Friday, January 18, 2019

Two Shean Donovan Autographed Cards

Shean Donovan spent more or less his entire NHL career a victim of his physique. Drafted 28th overall (second round) by the San Jose Sharks in 1993 after a 53-poiint season, he exploded for 84 points in his final OHL season with the Ottawa 67s, not unlike their current star player Tye Felhaber.

Of course, at 6'3" and 225 pounds with terrific speed, Donovan qualified as a power forward and would have needed at least five to seven years to develop, but the Sharks lost patience after four seasons and sent him to the Colorado Avalanche, where he had trouble getting ice time on a team that also included such All-Stars as Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Milan Hejduk, Alex Tanguay, Chris Drury, Adam Deadmarsh, Brian Rolston, and Claude Lemieux, so he was eventually dealt to the Atlanta Thrashers, claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Penguins, and traded to the Calgary Flames.

It was the Flames who took a long look at his skating ability ahead of his size and made him into a second-liner instead of a checking winger, and it paid off with a terrific 2003-04 season where he scored 18 goals (second on the team), collected 24 assists (third) and posted 42 points (third).

The season-long 2004-05 lockout got the best of him, however, as he only played 12 games overseas with the Genève-Servette HC, collecting 8 points but also 30 penalty minutes. Playing on a checking line for ten seasons in the NHL had instilled bad habits in his game, and the rule application in Europe and when he made his way back to North America in 2005-06 was such that he essentially had to be relegated to a checking line once again as he played one year for the Boston Bruins and three more with the Ottawa Senators.

He retired after the 2009-10 season and began coaching in 2013-14, first as an assistant and development coach with the 67s, then adding the Sens starting the following season. He is still in that position for the Senators, splitting his time between Ottawa and their AHL affiliate in Belleville.

He signed the above cards for me in blue sharpie during his penultimate season, in 2008-09. Card #60 from Upper Deck's 2005-06 MVP set sees him wearing the Flames' red (then-away) uniform:
And here he is sporting Calgary's white (then-home) uniform, on card #29 from UD's 2005-06 Series 1 set, celebrating after a goal:
He tagged both cards with #10, his number on the Sens, rather than #16, his number with the Flames.

He has won gold medals twice playing for Team Canada, at the 1995 World Juniors and 1997 World Championships.

No comments:

Post a Comment