog and Fuhr would split time during the regular season but after 1983, the play-offs were a different story.

  In 1983-84, Fuhr would return to form, he led the NHL in wins and set a single season records for goalies with 14 assists.  Fuhr started the play-offs as the go to guy and he held down the fort as the Oilers ended the New York Islanders dynasty and begin their own.  Fuhr would help the Oilers win four cups in five years.  It could have been five in five if it wasn't for Steve Smith's infamous own goal in 1986.
  Fuhr was Team Canada's starting goalie for the 1987 Canada Cup.  While the scores aren't flattering, 16 goals against in 3 games, Fuhr stood on head during the finals as the Soviets and Canadians kept fans on the edge of their seats.  Team Canada won the third game 6-5 on a late goal by Mario Lemieux,


  Although Fuhr would win the Vezina in 1987-88, his GAA, 3.43, and Save Pct, .881, weren't top ten in either category.  It is the only time since Save Pct became an official stat in 1983, that a Vezina winner did not finish in the top ten in either GAA or Save Pct.  As I mentioned, other than his rookie season, Fuhr never made the top ten in GAA.  Only twice in his career would he have a save percentage over .900, and that was in the mid-90s, during the dead puck era.  It would be Fuhr's play in the play-offs that would catapult him into stardom. 
  During the 1988 offseason, everything changed for the Oilers with the trading of Wayne Gretzky.  Fuhr would have his first losing season of his career, going 23-26-6, with a 3.81 GAA.  The following season, the Oilers would find a way to rebound and win a Cup without Gretzky, but it was also without Fuhr.  First it started with Fuhr's retirement.  Frustrated with his contract and not being able to wear a Pepsi logo on his goalie pads, Fuhr handed in his signed retirement papers to Oiler GM Glen Sather.  Sather, figuring it was only a ploy to get a new contract, never filed the papers.  Fuhr would unretire and make it to Edmonton in time for training camp.
  The inauspicious start to the season would be an omen for Fuhr.  He injuried his knee in pre-season, missing the first 11 games of the season.  He would play 17 of the next 22 games before suffering a shoulder injury.  He missed over 30 games before returning and then re-injuring the shoulder again.  Fuhr would watch creasemate Bill Ranford carry the Oilers to a Stanley Cup victory over the Boston Bruins.
  During the following offseason, Fuhr's career would hit rock bottom.  During the mid-80s, rumours ran rampant about drug use by the Edmonton Oilers.  The story was broke by Sports Illustrated and sparked RCMP investigations into the team.  No charges were laid and no names were named.  Although once Fuhr checked himself into a drug rehab during the 1990 offseason, the controversy sparked up again.  Fuhr admit to using illegal substances, i.e cocaine, from about 1983 to 1990.  The NHL, who had a strict and harsh drug abuse policy, suspended Fuhr for one year.  Considering Fuhr's confession and self-admission to rehab, the NHL later reduced his suspension to four months.  Fuhr made a triumphant return to the NHL on February 18th, 11 months since he last played in the NHL, with a 27 save shutout versus the New Jersey Devils. 
  Fuhr played well enough to get the nod for the play-offs.  He helped the Oilers reach the Conference finals before bowing out to the Minnesota North Stars in five games. 
  When it came time for the 1991 Canada Cup, Grant Fuhr was not invited to camp.  Officially, it was stated he hadn't played enough over the past year to be considered ready.  Instead, it was Fuhr's Edmonton Oiler back-up, Bill Ranford who got the started gig.  Team Canada never lost a game in the tournament and Ranford was selected at tournament MVP. 
  Bill Ranford was proving himself to every bit "money" as Grant Fuhr, but without the baggage.  During the 1991 training camp, Fuhr was shipped to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a seven player deal.  Fuhr led the NHL in losses, 33, in 1991-92 and once again found himself expendable, as top prospect, Felix Potvin, pushed his way into the crease.  During the 1992-93 season, Fuhr was traded to Buffalo.
  In Buffalo, Fuhr continued his mediocre regular seasons and once again found himself hounded by the next hot prospect.  This time it was Dominik Hasek.  Hasek, who actually only two years younger than Fuhr, vaulted over the more experienced Fuhr.  Fuhr found himself riding the pine during the regular season, and also in the play-offs.  He would, along with Hasek, win the William Jennigs trophy in 1994, although Fuhr's GAA was more than 1.50 higher than Hasek's.  After spending a little over two years in Buffalo, Fuhr was once again part of a large deal.  This time he was going to Los Angeles.
  Reunited with former Oilers Wayne Gretzky, and Jari Kurri, Fuhr was expected to provide insurance for the injured Kelly Hrudey.  It was a disaster, Fuhr would go 1-7-3, with a 4.04 GAA.  It appeared Fuhr was done.  The Kings allowed to walk via free agency in the offseason.
   Fuhr still had one admirer, Mike Keenan.  Keenan was so convinced that Fuhr could still play that he didn't bother resigning Curtis Joseph, trading his rights to Edmonton.  At first it seemed like a disaster, Fuhr showed up at training camp overweight, Keenan exiled him from training camp for a week.  Fuhr got his act together in time for the season and would set a NHL record by playing 79 games, including a NHL record 76 straight.  He reinjured his knee in the 76th game of the season, causing him to miss three games, otherwise he likely would have started in all 82 games.  This was also the season the Blues traded for Wayne Gretzky and were expecting a deep run in the play-offs.
  Fuhr's knees would once again get injured during round one of the play-offs versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.  In a controversial play, Nick Kypreos "jumps" on a prone Grant Fuhr during a goal mouth scramble.  Fuhr reinjures his knee and is out for the rest of the play-offs.  Kyperos is suspended for one game.  Jon Casey takes over in net for the Blues.  The Blues are able to beat the Leafs in six games but lost in double overtime of the seventh game versus the Detroit Red Wings in round two.
  Granted, it was during the trap era, statistically, Fuhr had his best seasons while playing for the Blues.  During four season with the Blues, Fuhr was 108-87-41, with a 2.68 GAA and a .900 save percentage.  Fuhr was never able to lead the Blues past the second round in the play-offs and during his final two seasons with the Blues, his back-ups were outplaying him during the regular season.  The Blues let Grant Fuhr leave via free agancy in 1999.
  Fuhr returned to the battle of Alberta, but this time, he was on the other side.  Fuhr signed with Calgary Flames.  Fuhr spent the season as the back-up goalie and his numbers once again ballooned.  In 23 games he was 5-13-2, with a 3.83 GAA.  His 13th loss of the season tied him with Gilles Meloche for most losses in a career.  He retired after the 1999-00 season.
  Grant Fuhr was a first ballot HHOFer.  He certainly never made on his regular season numbers.  He shared the crease with Andy Moog during the 1980s, but Fuhr took his game to another level when it really mattered.  He made his name as big game goalie.  He survived the drug scandal and some horrible years in the early 1990s to finish his career on a positive note.
  If Fuhr had retired in 1989, does he still make the HHOF?  Other than a few good years in St, Louis, again not top ten in GAA or save percentage, Fuhr was mediocre at best.  Andy Moog's regular season numbers were slightly better than Fuhr, and he played well in spot duty during the Cup runs.  If Moog starts during the play-offs, do the Oilers still win those Cups?


