Sunday, September 28, 2014

Steve Sullivan Jersey Card

Steve Sullivan has had a storied and fulfilled NHL career that could have gone even better were it not for injuries, especially back injuries. He played in 1011 games, scored 290 goals and accumulated 747 points while playing a complete decade in the Dead Puck Era. He had eight straight 20-plus-goal seasons including two in the 30s (34 in 2000-2001 and 31 upon returning from the lock-out in 2005-06), and seven straight 60-point seasons (with highs of 75 in 2000-2001 and 73 in 2003-04).

He won the Bill Masterton trophy after coming back from a 23-month absence in 2008-09, and led the league in shorthanded goals (with 8) in 2000-01, garnering a lot of Selke votes in the process. He's had a few Lady Byng votes in his time as well.

Originally drafted 233rd overall by the New Jersey Devils, they traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Doug Gilmour; six years later, when sent from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Nashville Predators, his trade value had dropped to two second-round picks (Michael Blunden and Ryan Garlock). Still, he played in 6 seasons with the Preds, tallying 263 points in 317 games and made them improve from a basement team to a playoff contender.

After signing one-year contracts with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes, he was traded back to where it all began - New Jersey - making for the third-longest length of time between two stints with the same team in NHL history.

And because he's constantly had to battle through adversity (from the injuries and his 5'8'', 160-pound frame) while putting up decent numbers, the Arizona Coyotes felt he was the best person to be their new player development coach.

I didn't have a card of his with the Coyotes, but I do have this jersey card of him in the Predators' dark blue (away) uniform with matching swatch, from Upper Deck's 2005-06 Series 2 set (card #J2-SS of the Game Jersey sub-set):
He was an alternate captain for most of his tenure in Nashville.

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