Friday, March 21, 2014

Gabriel Dumont: 6 Autographed Cards

I got two great returns today, both of them 6 of 6 in just 8 days! First, a name you might recognize from a recent Jason Spezza post in which I made them both part of my cap-compliant Dream Team, Gabriel Dumont.

The Montréal Canadiens' fifth-round pick (139th overall) at the 2009 draft, Dumont has already played 15 regular-season games with the Habs (going 1-2-3 with 13 penalty minutes in a checking role with under 10 minutes of ice time) and 3 playoff games (with 12 penalty minutes to show for it!), usually as a gritty grinder on the fourth line. The only reason why he hasn't suited up more often for the team this year is that they already have 4 left-handed centers playing on their top three lines, a righty playing wing (Daniel Brière), and their current fourth-line center is righty Ryan White as well, so, essentially, it's just for the sake of diversity, because the team loves his passion and hard work - as do the fans.

In the AHL, the 23-year old plays the role of a young veteran (he's an alternate captain) trying to steer the kids in the right direction and, while playing against the other teams' best lines, has managed to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs in goals so far (granted, with only 16). He ranks second in penalty minutes with 94, although fighter Nick Tanarsky holds a pretty considerable lead with 123.

He also led the Bulldogs last season in goals (16) and points (31), in just 55 games, when the team also finished in the depths of the AHL standings. While I understand the Habs' philosophy of teaching the same playing style in all their affiliates so that every call-up is NHL-ready, there is also something to be said about building confidence through a winning mentality rather than ''losing within the system''...

I had sent Dumont these 6 items and a fan letter - care of the Bulldogs - on March 13th, 2014, and got them all back, signed in red sharpie with the corresponding uniform number (37 for the Canadiens, 40 for the Bulldogs), on March 21st, 2014. First, a regular-issue card, his actual rookie card, from Panini's 2012-13 Score (card #534, part of the Hot Rookies sub-set), wearing the Habs' iconic red uniform:
The rest were all custom-made this winter by yours truly, my second batch/attempt for which I decided to use a background (as opposed to my first series as seen on this Mikael Backlund card), so essentially, they're all variants of my Hell's Kitchen's 2013-14 Series 2 set, a 60-player set in which Gabriel Dumont is #37 (yes, I even made a checklist) - I made 8 variants of him, though, and only sent these 5, starting with the Habs' red uniform:
I also made one of him wearing the Habs' white uniform, my favourite of these five:
And I also made some of each of the Bulldogs' uniforms, first the red:
And the white:
And, finally, an alternate jersey like only the AHL can make them, one of a camouflage uniform for Veterans' Day:
NOT the best idea of all time... but I'm glad I have it immortalized on photo stock.

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