Sunday, September 25, 2016

Jack Johnson Autograph Card

Much has been said about Team USA's dead-last finish at the World Cup, particularly about John Tortorella's coaching style and the make-up of the team assembled by Dean Lombardi and Brian Burke, notably the absence of proven (and speedy) goal-scorers such as Phil Kessel, Kyle Okposo and Bobby Ryan, as well as the absence of a Justin Faulk or a Kevin Shattenkirk on defense instead of Erik Johnson or Jack Johnson.

You might recall that last name as either the best defenseman on the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets for a while (say, prior to their trade for Seth Jones) or as the punchline to a surprising headline in 2014, when he filed for bankruptcy (his parents took high-interest loans in his name).

All of which doesn't take away from the fact that, at his best, he is a 30-to-40-point producing defenseman in the NHL. It's not quite what is usually expected from a third-overall draft pick (Carolina Hurricanes, 2005), but that's a #2 or #3 defenseman on most teams, and a #1 on a weak one. His seven points in six playoff games against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 213-14 led all Jackets players, after all.

He's also won every type of medal with the American team: gold (2005 U-18s), silver (2004 U-18s and 2010 Olympics), and bronze (2007 World Juniors).

Here he is wearing the Los Angeles Kings' former black-and-gold uniform, on card #GG-JJ from Upper Deck's beautiful 2007-08 Ice set and Glacial Graphs sub-set:
It's a see-through plastic card (the text from the back can be seen at the top-right portion of the scan) that he signed in blue sharpie.

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