Thursday, June 4, 2015

Patrick Lalime Autograph Card

It's often forgotten just how good Patrick Lalime was, probably because his Ottawa Senators would fall to the Toronto Maple Leafs every Spring. However, he finished in the top-10 for Vezina Trophy votes twice - and not even in his spectacular rookie season, where he went undefeated in his first 16 NHL starts, going 14-0-2 with the Pittsburgh Penguins after injuries befell Ken Wregget and Tom Barrasso - not unlike the situation Andrew Hammond faced with the Sens this year - and got an All-Rookie Team nod.

Upon leaving Ottawa, Lalime had somewhat underwhelming seasons with the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks (due to injury in the latter case) before redeeming and reinventing himself as a reliable backup with the Buffalo Sabres for his final three seasons in the league.

He then turned to broadcasting, first as the colour commentator and analyst for Sens games on RDS, and this year for Montréal Canadiens games on TVA Sports. While he currently pales in comparison to his Habs counterpart on RDS broadcasts (Marc Denis), as his whole network does, hopefully he can improve enough over the 11 remaining seasons of his station's broadcast deal to make up for lost ground.

Like Jeff Glass before him and Robin Lehner nowadays, Lalime wore #40 with the Sens, as can be seen here in this beautiful silver foil card from In The Game's 2002-03 Be A Player Signature Series card (#035 in the set, signed on-card in thin black sharpie with his jersey number tagged at the end), showing him wearing the team's beautiful, original white (then-home) uniform:
He's exhibiting the perfect butterfly-style basic position, with his glove around the mid-body like I teach kids to do (except I prefer when it stands out straight, not downwards like here, because split-seconds matter more than ever before nowadays). His masks were cool and pretty much always featured Marvin The Martian from the Looney Tunes animations.

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