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Welcome to The Real DFG's Pittsburgh Penguin Autograph Project. My goal is to eventually try and get at least one autograph of every player to lace up the skates in an NHL game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. It could have been for one game or 700 games, I will add them. Occasionally I may post cards of former players in their new team uniforms. While the goal is to get autos in Pens uni's, it isn't always possible. Since the team has been in existence since 1967, the list is pretty large. Last I checked, it was somewhere in the range of 624 different players. Currently, I sit at about 100 autographs (with some duplication). Enjoy the posts.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Brian Strait

Strait was selected 65th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Penguins.  He was a hot prospect at that point, having captained the U18 USA team to a gold medal in the IIHF World Championships.  They knew he was a development project but still took a chance with an early third round pick.

Having committed to Boston University to play after high school, he again had the opportunity to serve as captain of Team USA at the 2008 World Junior Tournament (although they only finished fourth).  That year he also served as alternate team captain for Boston U., helping the team win the Beanpot, Hockey East and the NCAA National Championship.

So with that resume, you would think he would be a superstar and leader on the Pens by now.  Unfortunately, that never happened.  He just didn't live up to expectations developmentally for an already deep Pens defensive corp, despite the opportunities in both WBS and the NHL Pens.  This past summer, with the lockout looming, he was picked off of waivers by the Islanders.

With New York, he was able to quickly earn the respect of his locker room and after only 6 games, he signed a 3 year contract extension.  In 19 games, he had 4 points, 10 PIMs, 33 Hits, and 21 Blocked Shots.    So far in the playoffs, he's a minus-1, but has only seen ice time on few occasions (one of which being the "media-contrived-controversy" surrounding his holding call penalty where he dragged Crosby down to the ice).

This card was pulled from a pack of 11-12 Panini Rookie Anthology.  It comes from the 11-12 Leaf Certified Freshman Signatures set.  His signature is anything but Strait though.  Just look at that mess.  It looks almost like it says "Mr. T".  If it wasn't for the jersey number, I wouldn't have known it was his.

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