Saturday, October 27, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #36 Peter Stastny

Only one player scored more points in the 1980's than Peter Stastny... and that was of course, the Great One, Wayne Gretzky.

When Peter Stastny defected from Czechoslovakia in 1980 with his brother Anton, they joined the Quebec Nordiques. At the time, it was shocking news in the hockey world and led to many others getting out from behind the Iron Curtain in future years.

Although he started his NHL career late, at the age of 24, Stastny racked up points extremely quickly. With 1,239 points (450 goals, 789 assists) in 977 games, Stastny was an offensive talent rarely seen at the time. Actually, he is the 4th fastest player in NHL history to score 1,000 points (682 games) behind Wayne Gretzky (424 games), Mario Lemieux (513 games), and Mike Bossy (656 games).

Due to the late start of his NHL career, Peter Stastny currently ranks only 36th all-time in NHL scoring. Inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998, Stastny is currently a politician in Slovakia.

From 2011-12 Panini Prime comes this hard-signed Peter Stastny autograph /99 from the Prime Signatures subset. In his classic Quebec Nordiques jersey, Stastny was a thorn-in-the-side of my Montreal Canadiens during the fire-wagon hockey of the 1980's.

Friday, October 26, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #37 Phil Housley

Maybe not winning a championship really does hurt your chances to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

With 1,232 points (338 goals, 894 assists), Phil Housley is the second leading scorer amongst U.S.-born players and the 4th highest scoring defenseman in NHL history. Unfortunately, he also holds the record for the most games played without winning the Stanley Cup.

After a great beginning to his career in Buffalo that lasted 8 seasons, Housley became a virtual hired-gun and played for 8 more teams in the next 13 seasons.

He remains outside of the HHOF to this day.

My Phil Housley collection of autographs ranges from hard-signed to sticker and from three different uniforms. From 2000-01 In The Game Signature Series comes Housley in a Calgary Flames uniform, from 2004-05 In The Game NHL Franchises comes a hard-signed Housley in his tradition Buffalo Sabres uniform, and from 2006-07 In The Game International Ice comes this sticker autograph of Housley during his time with Team USA. All cards were pack-pulled and show Housley's signature over a 6 year span.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #38 Norm Ullman

Considering he's the 38th highest scoring player in NHL history, I don't know much about Norm Ullman.

Although he scored 1,229 points (490 goals, 739 assists) in 1,410 games and played with Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay, his name seems to get lost in the shuffle. Despite spending his entire NHL career in two hockey crazy cities (Detroit and Toronto), he does not seem to get the level of respect which he deserves.

An 11-time All-Star, Ullman led the NHL in goals in 1964-65. He had 16 seasons of 20 or more goals and was the 5th player in history to score 1,000 points. Inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982, Norm Ullman ranks as one of the greatest centres to ever play the game.

From 2001-02 Topps Archives comes this authentic hard-signed auto of Norm Ullman in the familiar jersey of the Detroit Red Wings. I acquired the card on eBay for $12 and it's worth noting that there are not a lot of Ullman autographs on the market. This certified Topps issue has a great vintage feel and fits nicely into my collection.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #39 Jean Beliveau

Jean Beliveau's name appears on the Stanley Cup 17 times!

17 times! Let that sink in.

With 10 Stanley Cup Championships as a player and 7 more as an executive, Jean Beliveau is a Montreal Canadiens legend. And not many individuals command the respect which he carries. In fact, during 1994 Beliveau was offered the position of Governor General of Canada but he declined.

A two-time winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's MVP, Jean Beliveau scored 1,219 points (507 goals, 712 assists) in 1,125 games. He also added another 176 points in 162 playoff games.

He retired in 1971 and was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972. In addition, in 1998 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest civilian award given by Canada.

Being one of my all-time favourite players, it's not surprising that I have a number of Jean Beliveau autographs in my collection. I've also had the pleasure of meeting him in person twice and it's amazing that his trademark signature rarely changes. From In The Game 2005-06 Ultimate 6th Edition comes an Ultimate Autograph Silver /50 and an Auto Trifecta Silver /18 featuring not only his autograph but a piece of his jersey, stick, and skate. From In The Game 2007-08 Ultimate 8th Edition comes this Dual Auto/Dual Memorabilia Silver card /24 which he shares with fellow Hab and fellow 1,000+ point scorer Guy Lafleur. And finally, from 2000-01 Upper Deck Legends Epic Signatures comes this pair of hard-signed autographs of Le Gros Bill himself.

