The Ballad of Shawn Hunwick

Shawn_Hunwick_TV
[Credit: NBC / YouTube]

Hello Sports Fans and welcome to another installment of, “Why God, Why Would You Give Me THIS Pack of Cards?” A few months ago I celebrated my birthday by buying too many hobby boxes of hockey cards because…

A) it’s fun, and

B) it’s my birthday and my wife can’t say anything. (Love you, honey!)

Plus that gives me plenty of fodder to write blog posts about!

One of the boxes I got was Panini’s 2012-13 Rookie Anthology, and when I buy hobby boxes, I play the numbers: what’s the price versus how many (and how good) are the hits!

It’s simple math but I’ll spell it out in different terms. You could throw down $20 for that CD of Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits! And you know it’s packed with awesome tunes like Mandy, and Copacabana, and that song about writing songs…it’s pretty much gold! But $20, that’s a lot of clams for 15 songs (Hey, he’s gotta save something for Greatest Hits 4, right?) So you look in the dust bin and find a cassette of Wang Chung’s Greatest Hits for 99 cents! Wang Chung had TWO good songs — that’s less than 50 cents per awesome song! Your mom’s Cavalier still has its tape deck after all; it’s hipster-relevant! So, that’s why I buy those Wang Chung Hobby Boxes.

Where were we…Oh right, Panini’s Rookie Anthology ’12-13. According to the box, you get “One Rookie Treasure Autograph Jersey Per Box.” And my draw from this box was THIS card of a hot up and comer named (drum roll, please)…

Shawn_HunwickShawn Hunwick  of the Columbus Blue Jackets! Autographed, signed, numbers and dual swatched, it’s a pretty nice looking, thick card! I haven’t heard of him but he’s a CBJ and a rookie, so he might just be marinating in the minors until Side Show Bobrovsky needs a break. The back of the card reads:

“He may be the NHL’s shortest goalie since Darren Pang, but there are plenty of shooters who’ll tell you not to overlook Hunwick. A fierce battler blessed with great technique, he walked on with Michigan in 2007. Four years later, he guided the Wolverines to the NCAA Final. Hunwick is one to watch.”

Wow, glowing review; this kid must be the real deal! I wonder how he’s doing these days? TO WIKIPEDIA!!!

“He played in one National Hockey League (NHL) game…Hunwick made his NHL debut, coming on to replace Mason for the final 2:33, in a 7-3 home victory over the New York Islanders on April 7, 2012.”

If your team is up 7-3, you could probably finish the game with an open net and still skate away with a win. Other professional career highlights include (another drum roll, please…..) retiring in 2013. He played about 15 more games in the minors in between.

Let’s look at some numbers since I like price shopping for value so much. He played two minutes and thirty three seconds in the NHL. Remember how I said this was a numbered card? It’s numbered 018 of 699. This guy had to sign his name for these cards SIX HUNDRED AND WAYNE GRETZKY TIMES!!! I will guarantee that it took him longer to sign his name on them than it took for his entire NHL career! Don’t believe me? Try it! Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Finished? Of course you’re not, because you’re lazy like me!

But not Shawn Hunwick; he busted his hump to go from obscurity, clawed through the NCAA, and got up to playing 2:33 more minutes that you and I will ever see in the NHL.

So you know what? Shawn deserves some love! Bring his name up in conversation anytime you can this week and make people remember who this guy is:

“Hey man, sorry I’m running late, but I’ll be there in less time that Shawn Hunwick spent on the ice.”

Or, “Wow, that was the longest Ramones song I’ve ever heard. Epic, but still not as long or as epic as Shawn Hunwick’s NHL career.”

Or even, “Honey, I really like you, but Shawn Hunwick time on ice lasted longer than you did last night and I think we should see other people.”

Hopefully with all of your valiant efforts, this card will have a little value when I try to sell it next week.

Jim Howard is a Carolina Hurricanes fan and reformed baseball card collector who is trying to keep the hockey collection from becoming overwhelming. And while he wishes he could give Crosby the business with his mitt, he is in fact NOT the goalie for the Red Wings.

6 thoughts on “The Ballad of Shawn Hunwick”

  1. I’m a CBJ fan who lives in South Carolina, so in 2012-13 I caught an ECHL game in Greenville, S.C. against the South Carolina Stingrays. Hunwick was backing up for the Stingrays at the time and I went down to the glass, eventually catching his attention and showing him the CBJ logo on the shirt I was wearing. I probably wasn’t in the surest state of mind and figured this man might like to see someone who recognized him, who cheered for him and sought him out special.

    There’s a good chance he didn’t understand my gesticulating and I know he couldn’t hear me, but he looked at me like I was a f—ing loon. Understandably. Still loved his 2:33 and will always remember watching that 2:33, giggling at the little goalie playing at in a meaningless game at the end of another lost Columbus season.

  2. I was at Nationwide Arena the game Hunwick got to play his 2:33. It was actually pretty cool, kind of “Rudy”esque. From what I recall, a last minute injury left the Jackets with no backup goaltender. The GM called this kid from University of Michigan and he drove a few hours down I-71 to sit on the bench in the big leagues (it was so last minute, that if you look at pics from the game he was even wearing his Michigan pads). With a few minutes left in a game that didn’t matter, I believe it was RJ Umberger that asked the coach to put the kid in. The coach obliged, and Hunwick was greeted with a huge ovation. I don’t think he even faced a shot on goal, but it was a very cool moment!

  3. Thanks for the stories, guys.

    I thought that Hunwick was backup in a few games, but only played 2:33 the very last time he suited up for CBJ.

  4. Goalies are getting so humongous-big these days, that we’ll not see another mighty-mite like Mr. 2:33 again unless they’re really, really special. These days he’s moved on to bring an agent (I wonder who he represents?) and he’s on twitter. I’d hope he’d get a laugh if he googled his name and this post came up.

    Thanks for sharing, guys!

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