Thursday, July 14, 2016

Put Some Ice On It

As I mentioned a few days ago, I pulled my hamstring during a track workout about a week ago and, boy oh boy, has it been sore.  I've since stopped using crutches; however, I still hobble around with the grace and speed of a 90 year old man.  Putting to much strain on the poor muscle causes some pain with significant risk of tweaking it again.

That being the case, I've made sure to keep constant with treatment.  For instance, when it gets particularly sore, I make sure to get some ice on it as soon as I can.  Unfortunately for me, I usually have to resort to frozen vegetables because my ice pack got lost in my most recent move.

Marc, one of the blogosphere's most prominent readers, must have somehow heard about this predicament - somehow, someway.   I don't know how he did, but I received a surprise PWE in the mail this afternoon, chock full of ice.

He even included an appropriately cold stamp too!  I wonder if it bounces...

OK - so, of course I didn't mean that literally.  Ice would not transport well in a paper envelope during the middle of summer.  Rather, Marc gifted me with a solid stash of ice hockey players, specifically new Blackhawks for my All-Time Roster Collection of that particular franchise:

Al Secord was by far the biggest name in the bunch and one of the most prominent names left from the last 40 years of NHL action on my needs list .  Vintage hockey isn't particularly easy to come by, even in a town that has renewed it's love for the Hawks, and Al doesn't pop up too often in modern products.  Therefore, seeing this action portrait of the beloved Chicago winger staring back at me upon opening Marc's envelope was a more than welcome sight.

Both Black and Cummins were a couple of hockey nomads who eventually blew into the Windy City as teammates in the mid to late 90's.  James was a forward who skated for Chicago from 1995-98, with his highest points total in that time being 12 in 65 games.  Meanwhile, Cummins was a right wing known for being an old school enforcer - at 6'2" 200 lbs., he was no small man.  He battered opponents for the Blackhawks from 1994-98, peaking with 199 PIM.

Here's a pair of shiny Upper Deck cards of Dimitri Nobokav and Tuomas Gronman.  Appropriately, Nabokov was a shiny new prospect out of Russia, first round draft pick who did not turn out to be any sort of Diamond, Black or otherwise.  All told, 55 games was the sum total of his NHL career.  Gronman, meanwhile, came out of Finland, drafted 29th overall by the Nordiques with a similarly brief stateside tenure - 38 contests (16 with the Hawks in 97-98).

All that glitters is not gold. 

Here's a couple more mid-90's Indian head sweaters by way of Upper Deck.

Mills time on the ice wasn't too notable or long - 31 games, with zero goals and five assists; however, he found himself in a major trade nevertheless.  Along with Alexi Zhamnov and Ty Jones, Mills was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for franchise icon Jeremy Roenick.  Oopsy on that one.

On the other hand, Leroux was never involved in any trades, good or bad, whatsoever.  He played his entire career in Chicago as a left wing from 1996-2001.

A double dose of Michal, coming right at'cha.

Sykora began his Blackhawks tenure with a little bit of promise in the 1996–97 season, playing in 28 games while recording a respectable +/- of 4 and scoring 1 goal.  However, that was his high-water mark and found himself traded away to Tampa Bay in 1999.

Again, speaking of trades, Grosek ended his prominent stint with the Buffalo Sabres in 2000 by demanding a trade, which was facilitated by Doug Gilmour and JP Dumont going the other way.  However, he went into an immediate decline and never was able to replicate his success in Buffalo.  Grosek has since expressed regret over the trade, calling it a "big mistake." Yes, yes it was - it would have been nice to hang onto Dumont.

Chad Kilger called Chicago home from 1997-99 and in 86 games he scored 36 points.  That promising performance promptly earned him a trade to Edmonton, an all too common tale to Blackhawks fans prior to the current dynastic period.

Kilger notably set the unofficial hockey record for the hardest shot on December 3, 2006, when he was clocked at 106.6 mph. Eat your heart out Aroldis Chapman! Of course, that record has since been broken by Sheldon Souray, who fired a 106.7 mph shot three years later.

The final two cards found in Marc's surprise "icing" were the pair you see above.  While I already had cards of these players nestled into my Blackhawks All-Time Roster Collection, Marc's contributions provide clear upgrades over what was already there.  

Let's see if you can spot the reason why:

That's correct!  These are clearly the wrong teams - a Blackhawks sweater makes everything look better.

These two familiar hockey names both spent a brief amount of time in the Second City during their notable careers - notable for accomplishments in other cities, that is.  Terreri was twice a Stanley Cup Champion, with the Devils in 1995 and 2000; meanwhile, Carney set the franchise record for +/- (+22) rating for the Minnesota Wild during the 2006-07 campaign.

Well, it looks like it's time for me to get up and search for a bag of frozen crinkle cut carrots because this "ice pack" just ran out.  It was nice while it lasted though!

Hey - it gets the job done.

Marc - my hamstring and my hockey fan heart are both immensely grateful for your surprise PWE.  All told, the envelope provided me with 10 brand new players to add to my Blackhawks All-Time Roster Collection binder and 2 Blackhawks upgrades... and I wasn't even expecting it!  I'll make sure to get something back out your way as soon as possible.

In the meantime, it's time for me to go back to actually rehabbing my hamstring... now, what happened to those damn frozen carrots?


  1. Black and Cummings. Man, we had some crappy teams mid 90s.

  2. Good read. I enjoyed the little blurbs about the players.

  3. Glad you liked the surprise and the cards. Thanks for the kind words. Hope the hammy heals soon.