Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yvan Cournoyer Autographed Card

Here's a return that has been puzzling me all evening. I had sent Yvan Cournoyer these four cards on March 17th, 2014, two customs (one I offered he could keep) and two regular-issue cards:
What I received instead today - 135 days later - in addition to the unsigned cards was this beautiful 2001-02 Greats Of The Game card (#25 in the set) by Fleer/Skybox, signed in blue sharpie:
It's such a great, simple design, with classy white borders, and showing him in the Montréal Canadiens' white (then-home) uniform just makes it that much better for autographs. I wonder if he just keeps a stash of these at home for people who send him stuff, or if it was leftovers from a paying signature session. In any event, I am very happy to have it.

I'd been waiting to either hear back from this mailing or give up on it before using another player to cross off #12 off my Habs Numbers Project. I have three others I could have used, but given the choice, wouldn't you have waited out for a Hall Of Famer, six-time All-Star, winner of 10 Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe trophy, three times a 40-goal man and a 25-goal scorer for twelve straight seasons, a man often called the best skater and stick-handler of his generation, whose jersey number was retired by the famed franchise?

Of course you would.

The Roadrunner started as a powerplay specialist, because then-coach Toe Blake wasn't satisfied with the fiery short man's defensive play. A seven-game demotion to the AHL and limited ice time in his first three years built his character, though, enough for Cournoyer to have served as the Canadiens' captain from 1975 until 1979, one of two Habs captains to have won the cup every season the additional 'C' was stitched onto his chest, joining the legendary Maurice 'Rocket' Richard.

And though he had many admirable adversaries in the NHL - and you'd think with 428 goals and 863 points in 968 regular-season games and 127 points in 147 playoff games there'd be ample of those - perhaps his most memorable moments came against one Vladislav Tretiak, both in the 1972 Summit Series - pitting an All-Star cast of NHL stars in Team Canada against Team Russia - and the 1975 Super Series which saw the Habs play (and beat) Moscow's Central Red Army team (which was pretty much 95% of Team CCCP anyway). On both occasions, games were played at the old Montréal Forum, and both had Tretiak and Cournoyer each getting named among the three stars.

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