Thursday, December 17, 2009
Pierre Turgeon Autograph Card
And now... the captain... of YOUR... Montréal No-Names... Pierre Turgeon!
Yes, another one from the worst card series of all time... Upper Deck's 1995-96 Be A Player set.
This time, it's the now-centennial Montréal Canadiens who have the honour of not having their team name nor logo appear anywhere on the card - they even airbrushed it off of Turgeon's chest. I'm glad they kept the captain's ''C'', though, as well as his number and the brand name on his gloves.
Turgeon holds a particular place in the Habs' history. He was the last to have been near producing a 100-point season for the team since Mats Naslund in the 1980s (he got 96 in 1995-96), had actually achieved that goal before (106 in 1989-90 for the Buffalo Sabres and 132 in 1992-93 with the New York Islanders), and was only named captain because he was the most talented (read: skillful) player on the team that year, not because he was the most vocal or hardest-working player in the locker room. He was also a member of the team for a mere 106 games spread over three seasons (the end of one, a full one, then was traded at the beginning of the third year), so his reign as captain turned out to be uneventful.
It's fun to note that on his way here, he cost the team Kirk Muller (captain) and Mathieu Schneider but on his way out, he was only worth Shayne Corson; mind you, the guy who traded him away, Réjean Houle, is also the guy who gave away the best goalie of all time (Patrick Roy) and his team's captain (Mike Keane) for an overhyped skinny #2 goalie (Jocelyn Thibault) and two somewhat talented enigmatic lazy forwards (Andrei Kovalenko and Martin Rucinsky). Trades like that are the reason why the team went from perennial contender to bottom-feeder in two years (and for almost a decade) - and why they have remained near the ''last available playoff position'' spot for the better part of the last 6 years as well.
Needless to say, this local superstar's card, possibly the only one I own of him wearing the local team's colours (but not crest...) ranks and sits... in the middle of every pile I end up stacking it in. It's card #S152, for those keeping count.