by Rich Klein
Although I grew up in the Northeast where hockey is popular, that interest is nothing near the interest in Canada. For several generations of families, a great tradition was every Saturday Night during hockey season was "Hockey Night in Canada" and Foster Hewitt was the voice of the nation each week. It was the “original six” era and the two Canadian teams in the NHL were the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Those two teams have had a rivalry in sports similar to the Boston Red Sox versus the New York Yankees.
With the 2012-13 hockey season in serious jeopardy, In the Game Trading Cards has taken advantage of the current problems to produce a set honoring past heroes of the Maple Leafs and Canadiens. This product is titled: Forever Rivals and the product was released in a 12-card box with each box containing three base cards, three non-memorabilia insert cards three game-used memorabilia cards and three signed cards.
The autograph checklist is pretty deep with more than 120 different players featured.
As of the middle of October, leading online retailers are selling this product between $95-115. Our "base" set featured only Maple Leafs so those cards feature full-color portrait cards in the middle of a maple leaf design with the player name underneath and the forever rivals words on the bottom. The back lists the player's name and has an informational blurb.
Here’s what we pulled:
Gold Parallel Card (Stated print run of 30); Tie Domi
Immortals: King Clancy. Seeing that card reminds me of watching Bill "the Big Whistle" Chadwick who would always interview King Clancy between periods of Rangers/Maple Leaf games. I wish somewhere some of those interviews were saved as that was some of the most interesting dialogue ever.
Greatest Moments: Turk Broda, Maurice Richard
Between the Pipes Jersey Blue Version: Curtis Joseph
Between the Pipes Dual Jerseys Silver Version: Andrew Raycroft/Cristobal Huet
Six hits including three nice autographs out of twelve total cards. Most collectors understand with that type of ratio why almost all the ITG products sell out as the value received per money spent is usually very good to the collectors. Plus with this checklist. the success is almost guaranteed as Canadian collectors will truly enjoy this product. You can see what's available on eBay here.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]