Roast Duck

1993-94 Classic Draft Picks card #113 – Paul Kariya

1993-94 Classic Draft Picks card #113 - Paul KariyaClassic Games put out a few nice cards in the early-to-mid 1990s. This isn’t one of them. Supposedly, the illustration of the hockey player on fire is Anaheim Mighty Ducks draft pick Paul Kariya. At least that’s what the name at the bottom of the card says.

Classic’s focused on draft picks and minor league prospects. Most didn’t pan out, but a few like Kariya would go onto NHL superstardom. Classic was so excited about the potential of Kariya becoming an NHL superstar that they commissioned this awful painting of him. Notice that it looks nothing like him.

Paul KariyaAlso, unless you are the Human Torch, being on fire sucks. And being on fire while ice skating will cause the ice to melt, which may lead to drowning. Where is the upside in this scenario?

Hey Paul – stop, drop and roll already!

1993-94 Classic Draft Picks card #113 - Paul KariyaThe back of the card has a huge block of repetitive text that I won’t bore you with, except for this one key detail:

At age 17, Kariya was already being called “The Wayne Gretzky” of collegiate hockey.

Never mind the fact that Classic got his age wrong (he was 18 when he debuted with the University of Maine.) Kariya scored 100 points in 39 games during his freshman year. I can see the scenario unfold now between two executives at Classic Games, circa 1993.

Exec #1: Wow! That Paul Kariya kid sure is on fire this season.

Exec #2: That’s it! We should make a trading card of Paul Kariya on fire!

Exec #1: Um, he’s Canadian – not flame retardant.

Exec #2: Fine…we’ll hire some guy to do a mediocre painting of Paul Kariya on fire.

One thing I do like about this card is that it conjures up happy memories of watching MTV in the mid 1990s, back when the station actually showed music videos. In particular, the flaming Kariya card reminds me of the song “California” by Wax. The band was forgettable, but the video was not. Directed by Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are), it depicts a man on fire running down the street in slow motion.

Not ringing any bells? Here’s the video:

Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

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