Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stan Smyl: 3 Autographed Cards

Welcome to my childhood! Stan Smyl was already the Vancouver Canucks' captain when I started paying attention to the NHL in the mid-80s. He was viewed as the Canucks' best player for most of his time, and held many team records, most of which have since been surpassed.

Among them: most points in a single season (88), most points in a single month (31), and the career leader in goals, assists and points. The goals and points marks were beaten by both Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund - his successors as captain - while the assists mark has been bested by Henrik Sedin.

Still, as the original Captain Canuck, he wore the classic Canucks uniforms I thought defined the team - I always hated the blue and green ones they brought back from purgatory a couple of years ago:
I barely knew the 'V' jerseys and, quite honestly, I always found them rather repulsive - and the yellow 'home' jersey was the worst of all. I like the black 'V' more than the retro/current/first ones, though. From the 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee set (card #356) by Topps.
But these, to me, are the quintessential Canucks uniforms, as well as those I identify with the most from my childhood. The card on the left is from the first set I ever collected seriously, Topps' 1986-87 O-Pee-Chee (card #50), where my parents would let me buy a 35-cents pack of 7 cards for every errand I ran for them at the convenience store. Notice the patch on the jersey - it commemorates the city of Vancouver hosting the World's Fair in 1986. The card on the right is from the 1987-88 Topps set (card #4).

I sent Smyl these three cards and a fan letter care of the Canucks, where he is currently the assistant general manager, on January 27th, 2012, and got them all back signed in a fading black sharpie on February 16th - the same day I got these Guy Lafleur cards.

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