Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Eric Tangradi: 3 Autographed Cards

With my PC down, I can't tell exactly when I had sent Eric Tangradi these three cards, nor if I'd sent more; all I remember is I sent them early last season, care of the Hamilton Bulldogs, fully confident he'd play around 20 games for the Montréal Canadiens, who had picked him up at the end of training camp from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Peter Budaj.

It turns out he played in 7 NHL games with the Habs, with 17 penalty minutes to show for it; he did have 14 goals and 31 points in 47 games with the AHL's offensively-challenged Bulldogs, though, so when the Canadiens didn't re-sign him in the summer, the Detroit Red Wings took on The Big Dog, giving him a one-year contract. He has 2 points in 4 games with their AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins so far, and with the Wings' luck when it comes to injuries, could be called up to fill in in a middle-six role some time this season.

I remain confident that he can have a decent impact in today's NHL, where the middle-six is counted upon to play a stable and methodical brand of hockey and support the first unit's point production; scoring has remained stable in the past five years, but the Art Ross winners went from having 100-point seasons to being under the 90-point mark, with the runner-up at 80, meaning the secondary scoring units have stabilized and can all be counted upon for 45-60 points apiece.

A 6'4'', 220-pound, 26-year-old speedster can be one of those players, not unlike the New York Rangers' Chris Kreider or the Jets' Blake Wheeler, even if at a lower threshold.

Here he is from when he was a promising prospect, first with a card showing him with the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, from Choice's 2011-12 AHL Top Prospects set (card $49):
Next up are his two most common NHL rookie cards:
On the left, showing him with the Pittsburgh Penguins' white (away) uniform, is card #538 from Panini's 2010-11 Score set (and Hot Rookies sub-set); the card on the right is #244 from Upper Deck's 2010-11 Victory set (and Rookie sub-set).

All three cards were signed in (fading) black sharpie and received on October 20th, 2015.

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