Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mike Smith: Two Autographed Cards

On November 14th, 2017, I sent the following three cards to Mike Smith of the Calgary Flames:
Possibly because his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning was mostly sub-par, he didn't sign the 2010-11 Black Diamond card I sent in:
But along with it, in an envelope received in June, were these two signed cards, in fading black sharpie:
I had told him he was now on a team that didn't need him to play like during his Vezina-nominated 2011-12 season with the Phoenix Coyotes, where his spectacular play led his team to its lone Conference Final, that all he needed to be was himself and that would already be not only good enough but the team's first quality netminder since Miikka Kiprusoff.

All told, he finished with a 25-22-6 record, 2.65 GAA, .916 save percentage (just about league average) and three shutouts (above league average) on a team that underperformed enough to see its coach get fired.

Here's a closer look at the cards he signed, first featuring him in the Arizona Coyotes' white (away) uniform, on card #38 from Upper Deck's 2016-17 MVP set (and a Puzzle Piece for Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux on the back):
And here he is wearing the home burgundy uniform, on card #63 from UD's 2017-18 Artifacts set:
He tagged his uniform number (41) at the end of each signature.

I still believe the Flames - like most teams - don't need a savior in net and that Smith, under these circumstances, can thrive in Alberta. At least one 8-year-old fan thinks the same way.

He was the third-string goalie for Team Canada as it won gold at the 2014 Olympics and the starter with the same result at the 2015 World Championships.

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