At the Pittsburgh Penguins game on January 6, 2019, the team celebrated the 10th anniversary of its 2009 Stanley Cup Championship. (Wow, a decade has passed; I feel so old.) The Penguins invited back many of the retired players from that roster to join with the current players from that team in the celebration. A few of the current players who have moved on to different teams, such as Marc Andre Fleury, sent video messages to be played during the event.
The Penguins and Upper Deck teamed up and gave to each fan in attendance a nine-card set commemorating that Stanley Cup run. When I heard about this set being released I had to track it down because I had attended all of the playoff games in the Mellon Arena that season and also was in the Joe Louis Arena for Game Seven to see Sidney Crosby and the boys hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup.
But even with this set being connected to an event that I will never forget, my expectations where low. Usually with sets like this, the card companies just print up the same stock photos of the players you see all the time. But when I received these I was pleasantly surprised. Lets take a closer look at this set.
The set’s design is the same as the Upper Deck Series 1 base cards, which I like. It is a very clean design that doesn’t take away from the photos. What I really enjoyed about this set was all of the photos used are photos from the 2009 playoffs, which makes this set very special to me considering I was at all of the games these photos were taken.
Some of the photos are very specific moments for example Jordan Staal’s card features him scoring the the game-winning shorthanded goal to tie the Stanley Cup series at two games each. Looking at that photo takes me back to that night and the loudest I had ever heard that building.
A nice touch by Upper Deck on this one is on the back of each card it states a special moment or contributions a player brought to that team, such as Kris Letang’s overtime winner in game three versus the Capitals which stole a 3 game lead from Washington. Or Marc Andre Fleury’s last second save to clinch Game 7 or Bill Guerin’s veteran leadership on and off the ice.
The checklist is very solid featuring Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Chris Kunitz, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jordan Staal, Sergei Gonchar, Max Talbot, and Bill Guerin. All nine guys were key factors in the Penguins’ Stanley Cup win.
These cards take me back to that series and an amazing time in my life so they have more meaning to me than someone who isn’t necessarily a Penguins fan. But even if you are a casual collector, this is a great set that really captures the Penguins 2009 Stanley Cup run. ■
Travis Shaw is a blue collar steel plant worker from Pittsburgh who is borderline obsessed with everything hockey and is married to a woman who is waaayyyy out of his league. Follow him on Twitter @officialtshaw31