1997-98 Collector’s Choice card #279 – Hayley Wickenheiser
Hayley Wickenheiser is similar in many ways to former women’s hockey mainstay Cammi Granato. For numerous years, Granato was the dominant player for – and considered the face of – women’s hockey in the United States. The same is true in Canada for Wickenheiser, who is the team captain of the 2010 Canadian Women’s hockey team. Coincidentally, both women have NHL ties. Cammi’s brother Tony played in the NHL, as did Haley’s cousin Doug.
In 1997, Upper Deck featured several women’s hockey players in their Collector’s Choice set of trading cards. Wickenheiser was on the cusp of what would turn out to be one of the most decorated international careers ever. The back of the card details her performance at the previous season’s Women’s World Championship:
Wickenheiser led Team Canada’s offense at the 1997 Women’s World Championship. She finished second among all scorers with nine points in five games and earned a place on the tournament’s All-Star team.
A member of Canada’s National Team since she was 15, Wickenheiser has amassed an enviable amount of medals. In the annual Woman’s World Championship, she struck gold 6 times (1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2007) and silver thrice (2005, 2008 and 2009). She has also been a part of successful Olympic squads winning 1 silver (1998) and 2 gold (2002, 2006). And that’s just the “big” tournaments. She also won a gold medal while captaining Canada in the 1998 Women’s Under-22 Championship, and won 11 gold medals during the Four Nations Tournament. That adds up to 20 gold medals.
And at only 31 years of age, Wickenheiser has plenty of time to win many more.