Monday, October 12, 2015

Mark Cundari Autograph Card

Under head coach Bob Boughner, the Windsor Spitfires have produced NHL-eligible talent for years, notably Ryan Ellis, Zack Kassian, Brady Vail, Kerby Rychel, and Josh Ho-Sang. Now an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks, Boughner has brought along one of his stalwart defensemen from the Spitfires' consecutive Memorial Cup-winning teams (2009 and 2010), Mark Cundari.

Undrafted at the NHL level, Cundari spent three seasons in the St. Louis Blues system as a free agent signee before being involved in the trade that sent fellow Blues prospect Reto Berra and the first-round pick that became Émile Poirier to the Calgary Flames for Jay Bouwmeester.

Far from an offensive force or physical specimen such as Bouwmeester, he's more of a Francis Bouillon type: 5'9'', 205 pounds, solid defensively, a tough checker who isn't afraid of rugged play and a guy who can complete a decent first pass most of the time. He rarely gets beat one-on-one, and does have 3 points (1 goal) in 8 NHL games, so if given the chance, perhaps he can become a regular contributor as a #5 guy with third-unit powerplay duties - like Bouillon.

Here he is sporting the Flames' white (away) jersey, from Panini's 2013-14 Crown Royale set (and Rookie Royalty sub-set):
It's the signed insert version of card #216 (numbered 197/499), and features a blue-sharpied on-sticker autograph. I liked this set's the die-cut crown shape over the years.

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