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Friday, June 29, 2012

Eric Lindros: HHOFer or Oversized Brat?

In the mid 1990s, no player inspired awe and fear, as Philadelphia Flyer's Eric Lindros.  His brute force and puck skills helped to make him one of the most dominating players the game has ever seen.  But a star that shines that bright, tends not to shine very long.  Concussions began to derail a great career and off the ice feuds tarnished his legacy.  

1990's Hottest Card

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

IP Success: Jordin Tootoo

  Getting an in-person auto is quite an achievement when you live in the Arctic Circle.   If you did get one, most people would bet it'd be Jordin Tootoo, and most people would be right.  Tootoo is a spokesperson for Canadian North, an airline that services the Arctic.  This week Canadian North and Jordin Tootoo made several stops in the Western Arctic.  Tootoo is the first Inuk to make the NHL and is a inspiration to aboriginals accross Canada, especially in the North.  Tootoo appeared at the school's gym, spoke about some of the obstacles he has overcame, such as his older brother's suicide and his battle with sobriety.  There were a few presentations and Tootoo even did some drum dancing with a group of kids.  The afternoon ended with Mr. Tootoo signing autographs.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Take this Shutout and Shove it!

  Who doesn't like a good goalie fight?  Rick Dipietro's mom, that's who.  Otherwise everybody loves goalie fights.  Goalies rarely get involved in the fisticuffs.  It takes a lot of effort.  It's not like the skaters who already part of the scrum.  For the goalies to meet, one, or both, have to skate across the ice and then receive the dreaded leaving the crease penalty.  It takes a lot of effort to get a goalie fight going but for some goalies it must be high on their bucket list since not only do they get into the fight, they give up their shutout to do so.  There have been three goalies who have giving up a shutout bid with 7 minutes or less left in the game, and got a into a fight instead.  How many can you remember?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TTM: Troy Loney

Troy Loney won two Stanley Cups while playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins and scored the Anahiem (Mighty) Ducks first Gordie Howe Hat Trick in franchise history.  Loney played 624 career NHL games and  also played in every single play-off game in the Pittsburgh Penguins back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.  Mr. Loney signed 2 of 2, c/o home.

Monday, June 18, 2012

268 Day TTM Success: Joe Thronton

I thought this one was a goner.  Sent on September 20, 2011 and received on June 14th, 2012.   It was postmarked on June 1st, so I guess it got shuffled to the bottom of Joe's fan mail pile or it got lost under the car seat.  Either way, it's great to see back.  Joe Thornton is the only Art Ross Trophy winner to have been traded mid-season.  An Olympic Gold medalist in 2010, Thornton has yet to reach the Stanley Cup Final.  It may seem like Thornton, who played his 1000th game last season,  has been around forever but he's only turning 33 this summer.  Still, the Sharks window for the Cup could be closing as there regular season points have decreased in each of the past four seasons.

Friday, June 15, 2012

TTM: Joe Pavelski

Joe Pavelski is a player who seems on the cusp on breaking through to stardom.  Although it seems that way for the past few years.  Pavelski put his name on the map with a strong 2009-10 play-offs, leading the Sharks in scoring and potting 3 game-winning goals.  His +6 that play-offs was 17 points higher than team captain Joe Thornton, -11.  Pavelski has since established himself as a consistent producer, netting a career high 31 goals in 2011-12.  Can Pavelski make the jump to All-Star?  The Sharks will need him to if they hope to capture Lord Stanley.  Mr. Pavelski signed 2 of 3, keeping a card, c/o the San Jose Sharks.  He signed a Donruss card and a team issued oversized card.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

