Thursday, April 15, 2010

Martin Havlat Jersey Card

One of the most talented players in the NHL, Martin Havlat could never translate his abilities into league-leading-type statistics, mostly due to injury, but also because of the coaching systems he has been trapped in, most notably with the Ottawa Senators, whose head coach Jacques Martin waited 4 seasons before giving him enough ice time to garner 31 goals.

Before signing with the Minnesota Wild, he could be counted upon to amass a point per game, but his production slipped this season, playing on the Wild's third line for most of the season, which left him with 18 goals and 54 points in 77 games.

He is also known for being injured often, usually in the groin area, but also collecting injuries in his elbows, hamstrings and shoulders. He has twice been suspended for kicking, and many times for high sticking as well.

In the summertime, he spends a few weeks in the Czech Republic to cool off, but as July kicks in, he comes to Montréal to train with other professionals and would-have-been pros at Brébeuf Arena, where I played my last official game as a goalie, an 8-1 loss in which I looked like I had never played the position before.

This beautiful card from the 2002-03 Pacific set (Game-Worn Jersey insert #37) holds a black patch of a game-used jersey. At this point, Pacific were on their way to compete with Upper Deck as a big-time card manufacturer; they were even the manufacturer for McDonald's cards at that point. But when the NHL lock-out happened and the NHLPA signed an exclusive contract with Upper Deck, Pacific disappeared. Because they weren't on top for long, many collectors still don't view the brand as seriously as they would UD or even O-Pee-Chee; this is why a beautiful card such as this one only goes for $10-15, lower than many, more recent, event-worn UD jersey cards.

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