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Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30

The end of my first full month trying to post autographed items from a former/current NHL'er whose birthday falls on that date. By my count, I'm 22/30 for April. I'm thinking this is pretty good. It's not like this was my project to obtain a card for every day. Just kind of thought I'd try it and see what happens. I started by posting birthday greetings to my daughters and it evolved from there. Also included is a little write up on each player. Maybe it is someone you had never heard of and learn a little something about him. I'm going to keep on and see what happens.

So today, we will meet

Dale Rolfe

Dale Rolfe was a forward until he arrived to play junior hockey with the Barrie Flyers of the OHA in 1956. Under the direction of coach Hap Emms, however, his big, lanky frame was moved back to the blueline to serve and protect his future brother-in-law, goaltender Wayne Rutledge.
His most infamous moment came during a playoff game in 1974 against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers were intimidating Ranger players all night. At one point, they were zeroing in on defenseman Brad Park. Rolfe had seen enough. He stepped in to support his defenisve partner when he found himself squared off against Dave "The Hammer" Schultz. Before Rolfe could even react, his knees were already buckling under the weight of a severe beating. None of his Ranger teammates came to his aid.
Rolfe played a total of 509 NHL regular season games with 25 goals, 125 assists and 556 PIM

Received these blue ink signed cards TTM.

Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29

Jim Benning

Todays' birthday boy.
Selected in first round
by Toronto Maple Leafs 6th overall in the 1981 NHL Draft.
It was Benning's misfortune to be selected by Toronto. He was rushed to the NHL in 1981-82 and lost much of his confidence while playing on one of the league's sad sack teams. He showed flashes of potential, registering 24 assists, but would have been better off developing in the minors. Benning spent five years in Toronto and had a career best 51 points in 1983-84.
Jim never fulfilled his potential, and never even came close to being a memorable Leaf blueliner, let alone the greatest defenseman in team history. Why is this? He, like so many other junior sensations, was rushed into the NHL destined to fail and quickly was labelled as a just another junior star who failed at the NHL level. While he likely never would have reached superstar status, with proper upbringing he could have developed into a top 4 defenseman with better point production. With all that said,  Jim had a fairly good career playing with some very poor teams.

1981-1990Toronto, Vancouver60552191243461
1983-1989Toronto, Vancouver71122

Received these blue ink signed cards TTM.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28

Dark day again. So update time it is.

Found my Ryan Walter autographed rookie card signed in black marker.

Previous post Feb 10. Showed letter received from Dennis but wasn't doing my birthday theme yet. Might have made the March 28 list. Recived this blue ink signed cards TTM

Two days left in the month. Hopefully I can fill these in.

April 27

Murray Bannerman

Drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 4th round (58th overall) of the 1977 NHL amateur draft,  Bannerman was traded to Chicago as part of the Pit Martin trade after playing just a single game with the Canucks. He would apprentice with the Hawks farm team in New Brunswick and then as Esposito's understudy, taking over the starting role in 1982-83.
Bannerman's NHL career spanned 8 seasons and 289 games played. His record in that time was 116 wins, 125 losses with 33 ties. He had 8 career shutouts and a lifetime 3.83 GAA.

Received these blue ink signed cards and index card TTM.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26

Pat Ribble

Pat Ribble played his junior hockey for the Oshawa Generals of the OHA from 1972 to 1975. It was there that he established himself as a big, crease-clearing rearguard who could move the puck although rarely as far as the opposition's net. Selected in fourth round by Atlanta Flames 58th overall
 with a draft pick acquired from N.Y. Islanders to help settle the 1973 controversy over the pro basketball rights to Julius Erving, who had been property of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks before joining the ABA's New York Nets, which were owned by N.Y. Islanders owner Roy Boe.
1975-1983ATL/CGY, CHI, TOR, WAS349196079365

1977-1979Atlanta, Chicago801112

Received blue ink signed cards TTM in 1987.

