Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Paul Kariya Jersey Card

Remember when a player scoring 50 goals in a single season happened enough for card companies to have complete sub-sets of them in their card collections? Last season, only Alex Ovechkin reached that milestone, marking the sixth time he's reached it; there are only seven other active NHLers with 50-goal seasons, and they are: Jaromir Jagr (1995-96, 2000-01, and 2005-06), Jarome Iginla (2001-02 and 2007-08), Vincent Lecavalier (2006-07), Sidney Crosby (2009-10), Steven Stamkos (2009-10 and 2011-12), Corey Perry (2010-11), and Evgeni Malkin (2011-12), it in addition to Ovi (2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2013-14 and 2014-15), as well as Dany Heatley (2005-06 and 2006-07) and Ilya Kovalchuk (2005-06 and 2007-08), who will be playing overseas this year. That doesn't make for a huge set.

The following card comes from Upper Deck's 2002-03 Series 2 collection's Reaching Fifty sub-set, which included the likes of Brett Hull, Peter Bondra, Iginla, Jagr, Wayne Gretzky, John LeClair, Joe Sakic, Keith Tkachuk, Mario Lemieux, Mike Modano, Pavel Bure, Sergei Fedorov, Steve Yzerman, and this one, #50-PK in the set, Paul Kariya:
It shows him wearing the Mighty Ducks Of Anaheim's purple (then-away) uniform, though the consecutive white and grey lines were actually from the white (home) jersey. Unlike the previous time I've featured him, though, he has actually worn this one in an NHL game.

He has never won the Stanley Cup, but does have two Lady Byng trophies at home and made the First All-Star Team three times and Second All-Star Team twice, in addition to being nominated for the Hart a couple of times and playing in seven All-Star Games. He has suited up for Team Canada several times, winning gold medals at the 1993 World Juniors, 1994 World championships and 2002 Olympics, and silver at the 1991 Phoenix Cup (the then-name of the U-18 tournament), 1994 Olympics and 1996 World Championships.

He had to retire after 15 seasons due to concussions, and has since been outspoken about the dangers of players returning from them too soon - though he doesn't do so in hockey-related environments, having even shunned his good friend Teemu Selanne's jersey retirement ceremony.

His 989 points in 989 games are a big achievement, particularly the fact that most of it occurred in the Dead Puck Era. I've very happy I got this card in a trade for a couple of Eric Lindros cards, and a double of a Peter Forsberg jersey card I'll get to here eventually.

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