Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Shaun Van Allen Autograph Card

It's time to check off another card from my Sens Numbers Project, this time with #22, Shaun Van Allen. The 105th player chosen at the 1987 NHL draft, Van Allen spent the majority of his career playing for teams I follow: the Edmonton Oilers (1990-93), the Montréal Canadiens (2001-02) and the Ottawa Senators (1996-2000 and 2002-04). He also spent a few years with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Dallas Stars.

When he was in the Oilers' system, he won the AHL's award as its points leader (the John B. Sollenberger Trophy) as well as a Calder Cup with the Cape Breton Oilers. However, in the NHL, he was more like a decently-producing checking-line centerman. His two best seasons for points came in his first full season (1993-94, 33 points with the Mighty Ducks) and his second-to-last one (32 points with the Sens), which was also his best for goals (12).

He was raised in Climax, Saskatchewan, where the back of the town's welcome sign (''Welcome To Climax'') reads ''Come Again!''; it is also the end of the line for what used to be known as the ''Honeymoon Route'', starting at Havre, Montana (''have her''), going to Turner (''turn her''), and ending in Climax.

Nowadays, he's an assistant coach with the Carleton University Ravens, and remains loyal to the team and its head coach despite having received offers to further his career elsewhere. He and his family have decided to remain in the Ottawa area, having spent two stints in the quiet capital region.

Here he is wearing the Sens' turn-of-the-millennium red (away) uniform, from In The Game's 1998-99 Be A Player set (a signed insert version of card #245, autographed in black sharpie with his jersey number, 22, tagged at the end):

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