Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pavel Datsyuk Swatch Card

Pavel Datsyuk is a phenomenon onto himself. Some see him as the best two-way forward of his time, as can be attested by his 3 Selke trophies, but I think it's unfair to award that trophy to a point-per-game player, although his hockey IQ is undeniable.

Others consider him the most-skilled player in the NHL, whereas I put him in the top-5, but not on top, a spot I reserve to Evgeni Malkin. However, with his skill set, I do believe he should be over the 1000-point mark rather than 767 in his NHL career (in 779 games), especially considering he's played pretty much his entire career with Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom, and a few seasons with the likes of Sergei Fedorov, Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille - all point-producing machines.

Still, he has won 2 Stanley Cups, been chosen for the All-Star Game 4 times, has a Lady Bing to go with his 3 Selkes and has also led the league in plus-minus once. He has one end-of-season Second All Star Team, a World Championship All-Star nod (and a best forward title as well, both in 2010). Internationally, he has 4 titles while playing with Team Russia, winning the gold at the 2002 Olympics, and a trio of World Championship medals: gold in 2012, silver in 2010, and bronze in 2005. With two more NHL seasons, he'll crack the 1000-game and 1000-point barriers and be a lock for the Hall Of Fame, so he still deserves props for an amazing career.

The following card showcases this Detroit Red Wings superstar, with a game-worn white swatch; it's from Panini's 2011-12 Pinnacle, and is #12 in the set, the Game Night sub-set.

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