Thursday, December 30, 2010

Randy Cunneyworth: 3 Autographed Cards

What a clear and beautiful signature! I sent Mr. Cunneyworth these cards and a fan letter on November 30th and got them back signed in black sharpie on December 23rd - three weeks later!

Randy Cunneyworth was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres after a 54-goal, 128-point season in the OHL, having played 67 games with the Ottawa 67's. Unfortunately, the Sabres never really gave him a chance, always relegating him to their AHL farm club, the Rochester Americans, so the Pittsburgh Penguins gave him a shot at a regular NHL spot in 1985-86. He spent 4 seasons producing regularly with seasons of 15, 26, 35 and 25 goals before they shipped him off to Winnipeg.

He didn't remain long with the Winnipeg Jets - 28 games - before they sent him to the Hartford Whalers, where despite being injured often, he made a name for himself through hard-nosed hard work and an average of a point per two games. He would often be a nuisance to my favourite teams, the Québec Nordiques and Montréal Canadiens.

After a short stint with the Chicago Blackhawks, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators and became only their second full-time captain. To this day, he is still the franchise's second-longest-serving captain, behind current owner of the title Daniel Alfredsson.

After Ottawa, he went back to the Sabres organization where, again, he spent time in the minors but at least played in the NHL playoffs. In the AHL, he was a player/coach, then was named the Americans' head coach for nearly a decade. After a short stint as assistant coach with the Atlanta Thrashers, he is now the Hamilton Bulldogs' head coach.

The card on the left is from the 1991-92 Pro Set collection (card #392), and the one in the middle is from the 1992-93 Parkhurst set (card #284), also made by Pro Set. The one on the right depicting him in a Blackhawks uniform is from Leaf's 1993-94 Donruss set (card #413), which came out late enough in the year that it has him with the team he started the season but didn't finish with; it should be one of very few cards of him in that uniform, seeing as most sets featured him with the Whalers and the following season's cards will have him as a Senator.

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