Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tomas Sandstrom Autograph Card

Someone asked Daniel Brière recently how he'd feel about retiring at this point, just 27 games shy of #1000, and I loved his answer: ''With the two lock-outs, I would have reached that milestone already. Plus, with all the playoff games in which I was just as productive as in the regular season, we're way past 1000. And I played 973 more than some so-called experts had predicted considering my size (5'9'')''.

And that got me thinking about all the players who narrowly missed milestones, such as Martin Brodeur (9 wins short of 700, 3 losses short of 400), Rick Middleton (988 points), Brett Hull (1391 points), Luc Robitaille (1394 points), and Paul Coffey (396 goals).

And one player I've talked about a few years ago who finished with 857 points in 983 games, Tomas Sandstrom, seen here as a member of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, sporting their white (home) late-1990s uniform:
It's the signed insert version of card #153 from In The Game's 1998-99 Be A Player set, featuring a thin black-sharpied autograph.

His playing style was similar to that of Esa Tikkanen, where he had good size for his era (6-foot, 200 pounds), good speed, good hands, a great accurate shot, and a mouth that never stopped yapping, with the bonus of never backing down from challenges and answering the bell when he ignited fires, although not so much with his fists as, say, perhaps with his stick or elbows.

Sandstrom's most memorable Stanley Cup run was when he posted 25 points in 24 games in 1992-93 with Wayne Gretzky's Los Angeles Kings, which he ultimately lost to Patrick Roy's Montréal Canadiens, but he did enjoy one that ended with a Cup win, in 1996-97, with the Detroit Red Wings, where he had 4 assists (and 24 penalty minutes) in 20 games for Scotty Bowman's team.

He played his final NHL season in Anaheim before closing out his career with three more in Sweden. Of note that while he was born in Finland, he is a Swede and played for the Tre Kronor internationally. Then again, the history between the two countries is reminiscent of that between Slovakia and the Czech Republic or Québec and Canada in that each one's largest minority consists of the other's peoples, more or less, and their respective rights are (mostly) protected in their constitutions. And, to some extent, wouldn't most of the world's problems be solved if dual-country overlapping borders and dual citizenship were a more common occurence?

Anyhow, World Peace - like the Anaheim Ducks' Stanley Cup aspirations - is not for this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment