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Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30-Helmut Balderis

For the month of June, I had 24/30 days where I had an autograph of someone who had a birthday on that date. To end of June, we have

Helmut Balderis

Selected in round 12 #238 overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft
by the Minnesota North Stars.

Helmut Balderis was an extraordinary stickhandler and a unique forward. He belonged neither to the Soviet school of hockey nor to his native Latvian, but rather was the result of a singular upbringing.
Balderis was the only player of his generation to play in the NHL, with the Minnesota North Stars. He played 26 games and scored 3 goals with 6 assists. He became the oldest ever player drafted by an NHL team (36) and the oldest player to score his first goal (37). In 1998, he was inducted into International Hockey Hall of Fame.

He signed my Panini sticker in blue ink TTM.

He also included this black sharpie signed post card.

Well, that's it for another month. Goodbye June, we hardly knew you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29--Craig Hartsburg

Craig Hartsburg

Signed with Birmingham (WHA) as an underage free agent in July 1978.
Hartsburg amassed nine goals and 40 assists in his rookie professional season

Selected in first round by Minnesota North Stars, number 6 overall in the 1979 NHL Draft.


The Calgary Flames announced June 6, 2011 that Craig Hartsburg has been named associate coach.  Hartsburg joins the Flames after leading the Everett Silvertips (WHL) as the head coach for the last two seasons compiling a 75-54-16 (.569) record. Hartsburg has 14 years of NHL coaching experience having served as the head coach for the Chicago Blackhawks (1995-98), the Anaheim Ducks (1998-2001) and the Ottawa Senators (2008-09). He was an assistant coach with the Minnesota North Stars (1989-90) and the Philadelphia Flyers (1990-94, 2002-04).

I believe I received these IP during two different years. I'm pretty sure it was at the NHL Slo-Pitch tournament in the 80's ( blue ink signed and black sharpie signed)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28--Gaye Stewart

Gaye Stewart

 He started the 1941-42 season with the Marlboro juniors. Shortly thereafter, he was bumped up to the Marlboro seniors. He then got the nod to join the Hershey Bears of the AHL near the end of the campaign and was then called up to join the Maple Leafs in time for the playoffs. By season's end he had played junior, senior, minor pro and pro, all in one season, and got a Stanley Cup win to top things off.
In 1942-43, Stewart completed his first full season as a Leaf and outdid rookie Rocket Richard to take the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie of that year. 
In all, Gaye Stewart played for five of the NHL's Original Six teams, all except the Boston Bruins. He played 502 career NHL games, scoring 185 goals and 159 assists for 344 points.

Received this black sharpie signed card IP in the summer of 1998. I did something that I had never done before or since. I was living in Burlington at the time and knew he lived there also. I looked him up in the phone book and gave him a call on a Monday. He answered and said he was leaving for a few days but could I call him on Thursday. I did and he invited me over . We sat in his back yard and talked hockey, from the days he played to the present. Talked about his grandsons playing and how things had changed. This was the summer the Leafs signed Curtis Joseph and we discussed that at length. He introduced me to his wife when she returned home. It was a great experience and I have that as a memory. That's almost better than getting an autograph.

P.S. At the time, I did not realize that we shared the same birthday. Celebrated mine today both at work and at home.

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27--Don Raleigh

Don (Bones) Raleigh

Scouted and signed by Rangers as a free agent in 1943.

With the ranks of the NHL having been depleted by the call to enlist for World War II, young players such as 17-year-old Raleigh were called up to fill out the NHL's rosters.
Raleigh spent his entire ten year NHL career with the Rangers. In 535 regular season games, he scored 101 goals, 219 assists for a total of 320 points with only 96 PIMS. He finished among the NHL’s top ten scorers four times reaching as high as 4th. In 18 playoff games, Raleigh scored 6 goals and added 5 assists for 11 points (6 PIMS)

Received this blue ink signed card TTM. I also have the envelope and index cards somewhere.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26--Kirk McLean

