Friday, March 12, 2010

Gaétan Duchesne Autographed Card

Here's another one I hunted for after a post on Sal's Hockey Autograph Blog: Gaétan Duchesne.

Born on June 11th, 1962 in Les Saules, a district of Québec City, he died minutes from there at age 44, on April 16th, 2007, from a heart attack incurred while training, despite being in exemplary physical shape.

He's a member of the 1000-game club, split between six seasons with the Washington Capitals, two with his hometown Québec Nordiques, four with the Minnesota North Stars, and two with the San Jose Sharks; he also played a little over one season with the IHL's Québec Rafales.

He is often described as being ''one of the friendliest and happiest people you'll ever meet''; the Caps even named a trophy in his honour, one they give away to the best intra-squad team in training camp scrimmages.

Statistically, his best seasons were with the Nordiques (24 goals and 47 points in 1987-88) and Capitals (35 assists and 52 points in 1986-87), but he is usually remembered mostly for a strong playoff performance leading the North Stars to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1990-91. He even hosted a sports TV show in Minnesota, The Duke Show.

Technically, the card I have is the same as the one on Sal's blog - a 1990-91 Upper Deck card (#108), except mine is from the French series Upper Deck produced for a couple of years - even though French ''accents'' are absent, notable on the words Gaétan and Québec. But it's still a great set, with the same cards as the English one, and again they put the North Stars' away colours on the back picture and the home colours in front; also, unlike Sal's card, which he signed in blue, mine is signed in thick black sharpie, the same colour as parts of his uniform; I think it fits better. Found on Ebay from a card shop in Québec who provided a certificate of authenticity.

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