Friday, October 28, 2016

Cam Russell Autograph Card

Some of hockey's tough guys used their path of playing hard NHL minutes and took it into a successful second career, as is the case with Ron Hextall (Philadelphia Flyers GM), Enrico Ciccone, P.J. Stock and Dave Morissette (TV analysts), and Georges Laraque (politics and activism).

Cam Russell went back to his roots in Halifax, first as an assistant coach with the LHJMQ's Halifax Mooseheads, then coach and GM, and now serves solely as GM. They won the 2012-13 Memorial Cup under his watch, a team that featured future superstars Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin.

He played in the Q himself, spending four years with the Hull Olympiques with decent statistics (0.6 points per game) and PIM totals in the low hundreds, but the 6'4", 200-pound defensive defenseman knew his path to the Big Show had to do with clearing his zone, clearing the front of the net, and taking matters into his own hands when opponents didn't comply with either - or when they messed with some of his more famous Chicago Blackhawks teammates, such as Chris Chelios, Jeremy Roenick, Gary Suter, Tony Amonte, Alexei Zhamnov, or Éric Dazé.

It's a tough job, though, and the injuries can pile up fairly quickly; as such, he never suited up for more than 67 games in a single season (1992-93 and 1993-94). He reached the 200-penalty minute threshold in '93-94, but the 84 he took in the 35 games he didn't suit up for the Hawks in his career (1998-99, with the Colorado Avalanche, after which he retired) were equally impressive.

All told, he finished his NHL career with 9 goals, 21 assist, 30 points and 872 penalty minutes in 396 games - plus a relatively quiet 5 assists and 16 PIMs in 44 playoff games.

Here he is wearing the Hawks' classic red (then-away) uniform, on card #A-CR from In The Game's 2013-14 Enforcers II set (and Autograph sub-set):
It features a black-sharpied on-sticker autograph that seems to spell out "cucu" or "cuca"...

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