autographed hockey memorabilia



autographed hockey memorabilia
Agreement No.
We carry the largest quantity of autographed hockey memorabilia on the planet. All signatures
are clean and come with a certificate of authenticity. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.
Auto. 8X10 Cup Photo ...........$65
Auto. 16X20 Photo..................$86
Auto. Penguins Puck ..............$65
Auto. Mini-Goalie Mask...........$89
Auto. Goalie Stick .................$229
Auto. Penguins Pro Jersey ...$449
Auto. 8X10 Photo.................$149
Auto. 16X20 Photo...............$169
Auto. Capitals Puck..............$149
Auto. McFarlane Figurine.....$159
Auto. Stick............................$269
Auto. Capitals Pro Jersey.....$549
Auto. 8X10 Photo (Mtl/Col) ..$149
Auto. 16X20 Photo (Mtl/Col) .......$179
Auto. Puck (Mtl/Col) .............$149
Auto. Mini-Mask (Mtl/Col).....$179
Auto. Goalie Stick.................$399
Auto. Canadiens Replica Jersey....$349
GORDIE HOWE® Mr. Hockey®
Autographed 8X10 Photo...................$39
Autographed Habs Puck ....................$39
Autographed Habs Replica Jersey ..$279
Autographed 8X10 Photo (Bos/Col) .......$89
Autographed 16X20 Photo (Bos/Col) ...$109
Autographed Puck (Bos/Col)..................$89
Autographed Pro Jersey (Bos/Col).......$429
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$29
Autographed 16X20 Photo .....................$49
Autographed Leafs Puck ........................$29
Autographed McFarlane Figurine...........$42
Autographed Leafs Pro Jersey.............$399
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$49
Autographed 11X14 Photo .....................$59
Autographed Bruins Puck.......................$49
Autographed McFarlane Figurine...........$75
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$46
Autographed Hawks Puck ......................$46
Autographed Mini-Goalie Mask ..............$79
Autographed Hawks Replica Jersey ....$279
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$39
Autographed 16X20 Photo .....................$59
Autographed Ducks Puck.......................$39
Autographed Ducks Pro Jersey............$399
Autographed 8X10 Photo (Cal/Tor) ........$49
Autographed 16X20 Photo (Tor).............$69
Autographed Puck (Cal/Tor) ...................$49
Autographed McFarlane Figurine...........$69
Autographed Leafs Pro Jersey.............$399
The newest edition of our catalog/newsletter will be ready for
shipping in October. It contains the most comprehensive selection
of signed and unsigned hockey memorabilia available anywhere
on the planet. Please call or email for your complimentary copy. COMING SOON
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$39
Autographed Capitals Puck....................$39
Autographed Capitals Pro Jersey.........$399
Autographed 8X10 Photo .....................$179
Autographed Red Wings Puck .............$179
Autographed McFarlane Figurine.........$189
Autographed Red Wings Pro Jersey ....$799
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$59
Autographed 16X20 Photo .....................$79
Autographed Blackhawks Puck..............$59
Autographed McFarlane Figurine...........$75
Autographed Hawks Replica Jersey ....$299
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$49
Autographed 16X20 Photo .....................$69
Autographed Flames Puck .....................$49
Autographed Mini-Goalie Mask ..............$89
Autographed Flames Pro Jersey..........$399
Autographed 8X10 Photo .....................$119
Autographed Canucks Puck .................$119
Autographed Mini-Goalie Mask ............$169
Autographed Goalie Stick.....................$269
Autographed Canucks Pro Jersey........$499
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$49
Autographed 16X20 Photo .....................$69
Autographed Stars Puck ........................$49
Autographed Stars Pro Jersey .............$399
Autographed 16X20 Photo .....................$59
Autographed 12X36 Panoramic .............$59
Autographed Blue Jackets Puck ............$39
Autographed Blue Jackets Pro Jersey .$399
10 Buttermill Ave., Concord, ON L4K 3X4
Order Line: 1-800-461-0965
Inquiries & Catalog Requests : 905-760-8404 Fax 905-760-8410
Official Merchandise Partner of the National Hockey League
Autographed 8X10 Photo (Mtl/LA) .........$39
Autographed Puck (Mtl/LA) ....................$39
Autographed Habs Replica Jersey.......$279
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$59
Autographed Leafs Puck ........................$59
Autographed McFarlane Figurine...........$79
Autographed Leafs Replica Jersey ......$279
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$45
Autographed 16X20 Photo .....................$65
Autographed Lightning Puck ..................$45
Autographed Lightning Pro Jersey .......$399
Autographed 8X10 Photo (Bos/SJ) ........$49
Autographed 16X20 Photo (Bos/SJ) ......$69
Autographed Puck (Bos/SJ) ...................$49
Autographed McFarlane Figurine...........$75
Autographed Pro Jersey (Bos/SJ)........$399
Autographed 8X10 Photo .......................$39
Autographed CCCP Puck.......................$39
Autographed Stick ................................$199
Autographed CCCP Jersey ..................$199
Autographed 8X10 Photo (NYI/Pgh) ......$32
Autographed Puck (NYI/Pgh) .................$32
Autographed Islanders Pro Jersey .......$399
Autographed 16X20 Limited-Edition
Lithograph (17 signatures) ........$299
1. All prices are listed in Canadian funds
2. Minimum postage 8x10s - $7, Pucks $9, Jerseys,
Masks, 16x20s, Figurines $10, Sticks, Cups $25
3. All items are genuine. Your satisfaction is
Want List
Premiere Issue
Volume 1, Number 1
e all remember our first pack of hockey cards. I was six years old, the season was 1980-81,
and the gum was O-Pee-Chee. After a few dozen packs, I was hooked. I had those cards with
me when we visited family friends in Kelowna and I found a shoebox of older hockey cards
under a bed. They were 1978-79 and 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee cards, the Gretzky rookie included.
I still have all my old hockey cards, many of which are wrinkled and have rounded corners.
Okay, so I have actually “upgraded” many of my wrinkled cards, but the original Gretzky is still
in my collection. It wouldn’t be worth much on the secondary market because of its condition, but
I don’t think I will ever let it go. It has been the prize of my collection ever since I first discovered it all those years ago.
In launching this first magazine, we hope to encourage a new generation to discover their firsts
in the collecting world. Be it a pack of cards, a figure, a signature, or even game-used memorabilia, there is no better connection to Canada’s favourite winter sport.
There will be a new issue every two months starting with this special Premiere Issue. Every
issue will showcase the newest and coolest from the hockey collectibles marketplace. Additional
resources like calendars, price guides and checklists can be found online at
We encourage hockey fans to stay involved with the hobby and email us their collecting stories at [email protected] We encourage collectors to post their want lists for free online via
[email protected]; we want subscribers to publish their want lists in our magazine. So send
us your feedback and let us know what you would like to see in the magazine and what you would
like to find online at our website. We’ll be happy to hear from you.
As a quick side note to those that subscribed to the retired title Canadian Sports The Magazine: readers that had an outstanding subscription have been mailed one free copy of this issue.
The same was done for readers whose subscriptions ended in 2008. For more information, please
email us at [email protected]
The Want List ([email protected])
Publisher: Up North Productions
Production Manager: Lisa Scott
Subscriptions: One year (6 issues) $23.98 CAN (GST included); NS, NB, NL $26.25 CAN (HST included); Two
years (12 issues) $44.98 CAN (GST included); NS, NB,
NL $49.25 (HST included). Please email for US rates.
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Asssumes that letters to any department and all unsolicited
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deemed accepted upon publication. Payment will be made
in the month following publication. The Want List reserves
the right to edit all material submitted, solicited or unsolicited.
Editorial Policy:
The Want List is a hobby magazine endeavouring to bring
sports collectibles news and views to its readers with the
major emphasis on Canadian sports cards and memorabilia.
Opinions expressed in signed columns, stories and letters
are not necessarily those of The Want List.
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Our next issue mails late October 2009. Material deadline is Oct. 9, 2009. Contact [email protected]
The Want List : Table of Contents
WANTED - News and notes from the hobby, including Oct. 2 Heritage Auctions
GAME JERSEYS - The trail of Pittsburgh Penguins’ game-worn jerseys
SET OF YEAR -2008-09 Upper Deck is selected Hockey Card Set of the Year
CARD REVIEW - Review of all the 2008-09 hockey sets
DRAFT DAYS - Why this year’s draft is good for the hockey-card market
THE ROOKIES - A sneak-peak at some of this year’s rookie prospects
09-10 PREVIEW - What to expect from the 2009-10 hockey-card season
JOE SAKIC - Must-have collectibles to build your very own tribute collection
VINTAGE CARDS - 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee is hockey’s classic card set
HOCKEY CARDS - Collectors inspire new In The Game 1972 series
HERSH REALITY - Stanley Cup champion Marc-André Fleury
DON CHERRY - Don Cherry’s favourite hockey memorabilia
The 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee hockey set
leads a group of 10 classic sets from
1951 through 1989. Check out the
vintage section starting on
page 36
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 5
New home sought for “priceless” Maple Leaf Gardens puck
eritage Auction Galleries is tasked
with finding a new home for a “priceless” piece of Canadian heritage. The
game-winning goal puck from the first-ever
hockey game played at Maple Leaf Gardens has been included in the upcoming
auction which closes this Oct. 2, 2009. Heritage Auction Galleries is selling the puck
on behalf of Harold March’s family.
Harold “Mush” March sco red the winning goal in the Chicago Blackhawks’ victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov.
12, 1931. That was the first-ever game
played at Maple Leaf Gardens, the downtown Toronto building that was constructed
in record time during the depression. The
building became one of the most cherished
sport temples for the city and country.
“Harold March’s son thought it would be good to get the
Maple Leafs puck into the hands of the public”
- Mark Jordan, Heritage Auctions
For the record, the puck has been living
most of its years in the United States. Mr.
Marsh, a Stanley Cup champion in 1934 and
1938, spent 17 seasons as an NHL player in
Chicago. He made a home in the area and
continued in the sport as a referee. He also enjoyed his time as a club champion golfer.
Mr. March passed away on Jan. 9, 2002 at
the age of 93. The puck and all his hockey
memorabilia passed into the hands of his family.
“There was noone else to whom to pass it
on, so he thought it would be good to get into
the hands of the public,” said Mark Jordan,
Consignment Director of Heritage Auction
Along with the 1931 Maple Leaf Gardens
puck, March’s collection also included the
Stanley Cup-winning goal from the 1934
NHL final. March scored the winning goal in
double overtime on Apr. 10, 1934 (a 1-0 win
over the Detroit Red Wings). That 1934
championship was the first in Chicago’s franchise then-young history.
Other pieces include March’s 1928 Memorial Cup pocket watch (he won the junior
championship with the Regina Monarchs), a
1929 Blackhawks’ team-signed mini stick
(March’s NHL rookie season), a 1930s Blackhawks game-used jersey (missing the team
emblem), March’s 1934 team jacket, and
March’s 1937 Howie Morenz Memorial
Game jersey. The auction also includes several of March’s referee jerseys and the ceremonial puck March dropped for the opening
of the 1979-80 season - Wayne Gretzky’s first
in the NHL.
The 1931 puck, however, will be the most
sought-after Canadiana piece in the auction.
It is sure to command a pretty penny. The
1934 puck, surely, will be sought-after by
Chicago fans.
“It has been well documented in the press
through the years that (March) has had the
pucks,” said Jordan. “They are pieces of
hockey history that may well interest the
“Maple Leafs or Blackhawks to buy.”
Both pucks were recently on display at
the National Sports Collectors Convention
from Jul. 29 to Aug. 2. They were also
scheduled to be displayed in Chicago in the
leadup to the early October auction.
“You have all these things going for them
that make them attractive to collectors and
historians,” said Jordan.
Bill Campbell, also a Consignment Director at Heritage Auction Galleries, agrees.
Campbell is Canadian by birth and knows full
well the importance of the 1931 game puck.
“This is one of the most important pieces
that has come into the marketplace,” said
Campbell. “This is a priceless piece - you
can’t put a price on it.
Of course, come Oct. 3, that goal puck will
have a price. “That’s one of the things that
auctions do,” said Jordan. “It will put a price
on it.”
Along with the March collection, the Heritage Auction Galleries Oct. 2 auction will
feature plenty of hockey and sports memorabilia. The auction will include game-used
hockey sticks (Bryan Trottier and others),
game-used jerseys (Börje Salming, Sidney
Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Joe Sakic and others), and plenty of vintage hockey cards.
Famous Goal Pucks
1970 Stanley Cup Final Bobby Orr “Flying” Goal
1950-51 Jean Béliveau’s First Goal
1980 Olympic Miracle On Ice USA Goal
1981-82 Wayne Gretzky’s 77th Goal of Season
1979-80 Wayne Gretzky’s 50th Goal of Rookie Season
1955-56 Jean Béliveau’s 100th Goal
1952-53 Elmer Lach Stanley Cup winning puck
1962-63 Jean Béliveau’s 300th Goal
Leland’s $38,000 U.S.
Classic $18,000 U.S.
MastroNet $13,000 U.S.
Classic $11,500 U.S.
Classic $6,500 U.S.
Classic $5,300 U.S.
Classic $5,054 U.S.
Classic $4,750 U.S.
TUE-FRI 12:30-6:30 & SAT 11:00-4:00 in Guelph, ON • eBay Seller martin-sports
519-836-3061 • [email protected]
We are now taking
KSA Grading
for a limited time only $7 per card!!!!
• Hockey Wax Boxes 1977-1989
• Hockey Wax Packs 1970-1989
• Hockey Sets 1970-1989
• Wayne Gretzky Rookie Cards
Over 20 in Stock - All Grades!
• 1000s of boxes and sets from
1990-2010 all sports
• New Boxes including 2009-10
Hockey - Great Prices!
We have a complete updated
inventory list ready to email, mail
or fax to you; please contact us
and we will get it right out to you
• All Wayne Gretzky Rookie Cards
• All Pre-1989 Packs, Boxes, Sets & Vending
• All Pre-1980 Key Rookie Cards
No matter how big or valuable your collection is, I am
ready to purchase it. THINK YOU NEED TO SELL OUR
Feel free to check with everyone you wish, just don’t
sell anything until I have a chance at it!
Call Jason Martin at 519 836-3061
567 Silvercreek Pkwy. N.
Guelph, ON
304 Stone Rd.West
Suite 184
Guelph, ON N1G 4W4
Classic Bobby Orr game jersey earns $108,410 in June auction
game-used Bobby Orr jersey earned the
highest bid in the recent Classic Collectibles auction that closed on Jun. 19,
2009. The jersey, with photo-matched provenance, drew 15 bids before it closed at
$81,425 U.S. With the 17.5% buyer’s fee and
a 1.13 exchange rate, the jersey earned
$108,410 Cdn.
“This wonderful Wilson-knit jersey is conclusively photo-matched to the jersey Orr was
wearing in pictures taken (on the Bruins
1969) award night,” read the auction descrip-
tion. “Heavy repair work at the right elbow
tells us the jersey had already seen heavy use
by that point, most certainly during the 196869 season and into the playoffs that same year
during home games. We also believe Orr
wore the jersey during the first months of the
1969-70 season or, at the very least, up until
the game following the on-ice award presentation in Boston.”
Along with the photo proof, the jersey was
accompanied by three letters of authenticity
and a 1976 letter from Alan Eagleson. An ad-
ditional document noted that the jersey had
once hung in the Canada Sports Hall of Fame.
The next-most expensive jersey from the
June auction was a 1934 Toronto Maple Leafs
game-worn wool jersey. That jersey closed at
$37,982 U.S. Another expensive piece was a
1967-68 Oakland Seals game-used jersey that
closed for $10,871 U.S.
As for cards, a 1926 Dominion Chocolates
set closed at $22,136 U.S. while a 1911-12
Imperial Tobacco hockey near-set (44 of 45
cards) closed at $12,543.
Bobby Orr Jerseys
1967-68 Boston Bruins game-used jersey white
1972 Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Final GU jersey
1973-74 Boston Bruins game-used jersey
1970-71 Boston Bruins game-used jersey black
1968-69 Boston Bruins game-used jersey
1968-69/69-70 Boston Bruins game-used jersey
1969-70 Boston Bruins game-used jersey
1975-76 Boston Bruins game-used jersey white
$152,897 U.S.
$119,182 U.S.
$117,000 U.S.
$114,874 U.S.
$83,544 U.S.
$81,000 U.S.
$71,327 U.S.
