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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? 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

One Star, One Sheet - Tony Amonte

  It's been a while since I did one of these, and this is only the second post in this series.  I have a binder and in it each sheet are cards of one player.  Those cards represent the career of the player and attempt to show each team he played for.

Tony Amonte

1174gp - 516 goals - 484 assists - 900 points
Best Season: 1999-00, 43 goals, 41 assists, 84 points
 


  Amonte began his career with the New York Rangers in 1991, and was projected to team up with fellow Rangers prospect, Doug Weight, to be key Rangers for years to come.  Although neither player was around for the 1994 Stanley Cup, Amonte played a key role, having been traded at the trade deadline to the Chicago Black Hawks for Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan.  Amonte had his best years in Chicago, topping 40 goals three times and also finishing in the top 3 in goals in back-to-back seasons in 1999 and 2000.
  Amonte left the Black Hawks as a free agent, signing with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2002, a contract that would pay him $5.8 million a season.  Amonte struggled with the Coyotes and was shipped to the Philadelphia Flyers in a trade deadline deal.  Amonte started strong with the Flyers, earning 15 points in 13 games before the play-offs, but was no longer an elite scorer. 
  After the lock-out of 2004, a salary cap was introduced.  The Flyers were over the cap and bought out the remaining year on Amonte's contract.  Amonte signed a two year contract with the Calgary Flames and would progressively set career lows in goals and points in his two seasons with the Flames.  He would retire in 2007.
  Amonte scored his biggest goal, not in the NHL, but in the World Cup of hockey in 1996.  In the final game in a best of three games, Team USA was down to Team Canada late in the third period.  A tip by Brett Hull tied the game with 3:18 left.  Amonte, along with Bryan Smolinksi and John LeClair had a dominating shift that ended with Amonte shoveling the puck past Curtis Joseph into the back of the net with 2:35 left.  Team USA would complete the upset by adding two more goals, to win 5-2. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Islanders other Potivn

  No, not Jean.  Its Felix Potvin.  Felix "the Cat" spent two half-seasons playing for the Islanders.  During the 1990s, Potvin was a fixture between the pipes for the Toronto Maple Leafs, leading the league in GAA in 1993 and helping the Leafs reach back-to-back conference finals in 1993 and 1994.  Although by the end of his tenure with the Leafs, he led the NHL is losses in back-to-back seasons.  The Leafs made two major moves in the summer of 1998, hiring Pat Quinn and signing free agent Curtis Joseph.  Potvin was regulated to back-up.  Frustrated by rarely playing and no news on the trade front, Potvin walked out on the team in December.
  It took over a month before the Leafs were able to deal Potvin.  His destination was the New York Islanders.  Potvin's days on the island were forgettable.  He lost his first five games and injured his groin in his eighth, forcing him to miss two months.  The following season was no better.  He struggled on a poor Islanders team and the back up was the Islanders goalie of the future, who was fast tracking himself to the starting gig.  A week before Christmas, Potvin was traded to the Vancouver Canucks.  (Milbury would later trade goalie of the future Roberto Loungo that summer to make room for the future goalie of the future, Rick Dipietro.  WTG Mike!)  With the exception of a spectacular late season run and play-offs in 2001 after being traded to the Los Angeles Kings, Potvin played out his career as a journeyman goalie.
  During his time with the Islanders, Potvin played 33 games, won 7, lost 21, and tied 4.  I barely remember Potvin as an Islander, but those were dark days indeed.  Although once I saw this card, I had to have it.  I was randomly searching different players when I found it on eBay.  I have always liked Potvin and I loved that his card had a swatch that appears to be from an Islanders jersey.  I also have a fondness for stick cards.  The only thing I don't like is that the stick seems like it from the middle of the stick, meaning the inside of the stick.  It seems to be a theme for the SPX cards of that year.  Next on the list is a Joey MacDonald New York Islanders jersey card.  Anyone?



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

TTM Success: Mike Needham

  Mike Needham won a Stanley Cup before ever playing a regular season game.  Decimated by injuries, the 1991/92 Pittsburgh Penguins had to call up several members from the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the AHL to help plug holes.  Needham would appear in 5 play-offs games during the 1992 Stanley Cup run, scoring one goal.  Back injuries would hamper Needham for the rest of his career, limiting him to 86 NHL games.  Needham finished his NHL career with the Dallas Stars and was out of professional hockey by age 25.