Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jean-Jacques Daigneault: 3 Autographed Cards



Jean-Jacques ''J.J.'' Daigneault held an NHL record for a while, but Mike Sullivan broke it prior to the 2006-7 season. Which one, you may ask? That of having played for the most NHL teams in their careers. Daigneault is now tied for second (with Michel Petit), with 11.

Drafted 10th overall in 1984 by the Vancouver Canucks (behind Mario Lemieux, Kirk Muller, Shayne Corson, Al Iafrate and Petr Svoboda, and ahead of Gary Roberts, Kevin Hatcher, Scott Mellanby, Stéphane Richer, Jeff Brown, Ray Sheppard, Gary Suter, Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille, baseball legend Tom Glavine, and a goalie by the name of Patrick Roy), he only played two seasons in the rain before getting traded to the Philadelphia Flyers, where he made it to the Stanley Cup final in his very first season there, even scoring a game-winning goal in the Finals. Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers proved to be too strong, though.

Which is fine, because as a member of the Montréal Canadiens, he beat Gretzky's and Robitaille's Los Angeles Kings to win the Cup in 1993, with Muller and Roy as teammates.

At the end of the road, Daigneault was one game short of playing in 900 regular-season NHL games and another game short of 100 playoff games. He scored 53 goals and amassed 250 points in his career.

As a Hab, I remember him as a calming presence on the blue line, able to chip in with some powerplay time. I was surprised to see him getting traded for a career backup goalie in Pat Jablonski, but I don't run or own the team, so I let it slide.

Unlike other players, though, I didn't follow Daigneault's career much when he left town, in part because when the Habs descended into meaninglessness by trading Roy, I was in NYC getting my music career going and my interest had waned. At least I kept my cards...

I hadn't noticed when I sent him these, but all of these cards have a link to the NHL's 75th anniversary. First, from the 1991-92 Upper Deck set from Upper Deck (card #170), sporting the Canadiens' classic red (away) jersey with the assistant captain's 'A':


Here he is wearing the team's white (home) uniform with a 75th anniversary patch, from Pro Set's 1992-93 Parkhurt (French Canadian Version) set (card #312):


And a ''throwback'' jersey from Score's 1992-93 Score (Canadian), card #311 (look at those intense eyes!):


Sure, this jersey looks a lot like the regular red one, but one quick look at the sleeves will reveal the team's logo in place of numbers...

I sent him these 3 cards and a fan letter on March 19th, 2012, and got them back on August 15th, 2012, signed in black sharpie with his jersey number (48) tagged at the end. Funny thing: I sent these care of the Connecticut Whale, where he was an assistant coach, and that's where they were sent back from (postmarked August 11th), but he was named the Canadiens' assistant coach on June 29th, a story similar to that of my Patrice Brisebois cards (also a 1993 Cup winner).

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