Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Brett Clark Autograph Card

From 2005-06 until 2010-11, Brett Clark had an interesting run as a reliable shut-down defenseman who could pass the puck and block shots - the type of player who would nowadays earn close to $4M per season, manning the second powerplay unit, not unlike Josh Gorges today.

Clark may have been drafted by the Montréal Canadiens (6th round, 154th overall in 1996), but he spent his best and most productive years with the Colorado Avalanche, with whom he had two of his three 30-point seasons, and his lone 10-goal season.

He left the team as a free agent prior to the 2010-11 season, as he had 31 points (on 9 goals) in 82 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning that year, only to regress the following season with 2 goals, 13 assists, 15 points and a minus-26 rating in 82 games on a disappointing Lightning team that missed the playoffs.

After that, he had to go through the AHL (via the Oklahoma City Barons) before signing on for 8 games with the Minnesota Wild to finish the 2012-13 season, and things went full circle as he ended his career playing 53 games with the Lake Erie Monsters, the Avs' AHL affiliate in 2013-14.

All told, he played 102 games over two seasons with the Habs in the early stages of his professional path, as can be attested in this card from In The Game's 1998-99 Be A Player set (the gold variant of the signed insert card):

It shows him wearing the Canadiens' classic bleu-blanc-rouge uniform (then-away, now-home), as he wore #29 before it was retired for legendary goaltender Ken Dryden, and is signed on-card in thin black sharpie.

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