Monday, July 28, 2014

TTM: Tim Cheveldae

Mailed: 2/3/12
Received: 4/4/14

At the end of last year, I posted a TTM return from Tim Cheveldae that took 32 days and came back from the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL where the former Red Wings netminder was working as a goaltending coach. This return took a bit longer - 791 days - and was sent to a midget team he coaches in Saskatoon. Once again, Cheveldae signed three cards for me in blue sharpie. This time I got a 1990-91 Upper Deck, 1990-91 Pro Set and a 1995-96 Upper Deck signed.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

TTM: Bryan Berard

Mailed: 2/3/14
Received: 4/21/14

After several unsuccessful attempts, I was finally able to track down former NHL #1 draft pick Bryan Berard. I remember having lots of cards of Berard back when I first collected, but my reasons for following his career and wanting to track him down ran beyond that. Berard suffered an eye injury in 2000 that almost derailed his career, but he battled back and played six more seasons. The summer of 2000 was also the time that I suffered a concussion while playing hockey, which ended up costing me 97% of the vision in my left eye. Berard signed three cards for me in black sharpie, and they provide a good luck at his career from his time as an OHL standout with the Detroit Jr. Red Wings to his appearance for Team USA and then his NHL start with the New York Islanders.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

TTM: Brett Bellemore

Mailed: 11/10/13
Received: 6/29/14

After four years of toiling in the AHL, Brett Bellemore finally became a full-time member of the Carolina Hurricanes last season. I had picked up this card hoping to catch him when the Charlotte Checkers were in town, but since he stayed in the NHL I ended up sending it TTM. The card is an OPC Retro rookie and is signed in black sharpie, finding its way back to me after the end of the season. Bellemore had two goals and eight points in 64 games last season, not bad for a 2007 sixth round draft pick!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Connor McDavid

For all the TTM success I had this season, one player I didn't hear back from was Erie Otters center Connor McDavid. Kevin happened to see that Erie was selling signed photos (an 8 x 10 of the team card set design) for a pretty reasonable price, so I grabbed one for each of us. With McDavid projected to be the first pick in the 2015 NHL draft, deals like this may be hard to come by in the future. 
The 17 year old had 28 goals and 99 points last season, 
improving on the 25 goals and 66 points he put up as an OHL rookie. 
The Otters also have signed photos and pucks of 
Andre Burakovsky (Capitals, 2012 - 23rd overall) and Dylan Strome (projected high pick in 2015) available. If they would have had any McDavid pucks still in stock, I probably would have grabbed one of those as well - it would be great to see more OHL teams offer affordable signed products like this and I will definitely be checking back when the season starts. Included with the signed photo was this COA:

Below are McDavid's first 2 cards, from ITG's Heroes and Prospects sets
The one on the right is like the one I sent to him TTM.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tomas Jurco -
2013-14 Grand Radpids Griffins Team Set

During the Grand Rapids Griffins' Calder Cup playoff run last season, a few familiar faces ended up back in town. One player who returned after the Red Wings were eliminated from the playoffs was winger Tomas Jurco, which gave me the chance to add the signed card above to my team set. I now only need Alexey Marchenko and Martin Frk (both will be back next year), 
Patrick Eaves, Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening (tried all TTM; no success so far)
as well as trade deadline loss Calle Jarnkrok.

One interesting note is how Jurco's signature has declined as he hits the "big time" -
it used to be his full name and is now pretty much a J and scribbles.
Here's a look at my TTM while he was in the QMJHL
as well as a signed puck from his first season in Grand Rapids
and a couple of photos
now his auto looks like this on his certified releases (below) and more recently signed cards

Monday, July 7, 2014

TTM: Joel Edmundson

2010-11 and 2011-12 ITG Heroes and Prospects
Mailed: 4/4/14
Received: 4/23/14

While I didn't have any success with the Chicago Wolves in person last season, a few of their players were nice enough to return my TTM requests. Rookie defenseman Joel Edmundson made quite a splash in the AHL last season, and he signed and returned my 2010-11 and 2011-12 ITG Heroes and Prospects card in black sharpie while adding personalization. The St. Louis Blues like Edmundson enough to take him 46th overall in the 2011 draft, and they had to be pretty impressed as he chipped in four goals and eight points while racking up 108 penalty minutes and finishing the season with a +14 rating.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

TTM: Jim O'Brien

2010-11 Score Rookies and Traded
Mailed: 11/10/13
Received: 6/11/14

While the TTM returns haven't exactly been pouring in, this return from Jim O'Brien was a second addition to my 2010-11 Score Rookie and Traded set this summer. A 2007 draft pick of the Senators, O'Brien has bounced between the Binghamton Senators of the AHL and Ottawa for the past five seasons. He's currently a UFA and coming off the second-best season of his minor league career (11G-18A-29pts). He won the Calder Cup in 2011 with Binghamton, and played for the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds before turning pro. He signed my card in blue sharpie through the AHL Sens in about seven months.