Saturday, December 17, 2011

Matt Carkner: 2 Autographed Cards

I've been following Matt Carkner's career since he was drafted by the Montréal Canadiens (my hometown team) 58th overall in the 1999 draft. It was a second-rounder, but he was the Habs' first pick because the New York Islanders' held the Habs' first-round pick (10th overall, they chose Branislav Mezei with it, not a big loss) from the Trevor Linden trade.

The Habs never signed Carkner, though, so after his time in juniors - all with the Peterborough Petes - was done, the San Jose Sharks signed him and sent him to their AHL affiliate Cleveland Barons, where he spent the better part of 5 seasons, dressing for just 1 Sharks game, in which he collected an assist and a penalty.

After a season in the Pittsburgh Penguins' system, he was signed by the Ottawa Senators, who assigned hid to their AHL affiliate in Binghampton for two years. Since 2009-10, however, he has been a full-time Senator, serving as the Sens' official enforcer and also a reliable presence defensively. In many respects, he reminds me a bit of Lyle Odelein, a former Habs crowd favourite.

This season, he has just played 4 games so far, as he was injured; he came back on December 10th.

I sent him the two cards, care of the Sens, on November 19th - the same day I sent these ones to former Senator Peter Sidorkiewicz - and got them both back, signed in black sharpie with his jersey number (39) added on the end, on December 14th - less than a month later!

The card on the left is from Panini's beautiful 2010-11 Score set (card #348), while the one on the right is from Panini's equally stunning 2010-11 Crown Royale collection, card #8 from the Achievements sub-set (numbered 399/499), celebrating his first NHL goal, which came 10 years after he was drafted, against the Islanders' Martin Biron. He also scored a triple-overtime goal in the playoffs against the Penguins' Marc-André Fleury that year.

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