Sunday, January 27, 2013

Guillaume Latendresse Jersey Card

Guillaume Latendresse is a polarizing figure in the NHL, and in Montréal especially. Drafted by the Montréal Canadiens in the second round in 2005, expectations were high on the kid, and only raised higher when during his first training camp, at age 18, he was the best player on the ice for the Habs, prompting the adoring Centre Bell crowd to chant ''Gui, Gui, Gui'' every time he touched the puck. He was sent back to juniors that year, mostly so he could learn to dominate at that level and to have a chance at the World Juniors (he won gold), but made the team the following season.

I've talked about his first year with the Minnesota Wild in a previous post, so I'll have a quick mention for his injury-plagued final two seasons with that team: in 2010-11, suffering from a sports hernia and a torn labium in the hip, he played in only 11 games, gathering 6 points to go with 8 penalty minutes and a +2 rating; in 2011-12, he played in 16 games, scoring 5 goals and totaling 9 points with another hip injury and concussion problems. The Wild let him go, but his points-per-game ration was still good for third on the team for players with more than 10 games played.

This summer, he was picked up by the Ottawa Senators, and I predicted the team would finish second in their division and be well positioned for the playoffs, and added that I thought 'Tender' would be one of ten 25-goal scorers this season - my reasoning is that it's easier to carry momentum in a 48-game schedule than 82... On a team with such sublime passers as Jason Spezza and Kyle Turris, pure snipers like Latendresse can do a lot of damage to opposing teams.

I saw this card going for $3.99 on Ebay a couple of weeks ago and couldn't help myself. It's from In The Game's 2005-06 Heroes And Prospects set (card #GUJ-28), and contains a white swatch of jersey that was used in a Drummondville Voltigeurs game.

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