I haven’t been a hockey card collector for very long. Four-ish months, just to give you an idea.

This series of posts entitled “Confessions of a Reluctant Card Collector” starts here.

However, I have known about hockey cards – and baseball cards and, to a lesser extent, football cards and basketball cards – for the better part of my life.

I remember the days of pink, powdered bubble gum in card packs. I was a child of the 80s and even though I wasn’t a collector, my older brother, a huge NHL and CFL fan, had a few cards in his possession.


hockey card collector blog


And then, in 1998, I married a card collector. Who later became a card store owner.

So I’m not completely ignorant when it comes to hockey card collections.

Note: I said “not completely” ignorant…I am fully aware that I still maintain a fairly high level of ignorance, especially when it comes to the high end stuff some people collect today.

My first card set – complete!


So when the opportunity came for me to finally complete my very first set – Upper Deck Canvas 2016-17 minus the Young Guns – at the sports card show at Chalmers Community Centre on June 2nd, I wasn’t ecstatic.

I repeat, I was not ecstatic. I didn’t even smile.

Surely this is not normal. Don’t most card collectors, when they complete a set they’ve been working on for 3 months, get some kind of adrenaline rush? Or celebrate or post about it on Twitter or somewhere online?

I get that 3 months isn’t a great length of time to be working on a set. I had a lot of help by people giving me a card or two, and many others messaged me and asked me to send them my list. Which I did.

The responses I got from other card collectors was very heart-warming. I truly appreciated everyone’s thoughtfulness as they did what they could to help out this newbie collector.

And my cards are all neatly tucked into plastic sleeves and placed safely inside my first “shoe box.” I will keep them. I still like them.


hockey card collector blog

My first complete hockey card set – Upper Deck Canvas 2016-17.

What’s next?


But now what? I have my first complete set. I’m not excited at all. And now that I think about it, maybe getting those final 4 cards at the card show felt like a bit of a let down.

I was done.

Oh sure, there are always more sets to collect. I could work on Upper Deck Canvas 2017-18 if I wanted to, since I’ve come to the conclusion that UD Canvas is one of my favourite cards.

My younger two sons are working on their own sets of base cards. My 13-year-old is working on a 2017-18 O-Pee-Chee set. And my 9-year-old needs 3 more cards to complete the 2017-18 MVP set he started not too long ago. (88, 95, & 173 if you have any of these MVP cards floating around.)


hockey card collector blog upper deck MVP

Kids unplugged – working on his MVP set instead of getting ready for school.


Winnipeg Manitoba hockey card collecting

My 13-year-old working on his O-Pee-Chee 2017-18 set.


I was more excited about getting a Paul Stastny card with him wearing a Winnipeg Jets uniform than I was about completing my first set (and look how that turned out?! I guess I’d probably take the money and the warmer winter temperatures too…maybe. Traitor.)


Chalmers Community Centre Winnipeg Manitoba Paul Stastny Winnipeg Jets

Paul Stastny dressed for the Winnipeg Jets.


Note: at the sake of sounding like I’m whining – again – I have actually not dwelt on this that much. I am more curious about my lack of reaction than anything else.


Tell me about your experience!


What I’m interested in hearing about is the experiences of others who have collected for at least a couple of years.

Has there been a time when you weren’t satisfied when you completed a set? Do you remember completing your first set?

Or was there a time when you’d gotten a card you’d been wanting for years but you felt almost…disappointed? Maybe because the hunt was over? Maybe something else…


My Next Project(s)


I will now focus on working on my Top 100 Greatest NHL Player’s of all time collection. I’ve enjoyed stumbling upon cards of these great players, even if they aren’t rookie cards or anything like that

And my Winnipeg Jets collection will need to be updated in the fall.


hockey card collector blog upper deck MVP

The bottom row of cards – keep and cry over the good times we had OR burn them NYI style?


Which brings me to my second question:

If your PC includes your favourite team, do you keep players who have been traded or gone elsewhere? Or do you sell/trade those cards? Or burn them like a New York Islanders’ fan would…

I would have a really small fire. So it is a possibility….just kidding!

I’m really not all that bitter but I have to tell you a very true story. When I told my 9-year-old son that Stastny was going to Vegas, he cried.

Paul Stastny, if you’re reading this, I hope you feel at least a little bad about that.


One final series of questions:


Do you have a card collection that you were thrilled to complete? Please do share!

Your opinion – whether from DNA or some other combination of internal and external events that have shaped them – are some collectors better suited to collect individual players and/or teams?


How collecting has affected me


As I had expected, becoming more familiar with the card collecting hobby has been an interesting experience. I’ve learned a lot about the hobby and I thoroughly enjoy researching the stories of the players whose cards I find.

I still consider myself a reluctant card collector but I freely admit that collecting cards of NHL legends as well as the players from my favourite hockey team has greatly increased my interest in – and perhaps even knowledge of? – the game of hockey.

Like my husband said yesterday, last year at this time we would have never been discussing which NHL player had signed with whom and for how much. So maybe in this situation you could say it’s been a good thing for our marriage as well? 🙂


Please leave me a comment – either here, on Facebook or on Twitter – and tell me whether or not you like to collect sets and let me know what you do with the players on “your” team who left for more money elsewhere for one reason or another.

You can read the next Confessions post here.