Monday, November 14, 2011

Craig Simpson: 4 Autographed Cards

Score another one for the Edmonton Oilers!

I sent Craig Simpson these four cards and a fan letter on November 25th, 2010, care of the CBC's Audience Relations department, and got them all back, signed in black sharpie with his jersey number (18) added, on September 13th, 2011. For a broadcaster who travels following Western Canadian teams, that's a pretty good turnaround.

Simpson is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Oilers (1987-88 and 1989-90) and holds career NHL records for best shooting percentage both in the regular season (23.66%) and the playoffs (33.65%). He has 68 points in 67 career playoff games, proving he was good under pressure. He scored a career-high 43 goals in a mere 59 games in 1987-88 (he had 13 more in 19 playoff games) and had a career-high 76 points he following season with 35 goals in 66 games.

He also played for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres, but I mostly remember him as an Oiler, skating on a line with Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson.

Sports must have played a major part of his childhood, as his mother was Canadian Olympian Marion Simpson, his brother is hockey player Dave Simpson and his sister Christine covers hockey for Sportsnet. His son Dillon Simpson was drafted by the Oilers in the 2011 draft.

Craig got into a bit of controversy when participating in Battle Of The Blades, a Dancing With The Stars-like skating competition on CBC. Paired with iconic gold-medal Olympian Jamie Salé, he won the competition, however when it was revealed the two had had an affair, it broke both their couples apart.

Now, onto the cards.

This card shows Simpson wearing the Oilers' legendary away jersey and is from Score's 1992-93 Score (American) set (card #260). The card below (also #260) is from the 1992-93 Score (Canadian) set and shows him in the Oilers' home uniform. I like that Score went through the trouble of making two distinct sets that year rather than just have one be bilingual and not the other.

The next two cards also show Simpson in the Oilers' blue jersey:

The card on the left is from Pro Set's 1990-91 Pro Set collection (card #95) while the one on the right is from Score's inaugural 1990-91 Score set (card #58). While I always liked the initial Score set, I'm getting re-acquainted with the first Pro Set one and am liking it again as well. Its design was original and appealing - it's too bad it was over-abundant and is now worth nothing.

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