April 25

Two days in a row. Pity. In its stead, we have more updates on things that were not scanned before.

Al Sims blue ink signed cards TTM.

Jacques Caron index card and envelope it came in.

April 24


Another dark day for todays birthdays so am updating some previous posts  with scans of items missed previously. My sorting method changed years ago. I started putting all the autographed cards together in pages and binders. But since I couldn't always find what I wanted, I started putting them by year. 1980/81 OPC was the last year sorted this way and the previous years asre sorted by played. Hence, when searching for cards for this blog, I sometimes miss something. That gives me an excuse to fill days like this with stuff that should be here already. So, away we go.

Index cards from Bryan Campbell and Doug Jarvis.

Business cards from Ron Ellis, Brian Campbell, Vaclav Nedomansky (signed) and John Gould.

All items received TTM.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 23

Ryan Walter  

He played his minor hockey in Burnaby, British Columbia, before going on to play junior in Langley and Kamloops. However it wasn't until he moved to the WHL's Seattle Breakers that Ryan became noticed by NHL scouts. He scored 54 goals and 125 points and he captained Canada at the 1978 World Junior Hockey Championships.

His outstanding play in the WHL prompted the Washington Capitals to select him second overall in the 1978 Amateur Draft. A year later, he was named team captain, the youngest captain in NHL history at that time.
A devout Christian, Walter has been a leading figure for World Vision, Athletes for Kids and Hockey Ministries International as well as many Christian hockey camps.
He is now coach of the Canadian womens hockey team at the 2011 IIHF World champioships.

He is also a motivational speaker and you can find out more at the link below.

A selection of cards signed in thin black marker received TTM

Mailed to him care of Hockey Ministries International in the late 80's and also received this personalized pamphlet.

Friday, April 22, 2011

April 22

Al Hill

Al was signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Flyers in Ocotober 1976 and made his NHL debut with the Broad Street Bullies during the 1976-77 season. And what a debut he had. On February 14, 1977, Hill set an NHL record by recording five points on a pair of goals and three assists in his first big-league game. (photo above after the game acknowledging his 5 points). He is now a pro scout with the Philadelphia Flyers.
I remember hearing about his scoring feat on the radio the next day and wondering how he would do in the future.

221 405595227

Couldn't keep up the pace. But he still has the record after all these years.

Received these blue ink signed cards TTM.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 21

Jacques Caron

The story is as familiar as 1967 is historic to NHL development. Caron was a minor-league goalie, doomed to play for Springfield during the 1960s after finishing junior with Peterborough. He retired at one point and moved to Toronto to take a job as a machinist, but when news of expansion made headlines he returned to the game.
The L.A. Kings did indeed claim him, and he got into his first NHL game in 1967-68. Just three games later the following year he became depressed and retired again, only to come back when he had a chance to play for St. Louis.
After ten more games with Vancouver, he moved on again to the minors, leaving Syracuse in early 1977 after a contract disagreement. But for a third time he came out of retirement after a trade sent him to Binghampton, and in 1980 he retired to his cattle and horse farm in Noranda. Two years later, he was hired as an assistant coach in Hartford, a job he had to abandon after suffering severe emotional and mental stress that needed hospital treatment.
Currently the special assignments coach for the New Jersey Devils.
 He won three Stanley Cups as goaltending coach with New Jersey in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

Received this blue ink signed card TTM during the 80's.

Now, some days I don't have any autographed cards for players on that birthdate. Today, I had a choice of FIVE (5). Guess I'll save them for days when I'm bereft of any. And is there anything better than flipping between two playoff OT games and staying awake for them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20

Gilles Lupien

A towering 6'6" defenceman, Gilles Lupien played over 200 NHL games with three different clubs (Montreal, Pittsburgh and Hartford). He was taken 33rd overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1974 Amateur Draft and was a member of the 1978 and 1979 Stanley Cup teams. After leaving the game, Lupien became a player agent and one of his first high profile clients was goalie Felix Potvin.
Gilles Lupien is the agent for Drummondville Voltigeurs star Sean Couturier (who is seen a top 3 or top 5 pick in June), Corey Crawford of the Blackhawks and the Canucks Roberto Luongo.

