Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A Pair of Killer Blueliner Autos

Growing up in the 90's provided me a chance to see the game of hockey change drastically. In the early 90's a point a game player was my mental cutoff between an offensive star and an average player. During the 92-93 season, 69 players scored 75 points or more that season giving nearly all of them a point a game average. Eric Lindros had 75 point in 61 games that year and Gary Roberts had 79 points in 58 games. Even Kelly Kisio who wasn't known as a superstar had 78 points in 78 games. By the end of the 90's, the 98-99 season would only see 15 players score 75 points or more and the scoring would never be much higher than that going forward. Even this season with the final week getting underway, we have 8 players who have 75 points and the potential for a couple more but that's about it.

What has not changed however for the past couple decades is the importance of having a defenseman who can make a difference at both ends of the ice and that is what today's post is all about. One of the best defenseman of all-time in Al MacInnis and one of the best in today's game with Victor Hedman.

2013-14 Titanium Game Worn Gear Auto Al MacInnis /50
Al MacInnis will always be remembered in my head as a Calgary Flame but I am more than willing to accept him as a St. Louis Blue too since he spent 10 seasons there. Al scored 10 goals or more 19 times which is very impressive and it would have been 20 probably had there not been a lockout shortened season in 94-95. Al is without a doubt one of the biggest reasons the Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989 and he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after leading the NHL in postseason scoring with 31 points in just 22 games.

2013-14 Titanium Game Worn Gear Auto Victor Hedman /50
Victor Hedman and the Tampa Bay Lightning made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals last year and fell just short to the Chicago Blackhawks. Even with a healthy Tyler Johnson and co it's hard to say they would have had enough in the tank to take Chicago but it definitely would have been a closer series. During the postseason of 2015, Victor Hedman was a rock and he played some of the best hockey of his career. Statistically, he averaged nearly 24 minutes per game and finished 4th in assists with 13 during the Stanley Cup playoffs. He was also second in +/- with 11 just behind Conn Smythe winner Duncan Keith.

Al MacInnis had one of those careers that most people envy and any rookie starting in the NHL would love to live. Victor is just part way through his and how well it will end only time will tell. At the beginning this year it looked like Tampa could be a force to be reckoned with and for periods of time this season I would say it's true.However in the past couple days it looks like they will be making the attempt at a second straight Stanley Cup Finals without their marquee sniper Steven Stamkos who is out with a blood clot for a period of 1-3 months which could very well mean we have seen the last of him in a Lightning uniform. Thankfully for Lightning fans, Hedman is under contract for one more season before he too will hit the market as a UFA.


  1. Those are two sharp looking cards. I like the close up head shots. Hedman always look great out on the ice, especially against the Bruins. How can you ever go wrong with a HOF player like MacInnis? Awesome acquisitions.

  2. I agree with Marc, awesome cards. I'm right around your age I think and it really is interesting to see how the offensive numbers have dropped off over the last 20 years or so.