Monday, June 15, 2015

Adrian Aucoin Autograph Card

Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for their third Stanley Cup in six years. Captain Jonathan Toews received the Cup from commissioner Gary Bettman's hands and immediately handed it to Kimmo Timonen, who can now retire as a champion after having been on the losing end of every championship game he'd ever played in, including the Stanley Cup loss to the Hawks in 2010 back when he was with the Philadelphia Flyers. Timonen had also captained the Hawks' division rival Nashville Predators.

Speaking of defensemen and captains, I thought it was time I featured this card of Adrian Aucoin, wearing the Hawks' black (alternate) jersey, from Upper Deck's 2006-07 Be A Player set (card #AA of the BAP Signatures sub-set):
Aucoin was the Hawks' 42nd captain, following Alexei Zhamnov and preceding Toews (with Martin Lapointe serving in the role when Aucoin was injured and one time where he was a healthy scratch).

While his time in Chicago didn't showcase the best he had to offer nor was the team the powerhouse it is now (yes, I dare call it a Dynasty), Aucoin was a fine top-4 defenseman, often times a top-pairing guy for most of his career.

He hit the 30-point mark six times (with a high of 44 in 2003-04 with the New York Islanders), once held an NHL record for most powerplay goals in a single season by a defenseman (18, in 1998-99 with the Vancouver Canucks, since passed by Sheldon Souray of the Montréal Canadiens), played in the 2004 All-Star Game (and co-winning the hardest shot competition with Souray), hit the 10-goal mark six times and helped the Phoenix Coyotes to a division title and the Conference Finals in 2011-12.

He has also suited up for Team Canada three times, winning gold at the 1993 World Juniors and silver in the 1994 Olympics, and finishing 7th at the 2010 World Championships.

The 6'2'', 220-pound hard-hitting sharp shooter retired after playing the 2012-13 season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was one point short of the 400 mark, with 121 goals and 278 assists in 1108 regular-season games, and 6-15-21 in 65 playoff games. There were rumblings of his joining the Hawks in a player development capacity at some point, but that has never materialized or been formally announced.

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