$44,289 U.S.
Collector shows come to Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver and Montréal
port fans in Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver and Montréal will want to check out
sports collector shows in September and
Of note, the Oct. 23-25 weekend marks the
14th edition of the Montréal Collectors’ International. As usual, Montréal’s annual
multi-collection show takes place at the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau at Parc Olympique
(3000 Viau).
The Montréal Collectors’ International will
feature a tribute to the Montréal Canadiens’
100th anniversary. There will be autograph
guests throughout the weekend. Bobby
Rousseau will sign on Friday, Peter Ma-
hovlich and Ralph Backstrom will sign on
Saturday, and Phil Goyette, Elmer Lach and
Guillaume Latendresse will sign on Sunday. A
few more autograph guests are expected to be
added to the show lineup.
Bossa Shows premier event is the Vancouver Sports Collectors Show from Oct. 17-18
at the Croatian Cultural Centre. Of note, Phil
Esposito has already been announced as a featured autograph guest.
As for the Bonsor Sports Collector Shows,
the September show takes place Sep. 20 at the
Bonsor Recreation Centre in Burnaby. The
monthly Bonsor schedule continues throughout the year.
Walden introduces new Ball Dome
In Edmonton, the Summit Sports Collectibles Show takes place at the Northlands
AgriCom near Rexall Coliseum. The show
runs Oct. 2-4 with Ferguson Jenkins signing
throughout the weekend, Darryl Sittler signing on Saturday Oct. 3, and Paul Coffey signing on Sunday Oct. 4. This show is being
touted as the largest show in Western Canada.
The Want List magazine will make its 200910 show debut in Edmonton.
At last in Toronto, the Toronto Card Show
continues with its monthly shows at Leaside
Gardens Arena. The September show takes
place Sep. 20 while the October show takes
place Oct. 25.
new protective holder has been created for baseballs. The BallDome, created by John Weldon and his new company BallDome, officially launched
its new product at the 2009 National Sports Collectors Convention in
“It was built for the collector,” said Weldon of BallDome. “We created a
holder that has the contour of the ball. When you have it on the sweet spot, it
rests on the seems of the ball so that it is not touching the plastic and your signature is protected.
The holder is made of high-impact plastic and UV-resistant material. Weldon hopes to create similar premium displays for hockey pucks.
Orientation camp jerseys on eBay
ockey Canada sold its
game-used jerseys
that were worn for the
Aug. 27 Red vs. White
game in Calgary, AB. The
game was played at the
end of the Canadian
camp, watched carefully
by team general manager
Steve Yzerman and his
Hockey fans could bid on the jerseys in early September through to the
Sunday, Sep. 6 deadline. Game-used sticks from the camp were also available for bid through eBay (until Monday, Sep. 7).
The most-expensive game-used jersey was of course the Sidney Crosby
jersey. It closed at $3,000 Can. after 38 bids. The second-most expensive
jersey was Martin Brodeur at $1,315. Rounding out the top-five were jerseys worn by Jonathan Toews ($900), Michael Richards ($810) and Vincent Lecavalier ($730).
Topps returns to hockey market
The Topps Company will resume its relationship with the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association this
2009-10 season. The New York-based company
will debut Topps Puck Attax this November, the
first Topps Co. hockey product since 2003-04.
The Topps Co. does not have a licence to produce traditional NHL cards; the Upper Deck Co. has
had an exclusive NHL-NHLPA license since 2004-05. Beginning this
year, however, the Topps Co. does have a licence in the games category. The Topps Puck Attax game is the hockey version of the Match
Attax football (soccer) game and Topps Attax baseball game.
“We are extremely excited to bring the Topps Puck Attax game to
NHL fans,” said Warren Friss, VP, Topps Sports and Entertainment.
“Hockey fans are some of the most passionate and devoted fans in the
world. We believe this new product will capture the excitement and
imagination of kids.”
Unlike the Match Attax and Topps Attax cards, the Topps Puck Attax
cards are round (like a hockey puck). Card fronts feature individual
player “offence” and “defence” ratings. There are 192 game cards in
the base set. There are 68 Black Foil game cards, 21 Gold Foil game
cards, and six Platinum Foil game cards.
Starter packs feature 12 player game cards, two Black Foil game
cards, one Gold Foil game card, one Platinum Foil Game card, and one
Game Board with rules. Booster packs feature six player game cards
plus one random Foil card (Black, Gold or Platinum).
The Topps Co. introduced Match Attax in England in 2007 (English
Premier League). According to the Topps Co., it is “now the world’s
most popular card game.” It has also produced Match Attax cards for
the German Bundesliga. In North America, the Topps Co. introduced
Topps Attax baseball in April 2009.
Hockey Orientation Camp
2009 White #87 Sidney Crosby
2009 White #19 Jonathan Toews
2009 White #4 Vincent Lecavalier
2009 White #61 Rick Nash
2009 White #94 Ryan Smyth
2009 White #12 Jarome Iginla
2009 White #26 Martin St-Louis
2009 White #12 Eric Staal
2009 White #1 Roberto Luongo
2009 White #10 Corey Perry
2009 White #8 Drew Doughty
2009 White #7 Brent Seabrook
2009 White #10 Patrick Sharp
2009 White #91 Jason Spezza
2009 White #3 Dion Phaneuf
2009 White #1 Steve Mason
2009 White #28 Robyn Regehr
2009 White #25 Chris Pronger
2009 White #30 Cam Ward
2009 White #22 Dan Boyle
2009 White #2 Dan Hamhuis
2009 White #9 Derek Roy
2009 White #3 Stéphane Robidas
$3,000.00 CAN 38
$900.00 CAN
$730.00 CAN 34
$676.66 CAN
$660.00 CAN 26
$620.00 CAN 28
$610.00 CAN 33
$570.00 CAN 30
$537.00 CAN
$510.00 CAN
$460.00 CAN
$412.77 CAN
$405.00 CAN
$405.00 CAN 26
$405.00 CAN 20
$401.99 CAN
$400.00 CAN 22
$375.01 CAN
$375.01 CAN 20
$330.01 CAN
$285.00 CAN
$260.09 CAN 26
$229.00 CAN 24
2009 Red #30 Martin Brodeur
2009 Red #18 Michael Richards
2009 Red #19 Joe Thornton
2009 Red #6 Shea Weber
2009 Red #27 Scott Niedermayer
2009 Red #4 Jay Bouwmeester
2009 Red #15 Dany Heatley
2009 Red #17 Jeff Carter
2009 Red #29 Marc-André Fleury
2009 Red #11 Jordan Staal
2009 Red #19 Shane Doan
2009 Red #52 Mike Green
2009 Red #18 Marc Staal
2009 Red #28 Patrick Marleau
2009 Red #2 Duncan Keith
2009 Red #11 Daniel Cleary
2009 Red #10 Brenden Morrow
2009 Red #10 Andy McDonald
2009 Red #8 Brent Burns
2009 Red #23 François Beauchemin
$1,315.00 CAN 20
$810.00 CAN 25
$620.00 CAN 32
$610.00 CAN 29
$565.00 CAN 27
$550.00 CAN
$530.00 CAN
$459.92 CAN 24
$455.00 CAN 20
$455.00 CAN
$405.09 CAN 26
$405.00 CAN
$405.00 CAN 27
$391.12 CAN 28
$357.77 CAN
$355.11 CAN
$355.00 CAN 24
$349.10 CAN
$315.00 CAN 35
$305.00 CAN
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 9
Penguins launch Stanley Cup championship memorabilia line
n celebration of the Pittsburgh Penguins’
2009 Stanley Cup championship, the team
and NHL have already released a number
of commemorative items via
More than 100 items have been posted, from
hats and shirts to mugs and pennants.
“They have put out all sorts of things,” said
George Ryden of Ryden’s Collectibles in
Pittsburgh, PA. “The fans went crazy with the
first two Stanley Cups (1991 and 1992), but
not like it is now.”
Most of the items are logo-centric, but rest
assured there will be plenty of player-inspired
memorabilia in due time. The first three
player pieces shown were Forever Collectibles bobble-head figures of Sidney
Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-André
Fleury. The bobbles cost $25 U.S. each.
Next up was the WinCraft Stanley Cup
pennant series, starting with the Sidney
Crosby “Youngest Captain to win the Stanley
Cup” pennant. There is also an Evgeni Malkin
Conn Smythe Trophy pennant and a team celebration pennant.
Other early offerings are produced by Antigua, Fathead, Great American, Highland
Mint, Inglasco, Old Time Hockey, Reebok,
RICO, TNT Media, Topperscot, and Winning
The Upper Deck Company, of course, will
also have player products available in its upcoming 2009-10 hockey-card season.
If you are not sure what to get, try one of
the two bundles. The “Locker Room” bundle
($77 U.S.) features an official
locker-room t-shirt (note –
organic cotton), a stretch-fit
locker room hat, an official
Stanley Cup Champions replica
puck, and the 2009 Stanley
Cup Champions commemorative DVD.
Upper Deck The Cup closes out 2008-09 card season
Upper Deck Company’s Aug. 6 release of The Cup
officially closed out the 2008-09 hockey-card season.
At close to $400 per pack in the opening week of its
release (four high-end cards per pack), The Cup is
UDC’s most expensive brand of the 2008-09 season.
That marks quite the contrast from UDC’s least-expensive brands 2008-09 Upper Deck Collector’s
Choice and Victory ($1.29 Cdn. for six basic cards).
This marks The Cup’s fourth hockey season since
the brand made its debut in 2005-06. Each 2008-09 tin
pack includes two signed patch cards (one of which is
a rookie). Expensive signed patch rookie cards from
years past include 2007-08 Carey Price ($2,500),
2006-07 Evgeni Malkin ($2,500), 2005-06 Sidney
Crosby ($10,000) and 2005-06 Alex Ovechkin
McFarlane Sports Picks: more stars featured in NHL 22
cFarlane Toys has released its first Sports Picks
hockey series of the 2009-10 season. The series
features the usual suspects - six active stars and
one retired and honoured member from the Hockey
Hall of Fame.
All seven players have been featured before in the
McFarlane Sports Picks series. Each figure measures
6" tall; there are variations of each figure in the set.
The honoured Hockey Hall of Fame member is
Darryl Sittler from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Active
stars are Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals),
Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa Senators), Saku Koivu
(Montréal Canadiens), Mats Sundin (Vancouver
Canucks), goalie Miikka Kiprusoff (Calgary Flames),
and goalie Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils).
NHL Series 23 is up next. It is expected to feature
Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins), Chris Drury (New York
Rangers), Chris Osgood (Detroit Red Wings), Dany
Heatley (Ottawa Senators - maybe?), Luke Schenn
(Toronto Maple Leafs), Marc-André Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins), Sam Gagner (Edmonton Oilers) and
Teemu Selänne (Winnipeg Jets / Anaheim Ducks).
McDonald’s releases Olympic water bottles at Canadian restaurants
McDonald’s is offering five different specially-designed water bottles at its restaurants across Canada. The five bottles feature five sports
from the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics that will take place in Vancouver next February. Three bottles feature McDonald’s athletes
(speed skater Cindy Klassen, figure skater Patrick Chan, and snowboarders Brad Martin/Crispin Lipscomb). The other two bottles feature unidentified athletes from hockey and alpine ski. The 500mL bottles cost $3.49 with the purchase of food or drink at McDonald’s
Restaurants in Canada.
10 -
Hockey Canada unveils logo for new Olympic hockey jerseys
ockey Canada has unveiled the special logo that will adorn the Canadian jerseys for the 2010 Winter
Olympics in Vancouver. The special
Maple Leaf logo will be featured on
Olympic jerseys worn by the men’s,
women’s and sledge hockey teams.
“This Vancouver 2010 jersey will become part of our nation’s history,” said
John Furlong, VANOC’s chief executive officer. “It’s very exciting to see it
come to life through partnership and the
vision of Nike and a talented
Musqueam artist. We hope Canadians
will embrace this sweater as the anticipation builds for Canadian team fans
across the country and around the world
as Canada goes for gold on home ice in
just a few short months.”
Canada 2010 jerseys, which come in
red or white, have a suggested retail
price of $135 each. Replica jerseys will
be identical to the authentic jerseys,
with the exception of the presence of
the Hockey Canada mark on the left
The Olympic jersey logo features
several icons and cultural symbols developed by Musqueam artist Debra
Sparrow. According to, the “crest includes smaller
Maple Leafs representing the gold
medal counts for Canada’s men’s,
women’s and sledge hockey teams, the
thunderbird and eagle, two powerful
First Nations symbols supporting and
protecting the central Maple Leaf – and
the heralded hockey player and stick.”
Upper Deck Co., In The Game debut 2009-10 card year
he 2009-10 hockey-card season opened on Aug. 5
this summer with Victory hockey, one day before
the 2008-09 season closed out with The Cup. Victory was the first of two hobby releases by The Upper
Deck Company in the month of August. The other was
Fleer Ultra hockey released on Aug. 27.
The Upper Deck Company has scheduled more than
20 brands for the 2009-10 season. The schedule will be
very similar to that of 2008-09, however Upper Deck
Legends Masterpieces is not back, nor is Upper Deck
Canadiens Centennial edition.
The early brands do feature rookie cards. In fact, there
are 50 in-pack rookies in both Victory and Fleer Ultra.
Fleer Ultra features additional redemption rookies
which will be available after the NHL season begins in
October. Collectors of course anticipate that these cards
will be redeemed for star 2009-10 rookies such as John
Tavares, Victor Hedman, Matt Duchene and Cody
The first 2009-10 Upper Deck product to feature live
rookie cards will be Upper Deck Series One, scheduled
for release in November 2009. That series will definitely
feature all the key rookies who skate in early October.
UDC already has photography on file from the August
NHL Rookie Photo Shoot in Mississauga, ON.
In The Game, meanwhile, makes its 200910 season debut on Sep. 9 with In The Game
1972. This series features hockey stars from
the 1972 hockey season, be it NHL, World
Hockey Association or the Canada-Soviet
Union Summit Series. This series features a
thorough list of signature cards.
Wrigley’s Excel Olympic gum
Wrigley Canada,
an official supplier
of the 2010 Winter
Olympics, has featured
Canadian athletes
on its gum wraps.
With the promise
that “portion of proceeds support the Canadian Olympic Team,” fans can
choose either hockey goalie Martin Brodeur
(Spearmint), speed skater Denny Morrison (Polar Ice),
or alpine skiier Kelly VanderBeek-Ford (Winter
New York Rangers book of greats
Co-author Russ Cohen wouldn’t spill the beans as to who was ranked
first in the new book, 100 Rangers Greats. The 256-page hardcover book
launches Sep. 28 with a $40 CAN retail price (ISBN 978-0-470-73619-7).
Cohen’s book is co-written with John Halligan and Adam Raider. The trio
has ranked the top 100 New York Rangers of all-time, be it the “superstars, unsung heroes, or colourful heroes.”
For the record, Rod Gilbert has been ranked number two. He never won
a Stanley Cup, but he did score more than 1,000 points from 1960-1977.
Two-time Stanley Cup champion Bill Cook is
amongst the top five, but we don’t know at which spot.
He would have been our pick for the first overall spot.
We look forward to reviewing this book in the next
issue of The Want List. Don’t worry, we won’t have
any problems spilling the beans on who’s number one.
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 11
The trail of the game-used jersey
From the player’s backs to the fan’s wardrobe
hen your team gets to the Stanley Cup
final, you don’t mind whatever the
(un)friendly confines might be: you
wear your team’s colours. Such was the case
for any Detroit fans lucky enough to find a
seat at Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena for the sixth
and final game of the 2008 Stanley Cup final.
Detroit fans braved the so-called hostile (but
honestly polite) environment and urged their
team on to victory.
This year, it was Pittsburgh’s turn to wear
the black and gold to the seventh and final
game of the 2009 Stanley Cup final at Joe
Louis Arena in Detroit. This time, it was Pittsburgh’s turn to lift the Stanley Cup.
No matter what the crowd, hockey fans like
to wear their home team colours. As reigning
Stanley Cup champions, the Penguins own
what is likely the most popular logo in the National Hockey League.
“There is always an interest in the jerseys,”
said Joe Tomon of J & J Distributing of Elwood City, PA. “It’s not just in Pittsburgh, it
is worldwide. I sell to everywhere: United
States, Canada and all over Europe. There is
a great fan base for the Penguins.”
Tomon sells game-used Penguins
jerseys. He purchases the jerseys
direct from the team and resells
them to fans and jersey collectors
from around the world.