TTM: Bob Mason

I featured Bob Mason and this card on a previous edition of The Forgotten and you can read that story here.  The key part of that post was to mention that Bob Mason never had a NHL card produced until 2004, 14 years after his last NHL game.  So I made up a rookie card, complete with the back, and I mailed it off to him in hopes of him keeping one and returning the other signed.  My success rate was 50%.  Mr. Mason signed and returned both copies of the card, and both copies of the 3.5x6.  The 3.5x6 was the same picture, just bigger.  While I am excited to get this back, I am also a bit disappointed that he never kept a copy.  Although I wonder how many times he has been sent a custom card of the 84-85 OPC set.  Considering quality Bob Mason pictures are rare on the web, I wouldn't be surprised if he seen this card several times before.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

TTM: Curtis Sanford

  This return was a bit different.  I sent to Curtis Sanford c/o the Columbus Blue Jackets.  I sent him a total of 4 cards and 2 copies of the same picture.  I offered a copy of the picture and 2 cards for him to keep.  I even put the two cards in a plastic sleeve together and a post it note telling him to keep them.  In the end he return all four cards and both copies of the pictures signed.  The SASE threw me for a loop.  Mr. Sanford took his fanmail back with him to Ontario, peeled the USA stamps off and put a Canadian stamp on it. So there's a lot going on on this return, compare to most.  The effort Mr. Sanford put in is appreciated, especially considering that he has signed on to play overseas in the KHL for next season.

  Mr. Sanford was signed as an undrafted free agent by the St. Louis Blues in 2000.  He made his debut in the 2002-03, a season in which the St. Louis Blues used 7 different goalies.  While in St. Louis, injuries seemed to continually derail his chances at taking over the #1 spot.  In 2007, Sandford signed with the Vancouver Canucks as a back-up to Roberto Loungo.  Late in the 2008-09 season, Sanford was sent to the AHL.  Over the next 2 1/2 seasons, he went 52-27-8, with a 1.98 GAA and .925 save percentage.  In 2011, he signed a one year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Sanford outplayed starter Chris Mason but minor injuries once again hampered Sanford as he finished the season on injury reserve.  An UFA this off-season, Sanford was quick to sign on with another team... in the KHL.  Sanford will play on Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.  Lokomotiv took the 2011-12 KHL season off , after the horrific plane crash that claimed the lives of all passengers.

Monday, June 11, 2012

TTM: Craig Anderson

 Craig Anderson was originally drafted 77th overall in the 1999 NHL entry draft by the Calgary Flames.  Anderson and the Flames couldn't come to a deal, so Anderson was available to be redrafted in 2001.  Anderson was drafted by his hometown team, the Chicago Black Hawks.  Anderson wouldn't find success in the Windy City as he went 12-26-6 over the course of three seasons with the Hawks.  After a three year stint as a back-up with the Florida Panthers, Anderson won a starting job with the Colorado Avalanche, a team expected to be one of the worst in the NHL.  With Anderson's help, the Avs finished 2nd in their division before bowing out in the 1st round of the play-offs.  2010-11. turned out to be the season many were expected the Avs to have the previous year.  The Avs finished the season with the 2nd worst record in the NHL.  Anderson played his way out of Colorado and late in the season, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators.  After the trade, Anderson excelled and played some of his best hockey in his career.  In 2011-12, Anderson saved his best for the play-offs, helping the Senators push the #1 seed New York Rangers to a 7 game series.
  Mr. Anderson signed 3 of 3. c/o the Ottawa Senators.  He also signed and returned the extra copy of the picture.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

TTM: Sergei Gonchar

  Sergei Gonchar established himself as one of the top offensive threats from the blueline at the turn of the century, aka year 2000.  Gonchar scored the 2nd most points, 504, by a defenceman from the 1999-2000 season to 2008-09.  Gonchar's point production has dropped off since signing with the Ottawa Senators as a free agent in 2010.  Gonchar has recently been mention in several trade rumours, such as being sent to Philadelphia, as the Senators try to cut costs while opening the vault to resign RFA and fellow blueliner, Erik Karlsson.  Mr. Gonchar signed 3 of 3 and actually signed in the signature box on the custom picture.  Thank you, Mr. Gonchar.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Forgotten: Jordan Sigalet

Jordan Sigalet played a total of 43 seconds in the NHL, never allowing a goal or making a save.  What's is remarkable about Jordan Sigalet, is what he acheived in the face of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  Originally drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2001, Sigalet developed symptoms of MS in 2003 while playing for Bowling Green college.  He was eventually diagnosed with MS and told by doctors that he couldn't play hockey anymore.  Sigalet proved the doctors wrong by finishing his collegiate hockey career and then playing three season of pro hockey in the Boston Bruins organization.

