30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hidden Treasures #7: Hockey Enforcer Autographs

In 1991, the Sharks arrived on the scene in the NHL. Since then... I've become a huge fan and have grown to admire and respect the enforcers of the league, who are willing to give up their bodies to protect the team's superstars and/or help turn a game around.

Recently, there has been some controversy regarding In The Game's upcoming release, "Enforcers", which is a set that will commemorate past and present NHL tough guys.

I won't waste your time by repeating what others have said... so if you're not sure of what I'm talking about... I encourage you to check out these articles on the issue:

Personally... all of the hoopla motivated me to research some of the NHL's greatest enforcers of all-time and then peek into my own collection to see if I owned any cards of them. Surprisingly, I found a bunch in my hockey tradelist, which I've since removed to start a new PC:

05/06 BAP "Autographs" #BA Mathew Barnaby
00/01 Titanium “Game Gear” #143 Matthew Barnaby
98/99 BAP #14 Matthew Barnaby

94 Signature Rookies #18 Wade Belak (6721/7750)
98/99 BAP #298 Craig Berube
97/98 BAP #150 Kelly Buchberger

96/97 BAP Silver #62 Shayne Corson
05/06 Parkhurst "Signatures" #BE Ben Eager

97/98 BAP #137 Chris Gratton
98/99 BAP #101 Chris Gratton
06/07 Parkhurst "Autographs" #23 Stu Grimson

2000-01 Gold Label "Game Worn Jerseys" #GLJKT Keith Tkachuk
1999-00 Black Diamond "A Piece of History" #KT Keith Tkachuk

1995-96 Be A Player Autographs Die Cut #S6 Basil McRae
06/07 Upper Deck "Series 2 Game Jersey" #J2-DT Darcy Tucker
97/98 BAP #119 Darcy Tucker

In terms of the whole issue regarding In The Game's Enforcers product, I think that Brian Price should respect Georges Laraque and (especially) Wade Belak's family's request to be removed from the product. I'm sure legally, Price has covered his bases, but there's no reason to put the Belak family through anymore distress than what they've already gone through this year.

What about you...

Should Mr. Price pull Laraque's and Belak's cards from this product? Why or why not?

It's a pretty interesting topic with valid points from both sides and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great week everyone. Sayonara!


  1. No. Absolutely not. Regardless of the unfortunate issues going on outside of the sport, there is no reason to pull any cards.
    First, these cards/autos were obtained with the athletes/family's permission in the first place.
    Second, these cards do not depict the player(s) in a negative light, but rather celebrate their contribution and place in the sport they love. They're also a chance for us, the fans of these players, to obtain a piece of our heroes.
    I know that if I pulled an autograph of Mr Belak, it would become a featured piece in my private collection.

  2. I agree with the Captain. They should leave them in because the contributions hey made to the game. While they were taken too young, they will be remembered. My two favorites were both Sharks for a time in Link Gaetz and Jeff Odgers. Those two definitely belong in the set.

  3. captain - thanks for the input... no doubt the product is going to give collectors the opportunity to obtain a piece of their heroes (especially players that you don't always see in regular issues).

    mariner1 - i'm a huge fan of gaetz and odgers too. nice call.

  4. To be honest I find it sad that a player becomes famous for being good at fighting on skates.That being said if I think the players should remain in the set,as the Captain said it is part of their legacy.

  5. hairylemon - if i wasn't a hockey fan, i might agree with you (about it being sad that certain players become famous for fighting)... however they truly are a huge part of the sport.

    from a team's perspective... it can be the spark that ignites a team.

    from a player's perspective... enforcers can make a player think twice about taking a cheap shot on a star player.

    and from a fan's perspective... sometimes the crowds at the san jose arena get louder for fights than they do for goals.