2016 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Goudey #24: Dominik Hasek
Seriously, what is with this card? Why was it even made? Companies like Upper Deck issue these multi-sport sets such as Goodwin Champions, where players are purposely shown outside of a game setting and in plain clothes — so that the companies do not have to pay royalties to the sports leagues.
But why did Upper Deck choose to show Dominik Hasek dressed like this? What’s the appeal of picturing one of the greatest hockey goalies of all time, wearing a black skull cap and jacket? He looks like he’s ready to knock over a liquor store. Or as Don Cherry would say, he’s “gonna steal your hubcaps!”
That smile that Hasek is giving does not make the card any less unsettling, as if his grin is just a ruse to put you at ease before drawing a gun and demanding that you fill his sack with your belongings.
Talking about theft, I am still sore after all these years on how the Buffalo Sabres stole Hasek from the Chicago Blackhawks. OK, he wasn’t actually stolen; rather, then-Hawks GM Mike Keenan traded Hasek for
some used hockey skates Stephane Beauregard, which who in turn was traded for a broken hockey stick Christian Ruuttu. This was the worst trade in Blackhawks history.
Today, I still get teary-eyed whenever I see a Dominik Hasek rookie card and think of what could have been. But still, I’d rather see The Dominator wearing a ‘Hawks jersey — even if it makes me cry — than dressed like a thug who’s going to break into my car. ■
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.