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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, November 13, 2013

Joe Dziedzic

Oh, what could have been.  Joe Dziedzic was a highly touted prospect for the Pens organization.  The guy was drafted 61st overall with the Pens third pick in 1990 while still playing for his high school team in Minneapolis.

After winning Minnesota's Mr. Hockey designation as a senior, Joe went on to play for the University of Minnesota for four years, putting up solid numbers for a large winger.  

When he finally made it to the NHL, after scoring 30 points for the Cleveland Lumberjacks in the IHL, the Pens gave him an opportunity to get ice time, logging 69 games. The next season, he was on their checking line because of his size and ability.  He chipped in 5 goals and 5 assists his rookie season and 9 goals and 9 assists in his second year.

Unfortunately for him, his training camp the following year was less than stellar and with Kevin Constantine behind the bench, there was no room for Joe.  He was sent down to Cleveland where he continued to impress with 41 points.  He eventually was signed by Phoenix, played two games, and then spent the rest of the year in Springfield.  An eye injury late in the season forced him off the ice, not only for the year, but for good.

If you believe the internet, he runs a hockey camp for kids in Minneapolis now.

This card comes from the Pinnacle Be A Player set and is signed in black, fine-tip sharpie.

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