Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Jannik Hansen: 3 Autographed Cards

I got a great surprise in the mail when I got home from work today: this 3-card return from Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen!
The Danish winger has enjoyed his two best seasons back-to-back, first tallying 39 points (including 16 goals) in 2011-12, and then gathering 27 points (10 goals) in 47 seasons in the lock-out-shortened season to go with the 7-10-17 record he accumulated in 20 games while playing for Tappara Tampere (which stands for ''Battle Axe''!) in Finland's SM-liiga during the work stoppage.

Not bad for a guy who was chosen fifth-last overall at the 2004 NHL draft, in the now-defunct 9th round. Now if he could just improve on his playoff record (5-9-14 in 58 games)... I think he'll get more quality ice time now that John Tortorella is the Canucks' head coach - not just because he finished third in team scoring this year, but also because he's the right size (6'1'', 185lbs), is fast, skilled, and not a defensive liability; guys like that usually get their 15-20 minutes under The Media's Enemy.

Which means the Canucks could have five 20-goal scorers next season with Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler and Hansen.

I had sent Hansen these three cards and a fan letter on March 20th, 2013, and got them back on July 8th, 2013, a three-month trip from one coast of Canada to the next and back. They were signed in black sharpie with his number (36) added at the end. Here they are:

First, his rookie card, from the last good-looking Canucks uniform (apart from their recent Vancouver Millionaires garbs):
The picture was obviously taken during a pre-game warm-up (notice the helmet isn't strapped on) and makes for a nice, clear pose. It's card #245 in Upper Deck's 2007-08 Victory set (it's his Rookie card). This served as the road uniform for a while, until the dark colours became the home jerseys.

Next up is the current home uniform:
Please excuse the crookedness... Not only do I hate the colour combination, spelling out the team's name and/or city on the front just looks cheap, minor-league, and unbecoming of an NHL franchise. But they're players are really nice, close to their fans. So I'll cherish this 2012-13 Score card (#456 in the set) by Panini, just as I will the next one:
From Upper Deck's 2009-10 O-Pee-Chee set (card #224) comes a very concentrated Hansen waiting to pounce of the puck, a member of the visiting team.

I'm a huge fan of sets like Victory, O-Pee-Chee and Score, which come out to about a buck per pack for a bunch of cards (5 to 8) you can collect and get signed. It beats spending $100 on four cards with event-worn swatches and/or completely fabricated add-ons, and it reminds me of my childhood, where my ''tip'' for going to purchase milk or bread from the corner store for my parents would be a pack of 35-cent O-Pee-Chee cards in the late 1980s - 7 cards and a stick of bubble gum that got harder as the season went on, and could totally deface the top card - it's happened to me on a Wayne Gretzky!

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