Collector’s Billboard: Chris Monkman


It was the first card show Chris attended as a seller and he wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But what he walked away with at the end of the day was much more than he’d hoped for.

Chris spent all of his spare time during the week leading up to the February 24th card show at Chalmers Community Club getting ready for show. And it was only at the last minute that he grabbed the two sets he had been working on for his personal collection – a 2016-17 Upper Deck Series 1 Young Guns set and a 2016-17 OPC Platinum Marquee Rookie set.


Once a collector, always a collector


Chris was 10-years-old when he first began collecting sports cards. He grew up in the small city of Selkirk and moved to Winnipeg after college. He has memories of going to flea markets with his family and buying packs of cards.

Like his family and close friends, Chris has been a Winnipeg Jets fan for as long as he can remember. As a boy, he collected Winnipeg Jets cards and also cards of his two favourite players – Patrick Roy and Peter Forsberg.

Then, as you would expect from a typical teenager, he took a break from collecting sports cards, only to be drawn back into the hobby because of one significant event in NHL history.

The return of the Winnipeg Jets to their proper hometown in 2011.

And one amazing rookie – the mesmerizing talent of the young Connor McDavid making spectacular plays for the Edmonton Oilers in 2015-16.

Chris is so passionate about sport card collecting, it didn’t take long before he introduced a new friend from college to the hobby.

Friends buy friends Winnipeg Jets cards


Kelly, a life-long NHL fan, grew up in small-town Saskatchewan. And, as we all know, Saskatchewan doesn’t have a hockey team to call their own. When Kelly moved to Winnipeg, he finally had an NHL team to call his own. He was officially a Winnipeg Jet’s fan.

Kelly liked the Tim Horton’s hockey cards. They were nice…buuuuuut it was the Winnipeg Jets cards that Chris gave him for his birthday that ignited his desire to get serious about multiplying his own collection.

It hasn’t taken Kelly long to learn the ins and outs of the hobby. Last year was the first year he made his first full set – the Young Guns rookie set.

Today, Kelly’s main pursuit involves Byfuglien cards and memorabilia. Kelly spent the day behind the table with Chris at the Chalmers card show and I saw them twice again the next weekend, when together, they bought a pack and pulled this card:


Blake Wheeler, Young Guns, Winnipeg sports card store, NHL, Winnipeg Jets

Blake Wheeler – Young Guns


The word *ecstatic*, although an understatement, comes to mind.

Lesson #1: Collect cards with friends. It has the potential to be a very exciting and rewarding hobby!

Lesson #2: Card shows are (also) about trading with people.

When I initially approached Chris and Kelly manning their table at the Chalmers show, Chris was busy making a big trade with another seller. Chris was grinning from ear to ear as he held in his hands the exact cards he needed to complete his set. 

This is what card shows are about – meeting people, searching for the cards you need or want, and getting one card closer to completing your collection.

Or in this case, completing a set.

The card show at Chalmers Community Centre on February 24th was the first card show Chris had been to where he’s set up as a vendor. He figures he’s been to at least ten other shows as an attendee.

He told me how the week preceding the show, organizing and pricing his sports cards had consumed his life. His merchandise was clearly priced and the Winnipeg Jets cards he had on display attracted a lot of customers to his table.


Schiefele Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg sports card show Winnipeg Jets


Chris’s goal for his first sports card show was to meet people. And he did. He took the time to talk to me and every other collector who came to his table.

Chris taught me that it’s those collectors who stop and take the time to chat with each seller that often walk away satisfied. And that was Lesson #3 for me.

So why should you consider coming out to the next card show? In reverse order, here’s why:

Lesson #3: Come to a show prepared to talk to the people there. You might walk away with a new friend.

Lesson #2: Card shows are more than buying cards from vendors. Bring in what you’ve got and see if you can trade with someone.

Lesson #1: Collect cards with friends. It’s a lot more fun when you can enjoy the hobby with someone else. And if you don’t have a friend who’s into collecting, maybe you’ll make a new friend at the next card show you come to!


Other cards from Chris’s collection:


Shane Doan, and Nikolai Khabibulin


Tris Speaker Winnipeg Goldeyes Winnipeg baseball Winnipeg sports card show Manitoba

A baseball collector’s dream – an authentic Tris Speaker card.


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