Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Andrew Cassels: 6 Autographed Cards (Part 2)

(continued from the previous post)

The Hartford Whalers, on the other hand, despite the presence of Murray Craven and John Cullen, gave Cassels a chance to blossom, pairing him with  soon-to-be All Star Game fastest man Geoff Sanderson, for a 5-year partnership during which Cassels would always lead the team in assists.

The following cards represent this part of his career:
The card on the left, seeing him sport the Whalers' white (home) jersey, is from Pro Set's flagship 1991-92 Pro Set set (card #395), while the card on the right shows him in the green (away) uniform, from Topps' 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee Premier set (card #72), a set that for a while had a Jaromir Lagr rookie card worth upwards of $30 - and I had 15 of them. It seemed every other pack I opened contained a Jagr...

I also have two of the same uniform with the NHL's 75th anniversary patch on them:
The card on the left is from Pro Set's 1992-93 Parkhurst (French-language version) collection (card #285) of which I purchased 5 wax boxes a decade ago for $10 TOTAL at a Walmart - and the one on the right is from Score's 1992-93 Score (Canadian) set (card #323).

I also sent this one in, with the mid-90s Whalers uniform, featuring shades of grey, perhaps not 50 of them, but a few:
I like how the back of the card shows the home version (white) and a mullet, while the front shows the away (blue). It's from Fleer's 1993-94 Fleer Ultra set (card #33).

I sent these cards to Cassels' home on April 3rd, 2012 and got them all back, signed in black sharpie, on June 29th. They might be the last ones he signed with that pen, because it looks like it's fading on a few of these, and I think it gives them a certain charm.

After playing with the Whalers during their final season, Cassels played for two unsuccessful seasons with the Calgary Flames, before playing three years with the Vancouver Canucks during which he led the team in assists every year. After that, he was reunited with Sanderson with the Columbus Blue Jackets, again posting terrific stats (20-48-68 in his first 79-game season), before the lockout forced him to try out for the Washington Capitals in 2005-06, where he only played 31 games (4-8-12).

He may not have had a Hall of Fame career, but 732 points and 528 assists in 1015 NHL games is mighty fine. Like Ray Whitney though, he had to be a journeyman to amass those statistics and always be on the move. He played for a WHA remnant team (also now a defunct team!), two Canadian teams, a 70s expansion team and a Bettman-expansion team; all that was missing was an Original Six...

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