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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

TTM: Steve Penney

 In 1983-84, the Montreal Canadiens posted their first losing season since the 1950-51.  In the first round of the play-offs, their opponent were their rivals, the Boston Bruins, a team that finished 29 points higher than the Canadiens in the regular season.  The first surprise was that the Habs starting goalie would be rookie Steve Penney, a goalie who lost all 4 games he played in his career.  The second surprise, was that Penney led the Canadiens all the way to Wales Conference final, before losing to the New York Islander.  Penney, who led all goalis in GAA and shutouts in the playoffs, was being compared to another rookie netminder who come out of nowhere to carry the Canadiens in the play-offs, Ken Dryden.  Penney played solid in 1984-85, with the Canadiens bowing out of the play-offs, after losing a thrilling overtime game 7 against provincial rivals, Quebec Nordiques.  1985-86 mark a turning point in Penny's career.  It was a season marred by injuries, poor play and the emergence of rookie Patrick Roy.  Although the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in 1986, Penney didn't play enough games to get his name engraved on it.  The team did give him a ring.  In the off-season, Penney would be traded to the Winnipeg Jets, playing 15 more career games before retiring at age 27. 
   Burdened with expectations of being the next Ken Dryden and nagging injuries, Steve Penney, who was born in Quebec, never lived up to the hype his 1984 play-off performance created.  Mr. Penney signed and returned my card, all 3 copies of the picture, he never kept any as offered, and also included a signed Molson Ex card.  Thank you, Mr. Penney

Sunday, August 19, 2012

TTM: Steve Junker

  Steve Junker played a total of 8 career NHL games.  A 5th round pick by the New York Islanders in 1991, Junker made his play-off debut in the 1993 play-offs in Game 6 in the Patrick Division Finals vs the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He recorded an assist in that game; his only point scored in the NHL.  Junker would play 5 regular season games for the Islanders in 1993-94 before spending the rest of his career in the minors or in Germany.  Junker is currently the GM and coach for the Castlegar Rebels of the KIJHL, a Junior B league in B.C.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TTM: Johnny Bucyk

   Johnny Bucyk, aka "The Chief", holds the Boston Bruins franchise record for goals scored.  Bucyk scored 545 of his career 556 goals while wearing a Bruins uniform.  The Bruins acquired Bucyk, and a player named Ca$h, from the Detroit Red Wings, in exchange for the legendary netminder, Terry Sawchuk.  The Bruins were a fairly bad team in the 1960s, missing the play-offs in 8 straight seasons from 1959-60 to 1966-67.  Eventually a kid named Bobby made the team and things started to change.  The Bruins won Stnaley Cups in 1970 and 1972.  Bucyk tied for the lead with 9 goals, in the 1972 play-offs.  In 1971, Bucyk, at age 35, became the oldest player to ever score 50 goals in a season.  A distinction he still holds.  Bucyk still ranks in the NHL's top 25 for career games played, goals and points.  Mr. Bucyk signed 3 of 3, c/o the Bruins Alumni.  The middle card is a 1971 OPC, which now holds the distinction as being the oldest card in my TTM collection.

Monday, August 13, 2012

TTM: Phil Bourque

  Phil Bourque played in every play-off game for the Pittsburgh Penguins during their back-to-back Stanley Cup wins in 1991 and 1992.  Bourque's name was on the Stanley three times, twice on the outside and once on the inside.  He was the only person to ever has his name on the outside and inside of the Stanley Cup.  Phil Bourque is also infamous for being the player who threw the Stanley Cup into Mario Lemieux's swimming pool.  Bourque would finish his NHL career with the Ottawa Senators before playing three seasons in Germany.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

TTM: Dana Murzyn

  A member of the All-Rookie team in 1986, Dana Murzyn played 838 career games while playing for three NHL franchises, the Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks.  While Murzyn would play the bulk of his career with the Canucks, his greatest moment came with the Calgary Flames as he was part of the Stanley Cup champs in 1989.  Murzyn spent his career as a crease clearing defenceman, with his best two scoring seasons (26 and 28pts) coming with the Hartford Whalers during his first two NHL seasons.  Mr. Murzyn signed three of three and also returned the extra copy of the custom card signed.  This return also set a personal TTM record as it became my quickest return ever, at 15 days.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TTM: Al Secord

   Al Secord is the only player in NHL history to score 40+ goals and have 300+ PIM in a single season.  In 1981-82, Al Secord scored 44 goals, and 303 PIM.  This was one season after Tiger Williams became the first NHLer to score 30 goals and 300 PIM in a season.  Secord started his career in Boston but never developed his scoring touch until he was traded to the Black Hawks in 1981.  Secord had his best seasons in Chicago while playing with Dennis Savard.  After becoming only the 2nd Black Hawk to ever score 50 goals, with 54 goasl in 82-83, Secord's career was sidetracked by injuries.  An abdominal injury forced him to miss all but 16 games in 1983-84.  1984-85 wasn't much better, as Secord only played 51 games.  Secord had one more star season in him as he scored 40 goals in 1985-86.  On January 7, 1987, Al Secord tied a NHL record by scoring four goals in a single period.  After stops in Toronto and Philadelphia, Secord returned to Chicago for one final season in 1989-90.  In his final NHL regular season game, Al Secord recorded a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.  Secord retired with 273 goals and 2,093 PIM.
  I never got to see Al Secord play much.  But I remember his reputation as a man to be feared.  Seriously, look at him in the picture below, would you want that man skating after you?  You'd likely rather have him as your pilot.  Mr. Secord flies for American Airlines for a living today.  I sent Mr. Secord, a card, 2 copies of a custom 79-80 OPC and a 2 copies of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick picture.  He kept a copy of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick picture and returned every else signed.  He personalized everything and has one of the nicest signatures I have received so far.  Thank you Mr. Secord.

Monday, August 6, 2012

TTM: Milan Lucic

  Milan Lucic is one of the premier power forwards in the NHL today.  Lucic set a career high with 30 goals in 2010-11 and helped the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup.  Lucic is a bug man, standing 6-4 and 220lbs.  Lucic is one of my favorite players in the NHL.  This past season he infamously ran over Ryan Miller and also collected his third career Gordie Howe Hat Trick in a 6-5 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers.  He is a player who can do it all.  Mr. Lucic signed 2 of 2 care of home.  The return ties my my fastest return ever, taking 16 days.  He also signed and returned the extra copy of the picture.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

TTM: Vladimir Malahkov

  Vladimir Malakhov played in 712 games over a 13 year career, with his best seasons being during his short stay with the New York Islanders.  Malakhov was an offensive defenceman whose career suffered from injuries and perceived lackluster effort.  Malakhov won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and was part of the 1993 New York Islanders who defeated the heavily favorite Pittsburgh Penguins in stunning fashion, winning on a overtime goal in game 7.  This return is my third from the 1993 Islanders playoff team.  Malakhov's career finished on a down note as he was suspended by the New Jersey Devils, during his second stint with the team in 2005, for going AWOL.  Malakhov claimed it was for personal and injury reasons.  Although Malakhov would never play in the NHL again, he was traded to the San Jose Sharks the following offseason.  Malakhov signed 3 of 3 for me care of his home.  I can't recognize any part of his name from the autographs.  I checked on his autograph and his certified autos look the same.  I wonder if it's in Russian.