Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Daniel McGillis Autograph Card

Dan McGillis played in the NHL for 9 seasons, with his longest tenure coming with the Philadelphia Flyers, with whom he played for parts of six seasons. Initially a Detroit Red Wings draftee (238th overall in 1992), McGillis opted to go the U.S. College route and actually remained with the Northeastern University Huskies for four full seasons, after which the Edmonton Oilers traded for his rights by sending rugged winger Kirk Maltby to Detroit.

His rookie season went pretty well, as he registered 6 goals and 22 points in 73 games (and 5 more assists in 12 playoff games), garnering some Calder Trophy votes in the process.  He got to be so valuable that the Flyers were willing to part with powerplay quarterback Janne Niinimaa to acquire his services - a deal that happened at the trade deadline in his second season.

He was solid with the Flyers, with some PP and PK time, facing the best opposition, and twice exceeding the 40-point mark, with a high of 49 (on 14 goals) in 2000-01, earning some Norris and end-of-season All-Star Team consideration.

The make-up of the Flyers' blue-line changed by 2002-03, however, and with Éric Desjardins still playing some All-Star-caliber hockey, and with the rise of Kim Johnsson and Eric Weinrich's steady play, McGillis was deemed expendable - and trade bait. The Flyers sent him to the San Jose Sharks, with whom he played for 37 games (with 3 goals and 16 total points), who themselves flipped him to the Boston Bruins before season's end, where his lone assist in 10 regular-season games wasn't all that impressive, but his 3 goals in 5 playoff games were.

Enough to warrant the New Jersey Devils to sign him to a two-year contract contract... only to bury it in the AHL to fit under the salary cap. That marked the end of his tenure in the NHL - despite accumulating 66 points on 17 goals in 108 AHL games - and after a failed tryout with the Vancouver Canucks, he played three more seasons in Germany with the Mannheim Eagles (or Adler, as they say), and retired after the 2009-10 season.

Being bilingual (he's fluent in French) and from Hawkesbury, Ontario, he would have been a natural to suit up for either the Ottawa Senators or Montréal Canadiens, but that never happened.

Records usually show him wearing #23 with the Oilers, but this card instead sees him fulfilling #33 of my Oilers Numbers Project:
It's from Pinnacle Brands' 1997-98 Be A Player set (card #131 in the collection), signed in black sharpie with the same number he is shown wearing (33) tagged at the end; he's shown wearing the Oilers' white (home) mid-1990s uniform (with Oil driller shoulder patch).

He had a solid career, even suiting up for Team Canada at the 2020 World Championships, and I'm more than happy to have found this card of his pre-Flyers days inserted in one of the packs I bought at random a few years ago.

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