Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Dave Karpa Autographed Card

I've been trying to keep up with Dave Karpa since the end of the 2016-17 season, but it seems like he's out of the hockey loop of sorts, save for his twin sons Jakob and Zakary Karpa playing in the American minor-hokey elite leagues, with Zakary having pledged to play for Princeton in the NCAA next season.

Father Dave was a fourth-round draft pick (68th overall) of the Québec Nordiques, and he played with the organization for parts of four seasons before moving on to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (1995-98, where he wore the alternate captain's "A" for a while), Carolina Hurricanes (1998-2001), New York Rangers (2001-03), Khabarovsk Amur in Russia (half of 2003-04), and three AHL organizations to close his playing career off, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (2003-04), Syracuse Crunch (2004-05, with some time with their ECHL affiliate San Diego Gulls), and Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2005-06).

He was a tough defenseman who could reach the 100-PIM mark in fewer than 30 games, doing so six times in the NHL alone and twice more in the AHL, and even obtaining 270 (not a type), 210 and 217 in three consecutive seasons with Anaheim, from 1995-96 to 1997-98.

He then coached his kids in leagues around Chicago and Detroit before getting an assistant-coach position with the OHL's Flint Firebirds in 2015-16, where he was famously fired twice in the same season with head coach John Gruden by team owner Rolf Nilsen, whose own son didn't take his father's side after the first firing, joining a player's strike that had the coaches reinstated... for just a couple of months.

Karpa later got back on his feet, signing up as Junior Tier III team Peoria Mustangs' (NA3HL), GM and head coach for 2016-17, but getting fired from both positions after the season.

Still, he's a terrific entry for #59 in my Nordiques Numbers Project, with card #375 from Upper Deck's 1993-94 Series 2 collection:
It shows him wearing the Nordiques' white (home) uniform. He signed it in blue sharpie by mail via the Mustangs in 2017.

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