Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dale Hawerchuk

Well if Doug Gilmour was not enough positive reinforcement to keep me on the TTM train then certainly HOF'er Dale Hawerchuk must be! I couldn't believe when I came home from work to find a second TTM in as many days. I opened the package and found these two cards signed. First off, I chose these two cards because they are 2 of the 3 cards that were released of Hawerchuk from his rookie year. I elected not to send his RC just in case I didn't have success. But the neat treat from this success is how he chose to sign his IA card with his number 10 and the team leader one he just signed with his regular signature. I had mailed these out on Dec 22 and received them back on Jan 20. An amazing turn around time and he signed both cards I sent out with a blue sharpie.

I have been a Hawerchuk fan as long as I have watched hockey. I always seem to be a fan of the players who quietly go about their business in a dominating fashion. Dale definitely fits that mold. Had he been drafted a year earlier he would have been a Montreal Canadien, and a year later would have been a Boston Bruin. Either team would have resulted in much more fan fare for Hawerchuk but instead he was a Winnipeg Jet which for some people made him invisible.

From the onset he was a star, rookie season numbers were 45 goals and 103 points, not too bad for an 18 year old. Then for the next 9 seasons he was a dominant player in the NHL averaging 42 goals and 102 points as season on a team that could never get out of the second round of the playoffs. He turned guys like Laurie Boschman and Andrew McBain into 30 goal guys! Probably the brightest point in his career was the 1987 Canada Cup where he, Wayne and Mario beat the Russians on their own. It was on that stage where Hawerchuk showcased his immense talent to the world.

Not long after, Dale was traded to Buffalo where he continued his strong play and then finished his career with stops in St. Louis and Philly. He unfortunately never won a cup, but he did win the Memorial Cup twice and the Canada Cup twice and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

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