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Monday, February 28, 2011


As noted previously, collecting autographs back in the day(80's) was pretty basic. There were not a lot of cards to get signed so it was index cards.

Sometimes there was a surprise.

Also included in my envelope was this 1983 HHOF postcard J-13signed in blue pen. In 11 NHL seasons, Schriner scored a total of 201 goals and 405 points. This two time NHL scoring champion and two time Stanley Cup champion was immortalized in hockey history when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962. It appears to be hand cut as evidenced by the back. But that does not matter. An autograph from a hall of famer and a Leaf. Plus he took the time to send it ot me. Those were the days.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1960's Pow-R-Puck

Welcome to some more nostalgic memories (mine, maybe yours too). Back when I was a kid, we played outdoors on the rink all the time. There were the usual games and other competitions we thought up.

Mike Walton Promo photo (as seen on e-bay)

My actual Pow-R-Puck

Now came something called Pow-R-Puck. This puck could measure the speed of your shot. There was a dial that went from 0-100 mph and  dial that could be set from low to high. We would just shoot the puck and try to see who possessed the fastest shot. I don't remember what my top speed was but not the best. I just remember the good times. The packaging is long gone

e-bay ad for similar item but I'm thinking mine must have been a Maple Leaf package.

I'm thinking I should get out my old wooden Louisville stick and see what I can do. At least I don't have to convert to kilometres.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Murphy's Law-Anything that can possibly go wrong, does

I'm not talking about Larry Murphy either although.....Nah, that's a whole other story

84/85 OPC #204

On Feb 19, 2011 the Brant County Twin Pad Arena had their grand opening.

Honourary campaign co-chairs were Walter Gretzky and Paris native Jay Wells. Bothe men were in attendance as were former NHL'ers Rick Vaive and Marty McSorley. There was an autograph signing scheduled. Here's where the fun part begins. Now I haven't done any hounding for probably 3 years and thought this would be fairly routine. Opening was advertised as between 1:00-4:00. I figure if I'm there by around 12:45 I should be able to scout things out. I get there around 12:50 and read the sign that says autographs were between 12:30-1:30 in the lower lobby. I'm there but I don't see anything set up. Now I spot Rick Vaive standing by the door to enter the ice surface for the opening ceremonies that start at 1:00. I do get him to sign two items .

One was the Rick Vaive 1984 Molson Cup winner poster 16"x10 1/2 ". He won the trophy as he had the most 3 star selections during the 83/84 season. Also got signed was a Gillette 24"x16" poster advertising their superskater contest. I have a  Jim Peplinski(Flames) and Dale Hawerchuk (Jets) unsigned. This piece is probably from the mid-late 80's. When I asked him for his autograph, he whipped out his blue sharpie and took a good look at the Gillette poster.

Now, Marty McSorley comes by but wants to get on the ice for the opening ceremony so he says he will sign later.  After the ceremony, one of the girl's teams that was going to play wanted his autograph but nobody had anything for him to sign with. Being the nice guy I am, i offered my sharpie and he signed their sticks. Somehow my sharpie disappeared. Of course, my backup pen did not work. I did have a retractable sharpie pen but he did not want tp use it. Somehow he ended up with some kind of blue marker. Whatever it was, it did not work well.

90/91 Upper Deck #212,90/91 Pro Set #124, 91/92 Upper Deck #199
All the while he was giving tips to the girls, like skating stance and the whipiness of sticks. He also talked on fighting in the game. Very entertaining.

Clark vs McSorley  1985

Jay Wells was not scheduled but was there so I brought a few cards just in case. He started with a pen but then switched to a black sharpie.

