Friday, February 20, 2015

Janne Laukkanen Autograph Card

It's time to cross another number off my Sens Numbers Project, this time with #27, Janne Laukkanen. The 156th pick of the famed 1991 draft (the one that brought us Eric Lindros, Scott Niedermayer and Peter Forsberg), Laukkanen played for four different NHL franchises, and his longest tenure was with the Ottawa Senators.

Originally drafted by the Québec Nordiques, the then-Colorado Avalanche traded him to Ottawa midway through their first season in Denver - the year the Avs won the Stanley Cup. He played 244 games over parts of 5 seasons in the Canadian capital, producing at a 20-point pace per season, while mostly playing well in a defensive role.

He also had a decent stint with the pretty bad turn-of-the-millennium Pittsburgh Penguins before suiting up for a couple of Tampa Bay Lightning games in 2002-03.

He's been very successful internationally, suiting up for Team Finland regularly - the by-product of playing on poor NHL teams - winning three World Championship silver medals (1992, 1994 and 1998) and two bronze Olympic medals (1994 and 1998).

Here he is wearing the Sens' beautiful former black (away) uniform, from Pinnacle Brands' 1997-98 Be A Player set (card #90, signed on-card in black sharpie):

Apparently, he was also witty and quotable, as seen in this post-game interview with Pittsburgh reporters: ''Look, I know all your questions and you know all my answers. Aren't we just wasting each other's time? Just write down what you'd think I'd say and, at the end of the year, I'll give you a bottle of vodka and we'll be even.''

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