This past year, the Penguins
wore several game jerseys
throughout the season. The
black (home) and white (away)
sets were produced for the
overseas match in Sweden, the
opening half of the schedule,
the second half of the schedule,
the first three rounds of the
playoffs, and the Stanley Cup
final. The players are wore blue
“Throwback” jerseys for 10
regular-season games.
“They started by selling me
the set from Stockholm,” said
Tomon. “The next set was worn
through early January (at which
point) the Penguins called me
Tomon then bought the second
black-and-white set as well as the blue set
“I didn’t think it would (get better), but it did” Joe Tomon on the rising interest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins won two Stanley Cup championships in the early 1990s with Mario
Lemieux serving as team captain. After a few
somber years in the early 2000s, the Penguins
have returned to their winning ways with
young captain Sidney Crosby in charge. The
team also boasts young phenoms such as
Evgeni Malkin and Marc-André Fleury.
“The interest has been great since Crosby
came to the team (in 2005-06),” said Tomon,
who explains the interest now is better than it
was in the early 1990s. “It has only gotten
better with the way the team made the final
last year and won the Stanley Cup this year. I
didn’t think it would, but it did.”
12 -
at the end of the year. He also picked up the
playoff and final jerseys. He pre-sold most of
the Stanley Cup final jerseys and had but two
remaining by the end of July. Said Tomon, “I
had guys buy those way in advance.”
Game-issue jerseys may cost $200 U.S.
while game-used jerseys may cost $400. A
Crosby game-used jersey costs about
$10,000. The blue Throwback jerseys are
more expensive with the Crosby jersey topping out at $15,000. The Stanley Cup final
jerseys, of course, are even more expensive.
Of note this past season, players rotated as
alternate captain while Sergei Gonchar recovered from injury. The Penguins staff
would remove the “A” which sometimes left
a marking.
Since the Penguins paint the goal posts before each game, collectors will also often notice transferred red paint on the jerseys,
especially those of the goaltender Fleury.
At last, beside all the game markings, collectors should look for the signature of Dana
Heinze on each jersey. Heinze, who previously won the 2004 Stanley Cup as the Tampa
Bay Lightning’s assistant equipment manager, now serves as the Penguins’ head equipment manager. On the jerseys we examined,
Heinze’s signature appears on the fight strap.
2009 Conn Smythe Trophy winner
#71 Evgeni Malkin
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 13
2008-09 Upper Deck
Canadian stores select favourite NHL sets from 2008-09 card year
ow celebrating its 19th-consecutive season in the hockey-card market - the longestrunning tenure of any hockey brand - Upper Deck has been named 2008-09 Hockey
Card Set of the Year by stores across Canada. The annual favourite finished first
ahead of 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee, 2008-09 SP Authentic, 2008-09 Upper Deck Canadiens
Centennial, and 2008-09 The Cup.
Surveyed in August, the 60 stores gave 2008-09 Upper Deck the thumbs up 14 times
in the “best overall” vote and 32 times in the “best-in-category” vote for Premium
“Upper Deck does really well every year,” said Steve Edgar of Legends of the Game
in Toronto, ON. “This brand really won over the hobby after it switched (the emphasis)
from Program of Excellence (junior players) to Young Guns rookie cards.”
The Young Guns rookie cards are seeded six per hobby box (one in every fourth pack).
In Series One, the rookies are numbered cards 201-250; in Series Two, they are numbered cards 451-500.
The first series is always pushed out shortly after the start of the hockey season, thus
ensuring the newest rookies from the first month are included in Series One. Additional
rookies are featured in Series Two released two months later.
“Upper Deck Series One feature the lion’s share of 2008-09 rookies,” said Hans Tan
of Game Breakers Sports Cards in Ottawa, ON. “There was not much left
over for Series Two.”
“Upper Deck does very well every year. This brand really
won over the hobby after it switched to Young Guns.”
- Steve Edgar, Legends of the Game, Toronto, ON
At $3-4 per pack, Upper Deck is still reasonably affordable for the average collector.
Those not chasing the short-printed Young Guns will complete the two separate shell sets:
Series One cards 1-200 and Series Two cards 251-450.
Many collectors, however, go the full nine yards and try to complete the full 500-card
base set - the 400 veterans and the 100 Young Guns. They also enjoy putting together the
basic insert sets, starting with the eight easiest sets from Series One (Captains Calling, Hat
Trick Heroes, Sophomore Sensations, Winter Classic) and Series Two (Favorite Suns, Spectacular Saves, Tales of the Cup, The New Era).
Of course, 2008-09 Upper Deck also featured a great assortment of memorabilia and
signature cards.
“Upper Deck is a big seller every year,” said Bruce Bowering of AJW Sports Cards in
Saskatoon, SK. “People always want the Upper Deck cards.”
NHL Brand Category Winners
Before we asked stores what was their favourite NHL brand of the 2008-09 season, we asked them what was their favourite brand in five different categories.
Entry-Level Brand -2008-09 O-Pee-Chee
Premium Brand - 2008-09 Upper Deck
Super Premium Brand - 2008-09 SP Authentic
Special Chase Brand - 2008-09 SP Game-Used Edition
Super Chase Brand - 2008-09 The Cup
14 -
The 2008-09 NHL Card Year in Review
We surveyed 60 random stores in mid-August per their favourite NHL card
sets from the 2008-09 hockey-card season. We asked each store to select the top
brand in five different categories: Entry Level, Premium, Super Premium, Special Chase (special chase card per pack, less than $50 per pack), and Super Chase
(special chase card per pack, more than $100 per pack). We also asked each set
to select the best overall set from the year. Thank you to every store that participated and our apologies to those we did not reach. Special thanks to Hans Tan
of Game Breakers Sports Cards of Ottawa, ON who provided further commentary for our 2008-09 hockey-card year-in-review.
2008-09 Be A Player
May 2009
Product category: Special Chase (One signature card per pack)
$16.00 for eight cards
Now in its 16th season (15th as an autograph-per-pack product), Be A Player continues to serve as the hobby’s
most direct route to autographs. This year’s brand featured a modest 155 different Signature cards, including
Stanley Cup champions Sidney Crosby, Marc-André Fleury, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal. Also included were
star veterans Paul Kariya, Nicklas Lidström and Joe Sakic. At $16 a pack, the brand is still reasonably priced,
however an extra veteran or two in the Signature Series would have served the brand better. The brand did, however, feature plenty of rookies, both in the base set as well as the Signature Series. Collectors especially liked the
rare rookie cards limited to 99 copies each and seeded one per box. We don’t necessarily agree with the reasons,
but some collectors still complain that autographs are signed on a sticker rather than directly on the card.
2008-09 Champ’s
March 2009
Product category: Super Premium
$7.00 per pack
“Take a trip back in time, when pond hockey was the game people gathered to watch” - UDC
With three votes as the year’s best, Champ’s hockey finished as a runner up to Upper Deck Canadiens Centennial as the Best New Brand of the 2008-09 season. Ted Krieg of The Comic Connection in Hamilton, ON said,
“it totally outsold everything else in this market.” The brand had a following in other markets, too, however one
store pointed out the “hobby product was horrible, but the retail was great.” Another store said the regular rookies seem to be amongst least popular while the opposite was true of the mini rookie cards. There was, of course,
lots of interest created by the fossil insert cards. Overall, the product was well designed with each box opened
leading to another box purchased as collectors completed the different level sets throughout the brand.
2008-09 Fleer Ultra
September 2008
Product category: Premium
$3.50 for eight cards
Now in its fourth year back since its 2005-06 revival, Fleer Ultra was the only Premium brand ($3 or more per
pack) that did not receive any best-in-category votes. One store said “why bother” while another said “same old,
same old” of the brand’s ninth hockey release. Still, the brand has somewhat of a following, in part thanks to its
original five-year run between 1992-93 and 1996-97 (produced by Fleer). While it was the first Premium brand
on the market in 2008-09, it suffered because of an apparent lack of impact live rookies in the product. Okay, so
Steve Mason (card 208) went on to win the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie, but “impact” names such
as Steven Stamkos, Luke Schenn and Fabian Brunnstrom were only available via one-per-box redemption cards.
The 2008-09 release also included E-X as a brand within the product.
2008-09 McDonald’s
October 2008
Product category: Entry Level
$1.30 for three cards
Now in its 17th season, McDonald’s hockey is a staple for hockey-card collectors from coast to coast. Missing only the lockout 2004-05 season, McDonald’s hockey cards have been available in McDonald’s restaurants
on an annual basis since 1991-92. Said Game Breakers, “it is consistently the most collected brand in the hobby.”
Some collectors may have complained that the Clear Patch to Greatness insert cards are too tough to collect, but
too are the rare prize cards of jerseys, patches and signatures. This year’s product finally included a parallel series (only the second time ever), but by its rare nature (100 copies of each) it was one that “most collectors wouldn’t dream of putting together” (perhaps a more plentiful parallel tier is needed). Still, McDonald’s remains a “big
trader” in stores and will be another big hit in 2009-10 no matter what the format.
16 -
2008-09 O-Pee-Chee
September 2008
Product category: Entry Level
$2.00 for five cards
As it is every year, O-Pee-Chee was “pretty much a hit” from the moment it hit stores in September. Now in
the third year of its comeback (produced by the Upper Deck Company since 2006-07), this was the first time the
brand was released before the start of the NHL season. What may have seemed like a bold move was in fact a
brilliant move. After all, if any brand was good enough to sell strong without the inclusion of the newest rookies, it was O-Pee-Chee. Of course, the one-per-pack 1979-80 retro cards (with their own unique photos) were
“wildly popular”. Collectors also liked the topical basic inserts which had “purpose”. The brand received 37
best-in-category votes (the most by any brand in five different categories) and 11 best-overall votes (second most
behind Upper Deck’s 14).
2008-09 O-Pee-Chee (Update)
March 2009
Product category: Entry Level
$2.00 for five cards (hobby $3.50 for five cards)
O-Pee-Chee Update added 200 extra base cards to the original release, including all the newest rookies that
were not available when UDC produced the first 600 cards in the summer. The release was again popular, however collectors did not like the more expensive hobby packs. Some stores were careful to differentiate the two
releases when voting for O-Pee-Chee as best-in-category Entry Level product. The second release not only included the 1979-80 retro cards (as well as their rainbow parallels), but also new metal parallels for the first 600
cards. The second release also included additional signature and triple jersey cards, but no new basic insert cards.
Well, actually, there were four special Wayne Gretzky retro insert cards using the 1979-80 design. The four cards
featured Gretzky in different uniforms: either Edmonton, Los Angeles, New York, or Canada.
2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Premier
March 2009
Product category: Super Chase
$200.00 for five cards
O-Pee-Chee Premier was back for a second year as a Super Chase brand, again with an incredible price and
some incredible hits. Of the four Super Chase brands, however, O-Pee-Chee Premier received the fewest bestin-category votes. Then again, it also had a so-called middle-of-the-road price within the Super Chase brand
(yes, two other brands were more expensive than this $200-per-pack release). This brand has terrific lineage, in
particular thanks to the original 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee Premier that caught the hobby by surprise. Collectors liked
the 2008-09 rookie cards which featured the memorabilia-signature combination and were limited to 299 copies
each. They also liked the designs and many of the memorabilia cards. They didn’t, however, like the price and
wished they could have afforded the brand at two thirds of the cost.
2008-09 Power Play
November 2008
Product category: Entry Level
$50.00 for 300 cards; $30 for 100 update cards
This was one of three all-in-one releases produced by the Upper Deck Company this year. Actually, this was
in fact a one-in-two release as there was both the initial release (the first 300 cards released as a complete set in
November) and the update release (the last 100 cards released as a second complete set in February). First produced in 2005-06 and then again in 2006-07 (both times available in packs), this brand took a one-year hiatus in
2007-08 before coming back in 2008-09 for its third release. Despite a November release, this brand did not include any new rookies, however eventual rookie-of-the-year winner Steve Mason (card 83) was featured in the
first 300 cards. The 100-card update, meanwhile, featured almost exclusively all rookie cards, including the 2008
first-overall draft pick Steven Stamkos.
2008-09 SP Authentic
Best in Category
March 2009
Product category: Super Premium
$6.00 for five cards
“When hockey card fans are searching for quality autographs, they look no further than SP Authentic” - UDC
Now in its 12th season as SP Authentic (16th if you include the early “SP” brand issued between 1993-94 and
1996-97), this brand is well “established as a must for rookie-card collectors.” This brand features the standard
premium rookie card of choice. As usual, there are signed and unsigned Future Watch rookie cards, all limited
to 999 copies. While this year’s crop may not have been as deep as in recent years (or initially as successful), it
still produced a pair of $100-or-better cards in Steven Stamkos and Steve Mason. As always, collectors also liked
the base design and enjoyed chasing the rookies (which were signed on the actual cards). SP Authentic received
34 best-in-category votes (second most by any brand in five categories) as well as eight best-overall votes.
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 17
2008-09 SP Game-Used Edition
January 2009
Product category: Special Chase (One memorabilia card per pack)
$40.00 for four cards
“Packing a punch at every turn, SP Game Used builds on its success with terrific new additions” - UDC
Now in its eighth season, SP Game-Used Edition doesn’t pack quite the punch it did nine years ago when it
made its 2000-01 debut. Nevertheless, it made a decent “comeback” as the standard jersey set of the hobby. The
appeal of nice hits in every pack seem to keep it as collector’s favourite. The new big hit was the Fight Strap memorabilia cards. SP Game-Used Edtion won 24 best-in-category votes, one more than runner-up Upper Deck Trilogy. It even managed one best-overall vote. Thanks to the invention of the Super Chase category (four brands
with pack prices well over $100), however, all three Special Chase sets (brands with pack prices below $50) pale
in comparison to the Big Four.
2008-09 SPx
December 2008
Product category: Super Premium
$8.00 for four cards
“The home of the rookie autograph jersey card has become home to some of the hottest RCs” - UDC
Now in its 12th season (excluding the 1998-99 brand split between SPx Finite and SPx Prospects), SPx is still
sought after as one of the key Super Premium brands of the season. Despite its long-standing popularity, it received only one best-in-category vote this season, which on the bright side coincided with its one best-overall
vote. SPx featured brisk sales when it was first issued, in part because more expensive Special Chase and Super
Chase brands had yet to be released. As expected, the demand for the rookie jersey cards - a staple since 200001 - was good. The demand for the rookie signed jersey cards - a staple since 2002-03 - was even better. The
Steven Stamkos, Steve Mason and Luke Schenn rookie signed jersey cards all surpassed the $100 mark.
2008-09 The Cup
Best in Category
August 2009
Product category: Super Chase
$375 per pack
“The Cup lives up to its name by providing some of the most amazing and innovative cards” - UDC
Now in its fourth season, this brand continues to dominate the Super Chase category. It won 32 best-incategory votes, just as many as the 2008-09 NHL Set of the Year Upper Deck won in the Premium category
(keep in mind, seven stores abstained from voting in the Super Chase category). The Cup also won four best-overall votes, pretty impressive for a brand that hit stores but a week before our year-end survey. In that one week,
the brand created a real “feeding frenzy” as the pack price pushed well over the $400-per-tin pack price. It of
course provided everything that collectors dreamed for such a big-ticket brand, prompting stores to express it as
the “brand that everyone wants.” The new Draft Board cards were especially popular.
2008-09 Ultimate Collection
April 2009
Product category: Super Chase
$110.00 for per pack
“Ultimate Collection has been successful year after year” - UDC
Were it not for the year-end release of 2008-09 The Cup, Ultimate Collection could have easily won out as the
best brand in the Super Chase category. Originally the most expensive brand in the hockey-card market (when
it debuted in 2004-05), it is now the fourth-most expensive brand in hockey. Still, it managed to win seven bestin-category votes, one less than newcomer Upper Deck Black which was some $250 more per pack. Collectors
appreciated the overall look of the brand, including the rookie cards (signed or unsigned) and memorabilia cards.
The brand was successful by staying true to its popular formula: the promise of one rookie card, one signature
card and one memorabilia card in every pack.
2008-09 Upper Deck (Series One)
Best in Category
October 2008
Product category: Premium
$3.75 for eight cards
Almost always the “most anticipated set” of the new hockey-card season, this year’s edition not only won Best
in Category (Premium), but also won 2008-09 Set of the Year honours. It won 32 best-in-category votes (actually third most amongst all brands in five different categories) and 14 best-overall votes (the most by any brand).
