Captain Cammi

1993-94 Classic Pro Prospects card #248 – Cammi Granato

1993-94 Classic Pro Prospects card #248 - Cammi GranatoFor the next two months, the Card of the Week will feature a card of a past Olympic hero, starting with Cammi Granato. She was the team captain of the 1998 U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. It was the first time that women’s hockey was a medal sport at the Olympics, and the U.S. team beat Canada in the final game to win the gold. Continue reading “Captain Cammi”

1990 Indianapolis Ice ticket stub

I didn’t have the time today to do a full write-up, but came across this old ticket stub from 1990 while filing away some team schedules my new friend Bill gave me (thanks, Bill). The stub in question is from a team called the Indianapolis Ice, who for the majority of their existence were the top minor league affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The wavy pink lines make this ticket stub hard to read, so go ahead and click on it to see it more legibly. You’ll notice that it reads Indianapolis Ice vs. Bad Guys..Just lovely. That always made me laugh. So politically un-correct. Not “vs. Opponents” or “vs. TBA”, but against the BAD GUYS!!!

Unfortunately, I did not attend this game. My Mom and Aunt Gayle went to Indianapolis, and my Mom gave me her stub (as well as a few other Indy Ice things). Since this was from a playoff game, the tickets were printed before the opponent–and the date–were known. That makes figuring out the day of this game rather difficult.

The ticket says 1990 Playoff Game I. Since “I” is the 9th letter of the alphabet (last time I checked), that would mean that this game was most likely against the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, since that is the team that they played in Round Two.

During the playoffs, goaltending duties for the Ice were mostly left to Jimmy Waite, with Darren Pang chipping in here and there a few games. The leading playoff scorers for the Ice were Mike Eagles and Mike Stapleton. The Ice won Round One 4-1 over the Peoria Rivermen, and won Round Two 4-1 against Salt Lake. In the third and final round, the Ice swept the Muskegon Lumberjacks 4-0 to win their first and only Turner Cup Championship.

Bittersweet weekend

This weekend has been a mixed bag for me, sapping my will to blog.

First, the bad news. Last Thursday, a former teacher of mine passed away after a long battle with cancer. Jim Sulski was the faculty adviser of The Columbia Chronicle, the school paper of Columbia College. Jim was a big part of why I was successful in and after college. He mentored me even after I graduated, and gave me helpful advice when I was freelancing for Beckett Hockey last year.

I was also sick over the weekend with a sore throat.

And the Blackhawks lost. Twice. Both games they should have won.

Now, the good news. Shellie and I have been dating for two years now as of Sunday. Wow. Time flies when you are having fun. She cooks and is artistic and likes the same kind of movies I do and even laughs at my jokes, funny or otherwise.

Shellie also puts up with me and my hobbies, like card collecting and blogging about card collecting. Hell, she even waited two hours in line to score me an autograph from Brian Campbell today (more on that in a future post).

I also scored that sweet Tony Esposito card–and a few others–to get me a few steps closer to completing my 1973-74 Topps Hockey set.

I am now starting my second week of school at DePaul, and next week I start teaching again at Columbia. I know I can’t do a blog post every day much longer, so let’s just enjoy this while it lasts.

2010 Blackhawks Convention tickets…

…are now on sale, so you better hurry and buy some before they are all gone. Because the team would love you to buy into all the hype.

Two years back, the Blackhawks put their convention passes up for sale in March, if I recall correctly. Last year, the passes went on sale around February. For the 2010 convention, they started¬† hawking (ha!) convention passes back in December 2009. Why so soon? What’s the rush?

“Well, they gotta pay Marian Hossa somehow, right?” suggested my girlfriend Shellie.

Good point. $12 million a season doesn’t raise itself.

Continue reading “2010 Blackhawks Convention tickets…”

Oh noes!!!1! Chris Chelios arrested!

Chris Chelios–my favorite hockey player of all time–was arrested for drunken driving in late December. Yeah, old news by now. The story was reported on Tuesday, January 6. It’s still sinking in for me. The story was reported on the news in Chicago and Detroit, as well as The Hockey News. I’m sure it was reported on in Montreal too; the city where he broke into the NHL.

It’s funny how the Chicago report uses his full name, Christos K. Chelios. They only give you the “full name treatment” if you die or commit a crime.

Ironically, after Tuesday night’s game in Hamilton against the Bulldogs, Chelios commented about a bad call by a referee, suggesting that perhaps the ref was “hung over.” But when asked about his DUI charge, Chelios immediately left the locker room. He can dish it out, but can’t take it.

Sigh.