85/80 OPC # 178, 86/87 OPC #217, 87/88 OPC #151
I have obtained Waler Gretzky's signature a few times.
Signed Jello pudding cup shaker--notice he signs W Gretzky
All in all, it brought back memories of futures past. With all the little hiccups, it was still fun and did get some signed items to add to my collection. Am still trying to get to the alumni game tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NHL alumni game moves indoors

The allure of this NHL alumni game was that it was to be the first NHL alumni game to played outdoors( at the Paris Fairgrounds.) Now mild weather has scuttled those plans and the game has been rescheduled. It is now being played Monday Feb 21 instead of Sunday Feb 20  at the Brantford Civic Centre. Being Family Day in Ontario, I still have the opportunity to go to the game. But now, there is nothing that makes this one any different than the rest of the games the Alumni team plays. Among the former NHLers expected to hit the ice Monday are Claude Lemieux, Marty McSorley, Rick Vaive, Mike Pelyk, Bill Derlago, Lou Franceschetti, Mike Krushelnyski, Dennis Maruk and Mark Napier.  Former NHLer Dave Hutchinson will lend his voice for play-by-play commentary. The game will raise money for the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the Special Olympics, good causes in my books. Of course, the Civic Centre just had major renovations and has been open for a few months. Hopefully nothing goes wrong there.

Special Olympics OntarioLaw Enforcement Torch Run

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mario Lemieux & Paul Coffey

1992 Mario Lemieux & Paul Coffey "Hockey Tips"  book with Portable Skate-Sharpener
The book (featuring Mario and Paul on the cover, dressed in their Penguins uniform with their facsimile autographs appearing under each player) and Skate-Sharpener . It's "The story of two of hockey's most exciting performers. How they got their starts, and the great moments in their illustrious careers. Mario and Paul provide important tips to help you improve your technique. The book includes a twelve month yearly planner; record your scoring performance, practice and playoff milestones. The history of the Skate Sharpener." It was a fund raiser for the Ontario March of Dimes. Now I wonder if I had this skate sharpener if it would have helped my hockey skills as a kid. One never knows. I could'a been a star.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Виктор Васильевич Тихонов

OPC included a 21 card (1 per pack ) Russian insert set in their 1990/91 regular hockey issue.

Card # 17R was of Viktor Vasilyevich Tikhonov--Coach, CSKA Moscow (Central Red Army). The Canada Cup was played here in Hamilton at Copps Coliseum (September 1991). I was hounding and brought this set along. This was pretty much the first time cards were readily available of the Russians. They finished in 5th place   GP  5  W 1 L 1 T 3 . Got this card signed in person with blue sharpie marker.

How many cards did I get signed? Keep watching for updates and thanks for looking.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Seedy Saturday

Saturday Feb 12 was Seedy Saturday in Brantford. Now when my wife volunteered me to help out, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I was thinking "exchange my seed downtown" Hmmm. Turns out it was an event to help raise funds for St. Jude's kitchen cupboard program. Sort of like a card show but for gardeners.

 Now what does this have to do with hockey. Absolutely nothing. Except this was Hockey Day in Canada. What could be better than a winter's day with almost non-stop hockey. Needless to say, I missed most of it except for bits here and there. Did manage to stop at my LCS and pick up packs of the free  Upper Deck cards and a couple of sets. One to my pal Sal at You can read more about this set and other great articles there.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Little surprises

From my collecting days in the 80's, sometimes you would receive a surprise with your autograph return. Sent to Dennis Owchar. Selected by Pittsburgh in the 1973 draft in the 4th round, #55 overall. Played for Pittsburgh and Colorado Rockies. GP 288  G 30 A 85 TP 115  PIM 200. Sent his 75/76, 76/77, 77/78 and 78/79 cards to be autographed. Also received this hand written note from Vicki. (office staff)

Note that my signed cards are being returned and he played senior A hockey for the 1989 Thunder Bay Twins Allan Cup Champs. It appears I sent the request in the early 90's. It's the little things like this that make this hobby enjoyable.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Better late than never

On Feb 7, 1976 Maple Leaf captain Darryl Sittler set an NHL record for most points in one game  G 6 A 4 TP 10. This was set against Dave Reece of the Bruins in an 11-4 Leaf victory. That season he became the first Leaf to score 100 points in a season.

Box score of game.

Notice that two of the goals were scored at 10:27 and 9:27. It's just numbers right.

Front of Leaf postcard autographed by Darryl in light blue pen.

