Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Paul Kariya Dual Jersey Card

It turns out the St. Louis Blues will be making the playoffs after all, despite having traded defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and fired head coach Ken Hitchcock. Good for them, though they will likely face the Minnesota Wild - no small task, considering they led the league standings nearly all year.

The Blues are one of two teams - with the Colorado Avalanche - with whom Paul Kariya has not had a point-per-game season. He was, of course, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim's long-time captain, but many folks forget he also holds the Nashville Predators' team single-season marks for assists (54) and points (85), both set in 2005-06.

Kariya retired after taking the 2010-11 season off altogether while recovering from the many concussions he incurred during his career, which he ended with exactly 989 points (402 goals and 587 assists) in 989 regular-season games; it would have been nice to see him reach the 1000-point mark, but alas, like Wayne Gretzky before him, he fell victim to Gary Suter's medecine: a cross-check to the head that forced him to miss the 1998 Olympics. Gretzky had been cross-checked in the back during the 1991 Canada Cup.

Upon retiring, Kariya had some strong words towards the NHL's safety measures and correctional department. Things haven't changed all that much since - except for the fact that Kariya no longer attends games or cares about hockey.

Here he is wearing the Blues' post-lockout blue (home) uniform, on card #FF-PK from Upper Deck's 2007-08 Ice collection and Frozen Fabrics sub-set:
It features grey and white game-worn jersey swatches taken from the Preds' post-lockout uniforms.

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