Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Yanic Perreault Autograph Card

Might as well combine the opportunities to acknowledge St. Jean Baptiste Day (a.k.a. Québec's National Holiday) and score another one (#94) for my Habs Numbers Project...

It's my third Yanic Perreault post in nine months (with more in the pipeline!), so I might not have anything new to say, but as the Hall Of Fame inductees were named yesterday, I could only be happy that Eric Lindros didn't make it in, for the fourth time.

I make the parallel because both players were drafted in the same year, and both were dominating their own Juniors league - Lindros in the OHL, Perreault in the LHJMQ; but when they were opposed, Perreault usually had the best of Lindros, first at the pre-draft CHL All-Star Game, then in the NHL where while Lindros had three amazing seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Perreault could shut him down by winning face-offs, as he was the best of his era in that specific category.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer a 100-point producing wrecking ball of fury than a guy who wins 60% of his draws yet passed the 55-point mark only twice. Generally.

Except Lindros came with so many other problems, chief among them his parents, who doubled as his agents. He refused to report to the team that drafted him (the Québec Nordiques), and after being given the Flyers captaincy, held out a whole season because of a contract dispute. He could never bring his team a Stanley Cup, and was below the point-per-game production at every senior international competition (34 in 36 in total despite a 17-point, 8-game World Championship in 1993 when his Flyers failed to make the playoffs), Canada Cup (5 in 8), World Cup (6 in 8 despite being in his prime), and he had a single goal in 6 games in the 2002 Olympics, the only time he medaled in three Olympiads, FOR TEAM CANADA.

And most of his supporters argue that his production is comparable to that of others who were struck with a history of injuries, chiefly Pavel Bure and Peter Forsberg. Except that's just looking at the first number of each stat line:

Bure: 779 points in 702 games, Soviet League Rookie Of The Year, Calder trophy, 2 Rocket Richard trophies, 1998 Olympics best forward award

Forsberg: 885 points in 708 games (171 in 151 playoff games), 2 Cups, Calder, Hart, Lester B. Pearson trophies, 2 Olympic gold medals (4 gold total), 5 silver medals, two-time Triple-Gold Club member, 8th of all time in points-per-game

Lindros: 865 in 760 games (just 53 playoff games), Hart and Lester B. Pearson trophies

Lindros played in 50 more games than Forsberg to get 20 less points. ''Oh, but Forsberg played on the same team as Joe Sakic''. Exactly: both were centers, and both were taking ice time from one another, not feeding each other for easy goals. As a matter of fact, they often had to split the talent level on the wing to try to accommodate both of them and balance things out, whereas the Flyers put their three best forwards on their Legion Of Doom and let them carry the team... to nowhere.

And so it is my opinion that Lindros shouldn't make it to the Hall, though perhaps they could set up a booth where they recall that the Legion Of Doom had a great three-year stint in which they could only be rivaled by the Vancouver Canucks' line of Todd Bertuzzi, Brendan Morrison and Markus Naslund.

And right next to it, a booth showing (all of) Yanic Perreault's face-off wins in a loop. The players weren't durable or consistent enough to warrant entry into the eternal shrine, but some of their feats were.

And so today's card is this 2002-03 Be A Player Signature Series card (#042 in the set, signed on-card in thin black sharpie, a beautiful silver foil card) by In The Game:

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