As if often the case, Upper Deck Series One was more widely celebrated than Upper Deck Series Two because
of the selection of Young Guns rookies. Collectors enjoy what is now the proven format of six rookie cards per
hobby box. We only wish those Series One Young Guns would be numbered cards 401-450 instead of 201-250.
That way, collectors who only want the “veteran” shell sets could complete a numerical 1-200 (Series One) and
201-400 (our hypothetical Series Two).
18 -
2008-09 Upper Deck (Series Two)
January 2009
Product category: Premium
$3.75 for eight cards
“Although UD1 brings you the first rookies, Upper Deck Series 2 has taken rookies to a new level” - UDC
There was not much left over in terms of rookies by the time Upper Deck Series Two came out in January. Then
again, should Simeon Varlamov, Cory Schneider and Nikita Filatov spark the 2009-10 Calder Trophy race, collectors could jump backwards to bust this product. To date, collectors have busted less boxes of Upper Deck Series Two compared to Upper Deck Series One. Ironically, that means the shell sets (cards 251-450) “are quite
marketable because there are less on the open market.” As for the popular Upper Deck Series One rookie crop,
it is featured in Upper Deck Series Two via the rare acetate Clear Cut Rookies insert (each card limited to 100
copies) and the 2008-09 Victory brand update cards
2008-09 Upper Deck Artifacts
October 2008
Product category: Super Premium
$13.50 for four cards
After just four years in the hockey-card market, some collectors will suggest that this brand has run its course.
Following what is now a familiar breakdown, the set features a 100-card shell set and a 160-card Legends, Stars
and Rookie short-print subset (with each card serial numbered to 999 copies). Because it is released in October,
there are no live “new” rookies (they are, however, available later via redemption). The jersey and autograph cards
are numbered to low amounts, however the availability of parallel versions suggest the so-called special cards
are not as rare as noted. Despite those remarks, Upper Deck Artifacts still won an impressive 12 best-incategory votes from stores across Canada. It even won five best-overall votes, only three fewer than category winner SP Authentic (which won 34 best-in-category votes and eight best-overall votes).
2008-09 Upper Deck Biography of a Season
Product category: Promotions
Hobby Store Promotion
Upper Deck Biography of a Season was a great concept, providing extra reward for collectors that visited their
favourite hobby stores throughout the hockey-card season. Cards detailed significant events from the 2008-09 regular season, be it All-Star Game MVP Alex Kovalev (he “delighted the home crowd” on Jan. 25, 2009), Art Ross
Trophy champion Evgeni Malkin (he scored his 113th point to capture “his first Art Ross Trophy” on Apr. 11),
or new Canucks’ signee Mats Sundin (he made “his Canucks debut” on Jan. 7). There were 30 different cards produced throughout the season, with the last group arriving in hobby stores in August. The set was designed to be
distributed one card at time each week (free), thus encouraging collectors to visit their favourite hobby shop regularly.
2008-09 Upper Deck Black
August 2008
Product category: Super Chase
$375 for five cards
Released early in the season, Upper Deck Black was the first of four Super Chase products produced in 200809. Collectors liked this new brand, especially the quad-jersey design featured on the 42 base cards (all of which
are rare and limited to just 99 copies). Fifty-eight rookie subset cards (16 signed, 42 unsigned) are in fact more
plentiful than the veteran base cards (399 copies of each Rookie Lettermen) while 22 redemption rookie cards
are just as rare as the veteran base cards (99 signed copies of each).Despite the high pack price, the rookies don’t
sell comparatively well, perhaps because this is a new hockey brand, perhaps because “they have not yet caught
on.” Still, the product sells well and the brand received eight best-in-category votes, second only to year-end
super hit The Cup (which won 32 best-in-category votes).
2008-09 Upper Deck Black Diamond
December 2008
Product category: Premium
$5.00 for five cards
“Black Diamond is known for including high valued rookie cards year in and year out” - UDC
Now in its 10th season since making its successful 1996-97 debut, Upper Deck Black Diamond offers an alltoo predictable breakdown of single-, double-, triple- and quadruple-diamond base cards. The 2008-09 release
features the same standard of six triple (three rookie, three veteran) and two quadruple (one rookie, one veteran)
cards in every box. The parallel cards remain too scarce for collectors looking for an extra challenge (Gold cards
are limited to 10 copies while Onyx cards are limited to one copy). By year’s end, 2008-09 boxes had fallen in
price. Still, Upper Deck Black Diamond managed to win seven best-in-category votes in the Premium category,
third most behind Upper Deck and Upper Deck Centennial. It also won two best-overall votes.
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 19
2008-09 Upper Deck Canadiens Centennial
Product category: Premium
February 2009
$5.00 for eight cards
“Few teams have ever dominated a sport the way the Canadiens have” - UDC
Upper Deck Canadiens Centennial won Best New Brand for the 2008-09 card season, beating out more expensive newcomers Champ’s and Upper Deck Black. As expected, this set was hugely popular in the province
of Québec. Perhaps unexpected was the set’s strong popularity in Maple Leaf-friendly places surrounding
Toronto. As Richard Stokes of The Comic Connection in Oakville, ON put it, “there simply wasn’t enough of this
product to go around.” Boxes have almost tripled in price because so many collectors are chasing down the base
set (including short prints) and signature cards. Quite deservingly, Upper Deck Centennial won 15 best-incategory votes (up against the seasoned Upper Deck brand) and seven best-overall votes.
2008-09 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice
February 2009
Product category: Entry Level
$1.25 for six cards
“The Choice is back – Collector’s Choice, that is” - UDC
This was a comeback that few collectors could have predicted, especially after an 11-year hiatus. Up against
more experienced entry-level brands, Upper Deck Collector’s Choice narrowly escaped a shutout by picking up
one best-in-category vote. It was indeed designed as a fun product, especially with the inclusion of the 30 StickUms stickers. It also featured a very cool design, perhaps superior to the more cluttered O-Pee-Chee look. The
base set was also semi-challenging for young collectors, with rookie cards seeded in every second pack and highnumber subset cards seeded in every fifth pack. Collation, however, seemed to be a problem for this brand, with
some areas better than others for number sequences within the base set.
2008-09 Upper Deck National Hockey Card Day
January 2009
Product category: Promotions
Free hockey cards
There wasn’t a better priced product on the market this year: Upper Deck National Hockey Card Day cards
were free to kids that walked into card stores on Jan. 23, 2009. That’s right, free. There were in fact three different packs to collect with five cards in each pack. The 15-card set featured rookies, current stars and legends, not
to mention Canadian television star Don Cherry. The brand helped celebrate hockey cards and drove collectors
to their local stores at the heart of the 2008-09 hockey-card season. It marked a great excuse for collectors to brave
the cold and get out of the house. Along with Cherry, young collectors got to “know” legends like Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr (it was only too bad that Maurice Richard was missing). The
set also included active stars like Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla as well as top draft pick Steven Stamkos.
2008-09 Upper Deck Ice
February 2009
Product category: Premium
$6.00 for five cards
“Virtually nothing symbolizes the game of hockey like a fresh sheet of ice” - UDC
Upper Deck Ice remains semi popular despite its on again, off again standing in the hockey-card market. Only
in its seventh season of production since 1996-97, Upper Deck Ice has never survived more than back-to-back
years - this being the second year end of yet another revival. The acetate Ice Premieres rookie cards definitely
drive pack sales, with the rare rookies “still fetching consistently solid values.”Collectors also appreciate the attractive design featured on the base cards. Despite its good qualities, however, box prices have dipped below their
original asking price. Furthermore, the brand received just six best-in-category votes, one less than Upper Deck
Black Diamond and far less than Upper Deck Centennial (15) and Upper Deck (32).
2008-09 Upper Deck Legends Masterpieces
August 2008
Product category: Super Premium
$7.50 for four cards
This new brand was perhaps forgotten in the clutter of 2008-09 sets, especially when you consider some 25
releases were issued after Upper Deck Legends Masterpieces made its debut in August 2008. The set was, however, very well received, especially in light of the player content and the way in which hockey’s great history was
presented through art. While there was some problems with quality control (because of the canvas finish on the
card fronts), collectors were “genuinely happy with the slate of stars in the jersey and signature sets.” The rare
serial-numbered parallel variations of these special inserts were also very popular. Some 12 months after its initial release, Upper Deck Legends Masterpieces garnered just four best-in-category votes. It did, however, also
win one best-overall vote, suggesting that not everyone forgot this diamond in the rough.
20 -
2008-09 Upper Deck MVP
December 2008
Product category: Entry Level
$2.50 for eight cards
Upper Deck MVP features a “familiar product breakdown” that remains popular with those collectors searching for an inexpensive route to the NHL’s newest rookies. Now in its ninth season over an 11-year run (it made
its debut back in 1998-99), Upper Deck MVP remains number-two in the Entry Level category behind collecting legend O-Pee-Chee (six hockey years from 1933-34 to 1940-41 plus another 41 hockey years since 1961-62).
Upper Deck MVP won an impressive 14 best-in-category votes, second most behind O-Pee-Chee’s outstanding
37 (which was the most of any brand in five categories). Despite Upper Deck MVP’s perceived “bang for the
buck”, the brand was also perceived as over produced resulting in a slight drop in box prices by the end of the
2008-09 Upper Deck Ovation
November 2008
Product category: Entry Level
$40 per 50-card set
Upper Deck Ovation again flew very much under the hobby radar in 2008-09. Produced for retail stores, the
set was packaged in four different factory-sealed sets. Each tin box featured 50 different cards; all four tin boxes
completed a 200-card base set. The brand has followed the same formula for three straight years since making
its comeback in 2006-07 (it was a pack-distributed product in 1999-2000). This year’s brand not only included
all the big stars, but all the big rookies too, including Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason and first-overall draft
pick Steven Stamkos. The final 50-card tin had perhaps the best selection, including most “new” rookies as well
as company spokesperson Sidney Crosby. As the brand did last year, each tin included an oversize card, most often
unsigned, but sometimes (for those that are lucky) signed by the player.
2008-09 Upper Deck Rookie Class
January 2009
Product category: Entry Level
$20.00 for 51 cards
Like Power Play and Upper Deck Ovation, Upper Deck Rookie Class was a brand sold exclusively in set form.
Each set included the full 50-card base set plus one oversize card. Once in every 20 boxes, the set included a limited edition signature card. As $20 per box, Upper Deck Rookie Class “serves its purpose... offering collectors
the cheapest way to get all the year’s (newest) rookies in one shot.” With a January release, “second-half” rookies like Simeon Varlamov and Cory Schneider are missing. Then again, since most of the “big name” rookies came
out in the first half of the year, Upper Deck Rookie Class does capture the likes of Steve Mason, Steven Stamkos
and Luke Schenn. Fourteen of the 50 rookies are available in the oversize insert set while 41 of the 50 rookies
are available in the Signature insert.
2008-09 Upper Deck Trilogy
December 2008
Product category: Special Chase (Rookie, Jersey or Signature per pack)
$25.00 for five cards
“Trilogy proves that Hat Tricks aren’t the only good threes in the hockey world” - UDC
Now in its fifth season since making its debut in 2003-04, Upper Deck Trilogy remains somewhat popular in
an otherwise acknowledged weak category. Some stores will suggest that packs are overpriced, noting that the
aftermarket prices on singles do not justify the $25 pack price. Then again, others will note that it was a decent
hit when it made its debut in December. Each pack includes either a numbered rookie card, a jersey card or a signature card. Rookie cards are limited to 999 or 499 copies, so they are plentiful enough when compared to rookie
cards in some other brands. Still, collectors like the “lottery” aspect and like the Ice Scripts signature cards. This
brand won 23 best-in-category votes, one less than category winner SP Game-Used Edition.
2008-09 Victory (inc. Update)
July 2008
Product category: Entry Level
$1.25 for six cards
Victory once again features the lowest pack price in the hockey-card market. At just over a loonie a pack,
young collectors should have no problem putting together the 200-card shell set. If they are looking for a challenge, they can complete the 50-card rookie subset as well as the two basic insert sets. They can also chase two
levels of parallel cards. The update set is in fact distributed in Upper Deck Series Two, thus featuring 50 veterans in their new uniforms and 50 rookies from the first part of the season. At year’s end, Victory collected six
best-in-category votes, third most in the Entry Level category behind O-Pee-Chee and Upper Deck MVP. Nevertheless, hobby stores confirm that Victory “is the epitomy of the Entry Level class.” The 2009-10 Victory brand
was released on Aug. 5, one day before The Cup marked the end of the 2008-09 hockey-card season.
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 21
In The Game’s Card Year in Review
In The Game was not licensed by the National Hockey League or National Hockey
League Players’ Association in 2008-09, but that did not stop the company from producing popular products throughout the year. The 2008-09 hockey-card lineup featured three returning brands, although one was split into the two Superlative releases
(Canadiens and Maple Leafs). Between the Pipes and Heroes & Prospects featured licensing rights from the American Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League, so
up-and-coming talents like John Tavares and Simeon Varlamov were included in
brands. The Superlative designs did not feature the club logos, but rather highlighted
the player’s signature or memorabilia piece.
2008-09 Between The Pipes
March 2009
Product category: Premium
$5.00 for five cards
Now in its fifth season, In The Game’s Between the Pipes made a big impression with collectors this year after
cutting production without cutting the goods. As a result, many (but not all) boxes produced extra hits. Said Scott
Veenstra of Action Packed Comics in Kingston, ON, “In The Game cut the Between the Pipes print run in half.
There was not a single complaint from our customers. Almost 80% of them doubled their money on their box.”
So popular was this brand that some stores tried to vote for it in the NHL Premium category. Like In The Game
Heroes & Prospects, this brand featured retired legends and NHL prospects. Up-and-coming AHL goalies like
Simeon Varlamov and Cory Schneider (who both made their NHL rookie-card debut) are included in this year’s
set. Collectors also really liked the Super Gloves and Super-Sized Pads.
2008-09 In The Game Heroes & Prospects (inc. Update)
December 2008
Product category: Premium
$4.50 for five cards
In The Game Heroes & Prospects delivers what no NHL product can deliver - the hottest prospects outside the
NHL. This year’s product was no different, featuring superstar-in-waiting John Tavares. Tavares, who has been
featured exclusively with In The Game since 2005-06, should make his NHL debut in 2009-10. The set also included junior prospects Victor Hedman, Evander Kane and Cody Hodgson. The set also included 2008-09 NHL
graduates Steven Stamkos, Alex Pietrangelo and Luke Schenn. On the flip side, the “Heroes” portion (specifically retired legends) continues to became a smaller and smaller component of what could be renamed “In The
Game Prospects”. Peter Forsberg was the one retired “hero” of note while active NHL stars Alex Ovechkin, Ryan
Getzlaf and Pavel Datsyuk were also included.
2008-09 In The Game Superlative Bleu, Blanc, Rouge
January 2009
Product category: Super Chase
$500 for seven cards
Released shortly before the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montréal, In The Game Superlative Bleu, Blanc et
Rouge had a brief head start on UDC’s all-Montréal set, Upper Deck Canadiens Centennial. In the collecting
world, however, the two products were miles apart. Sold at an impressive $400-500 per pack, In The Game Superlative Bleu, Blanc et Rouge was created for the high-end collector. The entire series focuses on the Montréal
Canadiens who in 2009 celebrate its 100th anniversary. Every card is limited to 40 copies or less, most of which
are either signed or feature a cut-and-affixed swatch from game-used memorabilia. There are numerous one-ofa-kind inserts, including cut-signature cards of deceased and honoured members from the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The set features players from all eras of the storied franchise’s past.
2008-09 In The Game Superlative Franchise
May 2009
Product category: Super Chase
$500 for seven cards
Like Bleu, Blanc et Rouge, In The Game Superlative Franchise is entirely focused on one team. This time, In
The Game portrayed the Canadiens’ biggest rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Released in time for the Toronto
Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo, In The Game Superlative Franchise features the most popular Toronto players
from eight decades at Maple Leaf Gardens and the Air Canada Centre. The Toronto set had a higher print run than
the Montréal set, even though Montréal fans will point out there is “not as much star power” in the Toronto
lineup. For those dedicated “Leaf Nation” members, however, this series features just the right mix of former players. Toronto has, after all, won 13 Stanley Cup championships, third most in NHL history. The most recent championship was, of course, 1967.
