Like baseball and football, hockey fandom includes the buying, selling and trading of player cards. I know Emma has quite a few now, including one of Patrice Bergeron that I got her as a birthday/Christmas gift. In turn, for my birthday she got me a very special card as well. No, it’s not Patrick Kane’s rookie card from the 2007-08 season; it’s a card from quite a long time ago…back when he was a baby Buffalo Sabres fan.
Okay, let’s break this down:
This is a Pinnacle card from 1995, and the featured player is Sylvain Turgeon of the Ottawa Senators (the guy in black). He’s surrounded by Doug Bodger (on the left) and Dale Hawerchuk (on the right). This was taken at the old Buffalo Memorial Auditorium because I can see the sign “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York” partially blocked by the action.
In trying to deduce when the picture was taken, I read the back of the card:
After scoring a team-high 25 goals in ’92-93, Sylvain missed a good chunk of last season with a broken arm. The Senators desperately need his production; they managed only 201 goals in ’93-94 after netting 202 in Year One.
The picture had to have been taken in 1992 at the earliest, since that was the Sens’ inaugural season. They talk of the ’93 season being “last season”, so this card would’ve been for the 1994-95 season, which was cut short to 48 games due to a lockout.
The reason I wanted to pinpoint when it was taken is because of who’s in the upper right corner. There is a man with a mustache holding a young boy in a Sabres jersey. Keen-eyed Blackhawks fans will recognize the man as Patrick Kane, Sr., which makes the young boy a four or five year old Patrick Kane, Jr.
So I have the very first card that featured him in a picture, and he hadn’t even started playing hockey at that point! Now that’s what I call a rookie card.