Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dave Reid: 4 Autographed Cards

Dave Reid was one of those guys who always ends up playing for your favourite team's biggest rivals. In my case, as a fan of the Québec Nordiques and Montréal Canadiens, to have him get drafted by the Boston Bruins, then signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs 6 years later (where he played for three full seasons) only to see him go back to Boston for 5 more seasons, he was one of the players I saw play the most often as a child and teen.

As a grinder and checker, he wasn't necessarily the type of player you build a team around, but as one of the pieces you add to your core, he was just like Steve Bégin is nowadays: a heart-and-soul guy who gives his all for his team. And who better to understand that than the Dallas Stars, with whom he started playing in 1996-97, culminating in the 1999 Stanley Cup, where he spent the playoffs on a line with renowned leaders Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner, on a team that also boasted former Habs Guy Carbonneau, Mike Keane, Brian Skrudland, and Craig Ludwig, a team that already boasted superstars Mike Modano, Brett Hull, Sergei Zubov, Pat Verbeek, Ed Belfour, Derian Hatcher and Darryl Sydor - as well as former Nordiques Tony Hrkac and Brent Severyn. Pretty much all captains at some point in their careers.

And when he ran out of adversaries, Reid played his final two seasons with the good guys - the Colorado Avalanche, formerly the Nordiques, with whom he won another Cup in 2001.

And I got to see a whole lot more of Reid when his playing career was over, as he was a regular analyst on the NHL Network's NHL On The Fly nightly show until he accepted the job of General Manager of the OHL's Peterborough Petes, the team he had played junior hockey with in the early 80s.

I sent a fan letter to his home, congratulating him on his new position and wishing him the best on October 9th, 2010, and received all 4 of my cards back on October 29th, barely 20 games later, a very fast turnaround from a busy man - all signed clearly in black sharpie, with the jersey number he wore for that team added on, which mostly corresponds to the number he's wearing on each card - except the one top-right, from Upper Deck's 1991-92 Series Two (French Canadian) set (card #531), where he's sporting sweater #31 with the Bruins - probably in pre-season play, before settling on #17. Notice the two stains on the card - it's been through hard times!

The card right below it, bottom-right, is my favourite of his, because he's sporting the Bruins alternate/NHL's 75th Anniversary jersey with the huge B in front rather than the modern team logo. It's from the 1991-92 Pro Set collection (card #348), possibly from the high-numbers, a.k.a. 'Series Two' set since he's got his new team's colours on.

The card on top-left is #217 from Upper Deck's 1991-92 Series One (French Canadian), in which he is pictured as a Leaf. How bad were the Leafs in his final season there? Consider he scored 15 goals and was a minus-10 player - that bad.

And because I couldn't have him just wearing enemy colours, the card on the bottom-left sees him wearing the Avalanche's away jersey from In The Game's 2000-01 Be A Player Memorabilia set (card #367). On the back of the card are his statistics from the previous season against each other team in the league - it's where you learn that of his 18 points in 1999-2000, three came in the six games against the Calgary Flames; that he was a point-per-game player against the New York Rangers and Nashville Predators (2 points in 2 games against each); and that the only team he really got it going against was the Pittsburgh Penguins - 2 points in one game. That's half his points of the 65 games he played in the regular season, in just 11 games, against only 4 teams.

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