Have to love a double mail day!
Ken Appleby was thrust into action due to injuries to Devils goalies Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid. Making it to the NHL as an undrafted player is, in my opinion, quite the accomplishment in its own right.
Ken played in just three games as a Devil, and did not win a game despite an unreal 1.45 GAA and .945 save percentage. He’s now in the New York Islanders system.
I got in touch with Ken Appleby via Instagram, and he immediately agreed to sign a puck for me, provided I get it to him and provide a way to get it back to me. Easy enough. Or so I thought.
As it happens, you cannot print a return label to ship something from Canada to the US. So, I engaged an intermediary. Enter u/UofAThrowAway0292, a Redditor who responded to my request for help. We agreed that if I sent everything to him, he would forward it to Appleby with a return envelope and then he’d send it back to me.
Problem number two. CanadaPost shipping labels expire in 5 days. UofA suggested that was a bad idea, and that perhaps he would just stick some cash in the envelope and Appleby would take it to CanadaPost to send it back.
And that’s exactly what Ken did. Very happy to have it, and I couldn’t be more thankful that Ken was willing to help.
While I was sending this puck up to UofA, he also agreed to help me try to get a puck signed by Karl Friesen.
Karl played 15 years in Germany before coming to North America, first playing for the Devils AHL affiliate, the Maine Mariners. He played in just 4 NHL games for the Devils in 1987 before returning to Germany. He retired from play in 1995, having played 20 years.
Karl’s address was given to me by Jay Noble of Hockey Ink In The Mail. He warned me that he had obtained Karl’s signature years ago, and had no way of knowing if his address was still current.
Took a shot, and UofA did the same treatment as he did for Appleby. To our surprise and delight, Karl turned it right around and sent it back immediately.
Neither of these pucks would have been possible without my Canadian assist from UofA, who volunteered to help simply because it sounded like fun and because he’s a good guy. Obviously, I reimbursed him for all monies spent, but money alone wasn’t enough to get this done. I needed the kindness of a stranger, and I thank him greatly for agreeing to help.