Saturday, August 24, 2013

What Out Joey, Billy's on the boards

  What a great card to represent the dead puck era.  Bill Lindsay, a career grinder, having his sweater grabbed by an unknown Washington Capitals assailant.  A scene so offensive, skilled playmakers, such as Joe Juneau, on the bench, cringe in horror.
  Juneau had 70 assists and 102 points in 1992-93, his rookie season.  Neither total was good enough to crack the top ten.  Lindsay, a key player in the Florida Panthers 1995 play-off run, had 34 points in 1996-97, matching his career high, set the previous season.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One Star, One Sheet: Ron Francis

Ron Francis

 2007 HHOF
1798 Career Points
2 Stanley Cups
3 Lady Byngs


  Quick, without looking at the picture above, name the only 500 goal scorer to have never scored 40 goals or more in a single season?  Francis scored 549 career goals, but never scored 40 in a season.  Francis only broke the 30 goal mark three times in his career, setting a career high 1989-90 with 32 goals.
  Francis was drafted 4th overall by the Hartford Whalers in the 1981 Entry Draft.  Francis quickly became the team's top playmaker but the Whalers struggles continued, they finished last in the Adams division for four straight years.
  The Whalers didn't make the play-offs until the 1985-86 season.  While Francis missed 29 games that season due to a ankle injury, the team was led by Francis' cousin, recently acquired goalie, Mike Liut.  Francis would struggle in the play-offs, only getting 3 points in 10 games and the Whalers would be eliminated in the 2nd round.  The franchise would not win another play-off round for another 16 years.
  While Francis continued to put up points in the regular season, including 101 in 1989-90, he never once led the Whalers in play-off scoring.  In his 33 play-off games as a Whaler, Francis only totaled 22 points. 
  At the 1990-91 trade deadline, the Hartford Whalers made one of the worst trades in NHL history, that didn't include cash or draft picks, when they sent Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings to the Pittsburgh Pengiuns for John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski.  Cullen, who was a year younger than Francis and only in his third NHL season, has scored 204 points since the start of 1989-90.  Francis, who was in his tenth season, had 177 points.  The Whalers would make the play-offs in '91 and '92, losing in the first round each time, before missing the play-offs for six straight seasons.  They wouldn't make the play-offs again until 1999, as the Carolina Hurricanes.  Cullen would be out of the NHL by 1999. 
  The trade would help the Pittsburgh Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cups.  Francis exorcised his play-off demons by scoring 44 points during the two Stanley Cup runs.  Francis led the NHL in  regular season assists in back-to-back seasons.  His 92 assists and 119 points in 1995-96 were career highs.  During his time as a Pittsburgh Penguin, eight seasons, Francis would fill his trophy cases with two Stanley Cups, two Lady Byng and a Frank Selke.

