Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Don Sweeney: Two Autographed Cards

(As per years past, this is a twin-post with my "regular" blog, where I predicted the Boston Bruins would finish fourth in the Atlantic Division in 2019-20).
Nowadays, people see Don Sweeney as an executive - the reigning GM Of The Year - but he's also a 16-year former NHLer who spent the vast majority of his career with the Boston Bruins (15 years) as the great Raymond Bourque's defensive partner.

You learn a thing or two in such circumstances, including the need to keep a winning/contending team together so the star players don't have to leave to win that elusive Stanley Cup. And not only was he able to do so with his current roster, he also re-signed RFAs Charlie MacAvoy and Brandon Carlo to team-friendly bridge deals that fits right under the cap, with the understanding that they'll cash in on their next deals, when Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, David Backes and even Patrice Bergeron will no longer be on expensive deals.

It's ironic that what he does best - managing the salary cap - was his predecessor Peter Chiarelli's biggest weakness. Then again, Sweeney spent four years at Harvard while honing his skills instead of trying to play in Canadian Juniors.

While the Bruins' uniforms always remain close to their roots, my favourites were the ones from 1969-1995, which are the ones he's featured in on the cards he signed for me in black sharpie last year, starting with the white (home) ones:
That's card #244 from Pro Set's 1992-93 Parkhurst collection, and it's unclear if he's falling from being checked, from attempting to check an opponent or attempting some odd defensive maneuver in which he'd clear the puck with his hand whislt tripping.

There is also card #91 from Upper Deck's 1995-96 Collector's Choice set, showing him wearing their black (away) uniform, taking control of the puck in his own zone in front of journeyman goaltender Vincent Riendeau and New Jersey Devils forward Randy McKay:
Those are simply classic - simple and beautiful, perfect colours and stripes.

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