Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hockey Cards from Sweden!

A few weeks ago I arrived home to find a padded mailer hanging from my mailbox.  It was hanging, rather than being inside the box, because it was rather large; big enough that it could hold full-size magazines without bending or folding them.  I hadn't purchased anything that would require a package of this size that I could recall, so I truly wasn't sure what to expect when ripping it open.  It did have some odd postage on the front that seemed to be from overseas somewhere.

Here's what was staring me in the face when I opened it up.  I had totally forgotten that weeks earlier a very friendly fellow named Oscar had reached out to me on Zistle and let me know that he had packaged up some hockey cards to send my way!  I really have to commend Oscar on his command of the English language, that's pretty much a perfect paragraph.  I assure you that if I tried communicating with him in Swedish it would not be nearly as coherent!

Wrapped inside the cardboard were a wide variety of Hartford Whalers cards and other goods, all nestled nicely inside 9-pocket pages.  I certainly don't have the time right now to scan and show every single card that Oscar shipped my way, but I didn't want to delay this thank you post any longer either, so here are a few select favorites from the many great cards I received...

While the Whalers cards are certainly appreciated, especially the ones that were new to me, the highlight of the package as far as I'm concerned was the Swedish hockey cards!  Oscar really went out of his way to carefully select some that have personal meaning to me as well.

For example, the three cards that were included from the 1995-96 Swedish Globe set all featured players who donned a Whalers sweater at one point or another in their careers.

These are fantastic.  Mikael Andersson is without a doubt my favorite of the three, because I love the awkwardly placed and seemingly low-quality HARIBO sticker that's affixed to the front of Andersson's helmet.  How often to you see a team of hockey players sponsored by a company that makes gummy bears?  I love it!

As the note on the cardboard packaging indicated, Oscar included some cards from this year's Swedish releases as well!  Again, Oscar was very thoughtful here as Johan played with Hartford back in the early 2000s for a season.  Wait, didn't the Whalers migrate to Carolina in the '90s?  Yup, Johan's time in Hartford was with the Wolfpack, an AHL team.  According to Oscar he's currently playing in Sweden's second tier league, and has been plagued by injury.

Oscar also threw in two cards from the most recent SHL Elitset offering, which covers the teams and players from Sweden's top league.  I actually ripped a pack from this brand years ago now, cool to see what their current offering looks like.  Again we've got ties to Connecticut, as Broc Little played his college hockey at Yale in New Haven!  To me the coolest element on this card is the fantastic lion logo used by the Linkoping hockey club.

Rounding out the Swedish cards is Rhett Rakhshani.  Rhett is also an American-born player, though you wouldn't know it by his name.  He actually got into a handful of games with the New York Islanders years ago.

Oscar threw in a bunch of Whalers cards as well, more than a few of which were new to me.  It's getting harder and harder to find "lowly" Whalers commons that I'm still missing, but he pulled it off.

I'll gladly take any and all Whalers cards that I don't already have as I strive towards 1,400 unique cards.  Should be crossing that threshold any day now...

Oscar, thank you for a truly thoughtful package, and more so for being courageous enough to reach out to someone halfway around the world, who speaks a totally different language, to initiate a trade.  I hope the cards I shipped off to you have arrived, or will arrive soon.

I think this post is truly proof that the hobby we enjoy, just like sports, can unite people from all over the globe.  Having hockey cards from Sweden in my collection is great, but knowing that they were part of someone's collection in Sweden at one point makes them that much greater!

2 comments:

Marc said...

Those are some pretty sweet Sweden cards or is that Swedish cards. Nice stuff to say the least.

Oscar Strandberg said...

Marc,

Give me a shout on Zistle, Staketkusken, and I can send you some swedish cards if you want.

Best regards,
Oscar

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