Francis and his first Stanley Cup

  In the 1998 offseason, Francis would return to the franchise that drafted them, although it was after the Whalers moved and changed their name to the Carolina Hurricanes. Francis, now 35, continued to be a solid performer on the Hurricanes and was a vital part of their 2002 Stanley Cup finals run.  He would add two more trophies to his resume in 2002, winning the King Clancy trophy and his third career Lady Byng.
  The Hurricanes missed the play-offs the following season and were on the outside looking in 2004 when they traded Francis to the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The Leafs would lose in the second round and Francis would retire during the ensuing lock-out.
  Francis was rarely highlight reel material.  He was never a 1st or 2nd team all-star.  Only five times in a 23 year career did he make the top 10 in scoring.  It is his career numbers that are staggering.  Only Wayne Gretzky had more career assists than Francis.  Francis ranks fourth all time in career points.
   Also, what I found interesting is that Francis only once played for Team Canada and it was not at the World Juniors.  He helped Team Canada win a  Silver at the 1985 World Championships.  Francis never played in the Canada Cup, World Cup, or the Olympics.  During Francis' career the top two center spots were always reserved for Gretzky or Mario Lemieux, but it's still surprising Francis was never selected, even in a defensive role.  You would think he would have made the 1998 Olympic team over Rob Zamuner.
 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

TTM Success: Ryan Keslar

  Here's a TTM that I had written off.   I received it on June 1st, 2013, which was 794 days after I had sent it.  Holy cow!  Ryan Kesler signed one of two cards.  I had sent it c/o the Vancouver Canucks.  Very surprised, and happy, to get this one back.  But it does make you wonder where it was sitting for the past two years.
  Kesler was coming off a 41 goal season and was a major factor in the Canuck play-offs run in 2011.  He has not been able to recapture his play from that season.  He only had 49 points in 77 games in 2011-12 and was hampered by injuries in 2013.  Canucks will need Kesler to return to his 2011 form to be considered Stanley Cup Contenders in 2014.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lost Cards: 07-08 OPC Sean Burke


  I was preparing a One Star, One Sheet post for Sean Burke when upon further investigation, I was missing a Vancouver Canuck card of Burke.  I originally thought now existed.  Burke only played 16 games with the Canucks during the 1997-98 season.  A season in which he started with Carolina and ended with Philadelphia.  Two cards were produced depicting Burke as a Canuck.  So a sheet I though was complete, was now incomplete.  Only his 1997-98 Donruss Elite fits the criteria for the project. Of course that year is sparse on Sportlots, available only from sellers who card an arm and leg for S/H to Canada.
  While I was thinking about it, I did a double check to see if Burke had a card of him as a Los Angeles King.  Burke never had a card as a Los Angeles King, so I decided I'd take this One Star, One Sheet thing a bit further.

2007-08 O-Pee-Chee #601 - Sean Burke

  The front was easy, as per usual, but the back was killer.  OPC used a few different fonts which I had a hard time matching, they centered the stats under the headings, the black items were faded to different degrees, and I had a hard time keeping the stats lined up.  I ended up with about 90 layers for just the stats.  I only put the last 10 years since that's all OPC was showing for the older players from this set.  I don't think I'll be doing anymore backs for 07-08 OPC.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

One Star, One Sheet: Wendel Clark

Wendel Clark

1st Overall Pick 1985
2x All-Star
330 Career Goals



  Wendel Clark was the face of the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise from the mid 1980s to early 1990s.  He was anarchy on skates.  He could score, he could hit and he could fight.  A fan favourite, Clark would have three stints with the Maple Leafs, never playing a full season with any other franchise.
  Drafted 1st overall in the 1985 Entry Draft, Wendel would lead all rookies with 34 goals, while only playing in 66 games.  Clark played with reckless abandon and laid out some legendary hits, including this one on Bruce Bell of the St. Louis Blues.  Clark's take no prisoners style of play would quickly take a toll on him.  After playing 80 games in his sophomore season, Clark would play a total of 81 games over the next three seasons and wouldn't play more than 70 games again in a season again until his 11th season in the league.
  Clark would start the 1991-92 season on fire, scoring eight goals and 13 points in his first six games, before once again going down with an injury.  There was a big change when Clark returned to the Leafs, Cliff Fletcher had just pulled the trigger on, arguably, the best Leafs trade ever, acquiring Doug Gilmour in a ten player deal with the Calgary Flames.  The Leafs played better than .500 hockey the remainder of the season but fell short of the making the play-offs.
  The next season would be the season that will go down in history as the greatest Leaf season, for anyone under the age of fifty.  The Leafs would add the supporting cast to not only make it to the play-offs, but make it to one win from the Stanley Cup final.  After a disappointing regular season, 39pts in 66gp, Clark would get 20pts in 21 games during the play-offs, including 10 points in the seven game series against the Kings, along with a memorable fight in game one vs Marty McSorley.  In the final two games, both losses, Clark scored five goals.
  Clark would have his best season in 93-94, scoring 46 goals and 76 points in only 64 games.  Which would be 60 goals if prorated over 84 games, which was the length of the 93-94 season.  It was also the last season Clark would top 100 PIM.  The Leafs would again reach the Stanley Cup Finals but lost to the Vancouver Canucks.  Clark struggled in the series, only getting one point in five games.
  The off-season Cliff Fletcher made another stunning trade, sending Clark to the Quebec Nordiques in a deal that would bring future HHOFer Mats Sundin to Toronto.  Clark would spend the 94-95 lockout shortened season in Quebec before being traded to New York Islanders, for Claude Lemieux.
  Wendel's time on the island would be short.  The Islanders, one of the worst teams in the NHL, in the standings and in the fashion sense, would trade Wendel Clark back to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal that would include promising young d-man Kenny Jonsson and a 1st round draft pick, which would be used on Roberto Luongo at 4th overall, going to the Islanders. 
  By this time, injuries had played a toll on Clark and he was no longer a bull in the china shop.  The Leafs were also not the Leafs he had left in 1993.  The Leafs were dispersed in the 1st round of the play-offs in 1996 and would miss the play-offs in each of the next two seasons.
  Clark would sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 1998-99 season.  He would be traded to the *gasp* Detroit Red Wings and finished the year with 32 goals and a Lady Byngian 37 PIM in 77 games.  The Red Wings, in pursuit of a three-peat, were bounced in the second round.
  As a free agent, Clark would sign with the *gasp* Chicago Blackhawks.  Clark struggled with the Hawks, scoring only two goals in 13 games before being released.  He would finish his final season with his third, and final stint, as a Toronto Maple Leaf. 
  Clark played the game with reckless abandon, but ultimately paid the price.  While Wendel Clark is not a HHOFer, he is a hockey legend.  The ultimate hockey triple threat; goals, hits and fists.

