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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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rick Kehoe

When I think of Rick Kehoe I think of of two words to describe the man...class act!  I have had the opportunity to meet Rick twice in my life, once as a kid and another as an adult (although many would argue I am still a kid).  Both times, he was very cordial, accommodating, and friendly to everyone around him.  He was not intimidated by the crowds that gathered, not afraid to sign autos, and definitely not afraid to answer questions and tell stories.

Kehoe came into the league with the Maple Leafs after being drafted 22nd overall in the second round in 1971.  By 1972, he was on the Leafs full time and led the team in goals in 1973.  But in 1974, his career took off when he was traded to the Penguins for Blaine Stoughton and their 1st rounder in 1977 (which turned out to be Trevor Johansen, how'd that work out for you Toronto?)

He finished his career with 906 games, 371 goals and 396 assists.  That is good enough for third on the all-time Penguins roster, behind a couple of nobodies (Lemieux and Jagr).

After retiring in 1985, Rick became the Director of Pro Scouting for the Pens and was then named as assistant coach in 1986.  He has credit for both of the Stanley Cup's in 1991 and 1992 and he continued to be part of the organization for another 10 years as assistant coach or scout.  Kehoe got his chance behind the bench when he took over for Ivan Hlinka as head coach four games into the 2001-02 season.  He served as head coach from 2001-02 through 2002-03.  Unfortunately, there were few bright spots on those Pens teams and his 55-81-14 record wasn't enough to keep a job.  He went on to coach in WBS for a few games as interim coach but was again replaced.

Last I knew, Rick was a pro scout for the Rangers organization and had been for almost 10 years.  But he will always be known to me as Pen and is even on the list of the top Penguins of all time as voted on by readers of the Trib Total Media outlets in Pittsburgh.

This card was hand signed, unfortunately with a blue ball-point pen.  No real damage other then the ink impression though.  Good thing I have other Kehoe autos in my collection but this is by far my favorite.

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