Sunday, March 14, 2010

Robyn Regehr Jersey Card

If the Calgary Flames end up making the playoffs, Robyn Regehr is one guy they'll be glad to have on their blue line. He is the prototypical shut-down defender, huge and quick, able to move the puck and armed with a decent shot, both speed-wise and for accuracy.

But what he has the most is determination. He is the youngest-ever winner of the Bill Masterton trophy, which he won at age 19, after making his NHL debut in 1999-2000 despite having broken both legs in a car crash in the summer of 1999 - doctors even said it was unlikely he would walk before the end of the year, yet he was on the ice on October 28th for a game against the Ottawa Senators, after having played 5 games with the AHL St. John's Flames.

That's just what he does, defy the odds; born in Brazil and raised early in Indonesia where his brother Richie was born (their parents were Mennonite missionaries, preaching Jesus' Word through nonviolence), he only started playing hockey in Saskatchewan when he was 7, three years behind the other kids. But by the time thw WHL went into the bantam draft in 1995, he was the Kamloops Blazers' first-round pick. By the 1998 NHL draft, he was the Colorado Avalanche's first pick (19th overall), but he was traded to the Flames in the deal that sent Theoren Fleury to Denver.

Throughout his career, he was injured more times than just about any of his teammates: rib, abdominal and wrist injuries in 2002-03; torn ligaments in his foot in the Stanley Cup final in 2003-04; a knee injury in 2005-06; another knee injury in the 2006-07 playoffs; a puck to the face and a dep bruise on his foot from blocking a shot (that was believed to be a broken foot for some time) in 2007-08; yet another knee injury in 2009-10 to end his season at 75 games.

And yet, he is as effective as he's always been, despite the numerous knee injuries, two of which could have ended his career. Don't ever tell this guy he can't do something, unless you actually want it done is all I'm saying. That's why he wears an "A" on his jersey.

And although he didn't participate in the 2010 Winter Games, he has represented Canada numerous times before: at the 1999 World Juniors (a second-place finish); 2000 and 2005 World Championships (fourth and second place, respectively); the 2004 World Cup (gold) and the 2006 Turin Olympics (a disappointing seventh place that shocked the nation).

He follows in his parents' footsteps, as he is very active in helping the less fortunate, both in his community and around the world; he made a trip to Mozambique for the Right To Play foundation, and co-heads (with his wife) the Impact Foundation that helps kids deal with ''the challenges of growing up'' in Calgary.

This card (#U-RR) is from Fleer's 2006-07 Fleer Ultra set, subtly produced by Upper Deck (the address on the pack and cards barely states ''UDC'' and that the cards are ''by permission of Fleer LLC) and bears the Ultra Uniformity trademark as well; it incorporates a black piece of a Flames jersey, most likely from the dark, away jersey. Viewed as a ''common'' jersey card, it usually fetches around or less than $20, but I, for one, am glad to have a Regehr in my collection - what a guy!

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