Kirk McLean


 Selected in the sixth round by the New Jersey Devils, number 107 overall in the 1984 NHL Draft. Over the next two seasons, 1985-86 and '86-87, he appeared in just six games for the Devils, a situation created by an overabundance of strong netminding. At the time, New Jersey had Craig Billington, Alain Chevrier, Bob Sauve, Sean Burke, and Chris Terreri in their system, all competing for the two goaltending spots available.
He was packaged in September 1987 with Greg Adams and a draft choice to Vancouver for Patrick Sundstrom and two draft choices.
During 1997-98, McLean was traded not once, but twice. He began the season in Vancouver, but moved to Carolina as part of a deal with Martin Gelinas for Sean Burke, Geoff Sanderson, and Enrico Ciccone. Then, after just eight games, he was sent to Florida where the Panthers traded Ray Sheppard to get him. McLean played one full season with the Panthers in 1998-99 before signing as a free agent with the New York Rangers for the 1999-00 season. McLean went on to play two seasons with the Rangers before ending his playing career after the 2001-02 season.

N.J., Vancouver, Car.,
Florida, N.Y. Rangers




Received this blue sharpie signed card IP. The Vancouver Canucks were the parent of the AHL Hamilton Canucks and played a pre-season game in Hamilton.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25--Doug Gilmour

Doug Gilmour

Selected in seventh round by St. Louis Blues, number 134 overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft.

1983-2003STL, CGY, TOR,
1984-2002STL, Calg., Toronto,
N.J., Buff., Montreal
Gilmour's size worried management in St. Louis and he almost began his pro career in Germany when he couldn't reach a deal with the Blues. St. Louis finally signed him and he joined the team two weeks before the 1983-84 season. Gilmour found himself near the bottom of the team's depth chart at center, but a depleted roster allowed him to play on the fourth line as a defensive specialist and he returned to his checking ways. The Blues' captain at the time, Brian Sutter, nicknamed Gilmour "Killer" for his intensity.
After three full seasons hovering around 50 points, Gilmour began to play a more open game. In the 1986-87season, he finished the regular schedule with a career-high 42 goals and 105 points and was selected to represent Team Canada at the 1987 Canada Cup. After another solid season in St. Louis, Gilmour was traded to the Calgary Flames at the beginning of the 1988-89 campaign.  Halfway through the 1991-92 season, Gilmour became increasingly disenchanted with his pay from the Flames and an arbitrator's decision that saw his salary increase less than he expected. He decided to leave the team, but only a few hours later he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a blockbuster deal involving 10 players, the largest trade in league history.
When the Leafs went into rebuilding mode midway through the 1996-97 season, Gilmour was sent to the New Jersey Devils. He spent one full season with the defense oriented Devils and was signed as a free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 1998. In the spring of 2000, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres. Gilmour then signed on as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens in October 2001, and went on to play parts of two seasons with the Habs before he was dealt back to Toronto at the trading deadline in 2003.

Received these blue sharpie signed cards IP. When I was living in Burlington during the 90's, Don Koharski had a facility that housed a mini rink and a card store. Doug was at one of the free signings held there. I remember standing in line and Doug asked the kid in front of me (around 10 years old), how to spell Doug. I guess the kid was shy and didn't say anything, so Doug said "Dug" . I thought it was amusing but the kid just got an autograph.
The official website of Doug Gilmour.

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24--Tom Reid

Tom Reid

He graduated from the amateur ranks just in time to take advantage of the NHL's expansion in 1967. After a brief cup of tea in the minors, he joined the Chicago Blackhawk blueline corps and quickly established himself as a stay-at-home defender who viewed the offensive zone as a distant moon.
Reid lasted with Chicago until 1969, at which time the Minnesota North Stars acquired him. For the nine seasons that followed, he served as a sort of third goal post, firmly anchored to his own zone.
Reid stood as a North Star mainstay until 1977. It was at that time that a small red rash appeared on his arm. Massive itching sensations soon followed as his skin began to deteriorate. His affliction soon took on the name "Gunk." As the league's doctors, trainers, and equipment producers began to investigate, they discovered that about 100 players across the NHL were suffering from various degrees of the affliction. But no case was as severe as Reid's. His skin got so bad that he could only sleep while sitting upright in a wooden chair. Before the season was over, his suffering grew so severe that he was forced to retire. In the end, the doctors concluded that he was allergic to his equipment and to the dye found in his uniform.

Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub opened in St. Paul shortly after the NHL Minnesota Wild franchise was confirmed. It is now a popular destination for families and hockey fans.

