Saturday, April 19, 2014

Donald Audette Autograph Card

I made my predictions for the first round of this playoff season on my regular blog, and I followed my heart for all of the series except one (I'm rooting for the Detroit Red Wings against the Boston Bruins, who I believe are a stronger team with a much better goalie). That means I'm rooting for the Los Angeles Kings in their series against the San Jose Sharks, so I thought I'd feature a card that referenced them:
It's from In The Game's 1999-2000 Be A Player Millennium Signature Series (card #121 in the set), a beautiful silver foil autographed insert card signed in thin black sharpie of Donald Audette, one of the consistent 25-30 goal scorer of the Dead Puck Era.

Oddly enough, in the year and a half he spent in L.A., he had a great impact, finishing second on the team in both goals and points in his lone full season with the team in 1998-99 despite playing in only 49 games. His 18 goals were a long way from Luc Robitaille's 39 (in 82 games), but two ahead of Glen Murray's total of 16 (in 61 games); his points total of 36 was far behind Robitaille's 74, but one ahead of Rob Blake's 35 (in 62 games) and two ahead of Jozef Stumpel's 34 (in 64 games).

He would have his best offensive output with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2000-01, with 32 goals, 39 assists and 71 points in just 64 games, which was his second-highest games total, behind only the 77 he played with the Buffalo Sabres in 1993-94. He never once played a full season.

All told, he finished his career with 735 NHL games played with 6 different teams (two stints with the Sabres), 260 goals, 249 assists, 509 points and 584 penalty minutes in the regular season. He also has 21 goals and 48 points in 73 career playoff games. He wasn't a Hall Of Famer, but his All-Star Game appearance (in 2001) wasn't a fluke either, he was a solid performer for most of his career.

These days, he's an amateur scout for the Montréal Canadiens, and I sent him a fan letter (through the team) earlier this season.

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