Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ted Lindsay Framed Autographed Lithograph

It had been a few days, but I'm back with interesting stuff. After Serge Savard, Raymond Bourque, and Phil Esposito, here is another framed autographed lithograph issued by Canada Post with a matching stamp line, "Terrible" Ted Lindsay in the jersey he wore the longest - the Detroit Red Wings' white, home uniform. It is a limited edition, numbered 209/500.

Lindsay is one of the most important players in the history of his sport; not just content with his 800+ career points, his 4 Stanley Cups, his Art Ross trophy and eternally-remembered member of the ''Production Line'' with Sid Abel and Gordie Howe, he earned the nickname "Terrible" through his mean streak and knack for checking opponents with his knees and elbows - hits that were legal at the time, until he used them so much on opponents that the league had to make rules forbidding it.

You know you're a tough son of a bitch when you're viewed as the dangerous guy on a line with Howe, who was perhaps the dirtiest superstar player in the history of the NHL (think Mark Messier with more talent and more of a mean streak), which would pretty much make Lindsay the Chris Pronger of his time, although he was a left winger, not a defenseman. Perhaps it's safer to say that he has no actual modern equivalent; he was that special.

But it's what he did outside the rink that will forever be remembered: he and star defenseman Doug Harvey (of the Montréal Canadiens, the best defenseman who ever played in the NHL) are behind the founding and building the NHLPA, the association/union representing players' rights; they did so in an era where team owners paid most players insufficiently to provide their families well year-long, and most had to have summer jobs to make up the difference, at a time when a team owner who had a grudge against a player could, effectively, in a 6-team league, not just have total control over a player's career but toy with their very lives at their whim.

I'm glad the NHLPA decided to name the trophy it hands out every year to its member that players feel has been the best in that season in his honour; for having built the association from the ground up while continually putting points on the score sheet, it's more than well deserved, although they could have added Harvey's name to it as well.

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