Monday, October 22, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #40 Jeremy Roenick

Possibly the most dominant player ever... in a video game.

Jeremy Roenick. NHL 94. EA Sports. Sega Genesis... 'nuff said!

Always out-spoken, often dominating, and always a competitor, Jeremy Roenick was one of the greatest Americans to ever play in the NHL. With 1,216 points (513 goals, 703 assists) in 1,363 games, Roenick was a young superstar in Chicago before moving on to help four other teams gain prominence.

Although never a Stanley Cup Champion, Roenick put together a phenomenal career. He stayed consistent through-out, although he never did approach his Chicago numbers later in his career... two 50-goal and three 100-point seasons.

From 2004-05 Upper Deck SP Authentic comes this hard-signed Sign of the Times signature. Featuring Roenick during his time with the Philadelphia Flyers, it also features his number 97 which became synonymous with him after he left Chicago and wasn't able to acquire number 27 in Phoenix.

Jeremy Roenick marks the half-way point on my journey to gather a hard-signed autographed hockey card of the 79 players in NHL history with 1,000 or more points. Being the 40th highest scorer in NHL history, Roenick is another great addition to my collection.

Friday, October 19, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #41 Larry Murphy

Larry Murphy scored a lot of points... for a lot of years... for a lot of teams.

In total, Murphy scored 1,216 points (287 goals, 929 assists) in 1,615 games for six NHL teams (Los Angeles, Washington, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Detroit). With four Stanley Cup Championships, a Memorial Cup, and a Canada Cup title, there was little surprise when he was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.

Murphy is currently the fifth highest scoring defenceman in NHL history behind Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, Al MacInnis, and Phil Housley.

From In The Game's Decades "The 1980's" comes this hard-signed autograph of Larry Murphy in the uniform of the Washington Capitals. Murphy spent parts of 6 seasons in Washington early in his career and this is a nice addition to my 1,000 point player collection.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #42 Bobby Clarke

Love him. Hate him. There really is no middle ground.

Bobby Clarke had a career that most players could only dream of. Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987, Clarke scored 1,210 points (358 goals, 852 assists) in 1,144 games. A two-time Stanley Cup Champion and three-time winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's MVP, Clarke was a Philadelphia Flyer for life.

A solid defensive player to compliment his offensive prowess, Clarke will also be remembered by many as the player who slashed Valeri Kharlamov's ankle (and broke it) during the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and Russia.

Three Bobby Clarke autographs are in my collection... all are from high-end products. From In The Game Superlative Volume I comes an auto/jersey silver version /50, from 2007-08 In The Game Ultimate 8th Edition comes an auto/jersey silver version /30, and from 2007-08 Upper Deck The Cup comes a Bobby Clarke autograph /50 from the Cup Enshrinements subset. Although most people still call him Bobby, it's interesting to note that he signs only Bob.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #43 Bernie Nicholls

Sometimes teammates click!

Of course, it's a lot easier when your teammate is named Wayne Gretzky.

Bernie Nicholls was a good player on the Los Angeles Kings during the mid-1980's and scored 40+ goals on two occasions. However, in 1988-89, during Wayne Gretzky's first season in Los Angeles, Nicholls put on one hell of a show. During that season, Bernie Nicholls scored 70 goals and 80 assists in 79 games. He became one of only 8 players in NHL history to score 70 goals in one season and one of only 5 to score 150 points.

With 1,209 points (475 goals, 734 assists) in 1,127 games, Bernie Nicholls had a great career. However, now 13 years into his retirement, it looks as if the Hall of Fame will not be calling.

From 2006-07 Upper Deck Parkhurst Hockey comes this stylish hard-signed autograph of Nicholls during his time with the Los Angeles Kings. Easily available in the $5 range, I won this card recently on eBay. Although he played for 6 teams during his 17-year career, Nicholls will always be remembered for that one magic season in the City of Angels.

Monday, October 15, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #44 Vincent Damphousse

A good player for a long time, Vincent Damphousse is a rare player who excelled with both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens during his tenure in the NHL. Although he also spent time in Edmonton and San Jose, Damphouuse will mostly be remembered during his time with the two central Canadian rivals.

