Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mathieu Carle Autographed Card

For a few years, Mathieu Carle was considered the Montréal Canadiens' top prospect on defense, ahead of such players as Mark Streit, Yannick Weber and even P.K. Subban. Unfortunately, freak injuries at two three consecutive training camps where he looked poised for a roster spot have turned him into one of those ''probably-too-good-for-the-AHL'' players who'll never get a full-time position in the NHL because of a stall in his development and... a lack of experience caused by little more than bad luck.

The Habs traded his rights to the Anaheim Ducks in July 2011 in an attempt to give him a shot somewhere else. I would have loved for him to be sent to the Philadelphia Flyers, where he could have been paired with... their Matt Carle. ''Matt Carle to Matt Carle, back to Matt Carle''... that would have been priceless.

Here's what Hockey's Future has to say about Mathieu Carle:
Carle is a strong offensive presence from the blue line, with good skating and strong puck-handling ability. He can tend to get a little too focused on his offensive game, though, and will occasionally neglect his defensive responsibilities. When he does focus on his own end, he is willing to drop in front of shots, and is good positionally. However, that is when he does. Consistency and focus is an issue with Carle’s play. He has good size, and is willing to get his nose dirty from time to time, but will have to use his size more effectively, and more regularly, in order to intimidate the opposition. 
Carle has the talent to be a top four defenseman in the professional ranks. Whether or not he can get the focus to attain the level of his ability is another matter. He will look to further improve his defensive game, while cutting back on needless penalties.
This card is from Upper Deck's 2009-10 Series 2 set (card #472). He signed it for me (in blue sharpie, adding his jersey number, 72) after a practice at training camp prior to the 2010-11 season where he... suffered a freak injury for the third straight year.

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