Monday, October 31, 2011

Guillaume Latendresse: 4 Autographed Cards

Guillaume Latendresse is an under-rated sniper and power forward often criticized either for lack of speed - which isn't entirely true, it's more that he's far from graceful in his stride, however his hits totals always show he's often near the puck - or lack of commitment to being in shape. These criticisms are odd, considering he has always been a good point producer at every level.

From the day he was chosen second only to Sidney Crosby at the LHJMQ draft, he had 49, 78 and 83-point seasons in juniors, which led to his being picked in the second round by the Montréal Canadiens, where he started his career. While with the Habs, he had the NHL's highest point-per-minute played ratio in the league, but hometown critics were too strong, and he was traded to the Minnesota Wild, where he scored 25 goals in a mere 55 games to cap off the 2009-10 season, before scoring the very first goal of the 2010-11 season on his way to an injury-crippled 11-game, 6-point year.

This year, as of writing this entry, he has 1 goal, 4 assists, good for 5 points in seven games, and he stands second on the Wild.

I'm confident he'll silence his critics at some point, and they'll just let him play; perhaps at that moment he'll shatter the 30-goal plateau consistently, like a modern-day Keith Tkachuk.

I sent all 4 of these cards (care of the Wild) at the end of last season, on March 29, 2011, and received them back, signed in black sharpie, on October 4, 2011. He added his number below his signature - 84 with the Habs (the first NHL player to wear that number, by the way), and 48 with the Wild.
The card on the left, the Habs' classic red jersey, is from Upper Deck's beautiful 2007-08 SP Authentic collection (card #18), while the one on the right, in the Canadiens' white uniform, is from the equally eye-catching and unique 2007-08 McDonald's set (card #27), also from UD; it's all-foil, relief printing.
Unfortunately, I didn't have Guillaume wearing the Wild's home uniform, only the (white) away jersey, but he was kind enough to still sign both: on the left, a 2010-11 Score card (#254) from Panini, and a UD 2010-11 Black Diamond (card #69), which, ironically, looks darker and almost better on the scan than in person.

For having played in summer pick-up games with him and other NHLers such as Jan Bulis, Martin Havlat, and a slew of others, I can tell you this: he'll always match whatever talent's on the ice to be the most effective player - not the flashiest, but among the most productive.

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