Saturday, April 21, 2012

Travis Moen: 5 Autographed Items

This is a tremendous success!

I sent Travis Moen these 3 cards, 2 self-made 4X6 pictures and a fan letter on December 21st (2011) and got them all back, signed in black sharpie, with his often-jersey number (32) tagged onto the end (even on the one where he's sporting #59!) on April 29th, 2012.

Moen was a draft pick of the Calgary Flames, and as a grinding semi-sniper who doesn't back away from a fight, should have been a shoe-in to play there his whole career, but they let him go unsigned and he resurfaced with the Chicago Blackhawks, as can be attested here:
Yes, it's his rookie card from Topps' 2003-04 Bowman set (card #141), where the picture is slightly out of focus and his face is a dark pink - that's not the scan! It's a great view of the Hawks' white (then-home) jersey, though!

He only played one season with Chicago before being traded to Anaheim for what was their final season as the Mighty Ducks. As they became the Anaheim Ducks, he won the Stanley Cup playing on the best checking line in the league with Selke candidate Samuel Pahlsson and famous brother Rob Niedermayer, scoring his first multiple-goal game in the regular season, an overtime winner in the first round and two game-winning goals in the Final - including the Cup-clinching goal.

This picture is from the pre-game warm-up of a Cup game:
After a short, trade-deadline stint with the San Jose Sharks, Moen became a free agent and was promptly snagged by the Montréal Canadiens to - unfairly - become their top enforcer. While he never backs away from a good brawl, he is still just a middleweight and doesn't instigate violence, just regulates it; also, it's unfair to use him in only spare minutes when he has a decent hockey sense, plays sound positionally and has a decent shot. As a matter of fact, before falling to injury - a concussion - he was second on the team in goals with 9, in 48 games - a team which produced two 30-goal scorers this season.

This picture shows him wearing the  Habs' Centennial patch on the right shoulder on his red (home) jersey:
And the cards show him wearing the white (away) uniform:
The card on the left, from Upper Deck's 2010-11 Series 2 set (card #355) show him wearing the regular uniform, while the one on the right, from Panini's 2011-12 Score collection (card #250), is from the 2011 Heritage Classic in Calgary (a 4-0 Flames win on an incredible Miikka Kiprusoff performance), as can be attested by both the patch on his chest and the black under his eyes.

Moen got some flack in his first two seasons in Montréal because management sold him as a 15-goal, 30-fight supercop who can either dominate on the third line or be adequate on the second, but then proceeded to have him fill 4th-line duties and minutes wit hthe occasional first-line promotion to punish someone else.

I, for one, would rather he re-sign here for two more years than see him leave. He's a workhorse who'll do as he's told, which is a perfect example for all the kids we've got coming up. And he's dependable. And tough. And, obviously, respects fans enough to sign 5 of their items.

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