Thursday, September 21, 2017

Luca Sbisa Autographed Card

I wasn't sure what team I'd choose to feature this card for - if any - but I'll go with the Vegas Golden Knights, whom I believe will finish 7th in the Pacific Division, ahead of the Vancouver Canucks - and also ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings.

In recent years, Canucks fans and beat journalists had taken a dislike to Luca Sbisa for his seeming inability to help the puck exit his defensive zone, let alone drive play; what he did, however, was deliver hard hits and help Vancouver kill penalties better than any other defenseman on the team. That's right: he led the team in fewest shorthanded goals given per PK minute played.

Now, many of us - even those who see his admittedly limited qualities - were surprised to see the Golden Knight choose Sbisa in addition to the equally-hard-hitting Alexei Emelin, considering Emelin is also better-rounded in every other aspect of the game save for fighting, but Vegas answered these questions by trading Emelin to the Nashville Predators for a third-round draft pick (and retaining $1.2M of his salary).

Although he was born in Italy to Italian parents, the Sbisas moved to Switzerland when he was one, and he has always suited up for Team Switzerland (or Team Europe) internationally. Although he has never medaled, he did meet his wife, Lauren Anaka Sbisa, while participating in the 2010 Olympics.

Here he is wearing the Philadelphia Flyers' white (away) uniform from 2007-2010, on card #362 from Upper Deck's 2008-09 Power Play boxed set:
He signed it in blue sharpie in September 2016 during the World Cup, erroneously adding "42" as his uniform number instead of "47".

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