Mike Gartner

HC0008.jpgI love the grainy photo that Upper Deck used for this card, it really has an old time feeling when I look at it. I’m so grateful that Mike Gartner signed it in a blue sharpie. As you probably guessed, I didn’t have to do a thing to prep this card.  Mike signed this card in a fantastic blue sharpie and really pops out against this Team Canada jersey.

Like most of the players I send to, Mike is part of the HHOF when he was inducted 17 years ago in 2001.  He played 19 season in the NHL with a variety of teams and represented Canada seven different times between 1978 to 1993.

Mike played the majority of his career with the Washington Capitals starting in 1979 when he was drafted 4th overall at the NHL Entry Draft.  He played over a decade with the team, never quite helping them to a Stanley Cup or even to the finals.  He eventually went on to play for the Minnesota North Stars, NY Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and retired as a member of the Pheonix Coyotes.

Mike is one of 7 players to ever score 700 goals in their career.

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Nick Suzuki

HC0017I really am digging this CHL card set created by Upper Deck. It’s got all the great, young talent coming into the NHL within the next few years. This blog brings us to Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack and the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Vegas Knights.

It’s pretty clear that the Knights have set themselves up for some major success, with the drafting of high end talent like Cody Glass, Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom all in the first round. It’s pretty amazing to see that they were able to pull of gathering two more draft picks through some shifty GMing by George McPhee.

Back to Nick, it’ll be interesting to see how well he performs in his D+1 season now that he’s gotten a bit more experience in the OHL playoffs as well as playing pro hockey. Recently, he was reassigned to the Chicago Wolves, the Knights’ affiliate team in the AHL, and managed to play a game for them. Although the game itself was a single game, the experience being around those players and learning from them is the most useful use of his time.

Craig Anderson

HC0001A great autograph and return from Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators. There has been a lot of media attention around Craig in recent years after his wife was diagnosed with throat cancer. It’s great to see that things have gotten better for Nicholle (Anderson’s wife) and that she’s officially cancer free. It’s no surprise that Craig had won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, for his dedication to hockey after spending some time away in 2017 to take care of his wife and children.

Craig is a good goalie and has been the starter for the last seven years of his career. He and the Senators came oh so close in the 2016/17 season reaching the conference finals but losing out to the eventual cup winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Now that Craig is reaching 37 next season, it’ll be interesting to see how Ottawa handles the goalie situation in the next handful of years. He’s clearly still got the skills to backstop the Sens but as we all know father time eventually catches up with athletes.

Dale Hawerchuk

HC0003
I’m absolutely stunned at how this Dale Hawerchuk autographed card turned out.  He chose a very nice, blue sharpie to sign this card and the fact it matches his jersey against the red background / patch makes it look really nice.  I do have to say I’m thankful that Dale hasn’t reduced his signature, although I’m positive he continues to get many requests for autographs.

Dale, as a player, has achieved tons of success, personally and with a team.  He was inducted into the HHOF in 2001 due to these successes.

At this time, Dale is the head coach of the Barrie Colts and has helped the club achieve the playoffs for many years and outstanding regular season success.  This year, the Barrie Colts didn’t achieve what they likely intended to accomplish at the start of the season with a 2nd round exit at the hands of the Kingston Frontenacs.

Here is a list of Awards and achievements

Awards and achievements

Paul Martin

HC0042If I’m not mistaken, I believe this is the first time I’ve gotten Paul Martin, currently playing with the San Jose Sharks. Paul, in my opinion, is one of the best at what he does and seems to continuously be on Cup contending teams. It’s likely because he was playing with the Pittsburgh Penguins for a number of years in his career. In fact, while it’s true he’s had many opportunities to win the Cup, I believe there are actually very few players who have come “oh so close” to winning without actually winning.

Martin has done well to make it to the playoffs with New Jersey (5 playoff births), Pittsburgh (5) and now San Jose (3) which combined is 13 years of making the playoffs. It’s quite impressive and has managed to avoid years, especially with New Jersey, of low performing teams.

We’ll see if he’ll make a second round exit or not… I’m sure by the time this post is out… we’ll know!

Bryan Trottier

HC0040Received back this fantastic autograph from Bryan Trottier, a legend in the NHL winning six Stanley Cups during his career as an NHL player. He won four with the Islanders and two with the Pittsburgh Penguins and one with the Colorado Avalanche while an assistant coach.

Bryan, while not needing much of an introduction due to his accolades as a player, was named recently as one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history and was inducted into the HHOF back in 1997.

Interesting fact is that Steve Yzerman credits his jersey number to Trottier, claiming that he was his favourite player.

Currently, Bryan is the assistant coach of the Buffalo Sabres, which will be interesting come draft day when they announce this guy as their first overall pick.

Josh Bailey

HC0036.jpgHailing from Bowmanville, Ontario I bring you Josh Bailey of the NY Islanders! Josh was a high draft pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft going 9th overall. This draft had some serious talent, where 10 years later they’re leading their teams to the playoffs. Players like Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo lead the list of notable players in that draft. There are a number of players chosen after Josh that I’m sure teams would’ve loved to get their hands on (ie. Erik Karlsson at 15)

Josh has carved out a nice career for himself and doing his best to help the Islanders franchise try and get to the playoffs. In his tenure with the team, he’s played a total of 22 NHL playoff games, having gontten to the second round once in his career during the 2016 NHL playoffs.

This past NHL season, Josh was almost a point a game player, putting up his best statistical season in the NHL and is now in his prime.