The role of the enforcer in the NHL was at a crossroads starting with the 2005-06 season. Fighting and physicality were being legislated out of the NHL, as the league was putting an increasing emphasis on speed and skill. But one card company saw fit to put out a set of trading cards — the first, really — that celebrated the enforcer’s role in hockey. Tough Customers, released in 2005-06, showcases 25 of hockey’s most popular — or notorious — tough guys. It’s a neat set for collectors who like cards of “enforcers,” “goons,” and/or “policemen.”
Truth be told, I’ve kind of outgrown the desire to recap the various cards and collectibles that I acquire at shows. Part of it seems like bragging (“Look how much money I spent!”) and part of it seems rather trivial (“Yep, I found that Ilya Bryzgalov rookie card in the quarter box!”). Plus, I’d rather write other articles, like making fun of a horrible hockey card, reviewing the best and worst hockey card sets ever made, re-imagining an old NHL draft, or interviewing a current or former player.
However, in the last Puck Junk Podcast, I *did* say that I would show some of the items that I got at the 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention. So, as promised, here are the highlights of my 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention haul:
Teemu Selanne has a stellar hockey career. He scored 1,457 points in 1,451 games, won the Stanley Cup and had his number retired by the Anaheim Ducks. When he becomes eligible, he will undoubtedly be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. But despite all the goals, assists, awards and other accolades, The Finnish Flash could not get through his career without having at least one awful hockey card — the result of a free-agent signing while overseas and a hockey card company that refused to use Photoshop.
At first glance of Selanne’s card from the 2003-04 In The Game Action set, he appears to be underwater in one of those giant fish tanks you would find at a fancy restaurant; Continue reading “Teemu Selanne’s Worst Hockey Card”
O Canada, the new hockey card set from In the Game, launches today. The focus of the set is on Canadian National Team players, as well as a few “formidable” International foes.
It’s times like this that I really miss competition between hockey card companies. Right now, Upper Deck pretty much runs the show, since they have the exclusive rights to make NHL hockey cards. I admire what ITG has done without having an NHL license, with their sets focusing on international play, or “Heroes and Prospects”.
But it seems that all the cards that ITG makes are so expensive, due to autograph and memorabilia inserts.
And guess what? Upper Deck cards are expensive too. Well, the Victory cards are cheap, but not very exciting.
I guess if I’m going to spend $80 on a box of hockey cards it’s going to be NHL hockey cards.
But maybe I can pick up a base set of these O Canada cards on the cheap.
Click here to find out everything you would want to know about the O Canada set. ■