Sunday, September 19, 2010

Paul Martin Autograph Card

After making Martin Brodeur look great for 6 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, Paul Martin will now bring some much-needed defensive help to Marc-André Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, which should help the ever-smiling youngster a lot.

Sure, the Pens let Sergei Gonchar go this summer, but they already had Alex Goligoski and Kristopher Letang to carry the puck out of their own zone; what they needed was a calming presence who knew how to counter opponents when the team didn't have possession - and now they do.

Martin has often represented the United States in international play: from the World Juniors (2001) to the World Cup of Hockey (2004) to the World Championships (2005 and 2008), he has a wealth of playing experience. Ironically, he was named to two Team USA Olympic teams, but never played a single game - he was a healthy scratch as seventh defenseman in 2006 and was injured in 2010.

This beautiful card is from Upper Deck's 2008-09 Be A Player set (card #S-MA), with Martin's black sharpie autograph on a sticker placed on the card. Devils players are usually depicted in their dark (home) uniforms, so I was glad to have this one for contrast's sake.

The UD/BAP packs are expensive - they usually go at $10 a pack (for 5 cards) and there is a 50% chance of an autograph card in them. I stopped buying them because too often, I'd crack open a pack and only get semi-stars and common players from the Panthers, Predators and Stars - cards that would hold little to no sentimental value to me, let alone monetary value. This might be the best card I've ever picked up in these - a defensively-minded player from a team I always cheer against.

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