Monday, February 18, 2019

Bryan Allen: Two Autographed Cards

I was sifting through my signed cards this evening and fell upon these two of Bryan Allen's early days, spanning the years of his being drafted as a high-touted prospect in the first round (4th overall, 1998) by the Vancouver Canucks to his climb in the minor hockey ranks leading to two World Juniors Team Canada berths (silver in 1999, out with an injury in 2000).

Fourteen NHL seasons and 721 regular-season games later, retiring at the tail end of the 2014-15 season having scored 29 goals with 107 assists for 136 points (and 839 penalty minutes), his career not so different from another fourth-overall pick's, Scott Lachance, including the fact that both played for the Canucks and Montréal Canadiens in their careers, both hanging up the blades after half a season in the AHL.

Allen was a solid defensive defenseman who could clear the front of the net and spend some time on the powerplay and penalty kill. His total ice time per game oscillated between 19 and 21 minutes per game in his prime and 16-18 before and after.

Here he is sporting his familiar #5 uniform for the Canadian national team, on card #401 from Upper Deck's 1997-98 Series 2 collection and Program Of Excellence (usually focusing on Canadian Juniors players) sub-set, wearing flip flops and shorts on a snowy hill that I suspect was behind an arena:
And here he is wearing the Canucks' white (home) uniform from the turn of the millennium, on card #478 from Upper Deck's 2005-06 Parkhurst set:
This white uniform is my second-favourite white from the Canucks, behind only the one they wore from 1989 until 1997.

I remember Allen signed these for me in thick blue sharpie, but I do not remember when, though I'm fairly certain it was after the season-long 2004-05 lockout, so likely during his time as an important member of the Florida Panthers (2006-11).

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