22 -
McFarlane Sports Picks
There were three standard Sports Picks hockey
series released during the 2008-09 NHL season:
NHL 19 (August 2008), NHL 20 (February 2009)
and NHL 21 (March 2009). These series featured
both active and retired players. There was also one
series of retired stars: Legends 7 (November 2008).
Outside these four series, there was a six-figure
series distributed exclusively through Grosnor Distribution in Toronto. That series featured one player
from each of the six Canadian teams. There were
also three two-pack figures sold at Wal-mart Canada
stores. Other special releases were the Trevor Linden (Canucks) and Saku Koivu (All-Star) figures.
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The Want List - Premiere Issue - 23
draft days
draft days
24 -
draft days
he National Hockey League’s Entry Draft provides new hope for
its teams and fans every year. If you follow the New York Islanders, though, the answer may be more along the lines of, ‘maybe
we’ll get that special something next year.’
With apologies to Joshua Bailey (ninth overall in 2008) and Kyle
Okposo (seventh overall in 2006) who have yet to make their NHL impact, Islanders’ fans have been waiting for what seems like a lifetime
to rejoin the glory days of their Stanley Cup past. The team hasn’t finished amongst the top-10 teams in back-to-back years since 1987-88
(Okposo’s birthyear) and hasn’t reached the second round of the playoffs in back-to-back years since 1985.
After an invincible run of four-straight Stanley Cup championships
from 1980 to 1983 (plus a fifth Prince of Wales Trophy in 1984), the
Islanders have run away from the elite company of the league. Aside
from a brief sojourn to the 1993 Wales Conference final after they toppled the two-time defending champion Penguins, the Islanders have
failed to impress in the NHL’s second season.
So along comes John Tavares, the sport’s heralded can’t-miss kid
going back four seasons. At last, the Islanders have not only won the
lottery, but it looks like they have made the right selection, too.
We’re not saying the Islanders are ready to rejoin the glory years or
win another Stanley Cup - not yet - but at last it looks like the team is
heading in the right direction with the selection of the can’t-miss
At last the New York faithful have the right to say, ‘we finally
snagged that something special.’
“He’s a tremendous talent and a high character kid,” said Islanders’
general manager Garth Snow on “We identified him
when we won the lottery. As we navigated through the process, it just
re-affirmed that John was the right selection for us. We picked the
player that we felt would fit in best with the other pieces of our puzzle.”
Now 19 years old on the eve of the 2009-10 season, Tavares is
primed to make an impact in his National Hockey League rookie season with the Islanders. He has loads of talent from
the offensive blueline towards the goal and will be
given plenty of ice time on a team that is starved
for offence.
More importantly, the Islanders’ franchise
knows it needs to sell tickets and genuine ‘hope’ to
its fans. More than just a piece to the puzzle,
Tavares has that potential to become a legitimate
franchise player, a player around which you can
build a winning team.
“I am excited and I can’t wait to get things
going,” said Tavares. “It’s going to be a lot of fun
and I can’t wait for this journey to start.”
“John Tavares is going to make the card market come around again. It will be a
one-two punch with Victor Hedman in Tampa Bay.” - Sonny Kunar, Terrace, BC
As soon as Tavares was drafted, New York
fans were searching for their new Tavares
memorabilia. The NHL sold draft caps for all
30 NHL teams (no player names attached)
while the Islanders began selling Tavares tshirts via its online website (Tavares / 91).
Tavares is not an NHL player until he
makes his debut this October, so he is not yet
eligible to be featured on licensed memorabilia issued by the National Hockey League
and National Hockey League Players’ Association. Licensees, of course, will be vigilant
to get their artwork ready in September so that
they can submit their designs to the NHLPA
the day Tavares makes his debut. As soon as
he is dressed and the whistle blows for the
opening face off, the NHLPA may grant approval and the production may begin.
Tavares’ first hockey cards are expected to
be released in early November, just before the
bi-annual Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo in
Toronto, ON. The Upper Deck Company cannot tip its hat early, but you can expect
Tavares to be included in 2009-10 Upper
Deck Series One as long as Tavares stays
healthy through training camp and makes his
debut with the start of the season.
The NHLPA rules ensure that NHL players
are the focus within NHL picture-card sets.
Rookie cards are of great importance to the
marketing of these card sets, so lining up
rookie-card hype with rookie-season hype
was instrumental in the NHLPA’s decision to
remove non-NHLPA juniors from its sets 10
years ago. The move paid dividends for the
market, especially with the graduation of such
first-overall picks as Ilya Kovalchuk (200102), Rick Nash (2002-03), Marc-André
Fleury (2003-04), Alex Ovechkin (2005-06
because of the lockout), Sidney Crosby
(2005-06) and Patrick Kane (2007-08).
One big rookie is sometimes enough to
carry an entire rookie-card crop. Crosby and
Ovechkin did a marvelous job as a 2005-06
duo, although they could have honestly held
their own in separate years. From the 2009
draft, Tavares is expected to have the help of
Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning) and
Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche)
“John Tavares is going to make the card
market come around again,” says Sonny
Kunar of Sonny’s Collectables in Terrace,
BC. “It will be a one-two punch with Victor
Hedman in Tampa Bay.”
Unlike the National Basketball Association
and National Football League drafts, not all
NHL draftees make the immediate jump to
the NHL. From 1998 to 2008 (excluding the
2004 draft), an average of five first-round
draft picks played in the NHL in the same
season they were drafted. So from the 2009
draft, you may see top-five picks Tavares,
Hedman, Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche), Evander Kane (Atlanta Thrashers)
and Brayden Schenn (Los Angeles Kings).
More rookies will come out of the draft two
or three years past, which means we could be
in store for Cody Hodgson (Vancouver
Canucks), James Van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia
Flyers) and Thomas Hickey (Kings) this year.
Of note, the 2008 NHL Draft was a peculiar case in that it graduated 11 players to the
NHL in 2008-09. All six top picks - Steven
Stamkos (Lightning), Drew Doughty (Kings),
Zach Bogosian (Thrashers), Alex Pietrangelo
(St. Louis Blues), Luke Schenn (Toronto
Maple Leafs) and Nikita Filatov (Columbus
Blue Jackets) - had rookie cards issued during the 2008-09 season.
By contrast, the 2007 NHL Draft graduated
four players (Patrick Kane, Kyle Turris, Sam
Gagner and David Perron) while the 2006
NHL Draft graduated just two players (Jordan Staal and Phil Kessel). Fortunately, both
of those rookie-card crops had rookie cards
come in from previous drafts - Evgeni Malkin
in 2006-07 (drafted second overall in 2004)
and Jonathan Toews in 2007-08 (drafted third
overall in 2006).
“Lots of people assume Tavares, Hedman
and Duchene will be in Upper Deck Series
One,” says Glen Humenik of Legends of the
Game in Toronto. “There should be a solid
group in 2009-10. There is plenty of anticipation from our regular customers.”
So as goes Tavares, so too could the 200910 hockey-card season. There is plenty of
hope on young Tavares’ shoulders - you need
not ask collectors, but just Islanders’ faithful
in New York. Fortunately for everyone watching, Tavares isn’t just another first-overall
pick. This kid seems to be something special.
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 25
Vancouver Canucks’ Cody Hodgson
wore this collector jersey after signing
it at A.J. Sports World in Vaughan, ON
26 -
ohn Tavares, Victor Hedman, Cody Hodgson, Jonas Gustavsson, Matt Duchene and
James van Riesmsdyk. Those are the six
rookie-card prospects that Upper Deck Company’s hockey brand manager Josh Zusman
identified as Calder Trophy candidates for the
2009-10 National Hockey League season.
All six are expected to make their NHL
debut this October. Once they do, they will be
eligible for inclusion in 2009-10 hockey card
sets, most notably starting with the release of
Upper Deck Series One in November.
All six were also in gear for UDC’s firstever NHL Rookie Debut photo shoot on Aug.
26 in Mississauga, ON. With the blessing of
both the NHL and the National Hockey
League Players’ Association, fourteen rookie
prospects dressed in their NHL gear so that
UDC could photograph them before the start
of the 2009-10 NHL season.
Should these prospects make their debut in
the first week of October, UDC will have
plenty of artwork from which to choose. The
NHL’s exclusive trading-card company also
collected autographs and event-worn jerseys
that can be affixed to the future trading cards.
Of Zusman’s six picks, the 2009 NHL Draft
trio is Tavares, Hedman and Duchene. The
three teenagers, all born during the 1990-91
season when UDC entered the hockey-card
market, were drafted one-two-three in the
2009 NHL Entry Draft. Tavares is a forward
with the New York Islanders, Hedman is a defenceman with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and
Duchene is a forward with the Colorado Avalanche.
“I think Cody Hodgson could just be a darling of this
rookie class” - Josh Zusman, Upper Deck Co.
“They have incredible skill and an incredible sense of the game,” said Zusman. “They
have a wealth of talent and they know how to
take their game to the next level. Ultimately,
I hope that in the NHL they can translate that
(talent) into making the players around them
that much better. That is the true mark of a superstar.”
Two of the “older” players were drafted
high in the past two NHL Entry Drafts. Centre Hodgson was drafted 10th overall in the
2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver
Canucks. Winger van Riemsdyk was drafted
second overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
by the Philadelphia Flyers.
“Hodgson and van Riemsdyk both had incredible World Junior Championships,” said
Zusman. “Their international experience will
go a long way. When you have that kind of
experience playing against the best in the
world at your own age, it makes a huge difference. So when you get to the NHL, you
won’t be necessarily shocked by players that
may be bigger (and) that may be faster.”
The sixth player is goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. Gustavsson was never drafted, but
rather signed as a free agent with the Toronto
Maple Leafs this past off-season. He says he
wants to challenge likely goaltending partner
Vesa Toskala for as many games as possible
between the Toronto pipes.
Out of the gate, Tavares will unquestionably be the player to watch and the rookie
card to chase.
“Given the pre-season hype, given the
name and the amount of coverage he has received in previous years, he is an easy pick,”
said Zusman.
Tavares has been scrutinized at the majorjunior level these past four seasons. Drafted
first overall in the 2005 OHL Priority Draft,
he maintained his number-one prospect status
for four years so that he could be drafted first
overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Tavares is of course an early favourite to
win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
As for a “second pick”, Canucks’ forward
Cody Hodgson quickly comes to mind. Last
winter, Hodgson played alongside Tavares on
Canada’s gold-medal winning team at the
World Junior Championships in Ottawa.
“I wouldn’t call this guy at all a surprise,
but I just think that to the level this guy may
get, it may be very close to John Tavares in
the end,” said Zusman. “I just think his natural talent, him playing in a great hockey city
like Vancouver: he could just be a darling of
this rookie class and really garner huge values both early and down the road.”
It should be a great rookie year. Let’s just
hope they all play early so we can start chasing their RCs sooner rather than later.
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 27
1990-91 BIRTH YEAR
Okay, so we haven’t seen
the designs that the Upper
Deck Company will unveil
for the first Tavares, Hedman and Duchene cards.
In the meantime, you can
enjoy the classic 1990-91
Upper Deck design - the
season in which the trio
was born!
28 -
Mikael Backlund
Colin Wilson
The Upper Deck Company invited 14
rookie-card prospects to its first-ever NHL
Rookie Debut photo shoot. Here is a quick
look at the 14 invited players.
A first-round pick from the 2007 NHL Entry
Draft, Backlund moved to Canada in 2009
after the World Junior Championships in Ottawa. He made his NHL debut in January.
The seventh-overall pick from the 2008 NHL
Entry Draft, Wilson was also the #4 prospect
listed in The Hockey News’ Future Watch ‘09
Selected first overall in the 2009 NHL Entry
Draft, Tavares has been the NHL’s most anticipated rookie since he made his OHL
debut four years ago.
Undrafted, Bozak was a prize signing for the
Maple Leafs this past April. The two-way
centre will turn pro this season after a twoyear career at the University of Denver.
A first-round pick from the 2006 NHL Entry
Draft, defenceman Sanguinetti has spent a
year of seasoning in the American League
with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Selected second overall in the 2009 NHL
Entry Draft, Hedman hopes to blossom into
the next great defenceman, following the
trail of Börje Salming and Nicklas Lidström.
Undrafted, goalie Gustavsson signed with
the Maple Leafs this past July after winning
an Elitserien championship and an IIHF
World Championships bronze medal.
The second-overall pick from the 2007 NHL
Entry Draft, van Riemsdyk will turn pro after
a two-year stint at the University of New
Selected third overall in the 2009 NHL Entry
Draft, Duchene hopes to fill the lineup position vacated by outgoing scoring legend Joe
A second-round pick from the 2007 NHL
Entry Draft, defenceman Subban won a gold
medal with Canada at the 2009 IIHF World
Junior Championships in Ottawa.
A second-round pick from the 2007 NHL
Entry Draft (by the Ducks), Tangradi hopes
to turn pro with Pittsburgh after a three-year
major-junior career with Belleville.
At 6'5" and 215 pounds (for now), Cowen is
a big defenceman that Ottawa would just
love to have on its blueline this season. He
was the 9th pick in the 2009 NHL Draft.
Ranked #2 in The Hockey News’ Future
Watch ‘09 issue (behind Nikita Filatov),
Hodgson is a can’t-miss prospect that will
make his debut in Vancouver this year.
The 9th overall pick from the 2007 NHL
Entry Draft, Couture was a late cut by the
Sharks last autumn and a late cut by
Canada’s junior team last winter.
John Tavares
Victor Hedman
Matt Duchene
Jared Cowen
Tyler Bozak
Bobby Sanguinetti
Jonas Gustavsson James van Riemsdyk
P.K. Subban
Cody Hodgson
Eric Tangradi
Logan Couture
2009 Upper Deck Rookie Debut photo shoot
Be sure to check out our next issue for a recap of the 2009 Upper Deck Rookie Debut
photo shoot. We’ll also highlight the rookies that made their debut in early October.
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 29
Early RCs from 2009-10 hockey
Fifty-five RCs have been featured in Victory and Fleer Ultra hockey
efore John Tavares, Victor Hedman and Matt
Duchene move to the head of the 2009-10
rookie-card class, there is a group of rookies
that make their debut in the first few sets of the
2009-10 season. After just two sets (Victory and
Fleer Ultra), there are already 55 new rookie-card
players on the market. These players all made
their debut in 2008-09, but were “saved” for the
2009-10 hockey-card season.
As the NHL-NHLPA’s exclusive trading-card
company, UDC imposes its own rookie cut-off
date each season. There is little sense in overwhelming late-season products with extra rookies, especially if those releases are Super Chase
products and those rookies were not available in
Premium or Super Premium products like Upper
Deck and SP Authentic.
Collectors generally understand that early-season RCs aren’t supposed to be as glamorous as the
new-year RCs that debut in November and December (ie - those that make their NHL debut in
October). Then again, there is usually one or two
kids that show promise.
Two years ago, there was David Krejci and
Jaroslav Halak. Last year, the class was better
with Derrick Brassard, Claude Giroux, Kyle Ok-
poso and Kyle Turris, not to mention surprise
Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason.
This year, there are more questions than answers. There are five former first-overall draft
picks, although only one of them ranked amongst
the Top 50 prospects in The Hockey News’ Future
Watch ‘09 magazine published last spring. That
was Flames’ centre Mikael Backlund, who is at
least decent enough to have earned an invitation to
the 2009 Upper Deck Rookie Debut photo shoot.
The one other Top-50 prospect is Artem Anisimov, who scored 37 goals last year for the American League’s Hartford Wolf Pack.
Undrafted forward Ville Leino recently resigned with the mighty Detroit Red Wings after
scoring five goals in his first 13 NHL games. He
won the 2007-08 Lasse Oksanen Trophy as the
best player in the Finnish League.
Goaltender Michal Neuvirth was the 2008-09
American League playoff MVP after leading the
Hershey Bears to a Calder Cup championship.
As for the rest of the group, it is interesting to
note that Christian Hanson is the son of former
Calder Cup champion Dave Hanson. Dave, of
course, is better known for his part in the 1970s
cult movie classic Slapshot.
Artem Anisimov NYRA
Centre, Drafted 2006-2-24
Mikael Backlund CALG
Centre, Drafted 2007-1-24
Taylor Chorney EDMO
Defence, Drafted 2005-2-36
Kris Chucko CALG
Forward, Drafted 2004-1-24
Jhonas Enroth BUFF
Goalie, Drafted 2006-2-26
Riku Helenius TAMP
Goalie, Drafted 2006-1-15
Ville Leino DETR
Forward, Undrafted
Michal Neuvirth WASH
Goalie, Drafted 2006-2-34
Matt Pelech CALG
Centre Mikael Backlund is a top rookie prospect for the 2009-10
Calgary Flames. He made his NHL debut last season.
