Saturday, December 19, 2015

TGC's 10... err 49 Most Wanted.

After completing my first ever signed set a few months back, I've been wanting to put in more effort on The Big One, my 2002-03 Topps Total signed set.  As of right now, I'm 49 away from finishing it off.

The Final 49
And so, I likely will need some assistance. Here's a little about each...

9 Paul Kariya: Will likely need a trade and a miracle; Kariya was not a good in-person signer and sends an auto-penned photo via mail.

11 Patrick Roy: I may have a chance. Even though he sends a pre-signed photo via mail, I might have a shot at him in-person when the Avs come to Dallas later this season.

15 Jiri Fischer: Apparently signs via mail! I will have to give him a try soon.

17 Steve Sullivan: 0/2 so far via mail. I tried him with Nashville in 2007 or so, and again via the Phoenix Junior Coyotes. I saw a few successes on him lately via the big club in Arizona, so I may try again there.

22 Adam Foote: Does not sign via mail, hoping he might travel with the Avs later this season.

40 Jason Woolley: Doesn't sign via mail. Currently a player agent. Was a decent signer as a player, so I bet someone out there has it.

47 Jon Klemm: Coaches in Dallas! Here's to hoping he might do a few events with the Stars Alumni soon. If not, I could drop in at a game involving the team he coaches and try him afterward.

68 Pavel Bure: Does not sign via mail, may live in Russia. I'm 1/2 on him via mail, but that success was in 1997. Most graphers likely would have gotten him on pucks or photos than cards, so my chances on getting this one are very low.

80 Jason Allison: Also not signing via mail, he's a coach in Mississauga. I contacted him via email, but I'm not counting on much. I did see one on Amazon for $13 if worst comes to worst.

84 Tony Amonte: Not a good TTM signer-- nothing since 2008 or so. Currently coaches in Massachusetts. I may try emailing him as well.

93 Cory Stillman: Hasn't signed TTM in ages. Works with the Carolina Hurricanes, but no known successes since 2011. Somehow I missed out on him with the Lightning twice in 2003-04.

109 Oleg Petrov: Apparently he lives in Montreal according to an article from about a year ago. Saw a success on him via the Canadiens Alumni, but two unsuccessful attempts since.

165 Janne Laukkanen: I tried mailing him with his team in Finland, but haven't had any luck there yet. I'm still holding out hope until it hits a year.

182 Daymond Langkow: It seems like he's just dropped off the face of the earth. I haven't heard anything about him playing or coaching anywhere. I did find an address on him that I'll try soon.

191 Sergei Zholtok: Zholtok dies in 2004. I have nearly tapped out my resources on finding one already signed. I hold out hope, but it's incredibly low. I have three other cards of his signed that I'd offer as trade bait just in case someone out there has it.

193 Mike Richter: Richter used to sign via mail, but you wouldn't get your card back. Apparently his mother had a bunch of signed cards and would replace your unsigned card with one he signed. But that doesn't seem to have gone on for a while.

203 Lubos Bartecko: Was a good signer up until 2013 or so, and I found an address on him. I'll probably give it a shot soon.

206 Shayne Corson: Shayne used to sign through the wine bar he owns, but I haven't seen anything from him in a long time. Hoping maybe someone got the Topps Total card signed somewhere along the way...

208 Patrik Elias: Signs TTM. Not too worried about him and I'll try him soon.

212 Ivan Novoseltsev: Your guess is as good as mine. He played in Russia from 2006 through 2010, so I'm assuming he still lives there. I'm not counting on much.

215 Alex Tanguay: Got a TTM request out to him. Hoping for the best, not too worried.

218 Scott Walker: Hasn't been a reliable signer via mail in a while. Currently works in Vancouver's front office. I'm hoping maybe a Vancouver 'grapher out there might have access to him.

226 Donald Brashear: Apparently he's still playing in the LNAH. But he's never been a good TTM signer. I'm not betting on much here. Hoping for a trade somewhere.

231 Roman Cechmanek: Tried him TTM in the Czech Republic. Waiting patiently...

236 Pascal Dupuis: Tried him TTM via the Penguins. Not too worried. Good luck in retirement, sir.

250 Teemu Selanne: I don't trust Teemu's TTM sigs. There are enough red flags compared to his IP sigs that I don't trust them. But he's been around long enough and a good signer IP long enough that I'm sure this card exists signed somewhere out there.

