Friday, November 22, 2013

Stanislav Neckar Autograph Card

What can you expect from a second-round, 29th-overall draft pick? What should you expect?

Honestly, I don't know.

I'll tell you one thing, if he's playing for the Ottawa Senators from 1994 to 1999, the Phoenix Coyotes at the turn of the millenium (1998-2001), the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2001 until 2003 and then the Nashville Predators, you cannot expect point-per-game production, whether it's the player's fault or that of those around him. They were all terrible, expansion-caliber teams.

In that regard, Stanislav Neckar's 510 NHL games stand more as a testament to his skill as a player than his 12 goals and 53 points, I think, and his career total of -71 (that is indeed minus-71) in the plus/minus stats can also be attributed to the teams he was on; it bears noting that three of the four seasons where he posted a worse than -10 rating were with the Sens, including seasons in which the team went 9-34-5 (23 points in 48 games - yes, the team) and 18-59-5 (41 points in 82 games, ouch! - under three different head coaches no less).

The Lightning thought enough of him to trade for his services again and suit him up for two playoff games in their 2004 Stanley Cup run.

I fell on a card of him in a re-packaged cello pack of cards that guaranteed an autograph, and it's from Classic's 1994-95 Draft Picks set (card #3 in the Autographs checklist, numbered #535/4645):

It's signed in blue sharpie and features him representing the Czech Republic at the World Juniors. He also played for his national team at the 1996 World Championships (winning the gold medal while posting 4 points in 8 games) and 1996 World Cup (0 for 3).

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