30 -
Defence, Drafted 2005-1-26
Ivan Vishnevsky DALL
Defence, Drafted 2006-1-27
Cherry picks his Calder favourite
Matt Duchene will be one to watch during 2009-10 campaign
on Cherry knows who he likes for the 2009-10 Calder Trophy. At
the 2009 Upper Deck Rookie Debut photo shoot, he pointed to
Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene. The young forward
is expected to make his NHL debut this October after being drafted
third overall in the summer’s NHL Entry Draft.
As it so happens, Cherry isn’t just a big fan of Duchene, but Duchene (and his family) is a big fan of Cherry. As Cherry told it, Duchene’s grandfather can owe his life to Coach’s Corner, the Hockey
Night in Canada intermission show on which Cherry stars.
“His grandfather and grandmother own a dairy farm,” said Cherry.
“There was an awful icestorm while they were watching Hockey
Night in Canada, but the cows were ready to be milked. The grandmother said ‘you better get out there to milk those cows.’ He put on
his jacket, but then he said, ‘no, I am not going out until Coach’s Corner is over.’
“So he stood there are watched Coach’s Corner. While he was
watching Coach’s Corner, the barn collapsed and killed the cows.”
Duchene may thank Cherry for the “intervention”, but he doesn’t
need to rely on the television personality to promote him to the fans.
Duchene created plenty of fans on his own during his terrific 200809 junior season with the Ontario League’s Brampton Battalion. He
has picked up countless more since being drafted by the two-time
Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. He joins a popular team
in search of a new superstar after the retirement of franchise legend
Joe Sakic.
“Growing up, I had some different posters and I always cut some
stuff out of The Hockey News,” said Duchene. “I was just a normal kid
that collected as much as I could.”
Duchene was an Avalanche fan and had plenty of Colorado memorabilia on his walls. He even had an Avalanche jersey, albeit it wasn’t the first in his wardrobe.
“My uncle Newell Brown was a coach with the Adirondack Red
Wings in the American League, so I actually had a Red Wings jersey
when I was younger,” said Duchene. “My second jersey was an Avs
Duchene is now too big for those youth-size jerseys, but he did pick
up a new Avalanche jersey on draft day this past June. That new Avalanche NHL Draft jersey is the favourite in his collection, although
it will be surpassed by his first NHL game-worn jersey.
Duchene will be one of a handful of early-season favourites for the
Calder Trophy, the annual award presented to the NHL’s top rookie.
Other favourites include John Tavares and Victor Hedman from the
2009 NHL Draft (both selected ahead of Duchene) as well as Cody
Hodgson and Nikita Filatov from previous draft years.
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 31
What to expect from 2009-10 UDC
More than 20 NHL brands expected to be released this season
ith more than 20 NHL brands slated for release in 2009-10, there should
be a little bit of everything for everyone when it comes to card collecting. This will be Upper Deck Company’s fifth and final year of its existing NHL-NHLPA exclusive trading card license, so it is hoping to make a big
impression. Rookies like John Tavares, Victor Hedman and Matt Duchene (see
preceding stories) could go a long way in making that happen.
UDC does not anticipate any new brands this year (or at least, it is not tipping its hat just yet). Each brand’s 2009-10 make-up should be pretty similar
to its 2008-09 make-up, so brush up with the 2008-09 Card Year in Review
(UDC brands on pages 16-21).
At least two brands are not expected to be back: Upper Deck Legends Masterpieces and Upper Deck Canadiens Centennial. At least one new insert has
been previewed for 2009-10: Shadow Box inserts (see football card at right)
will be added to 2009-10 SPx.
Card season offers something for everyone, from beginner to veteran
ow that you have reviewed the 2008-09
Card Year in Review, you are probably
wondering why some packs cost less
than a “toonie” and others cost more than
$500. If you are indeed new to the hobby,
you may want to take advantage of the next
few paragraphs before you get started in
“Sample a pack from a couple of different brands,” said Hans Tan of Game Breakers Sports Cards in Ottawa, ON. “See if one
jumps out that you like.”
Okay, so maybe if you are sampling
packs, be sure to try either the entry-level or
premium packs first. Those are packs $5-6
or less. It’s best that you start slow.
“‘How do you want to collect’ - that’s the
first question we ask customers,” said
Wayne Wagner of Wayne’s Sports Cards in
Edmonton, AB. “Do you want to collect
players, sets, rookies, memorabilia, autographs? You need to determine which spectrum or you can you select all of the above.”
When it comes to collecting, “there is no
right or wrong answer.”
Once you decide what you want to collect,
start asking questions. Start by speaking
with the manager or employee at your local
sports hobby store.
Finding a good sports hobby store is one
of the first things you should do. You may
sample your first few packs at a retail or corner store, but be sure to find a sports hobby
store so that you get a good idea of what is
32 -
“Sample packs from a couple of different brands. See if
one jumps out that you like” - Game Breakers Sports Cards
available to collect. If there isn’t a store in
your area, try to find a local show or even
plan a road trip to visit an out-of-town shop.
There may not be a sports hobby shop in
your area, but that shouldn’t stop you from
learning as much as you can about the
Once you do get a taste for the hobby, determine what your objectives will be for
your first hockey-card season. That might
mean determining a budget or a rough estimate of how much you would like to spend.
If you want to build just one set through
no more than a couple of boxes, try Victory
or Upper Deck MVP.
The 2009-10 Victory set is the first set of
the new season. There are 200 cards in the
shell set, or 250 if you want to chase the
have you...
If you want a greater challenge, try the
2009-10 O-Pee-Chee brand. There are 600
cards in the base set, so it is going to take
more work. Also be sure to keep an eye out
for the expected Update set, which might
feature an extra 200 cards to the series.
Once you do start buying cards, you will
need to decide how you are going to store
them. You can purchase either plastic binder
pages (along with a binder) or cardboard
boxes for storage. Your card dealer should
be able to give you a hand.
Finally, if you are buying packs, it is a
good idea to meet other collectors with
whom you can trade. After all, there is no
such thing as perfect collation.
Of course, meeting other collectors will
make your collecting habits that much more
Found a good hobby store that you can visit regularly?
Determined your objectives for the hockey-card season?
Bought binder pages or boxes to store your cards?
Met other collectors with whom you can trade?
Visited the collector’s calendar at
Scoring King vs. scoring Queen
Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, Brampton’s Jayna Hefford win titles
Art Ross Trophy
113 points in 82 games
1.38 points per game POINTS/GP
Angela James Bowl
Mock card: this card does not exist
69 points in 28 games
2.46 points per game
110 points by Alex Ovechkin RUNNER-UP 59 points by Caroline Ouellette
Malkin 1st in NHL Assists (78) GOAL/ASSIST Hefford 1st in CWHL Goals (44)
2009 Stanley Cup
23 years old
2005-06 NHL
2006 Fourth Place
Pittsburgh Penguins
Top-20 Art Ross Trophy Scoring Leaders
2009 Third Place
32 years old
1996-97 COWHL
2006 Gold Medal
Canada Olympic
Evgeni Malkin has spent all three years of his NHL career on the NHL’s top-20 scoring list. This past season, eight players made their
debut on the year-end top-20 list: the Devils’ Zach Parisé (fifth overall), the Capitals’ Nicklas Bäckström (10th overall), the Flyers’ Jeff
Carter (12th overall), the Flames’ Michael Cammalleri (13th overall), the Canucks’ Henrik Sedin (15th overall), the Flyers’ Michael
Richards (16th overall), the Capitals’ Alexander Semin (18th overall), and the Blue Jackets’ Rick Nash (19th overall).
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 33
19 must-have Joe Sakic items
How to build your very own tribute collection
Game-Worn Jersey
Okay, so it won’t be cheap, but it is the
ultimate addition to any Joe Sakic collection. If you are fortunate to find one,
buy a Nordiques gamer from Sakic’s
early days.
Canada Jersey
It doesn’t need to be game-used, it just
needs to feature the Canadian maple leaf.
Try to match the look of the 2002 Winter
Olympics when Canada won gold.
Signed Photo
Pick a great photo and see if you can get
it signed in person. If you have the option, have it personalized.
Sports Picks Figure
Take your pick of any McFarlane Sports
Picks figure of Sakic, be it with Québec,
Colorado or Canada.
Classic Portraits Bust
Joe Sakic finished amongst the top-20 NHL scorers 14 times during his career - that’s more often than Jaromir Jagr (13),
Ron Francis (12), Mario Lemieux (11) and Steve Yzerman (11)
Rookie Card
Stanley Cup Photo
These busts were issued in Upper Deck Classic Portraits in 2002-03 and 2003-04.
Don’t get just one, pick up both the Topps
and O-Pee-Chee rookie cards from 1989-90.
Any photo, trading card or publication featuring Sakic with the Stanely Cup.
It won’t feature Sakic, but should feature the
Avalanche logo to represent 1996 or 2001.
Take your pick of any of Sakic’s Québec or
Colorado team-issued oversize cards.
Any photo, trading card or publication featuring Sakic with the Conn Smythe Trophy.
The NHL’s 1996 Stanley Cup Avalanche
DVD is entitled “Landslide”.
Sakic’s first authentic signature card was
seeded in 1997-98 Pinnacle Be A Player.
Any photo or trading card featuring Sakic
with the Hart Trophy or Pearson Award.
This guide features Sakic and the Avalanche
after their first Stanley Cup championship.
Try to find a multi-colour jersey card, or better yet a patch card.
Any game-used puck from a game in which
Sakic played. Better yet, make it a goal puck.
After you select your poster, be sure to hang
it proudly on your wall.
There are more than 100 so-called one-of-akind Sakic cards from which to choose.
You will want this in your collection. After
all, Sakic used it to score hundreds of goals.
Mini Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup DVD
1996-97 Media Guide
Full-Size Poster
34 -
Team-Issued Card
Signature Card
Memorabilia Card
One-of-a-Kind Card
Smythe Trophy Photo
Sakic Trophy Photo
Game-Used Puck
Game-Used Stick
Joe Sakic Memorabilia
1988-89 Québec Nordiques GU Jersey #88
1994 Québec Nordiques GU Jersey
1991-92 Québec Nordiques GU Jersey
1989-90 Québec Nordiques GU Jersey
2004 Canada World Cup GU Jersey
2005-06 Colorado Avalanche GU Jersey (Goal 544)
2004 NHL All-Star GU Jersey
2000-01 Colorado Avalanche GU Jersey
2003-04 Colorado Avalanche GU Playoff Jersey
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded PSA-6
2001-02 Colorado Avalanche GU Cancer Jersey
2006 Canada Olympic GU Jersey
1997-98 Colorado Avalanche GU Jersey
2002-03 Colorado Avalanche GU Alternate Jersey
2004 NHL Skills Competition Jersey
2002-03 Colorado Avalanche GU Alternate Jersey
2004 NHL All-Star GU Jersey
2000 NHL All-Star Practice Jersey
2002 Canada Olympic Training Jersey
$7,500 U.S.
$5,973 U.S.
$5,696 U.S.
$4,436 U.S.
$4,200 U.S.
$3,975 U.S.
$3,800 U.S.
$2,662 U.S.
$2,395 U.S.
$2,358 U.S.
$2,320 U.S.
$2,196 U.S.
$2,087 U.S.
$1,610 U.S.
$1,501 U.S.
$1,330 U.S.
$1,264 U.S.
$1,121 U.S.
$886 U.S.
This Joe Sakic rookie game-used jersey (left) sold for more than $10,000
Cdn. in a May 2004 Classic Collectibles auction.
The jersey can be photo matched to
his 1989-90 O-Pee-Chee rookie card
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 35
Hockey’s Classic Set:
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee
OUR Top-10
Classic sets
1951-52 Parkies
1954-55 Topps
1955-56 Parkies
1960-61 Topps
1964-65 O-Pee-Chee
1966-67 O-Pee-Chee
1971-72 O-Pee-Chee
1974-75 O-Pee-Chee
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee
1984-85 O-Pee-Chee
ary Koreen nearly bit his tongue after he
said it, worried he might get a phone call
from the Great One himself.
“That year, people didn’t realize that he
would develop into the player that he did,”
said Mr. Koreen, referring to Wayne Gretzky
and the Gretzky rookie card from the 1979-80
O-Pee-Chee set.
“Well, we knew, but...”
Yes, the hockey world knew he would be
good, but maybe not 60-plus NHL records
good. Mr. Koreen should rest easy knowing
the Great One won’t come calling to ask if
Canada’s greatest card company ever thought
less of the 18-year old superstar in the making. After all, O-Pee-Chee’s testimonial of the
Great One can be found on the back of that
1979-80 hockey card.
It reads, “Wayne is considered the best
prospect to turn professional since Guy
Nearly 30 years after his NHL debut, Gretzky is considered by many to have enjoyed
hockey’s greatest career. As for Mr. Koreen’s
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee hockey set, it is considered the most significant hockey set of the
post-War era.
“You talk of the changing of the guard,”
said Jason Martin of Martin Sports Cards in
Guelph, ON. “You have Gordie Howe looking
like a grandfather and Bobby Hull with a
toupé well into his 40s. That set captures those
two legends in their final year. Then there is
the Gretzky card picturing him as a 17-year
old rookie.”
The 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee set is distinct.
After a five-year run of the plain white border,
the O-Pee-Chee Company switched to the
now-famous baby blue border for its hockey
set. Over time, the blue border has proved to
be one of the greatest challenges for card collectors searching for that perfect Gretzky or
compiling that perfect set.
The taste of O-Pee-Chee gum
36 -
“Any little touch to the card and it will show
more on the blue compared to the white,” said
Martin recently learned a little history to the
colour selection from a former employee of
Lawson & Jones, the company that printed
O-Pee-Chee’s hockey cards at the time. As it
turns out, Lawson & Jones had a surplus of
that very blue and suggested it be used for the
hockey design. The blue had previously been
used by Carling O’Keefe on its Old Vienna
beer packaging.
There were other significant changes to that
1979-80 set. For young collectors in Canada,
the pack price jumped from 15 cents to 20
cents. To provide merit to the cost, O-PeeChee added four more cards to every pack (14
cards plus a stick of bubble gum).
Today, a single unopened pack may cost
you more than $200.
“Everyone opened it, so it is very hard to
find it in unopened wax today,” said Demian
Werner of Global Authority. “The packs were
Harvey Goldfarb of A.J. Sports World remembers the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee set well. After all, he was a young
father when he was first introduced to collecting. “My responsibility was to sit down at supper time and make sure
the kids ate supper. I used to bribe them with a piece of gum and the gum came from 1979-80 cards. So I took all
the cards and I built three sets, one for each one of the kids. I then took all the other cards and I put all the cards
in a big kleenex box down in the basement. I had thousands of them.”
meant to be opened and people of course have
an itch to open them.”
Packs can still be found in their unopened
form, however collectors should be careful to
ensure the pack has not been tampered. Packs
can also be found professionally graded or
guarded by companies like Global, PSA or
“If they realize there is nothing in there, the
first thing they want to do is put it back,” said
Werner. “They want to sell it to someone
The “something” is the Wayne Gretzky
rookie card, number 18 in the 396-card set.
It’s not an exact science, but there should be
one Gretzky rookie card in every 28 packs or
The 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee set is often
viewed as a one-horse set. At times, the Gretzky rookie card makes up 90% of the entire
set value. The second-most expensive card is
the Howe finale at $20-$25.
When Gretzky was filling his showcase in
the 1980s and 1990s, many hockey fans only
wanted the Gretzky rookie card. Today, fans
are going back and completing the set.
“It is interesting,” said Martin. “In the last
six to 10 years, guys that had previously
bought the Gretzky are coming back to get the
rest of the set.”
This past year, the Upper Deck Company
even inserted original 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee
cards in its 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee hockey set.
The Upper Deck Company, who has pro-
Today, most Gretzky rookie cards cost
$800-$1,200. A so-called mint card that has
been professionally graded should cost in excess of $5,000.
The most-expensive copy sold to date was
a Gem Mint card graded BGS-10. It sold for
$75,594 Cdn. in August 2005.
“When cards got hot in the 1990s, the first
‘old’ set to which collectors returned was the
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee set,” said John McQuaig of Overtime Sports in Thunder Bay,
ON. “Sure, they bought other sets from the
(early) Parkies to the (1980-81) Raymond
Bourque rookie year , but it was the Gretzky
year that became the iconic set.”