 

Friday, August 9, 2013

TTM Success: Derek King

  Selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1985 entry draft by the New York Islanders, Derek King, put together a solid NHL career.  He scored 261 goals in 830 career games.  In 1991-92, King scored 40 goals for the Islanders.  King also played a big role in helping the 1993 Islanders knock off the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs, by collecting eight points in the series.  King would also play with the Hartford Whalers, Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues before retiring in 2000.  He is now the coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. 

 ,


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

TTM Success: Perry Berezan

  Perry Berezan scored one of the biggest goals in Calgary Flames history, and he did it while sitting on the bench.  Yes, we are talking about the Steve Smith own goal of 1986. 



You can see him on the bench at the 1:24 mark of the video on the bench.  Originally there was so much confusion, the refs gave the goal to Lanny McDonald.  It would be eventually correct and it was the game-winning goal in game 7 of the Smythe division final.  It was the only Stanley Cup the Oilers didn't win in a five year period.  Berezan was never able to crack the Flames line-up full-time and he was traded to the Minnesota North Stars at the 1989 trade deadline.  The Flames would go onto win the Cup that year.  Berezan would play a few seasons for the North Stars and then a few more for the expansion franchise, San Jose Sharks, before retiring in 1993.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

One Star, One Sheet: Don Beaupre

Don Beaupre

2x All-Star
268 Career Wins


  Alright, here's the first guy who may not be considered a star in the One Sheet, One Star project, but he was a solid performer for a decade and was the goalie of my dad's favourite team when I first started watching hockey as a child.
  Beaupre was a 2nd round pick by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1980 entry draft.  He was the first goalie picked in the 1980 draft, one spot ahead of Kelly Hrudey.  Beaupre would impress during training camp and made the team.  He ended the season skating off the ice in disappointment, while the New York Islanders celebrated a Stanley Cup win against the surprising North Stars. Beaupre started the last two games in the series and was in net for the North Stars lone win in the series.  Check this out for some vintage footage of games four and five of the 1981 final.
  Beaupre's rookie card, his 1981-82 OPC, was part of the 1981-82 OPC goalie reboot project.  Check out Beaupre's reboot.
  During his first five seasons, Beaupre would split time with Gilles Meloche.  Beaupre wouldn't crack 50 games or 25 wins in a season until 1985-86, the season after Meloche was traded.  By then, the promising North Stars of the early 1980s were on the decline.  In Beaupre's final full season with the team, the North Stars finished as the worst team in the NHL, with 51 points.  Since they played in the Norris division, they finished 1 point out of a play-off spot.
  The following season, 1988-89, Beaupre found himself the odd man out, as the North Stars started the season with Kari Takko and Jon Casey.  Frustrated with his demotion to the IHL, Beaupre requested a trade.  Beaupre got the trade he demanded, but still found himself still playing in the minors.  He was now stuck behind Pete Peeters and Clint Malarchuk for the Washington Capitals.
  Beaupre eventually play himself into the Capitals starting line-up and had his best seasons playing behind Washington's stingy defense.  In 1990-91, Beaupre would led the NHL in shutouts, 5, and finish second in GAA, with 2.64.  Beaupre's mask with the White House prominently on the helm, is one of the iconic goalie masks of the early 1990s.  Although I don't buy it when he croons that the Capitals and you were more than a team.
  The Capitals of the mid 1990s were stock piling young goalies and with the likes of Jim Carey, Olaf Kolzig and Bryon Dafoe, all ready to contribute, Beaupre found himself expendable.  Beaupre moved from one nation's capital to another's, as he joined the Ottawa Senators on the eve of the lock-out shortened 1994-95 season.  Beaupre would finish the season 3-25-3, with a 3.36 GAA.  His GAA set a franchise record, since broken, for lowest GAA by a Senators goalie.  He beat the previous mark by a full goal.
  Beaupre started the 1995-96 season with Ottawa before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Beaupre finished his career the following season.  He lost his final 22 decisions.  No win, no ties, 22 losses.  Is that a record?
  Since retiring Beaupre has been a successful business man.  He current runs Beaupre Aerial Equipment.  He is also a gracious TTM signer.  He was one of my earliest TTM returns.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

TTM Success: Tanner Glass


  Tanner Glass tied for top spot in 2012-13 for games played.  He played in all 48 regular season games for the Pittsburgh Penguins.  During those 48 games, he scored one goal and one assist.  While playing for the Winnipeg Jets, he had a goal and an assist in the same game, and then added a fight to complete the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.  That fight, against Cody McCormick, was a finalist for fight of the year at hockeyfights.com.  Check it out below.  And if you don't think these guys respect each other, check out the rematch.  McCormick had Glass jerseyed, but allowed Glass to get his jersey back on before continuing with the fight.  What a beauty.





