To recap: These are the cards I would take with me if I could take ten 9-card pages with me to Mars.
I decided that each part of my collection cannot have more than
one page. The cards must fit into a regulation page as far as height
and width but I am taking liberties with how thick some of the cards
And now it's time to take the ice:
1980-81 Topps #22
One of the heroes of the 1980 Miracle On Ice, Jim actually started his career with the Atlanta Flames. I remember watching his first Flames game on TV. The OPC cards from 1980-81 did not have the USA logo in the top corner. This set featured black scratch off material over the player's name and are not considered mint if scratched but I had to scratch my whole set because it annoyed me not seeing the player's name on them.
1990-91 Upper Deck #54
No hockey page is complete without the Great One. I chose this card of Wayne because I really like
Upper Deck's first hockey set.
1993-94 Atlanta Knights #22
The Atlanta Knights were the top minor league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning. They featured a female goalie, Manon Rheaume, who appeared in two games. I attended the game that she started. The Knights won a league championship in 1994. Like every Atlanta hockey team they ended up moving to Canada.
2001-02 Bowman Youngstars Relics
Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk were to be the long term anchors of the Atlanta Thrashers. That fell apart when Heatley was in a car accident and was badly injured. He was later traded to Ottawa.
2001-02 Topps Chrome #149
This is a rookie card of my all-time favorite hockey player. Ilya is the all-time franchise leader in Goals and Assists. He tied for league lead in goals in the 2003-04 season.
2001-02 Upper Deck Vintage #275
My other Kovalchuk rookie card.
2002-03 Be A Player First Edition Suffolk Downs #134
Be A Player gave cards to people that opened boxes at their booth during the show. Among the cards that could be redeemed were 10 of each base card with a special stamp. This one is numbered 08/10. I got this pretty cheap off of e-bay.
2008-09 Upper Deck MVP 2-on-2 Jerseys
The last card in the page includes another young Thrashers star that was eventually traded. Kari Lehtonen was a first round pick who became the Thrashers best goal tender. He was traded to Dallas. This card also includes jersey swatches of Tomas Vokoun and Stephen Weiss of the Nashville Predators on the other side, thus the 2-on-2 concept.
I used to be a big hockey fan but all of the body-blows over the years finally took their toll:
Flames moved to Calgary
Knights moved to Quebec
Thrashers moved to Winnepeg
Kovalchuk "retired" and moved back to Russia.
I haven't watched a full hockey game in a couple of years and don't collect hockey cards actively anymore except I am filling in Atlanta Flames cards.
On a last note, the Thrashers were handicapped by being sold to the Atlanta Spirit ownership group, which rivals the Sterlings as the worst ownership group ever. The really only wanted the Hawks but had to buy the Thrasher's also. Maybe someday the NHL will return to Atlanta but, until then, I'll be watching other sports.