Thursday, July 24, 2014

Andrew Brunette: 7 Autographed Cards (Part 2)

              (continued from the previous post)

After three seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, Andrew Brunette went back to the Minnesota Wild, signing as a free agent for three seasons. Consistency being a strong suit, he was just as productive in his second go-round with the Wild as he'd been in the first:
2001-02: 21 goals, 48 assists, 69 points (in 81 games)
2002-03: 18 goals, 28 assists, 46 points (in 82 games)
2003-04: 15 goals, 34 assists, 49 points (in 82 games)
2008-09: 22 goals, 28 assists, 50 points (in 80 games)
2009-10: 25 goals, 36 assists, 61 points (in 82 games)
2010-11:  18 goals, 28 assists, 46 points (in 82 games)
As you can see, age was pretty much never a factor, and neither were teammates. Also, he was as durable as they come. He once played in 509 consecutive games, and between 2001-02 and 2010-11, he just missed 3 games in total. I didn't count his last season with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011-12 though he'd only missed 4, nor the three before where he'd only missed 11 in total.

Of his time in the center of the continent, I have four cards; first, here are two of the Wild's white uniform:

The card of the left is from Topps' 2002-03 Total set (card #245) - at that time, the white uniform was used for home games; on the right is card #249 from Panini's 2010-11 Score set, where white is for away games. Notice the alternate captain's 'A'; he also wore the captain's 'C' on 4 separate month-long stints back when the team rotated the title amongst its leaders.

I also have these two ''landscape-format'' cards:

The top card is from Upper Deck's 2002-03 Vintage set (card #130), again in white; the card on the right is #119 from Panini's 2011-12 Score set, showing him with the Wild's green alternate home uniform, but listing him as a member of the Blackhawks, as he'd signed with them as a free agent over the summer.

When all was said and done, he had suited up for 6 different NHL teams, had had his rights switch teams 8 times, he'd played in over 1100 games, scoring 268 goals with 465 assists for 733 points (plus 35 points in 49 playoff games). He was 9th in the league for assists (48) in 2001-02, and got a fair amount of votes for the Lady Byng 7 times; he finished with less than 20 PIMs seven times, including a low of just 4 penalty minutes in 78 games with Chicago in 2011-12.

I had sent him these 7 cards and a fan letter on February 5th, 2014, care of the Wild, where he now acts as a Hockey Operations Advisor; I received them all back, signed in black sharpie with his jersey number tagged at the end (15 for all, except for the Owen Sound Platers card where he's sporting #16), on July 23rd, 2014, good for a 168-day round trip. All told, that brings my 2013-14 totals to 29/74.

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