Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Brett Hull Jersey Card

I mentioned a trade last week involving Benchwarmer cards for hockey cards... well, here's the final card that made it my way:
Yes, that's Hall Of Famer Brett Hull, from card #GJ-BH of Upper Deck's 2014-15 Series 2 set (part of the UD Game Jersey sub-set with a white game-worn swatch enclosed), showing him in the St. Louis Blues' mid-1990s white (then-home) uniform, when they decided to incorporate red into more their design, as it had only served as a delimiting element previously; it's not the worst uniform they've ever had - I leave that title to the Reebok practice-style piping-heavy jerseys from the mid-00s) - but I prefer when they stay true to their classic colour palette of blue and yellow. I'd featured the away version of this one in this Tony Twist post last October.

The son of Hall Of Famer Bobby Hull and nephew of Dennis Hull, Brett is the epitome is a scoring right winger, his generation's Alex Ovechkin if you will. He is the second-fastest to reach 700 career goals (to a certain Wayne Gretzky) and had the deadliest combo of accuracy and speed in a slap shot the 1980s and the 1990s have known. He ranks third all-time with 741 tallies in 1269 games, with another 103 in 202 playoff games.

Not initially known for anything else than his shot, he did manage to amass more assists than goals in his final years, and during his time with the Dallas Stars even stopped being a defensive liability, often back-checking far into the defensive zone; he won a Stanley Cup in Dallas in 1998-98, and another one with the Detroit Red Wings in 2001-02.

It was with the Blues, however, that he made a name for himself, one that got him in the Hall, with eight 40-goal seasons in 9 years - the one exception being the 29 goals in 48 games he scored during the 1994-95 lockout, third-most in the league behind Jaromir Jagr (32) and Alexei Zhamnov (30). But more than just 40 goals, his three-season run from 1989-90 until 1991-92 were nothing short of astonishing, with goals totals that read: 72, 86 and 70, part of a run of four straight 100-point seasons, followed by one where he posted 97.

Because the Blues (and later the Stars) made the playoffs every year, he didn't get to play for Team USA too often, but when he did, it certainly counted, with a second-place finish at the 1991 Canada Cup, the title at the 1996 World Cup, and Olympic silver in 2002.

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