Friday, August 26, 2011

Pat Falloon Autograph Card

Pat Falloon was the second player chosen overall at the 1991 draft, behind ''The (First) Next One'', Eric Lindros. He was also the San Jose Sharks' very first pick ever.

As the first pick of an expansion franchise, one is expected to be the cornerstone of the team for years to come, perhaps a decade or longer, but Falloon never even reached the 60-point plateau. After a little more than 4 seasons, the Sharks dealt him to the Philadelphia Flyers, where he played well for two and a half years before being sent to the Ottawa Senators in return for another top-pick ''flop'', Alexandre Daigle. He also had brief stints with the Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins when neither of these teams were close to their dynasty form of 10 years previous.

Over the years, he was nicknamed ''Fat Balloon'' for his lack of conditioning. Despite all that, he still managed to gather 322 points in 575 NHL games - perhaps insufficient for a top-line player and second-overall pick, but pretty decent for a hockey player, period. But players chosen after him and Lindros at the draft went on to have better careers, such as Scott Niedermayer (3rd), Peter Forsberg (6th), Brian Rolston (11th), Alexei Kovalev (15th), Markus Naslund (16th), Ray Whitney (23rd), Zigmund Palffy (26th), and Sandis Ozolinsh (30th).

The card is from The Score Board's 1991-92 Classic Draft Picks set, and is ''extremely limited'' numbered 546/1100, a signed insert in blue sharpie. He is shown wearing the Spokane Chiefs' then-away jersey, modeled on the Montreal Canadiens' uniform, making a play with his head down and a Canadien-brand stick.

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