Sunday, October 14, 2012

Andrew Peters Autograph Card

After he signed with the New Jersey Devils in 2009, I lost track of Andrew Peters who, for 5 seasons, had been the Buffalo Sabres' resident tough guy. It turns out he only played 29 games for the Devils (no points, 93 penalty minutes) before being bought out, then passing through the Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks organizations without playing an NHL game with them, and barely playing two AHL games with the Rochester Americans before being let go for skipping a curfew. He was then persona non grata everywhere and opted to retire at age 30.

It's hard being an NHL enforcer; many resort to taking drugs or alcohol to escape from the physical pain and depression brought on by doing a job no one else wants to, usually as the lowest-paid player on the team, and often seen by teammates as the one guy who cannot help the team come back from a large deficit by scoring an opportune goal. Peters has admitted to taking (possible, so far unproven) performance-enhancing drug Androstenedione (a steroid that acts like a growth hormone) for a few seasons before Congress made it illegal, but substance abuse of other kinds are not a rare occurrence in these guys' lifestyles. (Not implying anything, just saying.)

As is often the case with these tough guys, Peters was also known for his big heart, always willing to play a charity game, and spending time with childrens' foundations in Buffalo and Rochester.

This card was culled from a pack of Upper Deck's 2006-07 Be A Player cards (it's card #AP in the BAP Signatures insert set) and shows Peters wearing the ''new'' version of the ''old'' Sabres uniform; I like the yellow/gold stripes on the modern one better, but could definitely do without the jersey number in front, which to me is un-hockey-esque.

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