With hockey returning sooner rather than later, I decided it was time to show off some cards of the greatest game on ice. To be honest, hockey, up close to the ice is the best spectator sport there is. Lots of action and speed, but on top of the ice you can follow the action. One of my two favorite sporting events I've attended was a 6-6 tie between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New Jersey Devils. Mario Lemieux scored two goals and assisted on another, while Claude Lemieux scored two goals and assisted on another for the Devils, keeping things even. It was just a crazy, wide open, offensive oriented game.
While I've always been a fan of high scoring defensemen, there is always a soft spot in my heart for Ulf Samuelsson, the enforcer. He came to the Penguins in the Ron Francis trade, putting the Penguins over the top and sending the Whale to Carolina in the longer term. The Whalers were not the only team damaged by Samuelsson. He is most famous for the hit which destroyed Cam Neely's knee. Sometimes those things happen in hockey.
Occasionally, you get to sign a hockey card 20 years later. I actually heard there was a new Samuelsson signature card, but I only won that one today. In the interim, we can look at one of the very few autograph cards I've purchased and the only hockey autograph I deemed must have. I am a big fan of the Swedish uniform and to be quite honest, I was a little surprised that Samuelsson played internationally, but not every Swede can be Peter Forsberg. And someone has to protect him from the likes of Ulf Samuelsson.
I imagine the person who pulled the card from the box felt the odds beat them. I, on the other hand, thought I hit the jackpot when I paid something around $2 plus shipping for the card. I also felt that I was beating the previous owner, like he was Cam Neely, going down clutching his wallet instead of his knee. Another data point in why I stopped buy unopened boxes of product, since I can't control getting the cards I really want, nor can I get in the range of not wondering, "Why did I spend all that money on these cards and all I got was a lousy Carlos Ruiz relic?"
So, let the games and hits begin.