This is not how I want to remember Chris Chelios. This is not how I want the world to remember Chris Chelios. Speaking of “the world,” a DUI is not the end of the world. And fortunately, no one was hurt. But still, a bit of irresponsibility for someone I look up to.

As it stands now, Chelios has a lot of critics–and this won’t help. He is 47 and playing for the minor-league Chicago Wolves of the AHL. He’s trying to work his way back into the NHL, but it seems the popular fan sentiment is that he is making a fool of himself and should retire.

I don’t think so. As long as the heart (and the legs, and the lungs, etc.) are willing, he should keep playing. As is the tag line of one of my favorite personal care product goes, Chelios should “stay in the game.

 

Why I’m glad USA won the WJC

The World Junior Championship is over. Team USA beat Team Canada 6-5 in OT, winning the gold for the first time since 2004.

I’m not glad that USA won because I was intently following the tournament. I’ve watched a game here and there, and being in school tonight I was only able to catch midway through the third to the end of the final game.

I’m not glad that that USA won because I’m some sort of super patriot. I think overzealous displays of nationalism are borderline embarrassing in this day and age of the “global village.”

I am glad that USA won because it will quell the talk of how the Canadian team was “supposed” to win this year, how it was their “destiny” or whatnot.

But not this time.

Yes, the rest of us get it. Canada invented ice hockey. Canadians make the best hockey players…though the best hockey player in the world right now is Russian. Canada getting a silver medal in a hockey tournament is as unfathomable as USA getting a silver medal in Olympic basketball. But it happens.

Perhaps I’m a little glad about this because it might get more American kids interested in hockey, just like the 1980 Olympics inspired one generation to lace ’em up, while watching Wayne Gretzky play in Los Angeles inspired the next group.

No, a US victory at the WJC probably wont’ have the same effect. But in the end, Canada will up their game and most likely win the gold next year. Then the US, as well as the other countries, will bring it to the next level too.

Then the game of hockey will get even better, and everyone wins.

2009-10 MVP pack

I purchased a pack of 2009-10 Upper Deck MVP hockey cards the other day. $1.99 (plus tax) gets you 8 cards. That’s pretty good, considering that a pack of Fleer Ultra only nets you 5 cards for that price, while an 8-card pack of Upper Deck costs $1 more at $2.99. Fittingly, last year’s Stanley Cup MVP Evgeni Malkin is on the MVP card wrapper. Anyway, on to the cards!!!

Card #248, Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames – Getting “iggy” with it. A good way to start off this pack. Not only is the guy a superstar, but he’s an Olympian too. 2010 will be his third Olympic tournament.

Card #176, Keith Ballard, Florida Panthers – Hey Keith, watch that stick!
Card #200, Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars – Eriksson will represent Sweden in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Card #156, Marek Zidlicky, Minnesota Wild –¬† Zidlicky will also appear in the Olympics this year, playing for the Czech Republic.
Card #275, Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins –¬† Bergeron currently leads the Bruins in scoring. Oh yeah, he’ll be in the Olympics too, playing for Team Canada.
Card #63, Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins – Man, there are some great cards in this pack!
Card #132, Shea Weber, Nashville Predators – Another guy who will play for Canada in the 2010 Olympics, Weber is one of my favorite defensemen of today.
Card #325, Alexander Sulzer, Nashville Predators – MVP Rookies are seeded 1 in every 2 packs. Believe it or not, Sulzer will be in the Olympics too, for the German team.

Overall, this was a pretty sweet pack. Some superstars and some Olympians, and a rookie card.

My biggest problem with Upper Deck MVP is the shiny foil silver facsimile autograph on the front of each card. I collect autograph cards TTM, but I don’t like getting MVP cards signed because they already have a pre-printed ‘graph on it…and that just looks silly when you get a real autograph on it.

I can also do without all the other shiny stuff. The Upper Deck logo in the corner I can live with, but the MVP logo should have been smaller. Instead, that garish blob of silver becomes the first thing your eye notices.

But believe it or not, I still like these cards. They’re pretty good looking (for MVP, anyway). Hey, at least Upper Deck retired that shield-type design that they used every year since 2006.

I’m totally going to see this

You may have seen commercials for a movie called The Tooth Fairy during the Winter Classic on Friday. Here is the official trailer for that film.

Oh man, where is the downside? This could be one of those so-bad-it’s-awesome kind of films. It’s about the meanest, roughest pro hockey player who has to become a tooth fairy. As if the irony of that isn’t delicious enough, it stars Duane “The Rock” Johnson as the main character. “The Tooth Fairy” comes out on January 22. It will probably suck, but probably end up being unintentionally funny in the process too.