Thursday, September 20, 2012

Michael Peca Jersey Card

When he was a member of the Buffalo Sabres, I didn't think too highly of Michael Peca, despite his captaincy and two Selke trophies. I disliked most of the Dominik Hasek-era Sabres, actually.

And when the captain walked out on his team, Alexei Yashin-style, when he couldn't come to a contract agreement with the team and sat out an entire season, my feelings for him went even more south...

I found it fitting he would be traded (Yashin-style...) to the New York Islanders, who would make him wear orange-coloured atrocities such as the one depicted on the card above, #S-MP of Upper Deck's 2005-06 Series One set (the Shooting Stars sub-set, featuring a swatch of dark blue from the yellow shirt pictured). I like how UD specifies it's from an Islanders jersey, which is helpful considering Peca was about to become a journeyman.

You'll notice the card lists him as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. That's because in the span between the 2003-04 season, the 2004-05 lock-out and the beginning of the 2005-06 season, the Isles traded him to Edmonton for Mike York. Peca's Oilers reached the Stanley Cup finals (the second time he'd reach the coveted final, but no Cup to show for it) while the Islanders... well, unless you were born before 1980, they're where they've pretty much always been to you: at the bottom of the standings, near the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets, the last two teams Peca played for.

Still, I like this card. He's listed with the Cinderella 2005-06 Oilers team, he's wearing a rare jersey no longer in use, and he's become a commentator I like. And it serves as a reminder that an extended lock-out can ruin the end of careers, turning 40-points-per-season veterans into 20-point underachievers who slowly fade away on dwindling teams. Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick and Claude Lemieux are also fine examples of that.

No comments:

Post a Comment