Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mikhail Shtalenkov Autograph Card

Technically, it was supposed to come next year, but with the pre-season injuries list to the Anaheim Ducks piling on, the Edmonton Oilers have a legitimate shot at winning their division this very season - and I personally think they will.

They have an excellent mix of high-end talent (Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Cam Talbot), mid-to-high-end talent (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Strome), grit (Milan Lucic, Patrick Maroon, Zack Kassian, Eric Gryba), surprisingly good offensive defensemen (Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera), defensive defensemen (Adam Larsson, Kris Russell), youth up front (Tyler Benson, Kailer Yamamoto, Anton Slepyshev), and youth out back (Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear), and after last season, they now have playoff experience as well, having eliminated the San Jose Sharks and pushed the Ducks to seven games.

In many ways, they remind me of the Oilers of the late 1990s, which featured the likes of Bill Guerin, Doug Weight, Mike Grier, Ryan Smyth, Josef Beranek, Roman Hamrlik, Todd Marchant, Rem Murray, Janne Niinimaa, Kelly Buchberger and Georges Laraque.

One player who made a brief appearance on those teams was Mikhail Shtalenkov, a former star for the USSR's Moscow Dynamo (1985-92, 2000-02) who went 12-17-3 with a 2.67 GAA and .896 save percentage in 34 games with the Oilers in 1998-99. He wore #35 in Edmonton, which is perfect for my Oilers Numbers Project thanks to the gold signed insert version of card #204 from In The Game's 1998-99 Be A Player set:
It shows him wearing the Oilers' beautiful dark blue (away) turn-of-the-millennium uniform, with the "oil driller" shoulder patches; it is hard-signed in thin black sharpie.

In the NHL, Shtalenkov spent most of his time with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (five seasons), as well as parts of two seasons (19 games total) with the Phoenix Coyotes, and 19 games with the Florida Panthers, before returning to the Dynamo in 2000-01, for two seasons.

Here are his stats from the Russian SuperLeague and while representing his country, whether it was called the USSR/CCCP, the United Team, consisting of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Armenia from the former Soviet Republic (1992 Olympic gold) or Team Russia (1998 Olympic silver):
From HHOF/Legends Of Hockey
It's fairly easy to see that he was better at covering his angles on the wider international ice surface than in North America, where his success was limited to the Rookie Of The Year award (Garry F. Longman Memorial Trophy) in the IHL in 1992-93...

Following his playing career, he turned to coaching. There was an odd incident in 2012 where he neglected to come home for two days after his flight landed, and his wife reported him missing...

No comments:

Post a Comment