Thursday, January 24, 2019

Paul Fenton Autographed Card

All the talk surrounding the search for a new General Manager for the Edmonton Oilers got me thinking about one perennial candidate who is no longer in the hunt, Paul Fenton.

A veteran of 411 NHL games over eight seasons, Fenton was a tireless worker who didn't have the most talent in the world but willed himself into a 20-goal season with the Los Angeles Kings in 1988-89 and a team-leading 32 goals with the Winnipeg Jets in 1989-90 (Thomas Steen had missed half the season with an injury).

The Jets probably would have liked to keep him around for his leadership skills, but his trade value was so high that he and top-two defenseman Dave Ellett were bundled and sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs for 40-goal scorer Ed Olczyk and checker Mark Osborne at the beginning of the 1990-91 season. It was the beginning of a busy moving season as he was then bundled with enforcer John Kordic and sent to the Washington Capitals for a fifth-round draft pick (Alexei Kudashov) two months later, and flipped to the Calgary Flames the same day for defensive defenseman Ken Sabourin; come August, the Flames sent him over to the Hartford Whalers for the draft pick that became Joël Bouchard, and the Whalers sent him to the San Jose Sharks when the season started, where Fenton provided much-needed leadership and guidance to the first-year franchise. Going the Whalers' way was Mike McHugh, who never played for the team.

He also suited up for Team USA twice, at the 1985 and 1989 World Championships, totaling 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in 19 games.

A funny/ironic thing about Fenton is that while playing for the Boston University Terriers, head coach Jack Parker told him he should "look for a job outside of hockey", i.e. coach talk for "you're not very good", which never came to be, as Fenton kept gravitating around rinks even after his retirement, spending eight years as the Nashville Predators' Director of Player Personnel, then twelve as Assistant-GM. He was a natural fit for former Preds owner / current Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold to fill his team's vacant GM position last summer. after choosing not to renew Chuck Fletcher's contract.

Here he is sporting the Jets' classic "modern" Rangers-like blue uniform, on card #92 from Upper Deck's 1990-91 Series 1 set:
If memory serves correctly, he signed it in black sharpie at the 2009 All-Star Game held in Montréal (or a Preds game really close to that date).

No comments:

Post a Comment