Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Derick Brassard Autographed Card

I was hanging around the Bell Centre today for most of the afternoon, hung out with current (eliminated) and former NHLers I know, chatted up a couple of New York Rangers players before they went for their afternoon nap, skated closer to supper time with a bunch of former NHLers (and those kids who get to skate around the rink right before the referees and players come out at the beginning of the game)... all in all, a nice way to spend a fanboy's day off work.

My former summer pick-up game partner Guillaume Latendresse met up with his old Drummondville Voltigeurs (LHJMQ) linemate Derick Brassard for a bit, wished him good luck for the night's game - and I got this card to show for it, from In The Game's 2008-09 Heroes And Prospects set (card #23), signed in thin blue sharpie with his then-number (25) with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch:
He was taller than I expected - at 6'1'', he's almost my height, but the fact that he's so much thinner (a very cut and slim 190 pounds) makes him seem elongated while I seem, uh, more bouncer-like; he looks like a child, too, which made me feel smaller somehow, like he's going to grow some more - though at nearly 27 years old, chances are he won't.

Despite averaging a point per game after he was traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Rangers last season, a new head coach (Alain Vigneault) meant he had to start all over making a new first impression on Broadway this year, and he accumulated 45 points in 81 games on the strength of 18 goals and 27 assists in the regular season, centering the Blueshirts' third line, behind Derek Stepan (40 assists, 57 points) and Brad Richards (20 goals, 51 points).

This postseason, he has 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists) in 17 games; he had won 75% of his face-offs against the Montréal Canadiens on Sunday, but just a third of them on Tuesday as the Habs staved off elimination with a 7-4 win.

Internationally, he has represented Québec (U17 bronze in 2003-04) and Canada (World Juniors silver in 2004-05), both of which helped make him the 6th overall selection of the 2006 draft, ahead of other noteworthy NHLers Claude Giroux (22nd), Semyon Varlamov (23rd), Milan Lucic (50th), Brad Marchand (71st), and James Reimer (99th). Still, it was a very good pick by the Jackets; I thought he was going to go between the 10th and 15th spots, and that the Ottawa Senators would trade up for him, since he's from Hull, Québec - pretty much a suburb of theirs.

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