  Sigalet was able to fight off the effects of MS to be an effective netminder for the Providence Bruins in the AHL, but on November 16, 2007, Sigalet collapsed on the ice during the game and was taken to hospital.  Sigalet would return to play almost two months later.  Sigalet finished the season in the AHL and played overseas before retiring.  Since his retirement Sigalet has worked as a goalie coach, and is currently working with the Abbotsford Heat, the Calgary Flames affiliate in the AHL.
  Sigalet has been an inspiration for many people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and does charity work to help raise donations for MS research.  In April of 2012, He was featured on the Buick Human Highlight Reel.  Sigalet has also started his own foundation, called Shutout MS.  While Jordan Sigalet may be forgotten by NHL fans, he is making a difference in the bigger picture.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

TTM: Bill Gadsby

Bill Gadsby played 20 seasons in the NHL, totaling 1276 games while playing for the Black Hawks, Rangers and Red Wings during the Original Six era.  Gadsby was a 1st or 2nd Team All-Star seven times in his career.  Gadsby led all defencemen in single season scoring three times and finished in the top five eight straight seasons from 1955 to 1962.  Gadsby never won a Norris Trophy or a Stanley Cup during his 20 year career.  44 of his career 67 play-off games came during his last 4 seasons in the NHL.  The Red Wings lost in the Stanley Cup finals three times during his final four seasons.  He was elected to the HHOF in 1970.  Mr. Gadsby signed 2 of 2, c/o home.  It's cool how he signed the 2006 Parkhurst in silver.  Thank you, Mr. Gadsby.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

TTM: Jonathan Huberdeau

The Florida Panthers used thier 3rd overall pick in the 2011 NHL entry draft to select forward Jonathan Huberdeau.  Huberdeau helped led the St. John Seadogs to win the 2011 Memorial Cup, and was selected as the tournament's MVP.  After a strong preseason with the Panthers, Huberdeau was sent back to the QMJHL to continue his development.  2011-12 was an injury plagued season for Huberdeau, but he still managed to score 72 points in only 37 games.  The Panthers are loaded with top prospects and the future is bright in Florida.  Mr. Huberdeau signed 2 of 2, plus signed the extra copy of each photo, via the St. John Seadogs.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

TTM: Martin Biron

   Martin Biron played in his 500th game this past season.  An UFA this upcoming offseason, Biron has spent the past two seasons as a New York Ranger, backing-up Vezina Trophy candidate Henrik Lundqvist.  Biron began his career with the Buffalo Sabres and will go down in history as the last player to wear uniform number 00.  Mr. Biron signed 4 of 4, c/o home.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

TTM: Roman Hamrlik

I best remember Roman Hamrlik with Tampa Bay Lightning, fighting Toronto Maple Leaf Doug Gilmour back in the mid 1990s.  An internet search pinpoints October 23rd, 1993 as the date of the fight, but I can't find a video of it.  If anyone knows of one, can you please post it below.
Hamrlik played in his 1379th game this past season, which is currently the best amongst active players, since Niklas Lidstrom retired, and is good for 36th all-time in career games played.  Hamrlik can move into the top 25 next season.  Hamrlik is also one of  the three remaing active NHL players who appeared the in landmark videogame NHL '94.  A game I played, and kept stats on paper, for a full 82 game season... for all 26 teams.  
Mr. Hamrlik signed 3 of 3, c/o the Washington Capitals.