Thursday, February 10, 2011
Brian Gionta: 4 Autographed Cards
Ladies and gentlemen, the captain of your Montréal Canadiens... Brian Gionta!
Indeed, before the season started, Gionta was named 28th captain (and second American-born, after Chris Chelios) of the Habs, in the second season of his 5-year deal with the team. I sent him a fan letter congratulating him for the honour on September 30th, along with these four cards, and I got them all back, signed in thin blue sharpie, this morning, four and a half months later - a tremendous return, especially considering everything that is required of a captain for this team, in this city. He added his jersey number on each, 14 for the cards in which he's wearing the New Jersey Devils' colours, 21 with the Habs.
As usual, I did my best to send in cards with pics of him wearing different uniforms; first the Devils' red jersey, as seen in these cards:
The card on the left is from Upper Deck's 2007-08 Victory set, the Stars On Ice sub-set, and is card #SI10 in the series. It's the first sub-set card I have autographed, I think. On the back of the card, we learn that Gionta holds a Devils' record for most consecutive playoff games in which he's scored a goal, with 5. The card on the right is from Upper Deck's 2005-06 SP Authentic set (card #60), on the back of which we learn he was an All-American in each of his 4 seasons at Boston College.
I also sent the following card, in which he's sporting the Devils' white uniform:
It's from Fleer's 2008-09 Fleer Ultra set (card #43), manufactured by (of course) Upper Deck. The back of the card doesn't say anything interesting, but I'd like to add that he's won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2002-03 and still holds two other team records, most goals in a season (48) and most powerplay goals in a season (24), both achieved in 2005-06 playing alongside Scott Gomez, his centerman in Montréal as well.
And speaking of the Habs, he was assistant captain in his first season with the team, one of eight players to wear the 'A' in the only captain-less season in the team's 101-year history. Notice the 100th logo on his shoulder:
Sorry for the crooked picture of this 2010-11 Victory card (#100 in the set) by Upper Deck. In just 61 games with the Habs last season, he managed to score 28 goals (10 of which came on the powerplay), despite being the second-shortest player in the league. As a Montrealer, he now also sports the unshaven look, like most of us here. Another ''famous New Jerseyer'' does, too: Dr. House.