New Hockey Card Series Honors Indigenous NHL-ers
It took 40 years, but former NHL player and coach Ted Nolan is now being honored with his own hockey trading card as part of the Upper Deck’s first People’s Rookie Card series.
Nolan’s professional hockey career as a player spanned from 1978 to 1986, and included stints with the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins. He became head coach of the Buffalo Sabers in 1995 and the following season he was named NHL Coach of the Year, becoming the first Ojibwe man to receive the honor.
“I really want to show that we can still do it. Despite all the obstacles, even without the best equipment or training and you have nothing, you guys can do it,” he told CTV. News.
For Nolan, hockey is a family affair, as both of his sons also play in the NHL. His eldest son, Brandon, plays for the Carolina Hurricanes while his youngest son, Jordan, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, has played with the Sabers, Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues.
“Having a pass with my two sons, where Jordan has a rookie card, Brandon has his rookie card, and now I have a rookie card – even though it’s 40 years later – having a rookie pass with them is special. goodbye,” said eldest brother Nolan.
The campaign to get Nolan’s hockey card has begun on social media, led by the native hockey card that has collected Naim Cardinal.
“I was chatting (on Instagram Live) about my hockey card collection, and in that conversation there were a number of players playing in the NHL that didn’t have a license or rookie card,” Cardinal told CTV. News .
Someone from the Upper Deck was listening to his conversation and contacted Cardinal to correct the mistake.
“They said they had an idea and I immediately agreed, and it’s been pretty cool ever since,” Cardinal said.
Upper Deck’s Paul Nguyen says the response to the First Peoples cards has been overwhelmingly positive. Other NHL-ers on the card include Jason Simon of the Phoenix Coyotes, Bill Lecaine of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Johnny Harms of the Chicago Blackhawks.
“Is it ever too late to get your own hockey card? I mean, really acknowledge and highlight the people in the community? I don’t think so. So that’s why why? Why do I think, ‘better late than never’,” Nguyen said in an interview with CTV News.
The company is giving away the first round of cards for free, mostly at local hockey leagues and camps.
“I just hope through this card collection we can give a little inspiration to the next generation,” says Nolan.