Monday, August 25, 2014

Warren Young Autograph Card

Warren Young was first drafted drafted in 1976, both in the NHL (California Golden Seals, 56th overall) and WHA (New England Whalers, 74th overall) but instead elected to play college hockey.

After his education, he learned about life in the CHL and EHL, two minor hockey leagues with ties to the NHL, and he was a point-per-game player at that level for the most part, but he was also growing into his 6'3'', 195-pound frame and guys wanted a piece of him, so it wasn't unusual for him to have 100-PIM seasons in the minors.

After three failed attempts at a ''normal'' rookie season (with 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points and 19 penalty minutes in 20 games spread over three seasons with the Minnesota North Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins), he finally got a real shot with the Pens in 1984-85, and he made the most of it, scoring 40 goals with 32 assists for 72 points and 174 penalty minutes in 80 games, earning a spot on the All-Rookie Team at 28 years old. Most of his penalty minutes came either from his hard work along the boards, or fights from defending himself or his soon-to-be-famous teammate, Rookie Of The Year Mario Lemieux.

Young was a free agent after that magical season, and the Detroit Red Wings signed him to a lucrative contract, and while his 22 goals were good for third place on the team (behind John Ogrodnick's 36 and Petr Klima's 32), it was far from what the Wings had expected when signing him; his 161 penalty minutes were second only to Bob Probert's 186, though.

He was dealt back to Pittsburgh in the off-season for cash and used pucks, but played 57 games over two seasons with the Penguins, scoring just 8 goals with 21 points.

Upon retiring, he turned to coaching, and has a mostly positive record in 7 seasons in the ECHL. He also coached and played in the defunct roller-hockey league - for the Pittsburgh Phantoms - and had 4 points in 4 games filling in.

I haven't yet purchased or joined a box break of In The Game's 2013-14 Motown Madness cards, but I traded for this one of Young (#A-WY in the set) in exchange for doubles of another card I'll feature soon of Joe Murphy:


As is usually the case with ITG, without the rights to NHL logos, they can neither be reproduced nor shown from the jersey, but they always find a neat way to make the whole design fit. So we have a head-and-shoulders shot of Young in the Wings' classic red (then-away) uniform, over a part of the logo with some visual effects to make it just different enough to win a court case. And ITG are always great at camouflaging their sticker autographs, as shown here by making it fit over a black and white picture of the old Joe Louis Arena, which will soon be demolished and abandoned.

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