Sunday, May 12, 2013

Jeff Glass Autographed Custom Card

I started trying my hand at custom cards this season but wasn't satisfied with the results enough to send them to any players yet. I'm still toying with designs, but I hope to be ready for the start of next season. With that in mind, though, I did jump on the occasion of grabbing a few from an Ottawa Senators collector off Ebay recently, a bit for inspiration, but also a tad because some of those players no longer play in North America and would be hard to get a hold of.

Case in point, Jeff Glass, now playing for the HC Sibir Novosibirsk of the KHL, after three seasons with the rival Astana Barys.

Glass was a star goalie in juniors who, like others I can think of, won the CHL and WHO Goalie Of The Year award and World Junior Championship after being drafted - except he did so the following season, not two years later when he was an adult playing against kids. He didn't make the World Juniors All-Star team that year, though, because Marek Schwartz earned that honour in nets, while Dion Phaneuf and Ryan Suter did so on defense; Alex Ovechkin, Patrice Bergeron and Jeff Carter were considered the best forwards, ahead of Evgeni Malkin, who still managed to gather 10 points in merely 6 games.

A year after dominating at juniors, he was sent to the ECHL's Charlotte Checkers to start the 2005-06 season, but did so well he earned a promotion to the Sens' AHL affiliate Binghamton Senators, where he would then spend the following two seasons, with fellow netminders Kelly Guard and Brian Elliott. Elliott wound up surpassing him on the Sens' depth chart, so Glass bolted to the KHL when he became a free agent.

After three very good seasons with Astana (twice a GAA under 3.00, always at least .904 in save percentage), he had a remarkable season in 2012-13 with Novosibirsk, going 16-11-8, with a 2.02 GAA, a .933 save %, and 4 shutouts... in a season where NHL players spent more than half a season playing on the old continent.

As for the card itself, the design is pretty basic, reminiscent of Upper Deck's SP Authentic line of products with the mostly-white background, even going as far as utilizing its Future Watch sub-set:

The pretend-set is called BG, which I'm guessing are its creator's initials. Most of this collector's autographs are acquired in-person; he gets most of a season's rookies at training camp, then completes the roster by hounding at practices and games, and he's collected hundreds by doing so. I took 10 or so customs off his hands last week. Printed on photo stock, many are dated on the back, which enables me to figure out that this one (printed in August 2008) was signed - in blue sharpie with his jersey number (40) tagged at the end - prior to Glass' final year in the Senators' organization.

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