Scoring 1,205 points (432 goals, 773 assists) in 1,378 games, many people would be surprised to know that Damphousse is the 44th highest scorer in NHL history. Although he never scored 50 goals or 100 points in a season, he passed the 90 point plateau four times in his career.

A potential Hall of Famer in the future, Damphousse will be held back by his lack of individual accomplishments, although he was a key member of the Montreal Canadiens most recent Stanley Cup Championship in 1993.

From 1998-99 In The Game Be A Player comes these two hard-signed autographed cards of Vincent Damphousse in the bleu-blanc-et-rouge of the Montreal Canadiens. These cards come near the end of his career with the Canadiens during the time when he served as team captain.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #45 Dino Ciccarelli

Undrafted by the NHL, Dino Ciccarelli proved a lot of teams wrong.

Inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010, Ciccarelli scored 1,200 points (608 goals, 592 assists) in 1,232 games. As with others on the list of the 79 NHL'ers with over 1,000 points, Ciccarelli rarely got much attention due to playing during in the era of Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, Jagr, Lindros, etc.

A two-time 50 goal scorer and 100 point player, Ciccarelli is most often recognized for his days with the Minnesota North Stars and Detroit Red Wings. He also spent time with Washington, Tampa Bay, and retired after his final season with the Florida Panthers.

Ciccarelli in one of only 18 players in NHL history to score more than 600 goals.

From one of my favourite sets, this hard-signed Dino Ciccarelli card comes from 1995-96 Upper Deck Be A Player. Although there are not a lot of Ciccarelli autographed cards on the market, it would be rare to pay more than $10 for one them.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #46 Rod Brind'Amour

The epitome of good!

What better way to describe the 46th highest scorer in NHL history with 1,184 points (452 goals, 732 assists) in 1,484 games.

Rod Brind'Amour captained the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006 and won the Frank Selke Trophy on two occasions as the NHL's best defensive forward but rarely got the accolades which his peers received. He never scored 40 goals or 100 points in a single season but had a fantastic career and lots of playoff success.

Does he deserve a place on the Hockey Hall of Fame? Only time will tell.

From 2001-02 In The Game Signature Series comes this gold parallel hard-signed autograph of Rod Brind'Amour. Considering his success and longevity, there are not a lot of hard-signed Brind'Amour cards on the market. Regardless of the quantity available, it's not difficult to find one of his autographs in the $3-$7 range.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #47 Sergei Fedorov

One of the greatest Russians to play in the NHL, Sergei Fedorov challenged the notion that players from 'across the pond' couldn't compete at a high level during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With 3 Stanley Cups and 176 points in 183 playoff games, he shattered that notion.

Although he played for many teams later in his career, Fedorov will always be known as a Detroit Red Wing. As part of one of the most dominant teams of the 1990's and 2000's, Fedorov scored most of his 1,179 NHL points (484 goals, 696 assists) during his time wearing the red and white.

Winnings medals at the Olympics, World Championships, World Cup, Goodwill Games, and World Junior Hockey Championships, Fedorov played for his country on many occasions over the years. He will also be an ambassador for Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

From 2003-04 Upper Deck SP Authentic comes this hard-signed autograph of Sergei Fedorov from the Sign of the Times subset. There are relatively few options on the market for hard-signed cards of Fedorov and this is one of my favourite designs from the annual SOTT subset.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #48 Bobby Hull

The Golden Jet!

The blonde hair, the speed, and the hard slapshot. Rarely do nicknames suit a player so well as it did Bobby Hull. It also resulted in his son being called the Golden Brett.

Elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, Bobby Hull had an exceptional career. He retired with 1,170 points (610 goals, 560 assists) in 1,063 games. His totals do not include the 600+ points which he scored during his defection to the WHA in the mid-1970's.

In 1966, Bobby Hull became the first NHLer to surpass 50 goals in a season. However, due to feeling that he never was rewarded enough for his talents, he left the NHL for the upstart WHA and a $1,000,000 payday.

Both pulled from packs, I have two hard-signed Bobby Hull autographs to continue my pursuit of the 79 NHL players with 1,000 or more points. From 2006-07 Parkhurst and 2009-10 Upper Deck Ultimate come these perfect two examples of Hull's big flowing signature.

Higher up on the list and coming soon is his son, Brett Hull.