Saturday, July 4, 2015

Calvin Pickard Autograph Card

This is probably the year where a ''goalie controversy'' emerges with the Colorado Avalanche, leading the team to shop Calvin Pickard next summer, when the market won't be as saturated as this year (I envision Dustin Tokarski to also be available and one of the Tampa Bay Lightning's goalies, while this year Cam Talbot, Eddie Lack, Robin Lehner, Jhonas Enroth, Michal Neuvirth, Anders Lindback, and Martin Jones were available via trade and Antti Niemi and Devan Dubnyk were set to become free agents).

For my money, Pickard's already better than some #1 goalies out there (San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames), so the Avs were smart not to attempt to trade him in a buyer's market and instead wait until they've got the upper hand.

The third goalie chosen at the 2010 draft, he's already surpassed Jack Campbell and Mark Visentin in his draft class, as well as the Avs' official backup Reto Berra last season, head coach Patrick Roy preferring to send in freshly-recalled Pickard instead of his official backup whenever Semyon Varlamov was feeling under the weather. he's also surpassed his older brother Chet Pickard, a former Nashville Predators first round pick now playing in Denmark.

The Avs will hold on to Varlamov for the next decade, seeing as he's a proven commodity - an Olympian and Vezina nominee - but if I had a billion dollars to buy an NHL team, I would be very comfortable selecting Pickard and Tokarski as my goalies.

I met Pickard last year when he played in his first NHL start in Montréal, so look for another post whenever he makes the news again. For now, though, here's a 2014-14 Prizm card (#A-2P of the Dual Rookie Class sub-set, the silver version) by Panini, showing him in his awesome cat-like stance, wearing the Avs' burgundy (home) uniform:
It's signed on a sticker, in thin blue sharpie.

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