Friday, March 6, 2015

Lee Fogolin Autograph Card

Lee Fogolin was drafted by and started and ended his NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres, but he will probably best be remembered for his time with the Edmonton Oilers.

Originally thought of as a short-term defensive solution while the Oilers' kids were getting ready for prime time, Fogolin instead developed into  one of the best shot-blockers of the 1980s, and a tough customer who could punish opponents who took liberties on his teammates; for the better part of the 8 seasons he spent patrolling the Edmonton blue line, he accrued over 100 penalty minutes (usually around 150) - save for the 17 in 35 games in his last season, and a remarkably low-key 92 PIMs in 1982-83.

He had such an impact that he was made the team's captain for two seasons, until he voluntarily relinquished the title to Wayne Gretzky after the 1982-83 season - the type of move only a self-assured leader would make.

He won two Stanley Cups with the team and represented it in an All-Star Game before getting traded back to the Sabres, where he would retire after 9 games at the end of the 1985-86 season. He also reached the Finals unsuccessfully with each team.

His father, Lee Fogolin Sr., also won the Cup, with the Detroit Red Wings in 1949-50.

Here is Fogolin Jr., in all his captain's splendor, wearing the Oilers' classic blue (then-away) uniform, from Upper Deck's 2013-14 Edmonton Oilers Collection, which is card #FI-LF of the Franchise Ink sub-set, featuring a blue-sharpie on-sticker autograph:

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