So iconic, in fact, that many fake copies
have been produced in the last 30 years, a
problem that has been somewhat curbed
thanks to the emergence of authentication
companies in the last 15 years. One tell-tale
sign of what is likely an authentic copy is the
“tint mark on Gretzky’s left shoulder,” said
Mr. Koreen.
duced O-Pee-Chee cards since 2006-07, also
featured active and retired players on a new
retro-look insert with the 1979-80 design.
Those new cards featured the same blue border on the front and the skate design on the
back. Only the cartoons are missing.
Beyond the Gretzky card, the original
1979-80 set featured superstars of hockey like
Lafleur, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Marcel
Dionne, Bobby Clarke and Phil Esposito.
Along with Howe and Hull, Ken Dryden and
Stan Mikita also make their final O-Pee-Chee
Only Bobby Orr is missing.
As for rookies, Gretzky is the only one that
earned a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
By contrast, the 1980-81 set featured five Hall
of Fame rookies while the 1981-82 set featured six Hall of Fame rookies.
Back in 1979-80, however, the other “hot”
rookies were Charlie Simmer, Bobby Smith
and Ryan Walter. Smith, although three years
older, outscored Gretzky when both played
“Guys that had previously bought the Gretzky are coming
back to get the rest of the set.” - Jason Martin, Guelph, ON
junior hockey in the Ontario League in 197778.
As for other “new” players, there was the
entire cast of Edmonton Oilers, Hartford
Whalers, Québec Nordiques and Winnipeg
Jets. The four former World Hockey Association teams made their NHL debut in 197980. The logo/checklist cards of the Oilers,
Whalers and Jets are still very popular with
The Nordiques checklist card features the
team photo, as did the checklists for the 17 established NHL teams. It happened to be the
“end of an era” for hockey team photo cards
in 1979-80. In 1980-81, the 21 team checklists featured the team goal-scoring leaders.
As for the cartoons, it was the last year of
player-specific cartoons for O-Pee-Chee
hockey. In 1980-81, the card-back cartoons
featured generic topics, which actually meant
cameo appearances for retired legends like
Bill Cook, Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuk and
Bobby Orr.
The 1979-80 set also featured the last year
of the Atlanta Flames (before the franchise
moved to Calgary) and the first year of the
often-mocked (albeit my favourite) Vancouver Canucks “V” jerseys.
Today, the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee set may
cost you $1,000-$1,200, although beyond the
Gretzky cards cost 75¢ (commons) to $25
(the Howe).
The true mark of the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee
set, however, is the Gretzky rookie. By capturing Gretzky during his first NHL campaign, O-Pee-Chee provided a portrait to what
was the greatest entrance in league history.
That card captures the Great One just before we truly knew how great he was.
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 37
Your twelve-pack of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee
#19 Ron Sedlbauer
The “V” jersey made its OPC
debut in 1979-80. As for
“Seds”, he was coming off a
club-record 40-goal season.
#108 Marc Tardif
Tardif, the first captain of the
NHL Nordiques in 1979-80,
was the WHA’s all-time leading
goal scorer with 316 goals.
#281 Greg Millen (RC)
The Penguins’ blue jerseys, featured here on the maskless
Millen, made its final showing
in the 1979-80 OPC set.
38 -
#46 Marty Howe
The Howe boys (Marty and
Mark) made their NHL card debuts in 1979-80 while father
Gordie made his final showing.
#191 Charlie Simmer (RC)
Simmer scored 50 goals in 51
games in 1979-80, highlighted
by an NHL record 13-game
goal-scoring streak.
#330 Rick Hampton
Hampton played for the Kings
in 1978-79, but OPC reverted
to using an older photo from the
defunct Cleveland Barons days.
#71 Dave Dryden
The older Dryden was the first
goalie to wear the mask-cage
hybrid mask, as featured on this
his final NHL card.
#200 Guy Lafleur
A six-time 50-goal scorer
(1974-75 to 1979-80), Lafleur
helped the Canadiens win four
Stanley Cups from 1976-79.
#373 Ron Ellis
Ellis was the last-remaining
member of the 1967 Stanley
Cup champions still in Toronto
in 1979-80.
#100 Bryan Trottier
Trottier was the reigning NHL
scoring champion from the
1978-79 season. He won the
Conn Smythe Trophy in 1980.
#206 Bobby Smith (RC)
Smith won the Calder Trophy
as the NHL’s top rookie in
1978-79. He was the first-overall draft pick in 1978.
#396 Lars-Erik Sjöberg
One of seven three-time AVCO
Trophy champions in Winnipeg, Sjöberg was the first
captain of the NHL Jets.
How the rest of the pack stacks up
“You had all the greats of the game and
their rookie cards in this set,” said Harvey
Goldfarb of A.J. Sports World.
Led by the likes of uber-legends Maurice
Richard and Gordie Howe, the 1951-52
Parkies set features a remarkable Hall of
Fame lineup. It also features legends Terry
Sawchuk, Doug Harvey, Bernie Geoffrion,
Ted Kennedy and Ted Lindsay.
“This set has become one of the most
popular issues of vintage hockey cards,”
said David Martell of Global Vintage Sports
Cards & Memorabilia. “These cards will
never go out of style.”
The 1951-52 Parkies series was the first
true post-War hockey set. Despite its small
size (half the standard size), the 1951-52
Parkies still hold their charm in the hobby.
“I really enjoyed the first three Topps sets
which were art nouveau,” said Harvey
Goldfarb of A.J. Sports World. “They are
still amongst the nicest products ever
Slightly larger than what would become
the standard size, the first Topps hockey series was sold in one-card penny packs and
six-card nickel packs. The set features players from the four American teams: Boston,
Chicago, Detroit and New York.
“The 1954-55 Topps set is the most beautiful set ever released,” said Len Pottie of
Platinum Promotions.
vintage hockey price guide...
$7,000. / 5
$4,500. / ?
$4,500. / 4
$4,000. / 4
$8,000. / 6
$4,500. / 4
$4,000. / 4
$4,000. / 4
$2,500. / 4
$2,500. / 4
$2,500. / 4
$2,500. / 4
$2,000. / 4
$2,000. / 4
$2,000. / 4
$2,000. / 4
$15,000. / 105
$8,000. / 105
$5,000. / 100
$5,000. / 100
$5,000. / 60
$5,400. / 79
$3,600. / 50
$2,800. / 66
$2,000. / 50
$5,000. / 66
$1,600. / 50
$2,200. / 66
$2,000. / 61
$2,000. / 66
$1,600. / 66
$1,600. / 51
$1,500. / 66
$2,000. / 55
“It is one of the more popular sets of all
time, especially with Canadian collectors”
said Len Pottie of Platinum Promotions.
The 1955-56 set was the first Parkies set
to feature just two teams: Montréal and
Toronto. It features active and retired legends from both teams, as well as arena cards
of the great Montréal Forum and Maple
Leaf Gardens.
“It was such a neat looking set, such a
sign of the times,” said Harvey Goldfarb of
A.J. Sports World. “It may not be the most
important Parkies set, but it is a very difficult set to find in great condition.”
HOWE $3000, ROCKET $2000, SAWCHUK $1500, HARVEY $650, GEOFFRION $650
HORTON $750, MOORE $250, ARMSTRONG $250 ROCKET $1500, HOWE $1200
BÉLIVEAU $700, BATHGATE $175, HOWELL $175 HOWE $750, ROCKET $650
HOWE $600, ROCKET $500
HOWE $1800, SAWCHUK $750
PLANTE $1000, DUFF $100
ROCKET $500, PLANTE $400
HALL $400, BUCYK $250, ULLMAN $250
HOWE $500, SAWCHUK $250
ROCKET $400, PLANTE $300
HULL $3000
HOWE $600, SAWCHUK $200
ROCKET $325, PLANTE $225
HULL $600, HOWE $400
HOWE $350, ROCKET $300
HULL $500, VÉZINA $75
HULL $350, MIKITA $225
KEON $300
HOWE $250, BÉLIVEAU $100
HULL $350, MIKITA $125
HOWE $250, KEON $125
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 39
“This set is one of the nicest and bestliked sets,” said Len Pottie of Platinum Promotions.
Indeed, the 1960-61 Topps set is an affordable set that features many of the
game’s big stars, including Hockey Hall of
Fame legends from the pre-War era. Those
legends are featured in a special “All-Time
Greats” subset.
“It is a very popular set with collectors
today,” said Harvey Goldfarb of A.J. Sports
World. “There are lots of big-time players
that played in the 1960s and even into the
40 -
$1,700. / 4
$2,000. / 4
$2,200. / ?
$3,200. / ?
$1,700. / ?
$1,500. / ?
$8,000. / 5
$1,700. / 5
$1,500. / ?
$1,500. / ?
$1,200. / 8
$1,000. / 9
$700. / 8
$800. / 9
$650. / 8
$700. / 9
$500. / 8
$350. / 9
$300. / 8
$350. / 8
$600. / 8
$250. / 8
$200. / 9
$100. / 8
Just one year after the demise of Parkies,
O-Pee-Chee decided to change its shape,
making its cards more than an inch longer
than cards from the preceding years. Today,
these cards are simply known as “Tall
Thanks to the departure of Parkies, this
O-Pee-Chee set also happens to be the first
set in 10 years to feature players from all six
NHL teams.
$1,200. / 66
$2,800. / 99
$1,500. / 55
$4,800. / 55
$1,200. / 66
$1,800. / 66
$3,500. / 66
$1,200. / 66
$1,000. / 66
$2,000. / 66
$1,600. / 132
$1,000. / 85
$1,200. / 132
$1,000. / 99
$800. / 132
$800. / 132
$800. / 132
$800. / 132
$400. / 110
$375. / 98
$800. / 132
$300. / 132
$300. / 132
$500. / 396
Perhaps as much if not more of a one-man
set than the Gretzky 1979-80 year, the
1966-67 O-Pee-Chee set is dominated by
the great Bobby Orr.
“Other than the Orr, collectors are not
overly enthusiastic for this set,” said Len
Pottie of Platinum Promotions. “The cards
are so hard to get in good shape because of
the brown borders.”
Thanks to Orr, this series ranks as one of
the classic hockey sets of all time.
Those brown borders are part of a classic
woodgrain television design. The season coincided with Hockey Night in Canada’s first
colour broadcasts on CBC.
It was also the last year of the six-team
era, although O-Pee-Chee’s 12-team content
did not debut until 1968-69.
HULL $250, PLANTE $125
HOWE $500, SAWCHUK $125
HULL $400, BÉLIVEAU $125
HOWE $500, HULL AS $250
HOWE 600 $450, HOWE DP $160
ORR $3000, SINDEN $50, E.FRANCIS $25
ESPO $125, SAWCHUK $65
HOWE $225, HULL $150
HOWE $175, ESPO $75
ORR $750, ORR MISC. $350
ORR $400, HOWE $125
ORR MISC. $200, HOWE $65
ORR $250, HOWE $100
TONY-O $150
HOWE $175, ORR MISC. $80
ORR $175, HOWE $100
ORR $120, CLARKE $60
LAFLEUR $60, ORR $50
ORR $85, DRYDEN $65
ORR AS $50, HULL $65
ORR $60, LAFLEUR $35
Want more vintage pricing? Visit the online price guide section at
“It is one of the most recognizable designs,” said Kelvin Roemer of Kard Sharks
in Regina, SK. “People see that design and
know exactly what it is.”
Indeed, the 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee hockey
set features one of the most popular designs,
but it also “has a great lineup of players,”
said Moe Amerey of West's Sports Cards in
Edmonton, AB.
The Ken Dryden RC highlights Series
One while Marcel Dionne and Guy Lafleur
RCs highlight Series Two.
O-PEE-CHEE WHA $50. / 8
$50. / 8
O-PEE-CHEE WHA $75. / 8
$35. / 8
O-PEE-CHEE WHA $30. / 8
$18. / 12
O-PEE-CHEE WHA $20. / 12
$20. / 10
$200. / 14
$55. / 12
$30. / 14
$10. / 10
$8. / 10
$25. / 15
$45. / 15
$30. / 7
$10. / 7
$10. / 7
The 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee set does not illicit the same emotion as the 1971-72 or
1979-80 sets, but it does play a significant
role in the evolution of hockey cards. It was
the first single-series produced by O-PeeChee in a decade; it was also the biggest set
created to date (396 cards).
Its reputation suggests “it doesn’t do
much after the (Don) Cherry and (Scotty)
Bowman RCs.” In truth, it boasts HOF RCs
of Denis Potvin, Lanny McDonald, Bob
Gainey, Börje Salming and Steve Shutt.
$250. / 66
$400. / 396
$500. / 132
$250. / 396
$200. / 132
$150. / 396
$75. / 66
$200. / 396
$1,200. / 396
$400. / 396
$40. / 24
$350. / 396
$175. / 50
$100. / 396
$125. / 396
$120. / 141
$250. / 396
$400. / 264
$85. / 81
$350. / 264
$100. / 264
$100. / 264
$25. / 330
There are some who would suggest the
1985-86 or 1986-87 were better sets for
their lower print runs and impact RCs
(Mario Lemieux or Patrick Roy), but the
1984-85 features a superior design and an
impact rookie of its own (Steve Yzerman).
“It is loaded with rookies,” said Kelvin
Roemer of Kard Sharks in Regina, SK.
Along with HOF RCs Yzerman, Cam
Neely and Pat LaFontaine, this set includes
RCs of Chris Chelios and Doug Gilmour. It
is also the last big 396-card set of the 1980s.
LEMIEUX $250, MacINNIS $30
ROY $50
ROY $175
ORR $40, LAFLEUR $20
HULL $60, HOWE $60, PLANTE $50
ORR $50, LAFLEUR $25
HOWE $45, HULL $35
ORR $30, LAFLEUR $15
HOWE $40, HULL $25
HOWE $25, HULL $20, BOSSY $20
GRETZKY $5, WG w/ HOWE $20
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 41
The Graded One:
the Gretzky RC
Wayne Gretzky RCs
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded PSA-10
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded BGS-9.5
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded Gem Mint
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded Gem Mint
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded Mint
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded Mint
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded Mint
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded Near-Mint/Mint PSA-7
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded Near-Mint/Mint PSA-8
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee graded Near-Mint/Mint PSA-7
42 -
he Wayne Gretzky rookie card is the key
piece from the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee
hockey card set. In fact, it is the key
rookie card from the post-1967 expansion
Today, a “raw” Gretzky rookie card
(that is - ungraded) may cost you $1,000$1,200. If it has soft, rounded corners, it
may cost you only $100-500.
Once “slabbed” (that is - graded), a
high-grade copy will cost you significantly
more. So-called Mint copies often cost
$1,000-$5,000 each; Gem Mint copies fetch
greater values.
Seven years ago, a copy graded BGS-9.5
HIGH BID sold for $27,500 Cdn. ($17,601 in an eBay
$62,374 U.S. auction). Three years later, another copy
$17,601 U.S. graded PSA-10 sold for an unbelievable
$12,800 U.S. $75,594 Cdn. ($62,374 U.S. in a MastroNet
$8,166 U.S.
Cards that may look “mint” in your hands
$6,000 U.S. may not be graded as such when critiqued by
$5,500 U.S. a seasoned third-party expert. Even copies
$3,600 U.S. that come fresh out of a pack may have a
$713 U.S. blemish or two, be it the centering from a
rough O-Pee-Chee cut, a nick from the old
$700 U.S.
printing machines, or even a gum or wax stain
$686 U.S. on the front or back.
the Cartoons
#15Walt Tkaczuk
#197 Mike Palmateer
#290 Wayne Bianchin
#202 Morris Lukowich
#306 J. Bob Kelly
#22 Ron Zanussi
#92 Dan Labraaten
#217 Bob Nystrom
#341 Brian Glennie
#30 Ulf Nilsson
#105 Don Edwards
#235 Rogatien Vachon
#344 Curt Bennett
#33 Garry Unger
#111 Behn Wilson
#264 Russ Anderson
#360 Darcy Rota
#37 Rick Dudley
#134 Dave Schultz
#267 Robbie Ftorek
#365 Gerry Hart
#48 Paul Woods
#142 Wayne Babych
#270 Bob Manno
#368 Willy Lindström
#63 Dale McCourt
#159 Dave Maloney
#275 Pierre Plante
#390 Ed Kea
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 43
In The Game produces set for the collectors
n The Game wasn’t looking to create another run-of-the-mill card set. No, as company president Dr. Brian Price put it, “I
make my cards for collectors, so I wanted to
go to them and ask them which year was the
most significant in hockey history.”
