Sunday, November 24, 2013

Signature Sundays - The Courtnalls

If you were an NHL fan in the '80s and '90s there are a few pairs of brothers that you'll instantly recognize from the time period.  Card manufacturers in the early '90s in particular really had a field day with the concept.  Many of the sets of siblings consisted of one real superstar, and a much lesser known brother who just managed to crack an NHL roster.  Wayne and Brent Gretzky, Eric and Brett Lindros, heck I even recall Joe Sakic's younger brother appearing on NHL trading cards.  Other brothers were much more evenly balanced as far as talent goes, guys like the Stastnys and...

...the Courtnalls.  Good God look at that flat top/mullet combo being sported by Geoff.  A haircut only a brother could love.  Well, both brothers were featured on the autograph checklist in 2012-13 Panini Classics Signatures, and both are now part of my collection.

Russ was a high draft pick (7th overall) for the Leafs in 1983, and it's appropriate that he's pictured with Toronto as he played more games with them than with anyone else during his 16-year NHL career.  He really bounced around quite a bit though, spending time with the Canadiens, North Stars/Stars, and Canucks.  He even played a few games with the Rangers before closing out his career with the Kings.  Just shy of 300 goals and 750 points in over 1,000 games played.

Here's older brother Geoff.  Unlike Russ, Geoff was not a top prospect coming into the league, in fact he was undrafted when the Boston Bruins decided to give him a shot.  I have to admit that I was not aware he came up with Boston.  The reason why?  Well, I relied quite a bit on hockey cards to fill in the gaps in hockey history from before I was a fan and before I was born.  Geoff never got a card in a major release until 1989-90, at which point he was with the Capitals.  I don't really understand why he had to appear in 350+ NHL games, and even win a Stanley Cup with Edmonton, before he was finally immortalized on cardboard.

Concussions would force Geoff from the game, but I find it interesting that despite being the undrafted one he had better career numbers than his brother and won a Cup, which is something Russ wasn't able to manage.

Which do you think was the better Courtnall?  Either way, I'm happy to have autographs from both.  This pair takes me to 52 and counting now from this set...

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...