Saturday, September 3, 2016

Marcel Cousineau Autograph Card

Sometimes, time plays tricks on you and you forget things; case in point: I would have bet all my earnings that Marcel Cousineau had been a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, but they merely signed him as a free agent when the Boston Bruins - who had chosen him with the 62nd-overall pick in 1991 - opted not to have him sign a contract after two losing seasons in the LHJMQ with the Beauport Harfangs and a losing post-season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

He posted losing season after losing season with the AHL's St. John's Maple Leafs, who were terrible, and the team had Félix Potvin in the NHL anyway, so they let him go, paving the way to his signing with the New York Islanders, although he mostly played with the Lowell Lock Monsters. They then traded him to the Los Angeles Kings (with Zigmund Palffy and Bryan Smolinski, for Olli Jokinen, Josh Green, and Mathieu Biron - and swap of draft picks).

Of course, he mostly played for the IHL's Long Beach Ice Dogs in his first year with the organization, then the Lock Monsters again and the Manchester Monarchs as the Kings switched their minor-league affiliates three times in a row. The end of the 1990s were good for him, statistically, as he proved he could stop 91% of shots in the minors but couldn't win a permanent job in the NHL, despite a 2.11 average with the Kings in 1999-2000. They did already have Stéphane Fiset and Jamie Storr, however.

He had a tremendous 2002-03 in Russia, playing for the Cherepovets Severstal and posting a 1.81 GAA, but he decided to come back home and play in Québec's LNAH for his final two seasons, first with the Verdun Dragons (2003-04, on a team that featured such forwards as Éric Lavigne, Éric Houde, and former Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick Marc Tardif, but whose games were mostly attended by people who wanted to see the two players who had more than 500 PIMs apiece, Jason Clarke and Joël Thériault), then with the Sorel-Tracy Mission (2004-05, sharing the net with Sébastien Caron).

Here he is wearing the Harfangs' black (away) Pittsburgh Penguins-influenced uniform on a signed insert card from Classic's 1991-92 Draft Picks set:
It's signed in blue sharpie, and numbered 1083/1100, which to some is "Extremely Limited".

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