Received these blue ink signed cards TTM.

Return envelope from company where he worked postmarked 1984.

June 23--Felix Potvin

Felix Potvin

Selected by Toronto Maple Leafs in  round 2 #31 overall 1990 NHL Entry Draft
In his early years with the Leafs, Potvin was a workhorse who, in his first big-league campaign, carried his club to the semi-finals where they eventually lost to Wayne Gretzky and his Los Angeles Kings. By the time he'd completed his six-year run with the Blue and White, Potvin had more games played and wins than all other Leafs stoppers except for Turk Broda and Johnny Bower. He set a club record, leading the league in games played with 74 during the 1996-97 season. During that campaign, he faced more shots than any goaltender in league history.
With the signing of free agent Curtis Joseph, Potvin saw the writing on the wall and the Leafs finally dealt him to the New York Islanders.
After a short stay with the Islanders, Potvin was sent to Vancouver where his stay was just as short as in New York. Following to sub-par seasons with New York and Vancouver, Potvin made a triumphant return to the NHL in 2000-01 with the Los Angeles Kings where he was workhouse for the team during their playoff run.
In 2001-02 Potvin played in 71 games with the Kings posting a 31-27-8 record along with 2.31 GAA before battling injuries throughout the 2002-03 season. After parts of three seasons with the Kings, Potvin was acquired by the Boston Bruins in the summer of 2003. Potvin would appear in 28 games with the Bruins however would not be re-signed by the club following the 2003-04 season.

Received this blue (fading) sharpie autograph IP during Leaf training camp in Hamilton in around 2000.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 22--Wednesday morning musings

Computer problems again and some blogger problems too

NHL Board unanimous on Winnipeg sale, relocation

"The Board unanimously approved both the sale of the Atlanta franchise to True North, which is Mark Chipman and David Thomson, and the relocation of Thrashers to Winnipeg," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Obviously, everybody is sorry and distressed and unhappy that we found ourselves in the circumstance where our franchise was leaving Atlanta. We feel particularly sorry for the fans over there. But obviously, based on the reception that we've gotten, everybody is extremely excited about the opportunities in Winnipeg for our return

The Count didn't look too happy making the announcement but now its official. Until this statement, I thought they would still try to block the move.

Welcome back.

With the draft coming up on Friday, my chance to relate my experience at the 2002 Draft.
The 2002 NHL Entry Draft was held June 22–23 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. 291 players were drafted in total: 35 from the OHL; 23 from the QMJHL; 43 from the WHL: 41 from the NCAA; 6 from U.S High Schools and 110 from outside North America.
From my recollection, this was a Saturday-Sunday affair. I had tickets to attend both days. I only had the chance to attend Saturday. Got a few autographs before the draft started as the GM;s scouts and hockey personnel from the teams made their way to the ACC. Rick Ley, Rick Dudley and Bob Nystrom were the ones I remember obtaining. There were a few more but ,again, my memory fails me.

They were giving out Beckett magazines and I had a choice to make on getting it signed. Before the proceedings, both Rick Nash and Jay Bouwmeester were in front of me.

Yep, got me number 3 pick Jay Bouwmeester. IP. Signed with blue sharpie. Still overall a fun day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 21--Ron Low

Ron Low

Selected in round 8 #103 overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft.
Low only played one season with Toronto before he was left exposed in the 1974 NHL expansion draft  where he was claimed by the Washington Capitals, where he would spend three seasons and would forever be in the Capitals' record books as the first goalie to get a shutout for the team on February 16, 1975 against the Kansas City Scouts. After being traded to and spending two seasons in the Detroit Red Wings organization, he was claimed by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1979 NHL expansion draft. Low was traded to the Edmonton Oilers after playing only 15 games with the Nordiques. He was traded to the New Jersey Devils in 1983, where he completed his NHL career at the end of the  84/85 season.

Recived these blue ink signed cards TTM.

Had this old Leaf postcard sitting around.

