2005 Topps Chronicles #TC8 – On Ice
In 2005, Topps released a set of trading cards called The Topps Chronicles. Each week during the 2005 calendar year, you could buy an exclusive card directly from the Topps’ website for $4.75. The cards were printed on plastic and had a shiny chromium finish.
The Topps Chronicles wasn’t so much a sports/non-sports hybrid set as it was a set about current events. Each card would focus on an event deemed by Topps to be the biggest news of the previous week. Some cards featured entertainment or political news, while other cards were about sports. This card, entitled “On Ice,” discusses the cancellation of the 2004-05 NHL season.
The front of the card has a photo illustration of a chain and a lock–emblazoned with the NHL logo–obstructing our view of the ice at Madison Square Garden. Not the most subtle point, but perhaps better than a picture of Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman picketing in front of Maple Leaf Gardens.
The 2004-05 NHL season became the first in any major American sport to go completely unplayed when Commissioner Gary Bettman cancelled it on February 16. Despite s aeries of last-ditch meetings and concessions on both sides, the NHL and its Players Association could not agree on a new collective bargaining agreement that would provide the “cost certainty” the owners believed to be necessary to proceed.
Did you hear that? The NHL was the first major American sport to cancel an entire season. Suck it, Major League Baseball!
I also like the fact that Topps told it like it was, calling those final meetings “last ditch” and not some wussy euphemism like “11th hour.” Trying to salvage the season in February, when it is all but over, is truly a last ditch effort.
Topps’ license to make hockey cards expired in 2004. Technically, this is the last hockey card they ever made, though it is from a non-hockey set of cards.