Card of the Week: Season On Ice

2005 Topps Chronicles #TC8 – On Ice

2005 Topps Chronicles #TC8 - On IceIn 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.

2005 Topps Chronicles #TC8 - On Ice (back)The back shows a Chicago Blackhawks’ ticket sign and gives more information about what went down that fateful day in February 2005:

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.


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

6 thoughts on “Card of the Week: Season On Ice”

  1. I still don’t understand why Topps did not get a license. I miss having many companies competing for our hobby dollars.

  2. I too find it strange. After all, how easy would it have been for the NHL to give licences to Topps as well and rake in all that extra coin? Would UD have liked it? No way. But the NHL just has to tell them to put up with it or kindly send back their own licence (which would never happen).

    Besides, competition wouldn’t hurt at all and would only force card companies to be more innovative (check ING for that one) and work to stand out. Imagine the set we’d be getting if that ever happens!

    1. Maybe after this lockout is said and done, the players and owners will agree to give out a few more licenses, so as to increase the potential “hockey related revenue” that they both want so badly.

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