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20--Jim Peters

Jim Peters

Jimmy Peters Jr. and his twin sister were born while their hockey-player father, Jimmy Sr., was in Europe, serving his country during World War II. The elder Peters had been a minor-pro skater who would, upon his return to Canada in 1945, embark on a nine-year NHL career with stints in Montreal, Boston, Detroit, and Chicago.
 Peters turned pro in 1965 and embarked on a lengthy career as a wandering journeyman who fell into NHL favour on occasion between numerous stints in the minors with a variety of clubs. At the professional level, he was typically relegated to fourth-line duty where he became a defensive specialist with an honest streak. It was suggested that he was probably the only NHLer virtuous enough to confide to a referee that the goal his club was just awarded didn't really go in.
In all, Peters appeared in 54 games as a Red Wing from 1965 to 1968. He saw more consistent big-league action with the Los Angeles Kings where he performed defensive chores for two seasons before being dispatched to the AHL and the WHL for two years. In 1972, however, coach Bob Pulford surprised Peters by bringing him back to L.A. to skate on a defensive line with Real Lemieux. The duo killed penalties and helped shut down opposing lines for about a year and a half. At that time, Peters made his final descent to the minors where he rounded out his pro career with the Fort Worth Texans in 1976.

Received these red ink signed cards TTM.

Envelope and business card dated 1987.

June 19--Walt McKechnie

Walt McKechnie

Selected in first round by Toronto Maple Leafs, number 6 overall in the 1963 NHL draft.

1968-1983MIN, CAL/CLE, BOS, DET, WAS, TOR, COL955214392606469
1968-1979Minnesota, Toronto1575127

His arrival marked the beginning of a lengthy big-league career that became one of the most nomadic in NHL history. In total, he changed major-league teams 12 times with stops in the minors coming on four occasions. In fact, he was once on the rosters of five different clubs over a 12-month period, although one was only on paper.
But perhaps the most defining characteristic of McKechnie's career was that he played for nine teams that finished in last place or were destined to be tail enders before he was traded. But through it all, he consistently brought his strong playmaking skills and effective ability to dig puck from the corners to all of the teams he represented.

Today, McKechnie owns and operates "McKeck's", a family-style restaurant on Highland Street in Haliburton, Ontario

June 18--Happy Fathers Day

Happy father's day to all. Yes, it is a day early but it's time to celebrate. With having computer problems (who doesn't) and all kinds of things going on (had a buck and doe to attend, trying to finish building my fence), it was hard to do any updates here. For an early Father's day gift, I got two hockey tins. Upper Deck 2008/09 Ovation volume 4 and Upper Deck 2010/11 Series one to open.

2008/09 Upper Deck Ovation Hockey Volume 4 Box (Tin) - Stamkos!

Sidney Crosby on front. This tin contains cards 151-200 plus 1 3 x 5 card.

Got the regular Kiprusoff and the oversize card. No autographed one but these are nice looking cards.

Happy father's day to all. Yes, it is a day early but it's time to celebrate. With having computer problems (who doesn't) and all kinds of things going on (had a buck and doe to attend, trying to finish building my fence), it was hard to do any updates here. For an early Father's day gift, I got two hockey tins. Upper Deck 2008/09 Ovation volume 4 and Upper Deck 2010/11 Series one to open.

2008/09 Upper Deck Ovation Hockey Volume 4 Box (Tin) - Stamkos!

Sidney Crosby on front. This tin contains cards 151-200 plus 1 3 x 5 card.

Got the regular Kiprusoff and the oversize card. No autographed one but these are nice looking cards. The cards did not come in numericl order so the Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo were together.

Got this oversize card of The Winter Classic.

From the eight packs, here are the hits.

Not too bad but not great. It was fun opening them though. Yeah, this is filling up todays post as I don't have any birthday boys to celebrate.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 17--Mike Milbury

Mike Milbury

 Signed as a free agent with the Bruins after playing with Colgate University in 1972-73.

The Colgate educated Brighton, MA resident found a home on the Boston Bruins blue line for 11 seasons, totaling 754 games. He scored 49 goals, 189 assists for 238 points, while accumulating a healthy 1552 penalty minutes.

Mad Mike" will always be remembered for one thing: scaling the glass to beat up a fan with his own shoe:

Milbury was suspended 6 games and fined $500 for the incident.

Received these blue ink signed cards TTM.