Gilles Lupien
Sport Prospects Inc.
77 Place Bleury
Rosemere, Quebec
J7A 4L9
Contact Information:
Phone: 450-434-3408
Fax: 450-434-0580

Received this TTM signed in blue ink. Notice the card says Penguins but clearly still in a Canadiens sweater. You will also notice the OPC version did not have the players name in the puck blacked out so you had to scratch it off to reveal players name, unlike the Topps version. This was his only card issued.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19 updates

 Сергей Викторович Фёдоров ( Sergei Viktorovich Fedorov )

Since I have no cards for birthdays today, update previous post of Feb 15.

Received these two cards signed in blue sharpie IP.

Dimitri Motkov, Selected by Detroit Red Wings  round 5 #98 overall 1991 NHL Entry Draft but never played an NHL game.

On the other hand, the other pictured player, Sergei Fedorov, played a few more.

Regular season
NHL TotalsGP 1248 G 483A 696TP 1179 PIM 839

From April 17, two more Dennis Hextall cards.

Allan Bester Brantford Alexander's card. March 26 update. And yes, that is Rick St. Croix pictured on the 84/85 card.

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18

Al Sims

In 1972, Sims was the first round and first ever draft pick of the WHA's  New York Raiders but he chose to sign with the Boston Bruins who drafted him in the third round. In Junior Hockey he played with Bob Murray, who was a rushing defenceman. When he played for Boston he played with the greatest rushing defenceman of all time, Bobby Orr.  He played for Boston and its AHL affiliate for 6 years. He then played for the Hartford Whalers for 2 years.
 Sims is currently in Fort Wayne, as the head coach of the Fort Wayne Comets of the IHL.  

Received these blue ink signed cards and index card TTM during the 80's.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 17

Dennis Hextall

Dennis Hextall was the third member in a family that has produced four NHL players spanning three generations. Dennis and his brother Bryan Jr. played during in the 60's and 70's making reasonably big names for themselves. Father Bryan Sr. played with the New York Rangers for 11 seasons (1936-48) earning the Stanley Cup with the Broadway Blues in the 1939-40 season. The fourth and final member of the Hextall NHL clan is Bryan's son Ron Hextall, goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Over his 13 seasons in the NHL, Hextall played in 681 games, scoring 153 goals and adding 350 assists with 1398 penalty minutes.

Received these blue ink sigs TTM.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 16

Mike Crombeen

Michael Joseph Crombeen born April 16, 1957 in Sarnia, On.  
Selected in first round by the Cleveland Barons in the 1977 draft. (5th overall)
made his debut October 12, 1977 (Cleveland at Los Angeles).

  His son, B.J. currently plays with the St. Louis Blues.
B.J. and Mike are the third father and son combination to play for the Blues. Bob and Brent Johnson were the first and Peter and Yan Stastny were the second. 
 However the highlight of his time with the Blues came in 1981 when Crombeen scored a goal in double over time of Game Five of the Best of Five Conference Semi-Finals versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Received this blue ink signature TTM.

Envelope with March 16, 1987 postmark. 22cents postage to Canada and return address in top left corner.

Friday, April 15, 2011

April 15

Rick Martin

July 26 1951-March 13 2011

"The Buffalo Sabres are saddened to announce the passing of Buffalo Sabres Hall of Famer and member of the famed French Connection, Rick Martin. Rick was not only one of the greatest players in franchise history, he was a great friend to the Sabres organization and the entire community. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Sabres organization go out to his wife Mikey and their two sons, Corey and Josh."

 Results of an autopsy performed on Rick Martin show he died of Hypertensive Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease, which can cause heart failure.