Sunday, July 28, 2013

Imagine if....



  In possible the worst trade ever in the history of hockey, on May 22nd, 1970, the California Golden Seals traded away their first round draft pick in the 1971 Amateur Draft, Francois Lacombe and cash to the Montreal Canadiens for the Canadiens 1st round pick in 1970 and Ernie Hicke.  The Golden Seals would draft Chris Oddleifson with Montreal's 10th overall pick in 1970.  The following year, the Canadiens would use California's 1st overall pick to select Guy Lafleur.  Great trade by Canadiens GM Sam Pollock, but what in the world was the Golden Seals GM, Frank Selke Jr, thinking?
  In 1969-70, the season before the trade was completed, the Golden Seals made the play-offs, and the Canadiens had not.  Although that was the last season where one division was all expansion teams and the other was all Original Six teams.  The Seals made the play-offs with 58 points, good for 4th place in the West.  The Canadiens finished with 92 points and they finished 5th in the East after losing a tiebreaker to the New York Rangers.  So, perhaps Selke Jr was thinking the Seals were on the way up and the Canadiens were on the way down, and that the 1971 pick would be a late first rounder and not the first overall.  Assuming he gave a damn about draft picks in the first place.

Ernie Hicke RC

  Prior to the 1969 draft, the majority of young stars were already own by teams through the sponsoring of junior teams.  Basically a NHL team would buy a junior team and then they would exclusive rights to negotiate contracts with those players.  For example, the Boston Bruins bought the Oshawa Generals, just so they could sign a 14 year old Bobby Orr to a contract.  So when the Seals traded the pick to the Canadiens, no player who had been acquired through the draft had made an impact in the NHL.  The first 10 picks from 1969 had combined for 18 points in 44 games.  Even earlier draftees that would go to stellar careers had yet to become stars, players such as Ken Dryden, Syl Apps, Pete Mahovolich and Brad Park.  So the draft did not hold the same importance as it does today.
  The Seals had a history of trading the Montreal Canadiens 1st round choices.  From 1968 to 1973, Montreal Canadiens acquired five first round picks from the Seals.  The other two first round picks prior to Lafleur, Jim Pritchard, 3rd overall in 1968, and Ray Martrynuik, 5th overall in 1970, failed to make an impact in the NHL.  They combined to played zero games in the NHL and 2 WHA games. The following two had a bit more success, Michel Larocque, and Tom Lysiak.  All of the other 1st round picks were traded to the Canadiens prior the 1971 pick and all were traded to the Canadiens by Frank Selke Jr.
  The Canadiens also needed a future face of the franchise.  In the 1968 and 1969 Amateur drafts, the Montreal Canadiens were given cultural choices.  The had the option to forfeit their first round choice in exchange for picking two french-Canadian players with the 1st and 2nd overall picks of the draft.  In 1969, they selected Michel Plasse and Roger Belisle.  In 1969, they selected Rejean Houle and Marc Tardif.  while not bad players, they paled in comparision to the top french-Canadian in 1970, Gilbert Perreault.  With not being able to select Perreault with a cultural selection, the Canadiens were still looking for a heir apparent for Jean Beliveau as the next great francophone Montreal Canadien star. 


    The Canadiens had their eye on Guy Lafleur.  A star in the QMJHL, Lafleur scored 103 goals in 1969-70 and then followed it up with 130 goals in 1970-71.  Even if the Seals didn't finish last, there was also Marcel Dionne available at the draft.  But that wouldn't do for the Canadiens,  they traded aging star Ralph Backstrom to the Los Angeles Kings during the 1970-71 season.  The Kings had finished last in the NHL the previous season and were near the bottom of the standing again, challenging the Seals for last.  In hindsight, the trade seems unnecessary.  At the time of the trade, the Kings were the fourth worst team in the NHL, the Seals were the worst, although closely followed by the Vancouver Canucks.  The Kings were a .400 before the trade, and were basically a .400 team after the trade.  Perhaps the trade had a psychological effect on the Seals.  The Seals were by far the worst team in the NHL after the Backstorm trade, only wining 6 of their remaining 28 games. They dropped like a rock and cemented their last place finish.
  In the end, the Canadiens got Lafleur and the rest is history.  Stanley Cups, accolades, trophies and the Hall Of Fame would await Lafleur.  For the Seals, Hicke was their second leading scorer in 1971 and Oddleifson would go onto a decent career, although he never played a game with the Seals.
  So while we came up with a few possible reasons that might have factored into the Seals trading away the pick, we couldn't find a real answer.  The conspiracy theorists like to point our Frank Selke Jr's links to the Montreal Canadiens.  His father was their legendary GM in the 40s and 50s, and Selke Jr worked for the Canadiens as the publicity manager for years before joining the Seals as GM.  So he had a lot of ties to the Canadiens.   Although Frank Selke Jr had a horrible track record as a GM, he is a extremely well respected man and was a huge factor in the growth and support of Canada's Special Olympics program.  Perhaps he was just in way over his head as GM of the Seals.
  Frank Selke Jr would resign in November of 1970.   The team would have six GMs in its first five years.  Future HHOFer and New York Islanders architect, Bill Torrey, would take over as GM after Frank Selke.  He would resign after a month.  
  But could you imagine if the Seals had held onto the pick and had drafted Lafleur?  Would the Seals still be in California?  Would the Canadiens still dominate the 1970s?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One Star, One Sheet - Tom Barrasso