He also included this blue ink signed photo.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 16--Claire Alexander

Claire Alexander

He gave up his job as a milkman in Orillia to join the Leafs in Toronto, but not before winning the Allan Cup with the local Terriers. "The Honest Milkman" as his Leaf mates called him, made his NHL debut at age 29 after persistent calls from scout and former junior teammate Gerry McNamara.
On the strength of his booming shot, Alexander once won a scoring championship playing Senior hockey with the Collingwood Shipbuilders.
In Toronto, he provided solid defensive play for an up-and-coming Leaf team.  After three partial seasons in Toronto, he was traded to Vancouver. He later signed as a free agent with the WHA Oilers. The Leafs hired him to coach their AHL affiliate in St. Catharines in 1984, but the next year he left the organization when the team wanted him to become assistant coach to Dan Maloney with the Leafs. The Milkman balked at uprooting his family and moving to Toronto and instead returned to private life.
Alexander finished his career with 18 goals and 64 points in 155 career NHL games, along with just 36 penalty minutes. He also recorded 8 goals and 31 points in 54 WHA games.

Received this blue ink signed card TTM.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15--Sheldon Kennedy

First off, congratulations to the Boston Bruins for winning the Stanley Cup. The season is finally over. Ca't wait until September.

Sheldon Kennedy

Selected by Detroit Red wings in round 4, number 80 overall in the 1988 NHL Draft.

Sheldon Kennedy skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career and played for Canada's gold-medal-winning team in the 1988 World Junior Hockey Championship. He is widely known for his courageous decision to charge his minor-league hockey coach, Graham James, with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five-year period.
Sheldon's decision to go public with the charges rocked the hockey world and forced him into the media spotlight. 

                   GP G  A  TP  PIM
NHL Totals

Received these black sharpie signed cards IP. He was giving a speech in Burlington where I was living at the time. Talked to him a bit before it started.I think I was the only person there with cards to get signed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 14--Nada

Nada, birthdays again. Its also getting close to the fourth season. WE have pre-season, regular season, post season and coming up, off season. But I'm only talking about the hockey year.

Here's something for Bobby Lou.

You might need this before Game 7 tomorrow night.

James Reimer launches fashion line

Enough said.

Theoren Fleury

Playing with Fire By Theo Fleury, Kirstie McLellan Day

Won a copy of this book a while ago from the hockey card and memorabilia magazine, the want list. It was an interesting read. Always admired him when he was playing.

NHL Hockey players on twitter (130)

Here's a list of 130 former and active NHL'ers twitter accounts. You might want to follow some of these guys. Probably not a complete list but there is probably someone to everyone's liking.

TSN Radio

Have listened to TSN radio while driving in to work. TSN RADIO 1050 launched on Wednesday, April 13, 2011. The all-sports radio station is available to sports fans in the Greater Toronto area on AM 1050 and nationally online at and on TSN MOBILE. providing competition for sportsnet radio/the fan 590. The last couple of weeks Darren Dutchyshen has been guest hosting for Bryan Hayes who is guest hosting for James Cebulski. The man is a riot. Different from when he's on TV. One guest this week was former Bruin Lyndon Byers, who is a co-host of the Hill Man Morning Show on radio station WAAF-FM where he is an air personality and sports specialist. The two of them was great radio.

As for tomorrow night's game, I hope it's close but Vancouver wins.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13--J.P. Bordeleau


Selected in first round by Chicago Black Hawks, number 13 overall in the 1969 NHL Draft.
Jean-Pierre Bordeleau was a competent two-way winger who could function effectively on both specialty teams. He played over 500 NHL games with the Chicago Black Hawks between 1970 and 1980.

During his first full season, in 1972-73, the young winger scored 15 goals. He was responsible defensively and played with composure when the Hawks reached the Stanley Cup finals. He maintained this steady work right through the 1979-80 season and worked well on lines with the likes of Stan Mikita, John Marks, and Pit Martin. After two years with the New Brunswick Hawks of the AHL, Bordeleau worked as the coach and part-time player with the senior Renfrew Trappers before retiring in 1984.

Received these blue ink signed cards TTM


He also include this colour postcard signed in blue ink.

Also requested index card. Postmark says 1989. 38 cent stamp. I guess that makes this request 22 years old. Hard to believe. Don't even remember how I found the address. The fun of the chase remembered.