Friday, July 31, 2015

Randy Cunneyworth Autograph Card

After the Buffalo Sabres hired Randy Cunneyworth as a scout a couple of years ago, it was rumoured he might eventually be tapped to take on its head coaching position should the Ron Rolston/Ted Nolan experiment fail.

Those rumours were only half-founded, as he was instead chosen as the head coach of their AHL affiliate Rochester Americans this week. He had already coached the team for eight years in the past (from 2000-01 until 2007-08) and captained it as a player.

His coaching resume also includes a division title with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs in 2010-11, and one of the worst seasons in Montréal Canadiens history in 2001-12, one many see as a means to just eject him from the organization altogether as a scapegoat. Hey, at least it allowed the Habs to draft Alex Galchenyuk third overall that summer.

In an NHL career that started in 1980-81 and ended in 1998-99, Cunneyworth played a total of 866 regular-season games (189 goals, 225 assists, 414 points) and merely 45 more in the playoffs, playing for cellar dwellers such as the Sabres (twice), the 1980s Pittsburgh Penguins, less than 30 games with the Winnipeg Jets, the Hartford Whalers, the 1993-94 Chicago Blackhawks, and the mid-1990s Ottawa Senators. In 16 NHL seasons, he played for 15 different head coaches.

He served as the Sens' captain from 1995 until 1998, between Gord Dineen and Alexei Yashin, which is a fitting way to feature him as #7 in my Sens Numbers Project with the signed inset version of card #175 from Pinnacle's 1997-98 Be A Player set:
It shows him in the beautiful, original black (away) Sens uniform (with my favourite logo of theirs), as the captain, and is signed on-card inn thin black sharpie.

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