Tom Barrasso

369 Career Wins
2 Stanley Cups
1984 Calder and Vezina Winner


  Tom Barrasso, the 5th overall pick in the 1983 draft, made the jump straight from high school hockey to the NHL.  As a Buffalo Sabre, he won the Calder, Vezina and was selected as a First-Team All-Star in rookie season.  Barrasso could have been a Los Angeles King.  The Kings traded the 5th overall pick in the 1983 draft to the Sabres for Rick Martin in March of 1981.  Oddly enough, it was almost a year after the LA King traded their 1982 first round choice to the Buffalo Sabres for Jerry Korab.  The Sabres turned that pick into Phil Housley.  You would have the Kings would have learned not to trade away picks after trading away a first round pick in the 1979 draft to the Boston Bruins for goalie Ron Grahame.  The Bruins selected Raymond Bourque.
  Barrasso followed up his rookie season by leading the league in GAA and winning the William Jennings trophy.  He would be the Sabres main man in net until 1988.  After getting off to a horrendous start, 2-7-0 with a 4.95 GAA, the moody Barrasso was upset over losing his starting job to Daren Puppa.  As tensions between the netminding duo mounted, Buffalo was forced to make a choice.  On November 12th, 1988, Barrasso was shipped to Pittsburgh.
  Barrasso played a key role in helping the Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.  He still holds the Penguins single season record with 43 wins in 1992-93.  Barrasso could have really padded his starts, except he missed almost two complete season with injuries, 1994-95 and 1996-97.  During the 1997-98 season, Barrasso became the first American goalie to win 300 career games.  Barrasso's time in Pittsburgh was tarnished by his feuds with teammates and the media.  He infamously refused all interviews for an entire season.
  At the 2000 trade deadline, Barrasso was traded to the Ottawa Senators for another goalie, Ron Tugnutt.  Once again Barrasso had another run-in with the media, this letting a swear word slip during a post-game interview with CBC.  "I really couldn't give a shit what you people (the media) have to say,"
  That brief bit of controvesy and a first round play-off exit helped end Barrasso's time in Ottawa.  Over the next two seasons, he would have stops in Carolina, Toronto and St. Louis before retiring.  Before officially retiring, he signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, so he could retire as a Penguin.
  Barrasso finished his career with a nice haul of hardware; two Stanley Cups, an Olympic silver medal (he was a back-up in 2002), a Vezina, a Calder, a William Jennings, and was a 1st or 2nd team All-Star three times.  Unfortunately, Barrasso rubbed a number of people the wrong way and his feuds with teammates and the media tarnished his reputation. 
  Is Barrasso HHOF worthy?  I think he's borderline at best and his interactions with the media made it even harder for him to get the votes.  I put Barrasso on par with another HHOF outsider, Curtis Joseph, but ahead of 2014 eligible, Chris Osgood

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Lost Rookies: Bob Probert


  Bob Probert is know as one of the most feared fighters in the history of the NHL.  While Probert's career started in 1985-86, he never got a rookie card until 1988-89.  Normally I wouldn't bother making a Lost Rookie for a player who had his actual RC a few years later and while with the same team, but I had a request for it on a hockey card forum.  It can be hard trying to to find a "rookie" picture of a player who spent several years with his first NHL team.  You may have already seen this card at Drop the Gloves.  He sent me some free cards, so I included this card in the batch I sent back to him.


  While Probert turned heads early in his career with some entertaining and impressive victories against some of the toughest enforcers in the NHL, it was his 1987-88 season which really put Probert on the path to stardom.  Probert led the NHL in PIM with 398, but also had 29 goals, 33 assists and 62 points.  He was selected to the All-Star game and became the only player to have 15+ power-play goals and 300+ PIM in the same season.  He also led the Detroit Red Wings in scoring during the play-offs.
  The following season was a polar opposite for Probert.  After collecting 6 points in the first 8 games he player, he would be scoreless for the next 17 games.  Probert, who had already been suspended twice by the team, was suspended by the NHL following being arrested for drug smuggling.  A search had found 14 grams of cocaine in Probert's underpants while he was trying to cross the Detroit/Windsor US/Canada border.  Probert was forced to spend some time in jail and rehab.  He didn't play in the NHL for over a year.
  In 1994, Probert again found himself in trouble off the ice when he crashed his motorcycle while driving under the influence.  Probert, a restricted free agent, was waived by the Red Wings, meaning the Red Wings even gave up the right for compensation if Probert signed with another team.  He would sign with the Chicago Black Hawks but would miss the entire lockout shortened 1994-95 season.  He was not allowed to play in the NHL until he completed rehab.
  Reinstated by the NHL for the 1995-96 season, Probert would have his last 40 point season in his first year as a Black Hawk.  While still a feared enforcer, Probert's point and penalty minutes would decrease over the remainder of his career until his retirement in 2002.
  Probert would continue to have legal problems in the years to come, including getting tasered during one incident.  In July of 2010, Probert passed away due to heart failure.  He had been working on a book before his death and it was released in late 2010.  It was called Tough Guy; My Life on the Edge.
   We can't talk about Probert without showing at least one fight.  Here's the fight mentioned on the Lost Rookie card; Probert vs Coxe, Round 1.  They don't throw them like that anymore. No defense, all offense.


