Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wax Stain Wednesday

Wax Stain Wednesday will be a regular feature on Dirty Dangle. Our pal Dave at Wax Stain Rookie is an avid autograph and card collector and has some amazing experiences to share with us. These posts may make you want to buy a Beckett and get those dusty hockey cards out from under your bed that you hide from your girlfriend like a secret porn collection.
Well with the Canadiens falling short of making it to the second round; so ends my Canadiens TTM streak. I have been a fan of Mike Gartner for as long as I have been watching hockey. Hard to believe that someone with 708 career goals could be considered underrated, but I believe that to be true. Often when you look at best of lists, Mike Gartner is usually at or near the bottom of the list, if he is mentioned at all. For example, in 1998 The Hockey News released The Top 100 NHL Players of All-Time. The list was pretty comprehensive and gave some justification to the “greatest” of the player. Mike was listed at 89th on the list. With Eric Lindros sitting 54th on the list, I felt this was another example of Mike Gartner not getting the credit he deserves.

The one mark against Gartner’s career is the fact that he never won a Stanley Cup. I honestly believe that has more to do with his bad luck than it does his ability to win. During the start of the 1993-94 Season, Mike Gartner was a member of the NY Rangers. The Rangers would go on to end a long Cup drought during the spring of ’94, but they would do it without the services of Mike Gartner. Mike was traded for Glenn Anderson just before the trade deadline which meant he would not be a part of that Stanley Cup winning roster. He did do his best for the Leafs scoring 11 points in the playoffs, but they would lose in the Western Conference Finals against the Canucks and that was the closest Gartner would ever get to the Stanley Cup Finals. I honestly think if Mike had remained as a Ranger, he would have his name etched in Silver.

I believe it is important to point out that Gartner did win a few international competitions such as the ‘84 and ’87 Canada Cups and he still holds some NHL records, but often it seems these accomplishments are over-shadowed by what is missing from his resume.

Here are a few interesting stats:

  • NHL Record 15 straight 30+ goal seasons - which was only ended by the 48 game regular season in 1994-95
  • NHL Record 17 30+ goal seasons
  • 708 Career regular season goals is the 2nd most for Right Wingers (Brett Hull has the most with 741)
  • Only Hockey Hall of Fame inductee never to win a Stanley Cup, play in a Cup final, never to win an NHL award or be named to an NHL post-season All Star team
  • Only Phil Housley played more games (1495) without winning a Stanley Cup
  • NHL Skills Competition Record for fastest skater with 13.386 seconds in 1996

I mailed away two cards for him to sign and he signed both with a black sharpie.

I chose this card because it is the oldest Gartner card in my collection. Looking at the photo on the card, it looks like he is standing at attention for the national anthem. I always loved his ‘stache!
I have always loved this set and this card and really wanted to get his signature on it.

One thing that was really cool was when he mailed the cards back to me, he included a top loader to help protect the cards he had signed for me. Even in his retirement, he goes the extra mile!

Like this post? Check out what Wax Stain Rookie found at a recent swap meet.

The Swap Meet


  1. Cool swap collection, i like those gretzkys!

  2. Mike Gartner could fly, it's a shame he never won a cup.

  3. 17, 30 plus seasons
    He sorta has a ugly signature though:)

  4. Love Gartner's dirty stache
    He could skate that guy

  5. Question for Dave

    Have you sent out some good cards to be autographed but they haven't been returned by the player?
    Would suck if they kept them or sold those cards.

  6. Hey James,

    I am still holding out hope for ALL the cards I sent out except for Craig MacTavish who gave me a "Return to sender". However, it has been almost 6 months since I sent out requests to Ron MacLean, Patrick Roy and Kirk Muller. I am beginning to think they aren't coming back but some times you hear about requests showing up over a year after they were sent.

    Some players like Mario Lemieux don't honour TTM requests so if you sent one to him I doubt you would get the cards back.

  7. Thanks Dave

    Mario sounds like a prick. But then again he must get tons of mail with cards in it


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