251 Vladimir Orszagh: Hells bells, I have no idea where he is. He played in Slovakia and Sweden after leaving the NHL and hasn't played since 2006. I'm probably screwed here.

252 Brad Ference: I had a success on Ference by mail in 2007 or so, but he kept my Topps Total card and only sent back the other one I sent. He's a firefighter in Calgary. I may try mailing up there and hoping for the best.

254 Vitali Yachmenev: Tried him via mail six months ago. As Tom Petty sang "The wait is the hardest part."

261 Owen Nolan: Haha, yeah. Nolan hated signing. Period. I never saw him pick up a pen at all as a Leaf. And I haven't seen anything from him via mail. So I'm not too hopeful here.

285 Jan Hlavac: Saw a success on him recently and found an address. Here goes nothing...

286 Jamal Mayers: I'm 0/1 on Mayers by mail. He's a broadcaster in St. Louis but doesn't sign by mail. I think he was a decent signer as a player though.

289 Steve Yzerman: Doesn't sign TTM (stamp-n-trace 99% of his career), rough in person, but does a few signings at shows... for about $200 a pop. I'll need some luck.

305 Lubomir Visnovsky: I'm 0/1 on Lubo from a few years ago. He normally was good via mail. He's a free agent right now but I have no address on him. I'm hoping he might sign somewhere but time is running out on his career.

314 Mark Messier: I have a way outside shot of an Edmonton collector possibly getting him for me. But I'm a ways down the depth chart.

319 Joe Sakic: See Roy and Foote. If he travels and I can go for the Avs, I'm golden.

334 Todd Bertuzzi: Bertuzzi is on approximately the same level as Kariya, Nolan, Yzerman, and Messier for personality, but with about half the talent. He's another where it will take a lot of luck to get my card signed.

341 Tommy Salo: Salo was fired from his post as GM of Leksands IF last season. I have no idea where he is. He was a good signer both TTM and IP as a player though, so I'm hoping that starts again if he gets hired elsewhere or that someone has one for trade.

346 Sergei Zubov: Zubov was a tough signer in his NHL days. Hard to get in-person, and never signed by mail. He's now a coach in the KHL. In other words, forget it. Another that will require some luck.

348 Lubomir Sekeras: According to SCN, someone had a success on him via a home address in 2015. He also is Vice President of the European University Hockey League. Definitely will be sending to him soon.

349 Espen Knutsen: I haven't seen a success from Knutsen in over ten years, not even through the team he coaches in Norway. I'm hoping someone in Columbus or a city the Blue Jackets played at might have one for trade.

354 Miroslav Satan: Another I'm waiting on, but with limited hope. I haven't seen a success from him in a year. Maybe he's a once-a-year-in-bulk signer.

363 Andrei Nikolishin: Based on a 2013 article on a Capitals blog, Andrei is back in Russia, and even had a KHL tryout last season with Dynamo Moscow. So I have to hope someone stateside has him for trade. I keep getting him mixed up with Sergei Krivokrasov for some reason.

369 Brendan Shanahan: Charges a ton in private signings, at least $75 per card, I believe. Only sent out pre-signed photos through his NHL office and now through the Leafs. Here's to hoping maybe someone got him somewhere along the line.

375 Steve Thomas: Coach in Tampa. Looks like he avoids small envelopes via mail (seen a lot of card requests go unanswered) but is okay with big ones (saw a success on a photo) so I may try a photo with a card and hope that gets through.

377 Richard Zednik: After surviving a sliced neck from a skate blade in 2008, Zednik played in Russia, Slovakia, and Sweden over two seasons before going into coaching in Slovakia. I haven't seen anyone try mailing him with his team there, but I may just give it a go.

389 Igor Korolev: Igor was killed in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash in 2011. I'm hoping maybe a Chicago-area collector might have this one as he spent one more season in Chicago after the card came out.

390 Ladislav Nagy: He's currently with a team in Slovakia, so I may try there. I haven't seen anyone test him out through them yet.

405 Dmitri Bykov: After the 2002-03 season, Bykov returned to Russia and last played in 2014-15 with a team in Bulgaria. I'm not too hopeful on this one-- I feel like this could be the toughest one to find signed or even to get signed in this set.

So there's the 49 Most Wanted. Can anyone help me out?

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