Friday, July 19, 2013

The Forgotten: Rob McVicar

  Since Shots Against became an official stat for goalies in 1983, only four NHL goalies have played in a game, but never faced a shot.  Rob McVicar is one of those four.  On December 1st, 2005, McVicar played 2 minutes and 44 seconds of relief for the Vancouver Canucks in a 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.  While McVicar never faced a shot, he was on the ice for a Canucks goal and got to race to the bench for an extra attacker in the wayning minutes of the game.
  Another unique thing about Rob McVicar, is that he is the only NHL goalie to have been born in the Northwest Territorries.  McVicar was born in Hay River, NWT but he grew up in Brandon, Manitoba, so he can't be considered a true North of 60 product.
  McVicar was originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 5th round of 2002.  McVicar played the majority of his pro-career in the ECHL.  146 of McVicar's 181 career North American professional games came in the ECHL.  It was in his third pro season when he had a chance to play in the NHL.  When Canucks starter Dan Cloutier suffered a season ending injury on November 20th, McVicar was called up to be the back-up to Alex Auld.  It took 10 games, including four earlier in the season, while sitting on the bench before McVicar got his chance to play.  While he had no shots on net during his time on the ice, he failed to impress the Canucks.  The very next day, they traded for another goalie, Maxime Ouellet.  McVicar would be sent down, not to the Manitoba Moose, but down another level to the Victoria Salmon Kings ECHL.  After a few more seasons in the minors, McVicar took his game overseas and finished his pro career in Europe.
  That has to be bittersweet, playing 3 minutes in the NHL and never getting a chance to make a save.  Compound that by bouncing back and forth between the NHL and AHL and having the team trade for another goalie the day after the game.

  For playing his single game, McVicar has eleven rookies cards.  One neat thing is you can see a change in the equipment and mask used by McVicar.  I am assuming the top cards feature a picture of McVicar in training camp.  He had played the previous season withe Columbia Inferno of the ECHL.



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

TTM Success: Steve Downie

  I was always a big Steve Downie fan.  I loved the way he played the game - with reckless abandon.  His career started out a bit too reckless as he was suspended for a vicious hit on Dean McAmmond in an exhibition game.  Downie was suspended 20 games before even playing an official NHL game.  The Flyers, who had drafted Downie in the 1st round in 2005, eventually tired of his act and sent him to Tampa in 2008.
  It was with the Tampa Bay Lightning that Downie, under the tutelage of Rick Tocchet, finally started to reel in his game and become a top 6 forward.  In 2009-10 Downie became the first player since 2002, to score 20 goals and get 200 PIM in the same season.  He also had a great post-season, helping the team make it to the semi-finals.  Downie wasn't able to build on that success and was traded to the Colorado Avanlache in 2012.  Downie finished the season strong with the Avs but was injured for almost the entire 2013 season.
  One of things I like about TTMing is learning about the players when you do research to make a kiss kick ass request letter.  Although sometimes you learn some things that aren't too flattering.  In junior, Downie attacked teammate Akim Aliu during a team practice. Downie, in his 3rd junior season, was upset that Aliu, a rookie, had refused to take part in a hazing incident, which involved being naked on the team bus. That's messed up.
  In the process of preparing a TTM, have you ever learned anything disagreeable about that player?


