Monday, October 3, 2016

Tony Amonte Jersey Card

For Day Three of my Tough Guys month, I decided I could feature Tony Amonte again, what with Team USA having had an awful last-place showing at the World Cup, on a team that was supposed to resemble the seminal 1996 group that had won it, with Amonte scoring the deciding goal against Team Canada on September 14th - my birthday - at the then-Molson Centre.

Drafted by the New York Rangers, Amonte scored 35 goals in his rookie season to finish third in Calder Trophy voting, behind Pavel Bure and Nicklas Lidstrom, and ahead of the likes of Pat Falloon, Donald Audette, Kevin Todd, Benoît Brunet and Derian Hatcher. He accumulated 76 points the following year, but had a disappointing 1993-94, leading the Rangers to trade him to the Chicago Blackhawks, essentially for Stéphane Matteau.

It was with the Hawks that the five-time All-Star would become the pre-eminent power forward in the NHL, hitting the 40-goal mark three times, with 35- and 31-goal seasons as well. Like Charlie Sheen, he had one speed: "Go!", and made the opposing goalie's crease his home, fighting off cross-checks to the back to stay in position.

Perhaps not as talented as the likes of John LeClair and Keith Primeau, and certainly not as mean as Keith Tkachuk or Mark Messier and Eric Lindros, he still willed his way into a 900-point career (416 of them goals), and played in four deep playoff runs (i.e. more than 10 games played).

In addition to his World Cup title, he also has a silver medal from the 2002 Olympics. He also captained the Hawks from 2000-02, between Doug Gilmour and Alexei Zhamnov, as can be attested by card #8 of Pacific's 2001-02 Atomic collection and Authentic Game-Worn Jerseys sub-set:
It contains a red game-worn jersey swatch while showing him in the Hawks' black uniform.

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