Friday, April 4, 2014

Scoring with American Red Cross Mystery Pucks

Most recently, the Iowa Wild hosted a "Mystery Puck" night. Fans could buy a red-wrapped puck for $10, signed by an Iowa Wild player. A select number of these pucks also featured bigger prizes, such as trips, with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross of Greater Iowa.

The back of the pucks featured the American Red Cross logo and the fronts contained the Iowa Wild AHL logo and an Iowa Wild player "mystery" auto. Some of the autographs were a bit hard to read, even with samples of each player's handwriting posted and most of the signers adding their uniform number on the puck.

 
My wife and I bought three pucks. While we weren't fortunate enough to win a trip or one of the other big prizes, we were pretty happy with the autographed pucks we ended up with.
 
My wife drew first blood with her puck, autographed by left winger Brad Winchester #22. Originally a member of the Chicago Blackhawks Rockford affiliate, Winchester was one of the those visiting players you loved to hate and we delighted in yelling at him whenever he'd take the ice in Des Monies. 
 
However, in February Winchester and defenseman Zach Miskovic were traded to Iowa from Chicago, in exchange for defenseman Brian Connelly. Overnight, Winchester went from being one of the "bad guys" to one our hometown "heroes." No matter how you view him, though, you have to like his style of play. 
 
As for Miskovic, I like him. Playing for the Wild gives him yet another hockey opportunity in the Hawkeye state, after having played three years for the United States Hockey League's Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Roughriders.

My first puck was rather easy to figure out - left winger Brett Bulmer #17.  Bulmer has 11 goals and eight assists in 43 games at Iowa, despite missing more than 30 games due to a knee injury. At 6-foot, 3-inches, he's a big body and may be better suited as a defensive winger.


Our final puck took a bit more to figure out. If it weren't for the autographs we got at a Wild Season Ticket Holder function, we wouldn't have been able to determine this chicken-scratch belongs to forward Raphael Bussieres #18.

A second-round pick, Bussieres has five goals and 14 assists, with a +/- rating of -5 in 58 games at Iowa this year. Not too bad statistically, considering this is his first pro season after having played his last three seasons at Baie-Comeau of the QMJHL. Last year, he was third overall in regular season scoring (69), third overall in goals and fourth in assists with the Drakkars.

I've already had an offer to trade this puck for one of left winger Kris Foucault. Even though I think Bussieres is younger and has more upside, I already have a couple of nice autographed cards of Foucault and feel an autographed Foucault puck would be a nice addition.

Those cards include a 2012-13 Dominion Autographed Rookie Patches Parallel S/N 31/72 and a 2012-13 Dominion Peerless Patches Autographs S/N11/40. The first, a buddy sent to me when he found out Des Moines was getting the Wild's top affiliate, the other, an E-Bay find.
 
Overall, I think the fans were pretty happy with this mystery puck promotion. It helped raise money for a very good cause and it helped get some nice collectibles into the hands of a lof of happy Iowa hockey fans.

1 comment:

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