Monday, February 1, 2016

Éric Desjardins Autographed Card

After Andrei Markov and Larry Robinson, why not continue with a third All-Star defenseman from the Montréal Canadiens? As I hinted to last year at around this time, I got this Éric Desjardins card autographed in person a long time ago:
It's card #467 from Pro Set's inaugural 1990-91 Series 1 collection, showing the Team Canada alumnus in the Habs' classic red (then-away) uniform, probably in Buffalo. He signed it in blue sharpie, which dates this either from 1995 or 2002-06.

For a while, probably relating to Pro Set's failed flooding of the card market that almost killed it with cheaper and cheaper cards, I'd grown unhappy with this set. But talking about it with other collectors (including Puck Junk's Sal Barry a few years back), I remembered how much I loved the design, how many players were included in it, how it could be found anywhere, and how the pictures were clear action shots... when they were of the correct player, that is.

It was an error-filled set, which is ironic to say in a post about Desjardins, who rarely made any. He was as clutch as can be in that second-tier of defensemen, just below Hall Of Famers such as Chris Chelios, Ray Bourque and Chris Pronger.

I love that boxes of it can still be found between $5-10, and that many of the players in it are now coaching or managing in the NHL or AHL, and therefore still relevant in a way.

Habs fans still view Desjardins as the #1 defenseman on their last Stanley Cup-winning team in 1993, a key cog in their last great very good team. Philadelphia Flyers fans actually got him at the peak of his career when he finished in the top-5 for Norris Trophy voting and made the end-of-season Second All-Star Team twice while captaining the Broad Street Bullies deep into the playoffs three times.

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