Sunday, November 29, 2015

Blake Wheeler Quad Jersey Card

Looking at the NHL's top-10 points leaders, you'll see familiar names: Conn Smythe Trophy winner Patrick Kane, reigning Art Ross Trophy winner Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, former Art Ross winner Daniel Sedin, and Taylor Hall; one player who's somewhat new to that elite portion of the leaderboard is Blake Wheeler, though his 25 points in 25 games aren't really a surprise, as he's been near the point-per-game average often since becoming a member of the Winnipeg Jets.

The Minnesota native now plays relatively close to home, but he was originally drafted 5th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes, although he signed with the Boston Bruins as a free agent after failing to agree to terms with the fledgling Arizona franchise. A towering power forward at 6'5'' and 225 pounds, he theoretically fit in perfectly with the Bruins, though he may have been a tad more skilled and fast than the brutes Claude Julien typically prefers to coach; he's now the centerpiece of the Jets' offense, to the joy and delight of hockey fans everywhere.

I'm a huge fan of his work, both on the ice and off. He's active on Twitter showing direct appreciation to his fans of all walks of life - from childhood friends to handicapped children to corporate buddies and sponsors - and cares for the community offline as well. He and his wife (a Bostonian) are extremely appreciated in Winnipeg.

I didn't yet have a card of his showing him in one of the Bruins' offbeat uniforms, so I traded for this card last summer, which shows him with their 2009-10 Winter Classic jerseys, inspired by the team's 1955-67 design and 1948-49 (relatively childish) logo:
It's card #QJ-BW from Upper Deck's 2010-11 Black Diamond collection, part of the Quad Jerseys sub-set, featuring no less than four white game-worn jersey swatches - three similar, and with one different mesh.

Get used to seeing his name atop the league leaders, because nothing can stop him when he gets his groove on and, at age 29, he's just getting started a five-year cycle of domination.

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