Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ladislav Smid: 6 Autographed Cards

I featured Ladislav Smid two years ago, mentioning he had been offered to the Ottawa Senators for Dany Heatley, which in retrospect would have been a great trade for Ottawa had Heatley not nixed it; he was becoming the steady, reliable force on the Edmonton Oilers' blue line, which is why I still fail to understand why they dealt him to their provincial rival Calgary Flames (along with goalie Olivier Roy) in the first year of a four-year contract extension.

Sure, at this point, it's safe to say he'll never be a Norris trophy contender for the amount of points he racks up, but his defensive play is just about flawless. During the locked-out season, he was a minus-1 in 48 games... with the Oilers! And last year, he was a combined -10 with the Oilers and Flames, two bottom-feeders with struggling goalies.

He was still good enough to play for the Czech Team at the Olympics, and has averaged less than a penalty minute per game in the NHL - a feat for a 6'3'' defensive defenseman who averages 19 minutes of ice time per game. He's also a team leader and often in the NHL top-10 for blocked shots.

My previous post featured a card of the late-1990s Oilers uniform; today I can add the current/throwback uniforms, starting with the blue (home) one, from Upper Deck's 2013-14 O-Pee-Chee set (card #347, the Retro variant):
There's also the white (currently 'away') uniform, as featured in this 2013-14 Score card (#189 in the set) by Panini:
I've also used both as variants for my own custom line of Hell's Kitchen 2013-14 Series 2 cards (#14 in the checklist, these are variants A, B and C):
But there's also variant D, showcasing him as a member of the Flames, with their white (away) uniform:
I had written Mr. Smid on April 3rd, 2014, and received these six cards back today, August 5th (2014), 124 days later, with the Flames' address added onto my (usually one-way) return envelope. They were signed in black sharpie with his jersey number tagged at the end (5 with Edmonton, 3 with Calgary).

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