Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tyler Moss Autograph Card

As I wrote on my regular blog last Friday, The Calgary Flames' hopes lie with goaltender Jonas Hiller outplaying Frederik Andersen and/or John Gibson and keeping Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf silent and at bay. It sure wasn't the case in Game 1, as the Anaheim Ducks' superstars combined for 8 points in nothing less than a shellacking.

In that game, the at-times terrific Swiss Olympian Hiller - capable of shutting out huge squads but surrendering awful goals the next game - was pulled after surrendering 3 goals in 22 minutes, and he also won't get to start Game 2, as backup Karri Ramo got the nod. In falling short, he reminded me of another former Flames goalie, who also wore #1 and caught the puck with his right hand: Tyler Moss.

Yes, this Tyler Moss:

(but that happens to everybody; I left my skate guards on at a tournament and fell to the ice in front of 5,000 people once - then proceeded to pull a 40-save shutout and win MVP honors).

But back to Moss who, unlike Hiller, was drafted - 29th overall in 1993, by the Tampa Bay Lightning, who then traded him to Calgary just about 4 years later, without having tried him at the NHL level. He had earned high praise and several honors in the OHL, saving the Kingston Frontenacs from embarrassment, and earning First All-Star Team nods while facing insane amounts of shots for three seasons.

He was so-so in 1996-97 with the Flames (a 2-3-1 record in 7 games with a 3.27 GAA and .892 save percentage) but had a terrific run with the AHL's Saint John Flames with a 1.91 GAA and .940 save percentage; the following season, he won the Hap Holmes Award in the AHL (shared with Jean-Sébastien Giguère) for having recorded the lowest GAA, and had a fine showing at the NHL level with a 2.51 GAA and .922 save % despite a 3-7-0 record in 11 games, more proof of how bad the Flames were than of his own play.

Still, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins who let him go after a single season, then signed with the Carolina Hurricanes, who finished the season with a tandem consisting of Arturs Irbe and Tom Barrasso, so he found himself out of the mix once again. His lone appearance with the Vancouver Canucks in 2002-03 left for some decent statistics as his NHL farewell numbers (2.73 GAA and .929 save %), but they weren't enough to have him keep playing in North America. Instead, he moved to Europe, where he played until 2011-12, in Russia and Germany.

He now works as a salesman in the oil industry in Alberta. Yes, that dirty tar sand oil.

Here is what he looked like as a Flame, from In The Game's 1998-99 Be A Player set (card #17 of the signed insert sub-set, signed on-card in thin black sharpie):
The Flames have never had a terrible uniform, and I think I would rank this one as middle-of-the-road, not as pretty or iconic as their 1980s/early 1990s ones, and slightly ahead of the modern one, if only because the current one has a black logo that doesn't really make sense with reality.

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