From  the stats on back, it appears that is is a 75/76 issue Leafs postcard. Skyine Marina Ltd rubber stamp on back. Obtained this at a garage sale in the 90's. Since my wife knows me as a miser, tightwad etc, I doubt I paid more than a quarter for this. Though some of the details are sketchy,vthe memory remains the same. Signing off.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bobby Hull--IP

Welcome back readers. My uncle used to work for Simpson Sears(department store) in the advertising department. In 1965, they created a sports advisory council who signed athletes to endorse their line of sports equipment.
They included NHLer's Pierre Pilote, Glenn Hall and Bobby Hull. All members of the Chicago BlackHawks (hmm  Sears Roebuck based in Chicago--coincidence??). Also on the council were football player John Barrow, ski pro Dick Townsend and physical fitness advisor (and wrestler) Johnny Powers. Anyhow, my uncle gave me some b/w photos that were used in the store for advertising.

Flash forward to 1985. Bobby Hull's sons, Bobby Jr and Blake were playing senior A hockey for the Brantford Motts Clamatos. Bobby was making an appearance and was scheduled to sign autographs. Along with some cards, I pulled the now 20 year old photo out to bring along. As always, Bobby was smiling and signing. Here is the result.

Personalised photo signed in black marker. Gee, what are the odds this may be  a 1/1. Still have the Hall and Pilote. Maybe I should try and get those signed also.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Autographs IP--Brantford

The details are kind of hazy. There was a slo-pitch game involving NHL players in Brantford during the 80's. There was a reception after that I couldn't attend but a friend did. Knowing that I collected autographs, I received this afterwards.

An 8x10 b/w photo from Wayne Gretzky Night when he was named Sportsman of the Year. Presented to him by Brantford boxer Gary Summerhays. Signed in blue ball-point pen by both men.

Back signed by other celebrities in attendance. NHLer's Doug Jarvis, Pat Hickey, Derek Smith, minor leaguer Brian Cross and two autographs I can't make out. Think I am going to have to check this out some more to find out more information. But there you have it. From my personal archival collection, an early Wayne Gretzky IP autograph.(with no number 99).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hockey Autographs TTM(continued)--Lorne Ferguson

As discussed in previous post, there was not a lot of choice when sending away TTM during the 80's. Besides what I sent (57/58 Topps #40 shown as a member of the Red Wings) , I also requested a business card or picture postcard of the player. Here is the result of one such request.
Lorne Ferguson played for the Bruins, Red Wings and BlackHawks.  GP 422  G 82 A 80 TP 162 PIM 193 . Received my card back signed plus his business card.

Business card from Labatts Breweries and hand written note on back. More treasures from the past in upcoming posts. See you then.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hockey autographs TTM--Palaeozaic era

I want to take you back to the old days of autograph collecting (the 80's). There were not a lot of cards to be signed as the explosion of the 90's had not yet hit. We kind of knew of team issued items but in the pre-internet days, stuff was hard to find. To help jazz up the plain old index card, I custom created mine. I would cut out the little head shots  (no blind side ones here) of the player, glue them on the index card and send away to the player to sign. Star players had cards but the role players did not. For example, Glen Cochrane. Selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1978 draft, 3rd round, 50th overall. Played 10 NHL seasons,  GP  411   G 17  A 72 TP 89  PIM 1556. He was in the 85/86 and 86/87 Canucks player postcard sets, the 87/88 Blackhawks player postcard set, the Oilers 88/89 player postcard set, the 87/88 Kraft player drawing set and finally in the 02/03 Fleer Throwback set. So without much further ado, for your viewing pleasure, late 80's custom Glen Cochrane.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feb 2--Groundhog Day

There are 23 former and active NHL players who share birthdays on this day. Lets look at Kjell Dahlin, Feb 2, 1963. Played 3 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, 1985/86-1987/88. Rookie season played 71 games with 32 goals and 39 assists for 71 points. Also won Stanley Cup with some other rookie named Patrick Roy. Injuries plagued him the next two seasons, limiting him to 89 GP 25 G  20A  45 PTS. Returned to Sweden and played 6 years for Farjestads BK Karlstad. I don't remember the year (late 80's) but wrote to him asking if he could autograph his cards for me. I sent an 1986/87 OPC #15 player card and #262 Rookie scoring leader card. He returned these signed in blue ballpoint pen and a 4"x6" team postcard signed in blue marker on the back (finger print smudge included). I have the envelope somewhere still. Happy Birthday Kjell.