Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Panini Dominion Brass Bonanza - Pat Verbeek

Time for the penultimate card in my Panini Dominion Brass Bonanza set. Today's card is none other than the great Pat Verbeek:

Mr. Verbeek here is truly a worthy subject for this set. It may sound odd, but I think I was more excited to add Pat's auto to my collection than almost any other from this set. Verbeek was always one of my favorite Whalers, in fact he was my younger brother's all-time favorite Whaler. In my opinion he is one of the under-rated players from the 80s/90s era, if not of all-time. He's got a pretty nice autograph as well, complete with his number 16 inscribed inside the 'P' in his first name. Throw a mullet into the mix and this is a pretty sweet card indeed!

Pat was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 1982 entry draft. After appearing in 6 games in 1982-83 he became a mainstay with the club, playing in all but a handful of the Devils' games over the next 6 seasons. 1987-88 was without question his best season in a Devils sweater, as he scored a career high 46 goals while helping New Jersey to its first playoff berth. Those 46 goals were a team record at the time, although that has since been bested by Brian Gionta who tallied 48 in 2005-06.

After the 1988-89 season, Pat was dealt to the Whalers for Sylvain Turgeon. This was one of the very rare trades where the Whalers actually came out on top, and it's also the reason for this airbrushed disaster from the 89-90 set. It didn't take Verbeek long to become a fan favorite in Hartford. In his very first season with the club he played in every single game, and led the team in scoring with 44 goals and a career-high 89 points! The next season he would again log 40+ goals and 80+ points.

The best part about Verbeek was that he could not only score goals, but he was an absolute annoying pest to play against. He logged a whole lot of penalty minutes just about every year. In his first two years with the Whalers, he not only surpassed the 40-goal mark both times, but he accumulated more than 200 penalty minutes in each of those seasons as well. All told, Pat would spend over 5 years with Hartford, including some time as team captain, before the team dealt him to the Rangers during the 1994-95 season.

After a couple of seasons with the Rangers he would go on to win a Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999. He would even play a couple of seasons with Detroit towards the end of his career.

While with the Wings, Verbeek surpassed both the 500 career goal and 1,000 career point milestones. He would return to Dallas for one final season in 2001-02 before hanging up the skates for good.

Pat Verbeek is the epitome of a hard-nosed, grind-it-out hockey player. Years of pretty much injury-free, scrappy play combined with a goal-scorer's touch resulted in an amazing career. Over 1,400 games played, 500 goals and 1,000 points when all was said and done. His 522 goals rank 33rd on the all-time list. In total he had 13 20-goal seasons, 8 30-goal seasons and 4 40-goal seasons.

If you asked the average hockey fan who the only player in NHL history to record 500 career goals and 2,500 career penalty minutes is, how many would correctly guess Pat Verbeek?

The final card in the Brass Bonanza autograph set is coming later this week!

#9 - Ron Francis (#'d/50)
#10 - Pat Verbeek (#'d/50)


Anonymous said...

Wow - if you'd asked me whether Pat Verbeek reached 500 goals, I'd have said no way at all. He was around a lot longer than I thought.

He also owned the best nickname of all - "the little ball of hate".

Anonymous said...

It's a cool-looking signature, too!

Casey said...

The Little Ball of Hate IS the best nickname of all-time. Better than The Great One, Mr. Hockey, Rocket, etc.

As a B's fan in the early 90's, I loathed Verbeek. As a B's fan in the 10s, I love his modern day equivalent, Marchand. Actually, I have grown to appreciate that type of player: tough, plays with an edge, backs up his mouth, and can score. Steve Ott is probably a better example now that I think about it.

Anyways, awesome card and awesome set, although I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed that Kevin Dineen didn't find his way onto the checklist. When I think of those late 80's/early 90's Whaler teams, Verbeek and Dineen are the first two names that come to mind.

hockey kazi said...

and don't forget about t he farming accident when he cut off his thumb

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