Friday, September 2, 2011

Patrick Poulin Autograph Card

Just like the Pat Falloon card I wrote about last week, this ''extremely limited edition card'' of retired NHL player Patrick Poulin features him in his junior team's uniform, the LHJMQ's St-Hyacinthe Laser, whose other notable alumni include Martin Brodeur, Martin Gendron, Georges Laraque, Pierre Sévigny, Éric Charron and Éric Landry. Because the team had previously been the Verdun Junior Canadiens, they kept the Habs' uniform design and just apposed the new team appellation's logo.

Poulin was chosen 9th overall in the first round of the 1991 draft by the Hartford Whalers, ahead of notable players such as Martin Lapointe (10th), Brian Rolston (11th), Alexei Kovalev (15th), Markus Naslund (16th), Ray Whitney (23rd), Zigmund Palffy (26th), and Sandis Ozolinsh (30th), on the strength of a 70-point season (32 points, 38 assists in 56 games) with the Laser.

The following season, he exploded with 52 goals, 86 assists, 138 points in 56 games in juniors, earning him the Q's Jean Béliveau Trophy as leading scorer - and prompting the Whalers to give him a chance on their team in 1992-93, where he fared respectably with 20 goals and 51 points in 81 games.

The following season, he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks with Eric Weinrich for the Hawks' sniper Steve Larmer and mean defender Bryan Marchment - a sign he was valued at the time. Unfortunately, the Hawks weren't content with his half-point-per-game average in the Windy City and sent him packing to the Tampa Bay Lightning with bruising defenseman Igor Ulanov for enforcer Enrico Ciccone. Both teams also swapped second-round picks in the deal in which Poulin was pretty much rendered an afterthought.

After a 12-goal, 26-point season (73 games) in 1996-97, Poulin was once again traded (again with Ulanov!, also with enforcer Mick Vukota), this time to the Montréal Canadiens - a uniform he knew well - for Stéphane Richer, Darcy Tucker and David Wilkie, in one of many trades then-GM Réjean Houle made that completely decimated the team.

Poulin kind of retired as a Hab, splitting his final season in 2001-02 between the NHL club (5 assists in 28 games) and its AHL affiliate Québec Citadelles (12-7-19 in 31 games). The team included him in its Centennial celebrations nonetheless.

Other similarities with the Falloon card from last week include it being from The Score Board's 1991-92 Classic Draft Picks set, being ''extremely limited'' numbered 75 (or 95, it's unclear)/1100, a signed insert in blue sharpie. He is shown wearing the Laser's then-home jersey, modeled on the Montreal Canadiens' uniform, awaiting a pass with a Canadien-brand stick. Small world.