Friday, September 4, 2015

Mark Visheau Autographed Card

I mentioned in the past having participated in two Winnipeg Jets summer "coaching camps" that doubled as rookie camps and pre-scouting camps for midget-aged players in the summers of 1994 and 1995.

One actual Jets prospect who was there was Mark Visheau, a 6'5'', 220-pound tower of power (who would play at 235 pounds with the Los Angeles Kings later in the decade), who was clearly being groomed to be a Lyle Odelein-type of stay-at-home defenseman who would fight, despite having posted 60 points in 62 games as a defenseman in his final season with the OHL's London Knights.

He only played one game with the Jets before toiling in the minors for a few years, until the Kings signed him as a free agent mostly as a negotiation tactic to bring Aki-Petteri Berg back in the fold, putting pressure on the Swede to accept a smaller salary (it didn't work).

During his lone season in Los Angeles, Visheau fought 13 times in 28 games (plus another 5 times in 5 pre-season games), and other health issues (an apparent urinary tract infection) resulting in complications led him to sue the Kings' medical staff, bringing an end to his hockey career - and bringing Berg back into the fold the following season; from afar, it really looks like he was used and thrown away.

He had signed an index card for me in Winnipeg, but I no longer have that; however, I do have this card, which he signed for me in blue sharpie during his season with the Québec Rafales in 1996-97:
It's card #101 from Classic's 1993-94 Pro Hockey Prospects set, showing him wearing the Moncton Hawks' white (home) uniform, matching the Jets' design. Pardon the scan's crop...

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