Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Craig Janney Autographed Card

There are two ways to look at the great career Craig Janney has had in the NHL. The first one would be to look at it as the story of a New England kid (born in Hartford, CT) who went to Boston College, got drafted in the first round by the Boston Bruins, became their first-line center, played in Olympics, World Championships and a Canada Cup, and mid-career fed Brett Hull amazing passes that made him (Hull) one of the most prolific snipers in NHL history, helping Janney finish at nearly a point-per-game pace.

The other way to look at it would be to compare it with Hull's previous star center - that he was traded for - the undrafted, never-played-for-a-national-team Adam Oates, who ended up in the Hall Of Fame on the strength of 1420 career NHL points - nearly double Janney's total.

And yet both sides would be correct.

Janney was the best American passing center of his time, which gave him access to national teams; he had 8 incredible seasons as a first-liner, and three as a role player, and only with the Bruins did he play for a legitimate contender. Oates started as an elite second center, and moved up the ladder to superstar status pretty quickly to also end up with 8 - albeit non-consecutive - dominating seasons, but on the Canadian depth chart, always fell behind Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, and Mark Messier - a list to which you are free to add the likes of Ron Francis, and Eric Lindros for some years; but Oates played for 19 seasons in total, and even his on-paper neglected teams made decent runs for the Cup, such as the 2003-04 Edmonton Oilers.

Longevity counts.

I truly respect Craig Janney. No one can take away his 563 assists or 751 points, nor his 110 points in 120 playoff games.

Plus, on this card, he's wearing the nicest St. Louis Blues uniform of all time:
It's from Upper Deck's 1993-94 Upper Deck (Series 1); it's card #303 in the set, part of the Team Point Leaders sub-set. He signed it in black sharpie in the mid-to-late 1990s after a game against my hometown Habs. He was playing for a team I didn't like, so either the San Jose Sharks or Phoenix Coyotes.

Notice how the twirl from his 'g' and the dot on his 'i' almost make it seem like he's wearing jersey #75...

Oddly enough, when I unpacked this after my move, I decided to put it in my ''keepers'' binder and start seriously collecting him, at least enough to fill a plastic sheet of ''special cards'' of his, so I looked for some on Ebay... all I saw were three signed cards, all three this exact same one, ranging from $1 to $15.

No comments:

Post a Comment