That's right. You heard me. Jimmy Mann.
Some of you may not be familiar with Mann. He was the Winnipeg Jets (the Phoenix Coyotes Jets, Not the Atlanta Thrashers Jets.) first ever draft pick when they joined the NHL in 1979. The four WHA franchises were not treated well upon entry into the league, and they were given the last four picks of each round. Winnipeg chose Mann out of Sherbrooke 19th overall. He finished his career with 293 games played, 10 goals, 20 assists and 895 penalty minutes.
Quebec then took Michel Goulet 20th. Oops. Other players taken after Mann was chosen include Kevin Lowe, Mats Naslund, Dale Hunter, Neil Broten, Guy Carbonneau, John Ogrodnick, Glen Anderson and some dude named Messier. Oops.
There were a lot of oops by a lot of teams that year.
Jimmy was ranked 17th overall by NHL scouting going into that draft. He had just finished a season in which he score 35 goals, 47 assists for 82 points in 65 games for Sherbrooke. He also recorded 260 penalty minutes. One part of his game translated into the NHL, another part didn't.
As far as regular issue cards, Jimmy had three during his playing days. His '80/81 OPC rookie....
Jimmy's last regular card.
After retirement in 1989, Jimmy became involved in the NHL Oldtimers team. For those of you unfamiliar, it consists of former players (greats, and not so greats) who travel around from coast to coast playing games against local police teams or all star squads with all proceeds going to a local charity.
Among the current participants are Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Bryan Trottier.
But can imagine, being a local guy, getting to lace up against these former NHL'ers, and facing a line consisting of Jimmy Mann, Chris Nilan, Dennis Polonich, Gord Gallant and Larry Melnyk???
It's time to go for a canoe ride boys!!!
If you go to one of these games, you're in for a treat.
Anyways... if I have a point in all of this rambling... it's to stop and take a look at those "no name commons" you may pass over when looking through your sets. There's a story you're missing.