Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Kirk McLean Autographed Card

I must admit I was surprised when Twitter showed #RIPKirk trending among Vancouver Canucks fans with one man specifically asking Canucks fans to tweet a farewell to his father "Kirk", who had "just passed away". It turns out it's either a hoax or just someone sharing the same same name, not the guy featured wearing the team's beautiful 1985-1997 black uniform on card #16 from Donruss' 1995-96 Donruss set:
You might not be able to see it, but Kirk McLean signed it for me in fading black sharpie via snail mail to the Canucks a few years ago. I was a Brian's man myself, but I'm hit with a bit of nostalgia looking at those Vaughn pads and glove (I could do without the brown blocker).

McLean to me is part of the trifecta of Best Canucks Goalies with Roberto Luongo and Daniel Bouchard, not quite the Hall Of Famer Luongo was, but a two-time Vezina nominee nonetheless, the guy who stopped 52 shots in Game 1 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final to lead Vancouver to a 3-2 win over destiny's New York Rangers.

He won the Molson Cup (most Three Stars selections) honours three times at a time when Pavel Bure and Trevor Linden were on the team, which says a lot about the weight he carried on the ice. He's also participated in the 1990 and 1992 All-Star Games and played for Team Canada at the 1990 World Championships, finishing in fourth place.

In ten and a half years in Vancouver, he got to write a lot of the team's record book, and most of the enviable ones (wins, shutouts) were beaten by Luongo in some 70 fewer games, but he still has those for games played, playoff games played (68 vs 64), playoff wins (34 vs 32) and losses.

he's also played for the New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers, but he'll always be Vancouver's Goalie In Black to me. With this regular-sized card, he knocks Luongo's 4x6 picture off my Canucks Numbers Project for #1.

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