Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Mark Hunter Two Autographed Cards

Mark Hunter was mostly known during his playing days as a journeyman checking line winger, save for the three season she spent with the St. Louis Blues (1985-88), where he made the most of his accrued playing time on the first line with Bernie Federko to post career highs in points (74, 69 and 63 points, respectively, good for second, this and fourth on the team).

He also had a more famous older brother, Dale Hunter, who captained the Washington Capitals. The pair purchased the OHL's London Knights in 2001 and instantly turned the team into one of Canada's best hockey programs, producing an unparalleled number of NHL first-rounders - among them Patrick Kane, Sam Gagner, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Evan Bouchard, Max Domi, Bo Horvat, Michael McCarron, Jarred Tinordi, Matthew Tkachuk, Nazem Kadri, and Nikita Zadorov.

Mark's been in the Toronto-centric news more often of late as the Toronto Maple Leafs' co-interim GM then assistant-GM, until he left the team when his partner Kyle Dubas was chosen to replace Lou Lamoriello.

He's since been named as Team Canada's GM for 2019-20, which includes the World Juniors and National Junior programs. He hired Dale to join him, which will surprisingly be the first time he's gotten the nod despite two Memorial Cup championships as head coach.

Despite Mark's career not having the individual highs of Dale's, he was drafted and spent his first few seasons in the Mecca of hockey, playing for the Montréal Canadiens for four seasons. Then came the St. Louis stint, followed by two and a half seasons with the Calgary Flames (including the 1989 Stanley Cup win against the Habs), a year and a half with the Hartford Whalers, and a short seven-game trial with the Washington Capitals in 1992-93.

The Whalers weren't a very good team, usually contending for the last position in the Adams Division, but they were a staple of my youth, and their uniforms are classic.

Here is Mark wearing their white (home) uniform, on card #156 from Score's 1991-92 Score (Canadian Edition) set:
And here he is wearing the green (away) uniform, which is still one of the NHL's five best-selling jerseys today, on card #253 from Score's 1991-92 Pinnacle (French Canadian Edition) set, complete with head shot:
He signed both in blue sharpie as a member of the Leafs organization, likely in 2016 or 2017 after a game in Montréal.

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