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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

88-89 OPC Tribute; Weiss, Kiprusoff, and Smith

#42 - Stephen Weiss

  It had to happen and it finally did.  A Florida Panther player is included in the set.  When I started this set, I decided upon a minimum of two players per team to be included in the 90 cards of active players.  After much studying of the Panthers roster, Stephen Weiss may end up being the only Panther in the active players section of the set.  It doesn't look good for the Legends or Rookies of the Panther either.  Jonathan Huberdeau was sent back to the juniors and I don't know if John Vaniesbrouck will make the cut as a Legend.  I am just happy I am not a Florida Panthers fan.  Almost makes me glad I am an Islanders fan.  Misery loves company.

#43- Miika Kiprusoff

  In 2003-04 Mikka Kiprusoff  started the year 3rd in the depth chart of netminders for the San Jose Sharks.  The Calgary Flames were relying on Roman Turek to be their #1 goalie for 2003-04, but when Turek suffered an knee injury in his 3rd game of the season, the Flames started looking for a new goalie.  Less than a month later the Flames traded a 2nd round pick to the Sharks for Kiprusoff.  Kiprusoff won his first game as a Flame and led them to a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals.  The Flames fell short but Kiprusoff has gone on to win a Vezina trophy, win 40 games three times and was the inspiration for the Kipper Kid.
#107 - Billy Smith

  In 1971-72, The New York Islanders had the 2nd pick in the Expansion Draft and they drafted their new #1 goalie Gerry Desjardins.  After the Atlanta Flames picked grabbed Dan Bouchard, the Islanders made a slightly better pick in drafting Billy Smith from the Los Angeles Kings.  Billy Smith helped the New York Islanders win 4 Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983 and he won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1983.
  While Billy Smith is known most as a play-off performer, Smith was the first winner of the Vezina Trophy as the best goalie in the NHL in 1981-82.  Before that season it was reward to the goalies on the team with the lowest GAA.
  Billy Smith was inducted in the HHOF in 1993.

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