Sunday, July 14, 2013

One Star, One Sheet - Dave Andreychuk

Dave Andreychuk

 1639 GP, 640 goals, 698 assists, 1338 points
Two time 50 goal scorer
2004 Stanley Cup



  I should add, not in the Hockey Hall of Fame.  Andreychuk has the most career goals, assists and points of any player eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame, but has not been inducted.  With the induction of Chris Chelios, Andreychuk has also played the most games for a player not in the HHOF.  That is perhaps the knock on Andreychuk, he was consistently good for a long time, but never consistently great.
  Andreychuk was drafted 16th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1982.  He would help Team Canada win the bronze medal at the 1983 World Junior Championship.  Andreychuk led the team in scoring, scoring 11 points, one more than Mario Lemieux.  He would end the season with Sabres and would be their top goal scorer for years to come.  His 368 goals with the Sabres ranks him third in franchise history.
  By 1992, with the emergence of Alexnader Mogilny along with Pat Lafontaine and Dale Hawerchuk, the Sabres had no trouble scoring, but felt they had an issue between the pipes with Darren Puppa and an unproven Dominik Hasek.  The Toronto Maple Leafs felt they had an emerging star of their own with goalie Felix Potvin, which made aging star Grant Fuhr expendable.  The Leafs and Sabres worked out a midseason trade with Andreychuk and Fuhr being the key players.
  In Toronto, Andreychuk, teamed with Doug Gilmour, put up back-to-back 50 goal seasons and 99 point seasons in 1993 and 1994.  The Leafs made it to the Campbell Conference Final two years in a row but came up short each time.  Andreychuk's production dropped each of the next two seasons and at the 1996 trade deadline, Andreychuk was traded to the defending Stanley Cup Champions, New Jersey Devils for a pair of draft picks. 
  Andreychuk was past his prime and was now playing for the offense-adverse Devils.  He scored 27 goals and 61 points in his first season as a Devil, total he would not approach again for the rest of his career.  With the exception of his rookie season and final season, his two seasons with the Devils are the only seasons Andreychuk did not score 20 goals.
  Andreychuk would join the Boston Bruins in 1999 as a free agent.  The Bruins had a miserable season, which included trading the face of the franchise, Raymond Bourque, to the Colorado Avalanche.  Andreychuk was included in the deal, as both players gunned for their first Stanley Cup.  The Avs lost in game 7 of the Conference Final.  Andreychuk's old team, the Devils, bookended Andreychuk's time with the Devils with another Stanley Cup win.  Too bad for Andreychuk, he was on the wrong end of the bookends.
  Andreychuk would return to Buffalo for another 20 goal season.  Andreychuk scored 20 goals 19 times during his career.  After the 00-01 season, Andreychuk signed with a team that seemed to have no chance to win a Stanley Cup, the Tampa Bay Lightning. 
  The Lightning had missd the play-off in five straight seasons and made it a sixth straight in Andreychuk's first season.  But by 2002, a core of star became to emerge in Tampa.  Led by coach John Tortorella, the team included Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Vinny Prospal, Dan Boyle and Nikolai Khabibulin.  With Andreychuk as the Captain, the team made it to the Stanley Cup finals in 2004 and beat the Calgary Flames in seven games.  Andreychuk had four assists in the Finals.  It took 22 seasons, but Andreychuk was now a Stanley Cup champion.


  After the 2004 lockout, instead of retiring, Andreychuk resigned with the Lightning for another two seasons.  Halfway into the season, the Lightning waived Andreychuk.  Instead of reporting to Springfield in the AHL, he retired, never playing a single game in the minors during his 23 year career.
  Andreychuk finished with impressive career numbers, including being the all-time leader in career powerplay goals, but finds himself on the outside looking in when names are called for the Hall.  Do you think Andreychuk will make it into the Hall of Fame?  Do you think he should be in the Hall of Fame?

Friday, July 12, 2013

I Would Love Not to Hate This Card


    I was browsing eBay and I came across this card.



  This is the type of card I have been looking for.  I remember cheering for the Calgary Flames in the late 80s.  I remember watching Steve Smith's gaffe, the Monday Night Miracle and Brian Skrudland's overtime goal in 1986.  It was bitter disappointment.  I lived near Edmonton at the time and my favorite team was the New York Islanders, followed closely by whoever was playing the Oilers.  After that play-off run, the Flames became my Campbell Conference team. 
  In 1989, the Flames were a powerhouse.  Gretzky was out of Edmonton and it seemed the time was right for another deep play-off run.  The Flames almost never made out of the first round.  It took a puck off the skate of Joel Otto in overtime of game seven for the Flames to beat the Vancouver Canucks, a team that was 43 points behind the Flames in the regular season standings.
  The second round would have the Flames face their old nemesis, Wayne Gretzky, but without the supporting cast he had in Edmonton, The Great One couldn't hold back the Flames.  Gretzky had points on nine of the Los Angeles Kings eleven goals.  The Flames would sweep the Kings in four games.
  The Campbell Conference final would match the Flames up with an unlikely foe.  Back in 1989, the first two rounds was within each division.  The other division in the Campbell Conference was the lowly Norris division.  In the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings won the division with 80 points, but it was the cinderella Chicago Black Hawks who won in the play-offs.  The Black Hawks had 66 points in the regular season, the lowest of all play-off teams.  They were dispatched by the Flames in five games.
  Then came the rematch, Calgary Flames versus the Montreal Canadiens.  By far, the top two teams in the regular season and play-offs.  The Canadiens had beaten the Flames in 1986, and early on, the series was looking just like that one.  The Flames won the first game and then would lose the the next two.  In 1986 Skrudland won Game 2 in overtime for the Canadiens, in 1989, Ryan Walter would be an OT hero in Game 3.   Unlike 1986, the Flames had a deeper team and found a way to win the next three games, including two in Montreal, to win the Stanley Cup.


   There were alot of great players on the 1989 Flames.  First off, you have the four Hall of Famers on the card, Joe Mullen, Doug Gilmour, Al MacInnis and Lanny McDonald.  Then you also have Theo Fleury, Mike Vernon, Gary Suter, Joe Nieuwendyk, Hakan Loob, Rob Ramage and Joel Otto.
  I really wanted that Fab Four Fabrics card but I can't stand cards that should players in one team's jersey but then includes a jersey piece that is from another team.  Mullen's piece is from a St. Louis Blues jersey and McDonald's appears to be from a  Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, or considering it's Upper Deck, an alumni game.  I checked eBay for another one and I did find another, but this time Gilmour's jersey was black.  Must have been from his short-lived Black Hawks days.
  So I fixed the card.  This is how it should look like.  Four jersey pieces that all appear to be Flames jerseys.  




  What do you think?  Does matching the player picture to the jersey piece colour factor into your decision to buy a card?