It was quite the concept, one which in the
last nine months has taken on a life of its own.
It started back in January when In The Game
commenced its first collector survey.
“I wanted to pick a theme and I wanted to
do another retro set,” said Dr. Price. “We gave
collectors five choices (plus an open selection) and ran the votes through our website,
through Hobby Insider, through Sportsology
and through Beckett. The reply was unbelievable.”
Some 3,000 unique votes were cast with
two choices running neck and neck through to
the March deadline. The eventual winner 1972 - led the race from day one, although
1980 was a close second throughout the
“They ran neck and neck,” said Price.
“1972 was always just a little ahead of 1980.
I never imagined the passion that was brought
out by this survey and the hundreds of emails
I received from collectors who voted but also
felt that they had to let me know why they
voted for a certain year.”
1972, of course, drew heavy interest from
collectors north of the border. The 1972 Summit Series in which Canada won was surely at
the top of their minds.
1980, meanwhile, drew heavy interest from
collectors south of the border. The 1980
Olympic hockey tournament in which USA
won was of course at the top of their minds.
For the record, 1967 finished third in the
voting behind 1972 and 1980. While 1972 had
the Summit Series and 1980 had the Miracle
on Ice, 1967 had the incredible six-team expansion to the National Hockey League.
So after the theme was selected, In The
Game had to decide what to include in the set.
Once again, the company went back to the
collectors to decide which attributes should be
“I went to collectors and gave them all
other options,” said Price. “For instance, did
they want to go purely retro or incorporate
some new things, too? They voted for memorabilia cards because they wanted to have
value in the boxes. Should there be no current
players included? They said yes there could
be, but not as part of the base set.
“We followed the total script that the collectors wrote for us.”
For the content, In The Game looked at
three aspects from the 1972 season - the National Hockey League, the World Hockey Association, and the Canada-Soviet Union
Summit Series.
“We had to sign every player,” said Price.
“Some of the guys are our standard guys, like
the Canadian guys. Some of the WHA players were a challenge, but some of the NHL
players were a challenge (too).”
Price even included players from the Soviet
Union team that nearly beat Canada in 1972.
Enrolling the help of goaltender Vladislav
Tretiak (whom In The Game has featured in
the past), In The Game was able to add seven
other Soviet players for the 1972 series.
“I couldn’t sit back and just do Canadian
autographs,” said Price. “So we went on the
“We followed the total script that the collectors wrote for us.” - Dr. Brian Price
44 -
It happened in 1972
challenge to find as many of the Soviet
players as we could.”
There are five basic insert sets Greatest Moments, Masked Men,
Coaches, Forever Linked and Rookies.
There are even rare blank-back parallel
cards, mimicking the printing problem
that was sometimes encountered with
the old sets.
Of course, In The Game didn’t stop
with the retro players and the retro look.
It also created a box and wrap reminiscent of the old hockey cards from the
early 1970s. Cards come in a wax substrate wrapper (eight cards and one
decoy or memorabilia per pack). Packs
are housed in a cardboard box (18
packs per box).
There’s no gum, but In The Game did
experiment with adding a gum smell to
the wrapper. It didn’t work, so In The
Game passed on the idea.
“We did experiment with a scent – a
bubble gum scent – but it didn’t work,”
said Price.
While In The Game did as much as
possible to reinvent the year in collecting, it also made sure it stayed in tune
with the modern hobby.
In The Game 1972 will include jersey and autograph cards, two special inserts that weren’t around 37 years ago.
There are even scarce cut signature
cards featuring hockey, sport, political
and entertainment personalities.
“We kept production extremely low
because that is what the marketplace is
telling us,” said Price. “They would
rather we sell out and they get value.”
In The Game 1972 will be a memorable series for collectors, especially
those that took part in the survey.
“This is the kind of the thing we can
do,” said Price. “So we are doing it.”
The United States
won a silver medal at
the 1972 Winter
Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.
Despite being relegated to the B Pool of
the previous IIHF
Championship, USA qualified for Group A at
the Olympic tournament. In Group A,
USA posted three
wins in five games to
finish second behind gold medalist Soviet Union and
ahead of bronze medalist Czechoslovakia. USA’s surprising 5-1 victory over Czechoslovakia on Feb. 7 was
the difference in the standings.
Of note, two USA players joined the World Hockey
Association’s New England Whalers in the fall, helping
their new professional team win the 1973 AVCO World
Trophy (Kevin Ahearn and Tim Sheehy). USA’s 1972
team also featured a young teenaged Mark Howe, also
a future WHA champion.
The Nova Scotia Voyageurs became the first Canadian team to win the Calder Cup, the American Hockey
League’s playoff trophy. After finishing second in the
regular-season standings behind the Boston Bees, the
Voyageurs swept the Bees in the Eastern Division final.
In the AHL final, the Voyageurs won four out of six
games against the Baltimore Clippers, capturing the
title on May 15, 1972.
Nova Scotia goaltender Michel Plasse was the star
of the playoffs, posting a 1.25 goals-against average in
the second season. Three Nova Scotia players - Chuck
Lefley, Larry Robinson and Murray Wilson - went on
to win a Stanley Cup the following season with the
1973 Montréal Canadiens.
The Cornwall Royals won the 1972 Memorial Cup
championship. After finishing second in the roundrobin competition, the Royals won 2-1 over the Peterborough Petes in the May 14 final. Goaltender Richard
Brodeur won the Stafford Smythe Trophy as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Brodeur was one of a handful of future NHL players
on Cornwall’s roster. He also played in the WHA where
he won the AVCO World Trophy with the Québec
Nordiques. Other future NHLers were Blair MacDonald, Bob Murray, Al Sims and John Wensink. The team
also featured Robert Geoffrion (Boom Boom’s son)
and Ron Smith (future NHL coach).
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 45
The Want List
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Nov/Dec 2009
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October 2009
Toronto Expo, Holiday Season, New NHL Season
Jan/Feb 2010
Nov. 27 December 2009
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Jan. 25
February 2010
Autographs, Junior Prospects, Vintage Heroes
May/Jun 2010
Mar. 29
April 2010
Toronto Expo, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Olympic Gold
Jul/Aug 2010
May 28
June 2010
Stanley Cup Champs, Game Gear, NHL Entry Draft
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46 -
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2007-08 CWHL Ottawa Capital Canucks team set. Nine-card
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The Want List - Premiere Issue - 47
The Hersh Reality
Marc-André Fleury • by Hersh Borenstein
Flower Power
met Marc-André Fleury three weeks into
his NHL career and he has been my
favourite player ever since. What started as
a professional relationship has developed into
a friendship and culminated with tears streaming down my face when Fleury lifted the
Stanley Cup following Game 7 of this year’s
Finals. It was like watching your child succeed and was a feeling I have never experienced before. But I digress.
Initially, being a Fleury fan was not an enjoyable ride. I had to endure the disrespect
shown him by the financially-troubled Penguins during his first couple of years in the
league. A performance-laden contract kept
him bouncing up and down from the minors
so the Pens would not have to make good on
enriching bonus clauses. There was his “own
goal” in the 2004 IIHF World Junior Cham-
pionships and a couple of years in which he
played with an inflated goals-against average
(GAA). Multiple pundits were wondering if
the Penguins had wasted the #1 pick of the
2003 NHL Entry Draft and if Fleury would
ever aspire to the superstar goaltender projections placed on him at such a young age.
Then things changed. Sidney Crosby and
Evgeni Malkin arrived and the Penguins got
good. There was a 40-win season in 2006-07,
followed by a 2.33 GAA and a trip to the
Stanley Cup Final in 2007-08. But Fleury still
had his detractors, few of whom realized that
he still started the 2008-09 NHL season as the
second-youngest goaltender in the league (behind Carey Price).
Another visit to the Stanley Cup Final was
just around the corner. This time, the kid was
ready. Last year he made his Stanley Cup
The young Marc-André Fleury (24) is not much
older than many of his Pittsburgh fans
48 -
Final debut by tripping on a carpet that had
been ridiculously-placed right where the players jump onto the ice. At the game’s conclusion, he asked if I “liked (his) entrance?” Prior
to our next meeting, he promised that he
would “start this game better”.
That’s the thing with “The Flower”. He is
unbelievably good natured and always has a
smile on his face. He never lets anything
bother him; his positive attitude and goofy
grin are infectious. The kid just oozes
charisma which has made him one of the most
popular players in the game today.
There are critics who say his never-ending
positivity is a deterrent to becoming a great
goalie. They say that he needs to be more intense and get angry when the situation dictates. Those critics do not know Marc-André
For two years, I watched him handle the
pressure of the Stanley Cup Final. He comes
off the ice and is bombarded with media requests in both English and French. He accommodates all of them, even before he has a
chance to take off his pads. He has to change
with members of the press all around him. He
is often taken to the main stage to give a press
conference to the masses. He was once asked
how much his equipment weighs and replied
that, “when sweat-soaked, it’s usually about
35 pounds.” Co-incidentally, that’s the same
weight as the Stanley Cup. After practice, he
early and wait in droves to cheer for players
as they leave their cars, even though they
have zero access to them coming or going (no
one is getting any autographs here).
I had been 0-5 watching Fleury in person
in the playoffs, so when the Pens came out
victorious in Game 3, I was greeted with
“Your first win, huh? I guess you’re not a
jinx.” Thanks goodness I got that monkey off
my back and I could no longer be blamed for
all their losses. In the post-game press conference, Fleury had the press laughing by
looking at an imaginary watch and shaking
Gordie Howe wished him luck for the rest of the series. I
gave him the message and he replied, “really?”
is often the last to leave the building as he
stays behind to watch video of the opposition.
Prior to Game One of the 2009 Stanley
Cup Final, I was encouraged by the fact that
I had been given a room on the 29th floor of
my Detroit hotel. Was this purely a co-incidence? Detroit fans were hard on the kid and
kept up their chants of “Fleuuuuuuuuryyyyyyyy” throughout the first two games.
Little did they know there was no chance this
would phase him.
Unfortunately, these two games did nothing but remind us of the 2008 Final, where the
Wings were dominant and the Penguins
clearly overmatched. Fleury let in a couple of
soft goals and his critics dominated the radio
waves. Detroit once again jumped out to a
quick 2-0 lead in games, but at least this time
around the Penguins kept them close and
were able to score a couple of goals. Gordie
Howe asked me to pass on word to Fleury that
he thought he played great and wished him
luck for the rest of the series. I gave the kid
the message and he replied, “really?”
The games moved to Pittsburgh and Fleury
was a lot more relaxed. He drives his Lamborghini (he has a seven-year, $35-million
contract) to practice and does not have to
wear a suit everywhere, as team rules dictate
while on the road. He normally naps from 24 on a game day, but was thinking of pushing
it back an hour since Stanley Cup games don’t
start until 8:00 p.m. Regardless, he never naps
for more than two hours and is often woken
up by his dog Lily.
When you walk around downtown Pittsburgh, you find a city that really loves their
team, although they easily play second-fiddle
to the NFL’s Steelers. I was able to buy a
“Fast and the Fleurius” t-shirt, as well as a bar
of Fleury chocolate. Fans get to the games
his head when Crosby arrived late. He then
patted teammate and good friend Maxime
Talbot on the shoulder when Talbot gave
him credit for the win. Fleury ended the session by stating that, “tonight was fun.” Indeed it was, but it was about to get better.
The Pens were again victorious in Game
Four, tying up the series at two games
apiece. Detroit went ahead by winning
Game Five, but Pittsburgh won the next
game to force a seventh and deciding game.
Fleury’s naysayers were out in full force.
There were those that continued to say that
The Flower wilts in the spotlight and he
could not win the big game on the big stage.
Game Seven was going to be a careerdefining game: a tough loss
may shatter his confidence to the point where
he may never recover.
Fleury, however,
was up for the occasion. He used a pokecheck to stop a
breakaway early in
the game, something
I had never seen him
do before. Detroit
came on strong at
the end and even hit
the crossbar with
less than six minutes
left. A roof camera
caught Fleury thanking his crossbar during
commercial break. Is
it any wonder why
people love this guy?
A last-second
scoring chance by
Nicklas Lidström was stopped with a
sprawling save and the Pens were Stanley
Cup champions. Fleury threw his stick in the
air to celebrate, but has no idea what happened to it after that. He is still extremely shy
and placed himself at the far end of the team
photo because he did not want to uproot anyone that had already positioned themselves
front and centre. Even the team trainers had a
better spot than him. Eventually the Cup was
passed to Fleury; he quickly passed it on to
Talbot. I asked him if that kind of stuff was
pre-arranged. It wasn’t, but he always knew
that he would be giving it to or getting it
from Talbot.
He and the other players were allowed
to keep their jerseys from the final. His
mother had beer poured on her three
times, but did not care. She was sprayed
with more alcohol after the game.
Most importantly, Fleury proved to
everybody that he is one of the premier goaltenders in the league. At the
tender age of 24, he may have several more of these days in the future.
I hope to be able to experience
those victories, too.
Hersh Borenstein is the
President of Frozen Pond, a
Toronto-area sports marketing
and memorabilia company.
The Want List - Premiere Issue - 49
A piece of hockey history
Don Cherry
Sports Picks
would have liked to have had a lot
of Bobby Orr’s stuff,” said Don
Cherry, the former Boston Bruins
head coach and current television personality on CBC’s Hockey Night in
Canada. “He had unique equipment,
the gloves, the shin pads, the skates. I
asked but he said, ‘no, the cat got on it
and peed on it, so I threw it out...I almost cried. I said you could have got it
Bobby Orr’s game-used equipment
may indeed have gotten away, but
Cherry was more careful with his own
equipment. Hanging in his basement is
the pride and joy of his own playing
career, a Rochester Americans’ gameworn sweater.
“What is near and dear to me is a
Rochester Americans sweater that I
played in as a captain,” said Cherry.
“So if I have anything that I cherish, it
is the Rochester Americans sweater
when I was captain.”
Cherry was one of seven Rochester
players that won three Calder Cup
championships in four American
League seasons (1965, 1966 and
“They were heavy. I remember we
would go into Hershey which was a
real hot place, you would have those
wool socks and that big heavy
Rochester sweater.”
Cherry played much of his professional career in the American League,
although he did play one NHL game
for the Bruins (a playoff loss to the
Canadiens in the 1955 semi final).
Before Rochester, Cherry won his
first Calder Cup with the Springfield
Indians in 1960. As a junior, he won a
Memorial Cup championship in 1953
with the Barrie Flyers.
“I remember we’d go in
there with Springfield and
(team owner) Eddie
Shore would
wearing the
heaviest stuff. You would lose eight to
10 pounds. They were so heavy, but
we never knew any difference.”
Of course, Cherry admits that back
in the day, “we’d put (the pounds)
back on pretty quick right afterwards.”
Cherry also had “all sorts of tricks”
when it came to his sweaters.
“I always liked to have a tight
sweater, because when I got into a
fight, it would be tough (for the opponent) to grab a tight sweater.
“I would also cut the back of the
neck so if someone pulled the sweater,
it would rip a little bit so it wouldn’t
hurt my neck.”
As for those fights, there was always the chance that a little bit of
blood might fall on the sweater.
“We would get blood on them, but
the fans liked to see that stuff on our
sweaters. We would leave it on for
awhile, especially on the white
In time, manufacturers changed the
material used to make those hockey
jerseys and socks.
“I remember the very first sweaters
that came out with the little mesh, it
was Champion Knitwear in Rochester.
We were also the very first ones to
have socks that weren’t wool. I don’t
even know what it was, but it was almost a stretchy cloth, it was very cool.
I don’t think they have it now, but the
players loved it because it would also
hold the shin pads in place.
“I designed a lot of things like that.
I did the sweaters the way I wanted
them from when I played - nice and
cool. I guess I was way ahead of my
As for today’s “modern” jerseys,
Cherry is not a big fan.
“I have to tell you that I am not a big
fan of the new jerseys. I don’t think
they look very good; they look like
practice sweaters to me. When I think
of the (old) Montréal Canadiens, the
Boston Bruins, the Detroit Red Wings
- those were lovely sweaters.”
“Bobby Orr said, ‘the cat got on it and peed on it, so I threw it out,’... I almost cried.
I said you could have got it cleaned!” - Don Cherry on the memorabilia that got away
50 -

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