Sunday, February 21, 2016

Jody Hull: 2 Autographed Cards

When Jaromir Jagr passed Brett Hull as the NHL's third-highest scoring player last night, my mind wandered in a million places - as it usually does; I was reminded how I wasn't a huge Jagr fan when he came up (because I tend do dislike all things Pittsburgh Penguins-related, and he was a bit cocky); of how his O-Pee-Chee Premier rookie card was once worth upwards of $50 apiece and I had literally over a hundred of them at one time, most of them lost in a flood during the 1998 Ice Storm; how he set the New York Rangers' single-season points mark in his 30s; how he was shunned by NHL teams and had to go play in the KHL for three seasons; how the Montréal Canadiens keep refusing him his wish of playing with fellow Czech Tomas Plekanec.

How Hull was a goal-scoring machine at the turn of the 1990s; how he scored a controversial goal when the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup against the Buffalo Sabres; how he won another with the free-spending 2000s Detroit Red Wings.

How many people my age thought Jody Hull was his brother.


Jody Hull was born in Ontario, and rose through the hockey ranks like many Canadian NHLers, through the high midget categories, then Junior B, then playing for the OHL's Peterborough Petes, a team he now coaches.

He was drafted 18th overall in the first round by the Hartford Whalers in 1987 and went on to play in over 800 NHL games, including two stints with the Ottawa Senators. He also played in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Binghamton Whalers, the Binghamton Rangers, and retired following a 34-game stint with the Binghamton Senators. I'm kind of surprised he didn't relocate there after his career was over.

In his coaching career, he was the Petes' assistant coach for seven seasons before being promoted to head coach, a position he's held since the 2012-13 season. He's also risen through the ranks of Hockey Canada's U-18 program, going from video coach to assistant to head coach two summers ago.

Here he is in the two uniforms I associate him the closest to, in two cards he signed in black sharpie in the early-to-mid 1990s, first showing him with the Whalers' classic green uniform, from Upper Deck's 1990-91 Series 1 set (with card #322 in the series):
And here he is in the Sens' original white (then-home) uniform, from UD's 1992-93 Series 2 set (it's card #539):
All told, the rugged right winger finished with 124 regular-season goals and 261 regular-season points in 831 games to go along with 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 69 playoff games. He reached the Stanley Cup Final in 1995-96 as a member of the Florida Panthers, suffering a sweep at the hands of the mighty Colorado Avalanche.

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