The All-Star forward was drafted by the Sabres 5th overall in 1971 and  played 11 seasons in the NHL. In 685 career games, he scored 701 points.
He was a star for the Sabres in the 1970s and combined with fellow Quebcers Gilbert Perreault and René Robert to give Buffalo the top line in the league. The French Connection carried the Sabres all the way to the Stanley Cup final in 1975 — in only the fifth year of the franchise's existence.


No birthday wishes today. Instead the only Rick Martin autograph card I have. Received IP signed in black sharpie.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14

Steve Jensen

Steven Allan Jensen, born in Minnesota, was an offensive player who appeared in 438 games in the  NHL from 1976-82. For the past 27 years, Jensen has served as founding owner & director of the Heartland Hockey Camp located in  Deerwood, Minnesota.

Steve is now a full time teaching professional with over 30 years of instruction experience, including 12 years of experience playing International and NHL hockey, 5 U.S. National Teams, and the 1976 Canada Cup. As a hockey player, at Armstrong High School, in Plymouth, Minnesota, Steve was an All-State performer. At the college level, he was a participant in 2 NCAA championship games, helping win the National Championship, in 1975, while playing at Michigan Tech University. For two consecutive years, Steve was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team. As a freshman at MTU, Steve was honored with the Matovich Top Student/Athlete Award.

Received these blue ink signed cards TTM.

The postmark is fairly clear here , March 4, 1986. The return address has the stamp of the hockey school he was running at the time. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I didn't know about SASE's. I received a lot of return envelopes with the return address of the player. They were from their business, where they were working or from the NHL club they were associated with. Makes for a nice colourful display.

And will the NHL return to Winnipeg?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 13

Brad Smith

Known to all as "Motor City Smitty," Brad Smith wasn't the best skater on the team, or the best scorer, but he was always a fan favourite. Why? Because he was the everyman. Through hard work and determination, Smith played in nine NHL seasons.
Smith played his junior hockey with the OHA's Windsor Spitfires and was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1978 Amateur Draft. He made his NHL debut in the 1978-79 season playing in two games while spending the majority of the year with the CHL's Dallas Blackhawks. He was then traded to the Atlanta Flames in the 1979-80 season and followed them to Calgary when the franchise relocated for the next season. He was dealt once again in 1981 this time to the Red Wings.
The dawn of Motor City Smitty came alive as Smith played with the Wings for four seasons, though he spent most of it with their AHL affiliate in Adrirondack. He signed with the Maple Leafs as a free agent in 1985 and split his first season there between Toronto and St. Catharines. The 1986-87 season was his last in the NHL and it was spent in its entirety with the Leafs.
Smith left the game as a player in 1987 but stepped behind the bench to coach his old junior team the Windsor Spitfires, teaching his players the way he played hockey--honest and hard working.
GP 222
  G 28
 A 34
TP 62   



Drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 4th round (57th overall) of the 1978 draft.

Received blue ink signature IP.

April 12

Again, another day with no birthday related items. Instead,as the playoffs approach

Fan participation encouraged in 2011 'Beard-a-thon'

A playoff beard is the superstitious practice of an NHL player not shaving his beard during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The player stops shaving when his team enters the playoffs and does not shave until his team is eliminated or wins the Stanley Cup.

This year, hockey fans across the United States are invited to join in a great hockey tradition and grow their own playoff beards during the 2011 Beard-a-thon. In addition to participating in a great hockey tradition, they will also be raising money for charities across the county.

In the past two seasons, over 15,000 fans have participated in the Beard-a-thon program, raising over $650,000 for local charities. This season, the goal is to raise $1 million dollars with twelve NHL clubs participating in the program. 

To participate in the Beard-a-thon, fans can simply log onto choose their favorite NHL team, and invite family, friends and business associates to pledge their playoff beards. By receiving pledges, participants promise not to shave until their team wins the Stanley Cup or is eliminated from the playoffs. Fans who are unwilling or unable to grow playoff beards, can also pledge their favorite player, other local celebrities, or build their own beard with the "Build-a-Beard" web application.

