Sunday, May 4, 2014

Pavel Rosa Autograph Card

Pavel Rosa was destined to have a great NHL career. An elite shooter and passer with tremendous speed, all he needed was to be surrounded by tougher players to protect him from cheap shots - as his LHJMQ team the Hull Olympiques did in 1995-96 when they had Peter Worrell, Colin White, Mike Coveny (whom I fought twice in the same pre-season game that year and, yes, I was a goalie), Gordie Dwyer (whom I also fought), Mario Larocque (a distant cousin of mine), Sean Farmer and Russell Smith, all of whom were willing to stand up and protect the likes of Rosa, Martin Ménard and Jonathan Delisle, or those who dared come into contact with José Théodore.

That year, his rookie year in Juniors, Rosa accumulated 46 goals and 116 points in just 61 games, and improved to 63 goals and 152 points in just 68 games the following year. He also had fine seasons in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs, even finishing as the league's leading scorer in 2003-04, but he was never really given a chance to shine with the Los Angeles Kings, and when the 2004-05 lock-out occurred, rather than remain in the AHL where he was dominating, he opted to move back to Europe, first with two seasons with the renowned Moscow HC Dynamo and eventually the KHL's Avantguard Omsk and the historical Swiss team Fribourg-Gotteron HC (founded in 1938, and whose logo was inspired the by Montréal Canadiens').

All told, Rosa played in 36 games with the Kings over 4 seasons, scoring 5 goals with 18 points. He scored twice in his very first NHL game, and there was one season where he had two points in two games but wasn't retained to stay.

Still, I consider him a considerable talent, and I'm very happy to have this 1999-2000 Be A Player Millennium Signature Series card (#125 in the set) of his from In The Game, showing him in the Kings' turn-of-the-millennium white (home) uniform, signed in black sharpie:

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