"The intensity, both on and off the ice, goes to a whole new level in the playoffs.  The Beard-a-thon gives fans a chance show their passion for the great game of hockey and raise money for charity," said John Cimperman, the Principal of Cenergy, a New York based sports marketing agency that developed the program.

This season's participating clubs are the defending Cup champs, Chicago Blackhawks,Boston Bruins, Buffalos Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers,Nashville Predators, New York Rangers,Pittsburgh Penguins,Phoenix Coyotes,Tampa Bay Lightning,San Jose Sharks,and the Washington Capitols.

NHLPA Beard-a-thon donations will go towards the placement of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in hockey rinks, schools and community centres in provinces across Canada. Heart and Stroke Foundation’s goal is to make Canada the most cardiac safe country in the world. Research shows that the use of an AED with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before the arrival of Emergency Services personnel can increase the chance of survival by up to 75 percent. It is estimated that the first three minutes are the most important when helping someone who is the victim of cardiac arrest.

For more information on the Beard-a-thon, log onto
. All donations to Beard-a-thon are tax-deductible.

I'm working this week in downtown Toronto and at Union Station they were giving away this advertising card for this event. The people giving them away were wearing fake red beards that were probably 18" long.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11

John Gould

Today's birthday.

Right-winger John Gould played over 500 NHL games for three different clubs in the 70s and 80s.
John was a 5'11", 200 pound winger who went undrafted by the NHL after a solid career with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. The Buffalo Sabres were impressed with what he had to offer at the minor league level, and offered him a contract. He ended up playing 504 games in the NHL, scoring 131 goals and 269 points.
 He is the older brother of two-game NHLer Larry Gould (Canucks).

Received TTM--signed in blue ball point pen

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 10

Again, no scans to post of someone from todays birthday list. Two days in a row. Maybe a streak in the other direction.

Now the regular season is over and my Leafs are as they say, on hiatus. Which team am I going to follow on their Quest for the Holy Grail. Let's see

1) ABM (anyone but Montreal)--enough said
2) Canadian team--guess it's Vancouver
3) Original Six team--Chicago  -With Fan appreciation day Sunday vs Detroit, they have a drawing, details below from their site: Love to win this

Click on the link below (after the jump) and fill out the entry form, and you will be entered to win a puck signed by either Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa or Brent Seabrook! Contest closes Sunday at noon Central.

Depending on Sunday's outcome, Chicago may play Vancouver and then after the first round, I may only have one favourite left.

As mentioned in a previous post, with three daughters and two grand-daughters, I have no male offspring to take over my collection. The girls are not REALLY interested in this stuff. Just after Christmas, I wanted to see if t here was a market for anything I had.  Would there be any collectors that would appreciate these items?

One of the items was a 63/64 Toronto Maple Leaf information book. A collector/buyer was interested. He also bought some paper back books, programs and advertising pieces. He drove
   63.34 kilometres (39.36 miles) to pick up in person. He was happy to obtain these items and I was happy with his price. I have sold a few other things. Makes me sad as I recall how I obtained these things. There's a good story behind everything. Does anyone else feel the same way? I guess as a collector and not an investor, you develop an attachment that is hard to break. But that being said, I suppose anything that is posted here (and items that have yet to be posted) is available. Let me know if you are interested in anything and see what can be done. Oh, the pain of it all. Maybe I have taken a head shot, have a concussion and don't know what I'm doing.
Of course, I still unintentionally acquire cards. I was at a party and one of the guys knew I collected, so he gave me a plain brown paper bag with some cards in it. I'll show a few of them below.

These were mostly in penny sleeves and top loaders. All told, probably another 50 cards ( Dionne, Lafleur, Bossy etc). You can never tell when the Card Gods will smile on you.