For many Canadians, hockey is more than a game, it’s a way of life. Any NHL player will tell you that Canadian markets come with a bit of extra attention and pressure, and everyone handles it differently. Some players thrive with the added pressure while others crumble.
Vancouver is no different. The media scrutiny is constant and the fans are intense. It was in 2011 that Vancouver had its best team in a long time, possibly in its entire history, and the playoff run had the city filled with energy.
The 2011 Stanley Cup Run
The team was led by the Sedin twins, Swedish superstars who controlled the game with smarts and skill. It was this 2011 playoff run that really captured the attention of Edmund Wong and raised his interest in collecting hockey cards.
Wong, like a large portion of Canadian kids, had started playing hockey as a kid. Enter any Canadian elementary school and you will be sure to find plenty of kids bringing binders to school full of hockey cards. Wong was no different and started collecting when he was young, but as he grew older his interest shifted more towards basketball and his card preferences followed.
However, as the Canucks advanced further and further through the 2011 playoffs, Wong found himself caught up in the energy of the city and started to get back into hockey cards and of course his eye was drawn to the two Swedish superstars: the Sedin twins.
Not only were they mesmerizing to watch on the ice, but the two brothers were upstanding citizens off the ice as they became known for their generosity and philanthropy. As Wong found himself looking at hockey cards again, he decided to attempt to collect some rare Daniel Sedin cards.
While Wong has never met the Sedin twins, he says the two are his favorite hockey players with Daniel edging out Henrik ever so slightly. Behind the twins he lists journeyman goaltender Eddie Lack as another favorite.
Wong got to meet Lack after a game where Lack played for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves and Wong managed to get a signed jersey, another prized sports memorabilia piece of his. Lack didn’t stick around for very long in Vancouver, but he managed to make a deep connection with many fans. His sense of humor was second to none and he became a fan favorite instantly.
The 2010-11 Daniel Sedin “The Cup” Card
Upper Deck’s “The Cup” set is one of the most highly sought-after collections across all of hockey cards. The cards are known for their high quality and their abundance of unique cards, including autographs and jersey patches. For collectors, this is one of the more high-end sets and it can contain cards that can get expensive fast. The Sidney Crosby 2005-06 “The Cup” card with an autograph and jersey piece sold for $49,000 in 2018.
While the Daniel Sedin cards do not sell for nearly that amount, they are still quite rare and coveted. There were 25 Daniel Sedin 2010-11 “The Cup” jersey cards made and 10 Daniel Sedin 2010-11 “The Cup” patch cards. Wong currently has eight of the 25 jersey cards and three of the 10 patch cards, and he’s looking for more.
He chose these cards for a few reasons, the first being that they are the “The Cup” set for the Stanley Cup run that the Canucks went on. Secondly, the cards are very visually attractive and Wong was a big fan of the design. Considering “The Cup” is one of the more premium collections in the industry it makes sense that they are so beautifully designed. Lastly, the price point for these cards suited Wong. These Daniel Sedin cards were a good price where Wong felt like it was achievable to purchase them while still being a challenge.
Wong has found most of the cards through eBay, one of the premier places to purchase cards on the internet these days. But Wong knows that there will be challenges with his attempt to complete his collection. He knows that there is at least one other Sedin super fan out there that owns at least one of the cards that will be hard to pry away.
For Wong, the financial value of the cards isn’t what make them special to him. In fact, he says that he doesn’t think he would ever sell the Canucks card he owns or at least not anytime soon. Yet it’s his Canuck fandom that keeps these cards dear to his heart as he said he would be open to selling his non-Canuck if the right opportunity presented itself down the road. Yet, his primary goal when collecting has nothing to do with money as it is simply a hobby that he enjoys.
He says he has an itch for collecting objects of all kinds and that hockey cards have managed to scratch that itch. The combination of his love for collecting and his love for the game of hockey comes together in the perfect hobby of collecting cards.
Besides eBay, Wong has checked other sports forums across the internet looking for someone to mention that they know where he could find one of his desired cards. With so few made and the packs being so sought after, these cards could be literally anywhere in the world at this point. He does not think he will ever be able to get his hands on all of them.
Wong understands that it will be difficult to finish collecting every single Daniel Sedin “The Cup” card yet that doesn’t deter him. Many collectors may attempt to collect different versions of their favorite player, cards from their favorite team, or perhaps complete a collection such as the 2018-19 Upper Deck “The Cup” set.
But not many collectors attempt the difficult task of collecting every copy of a singular version of a card made. Wong has attempted a difficult task and it would be a great achievement to reach it.
A City and its Stars
The Sedin twins have been retired since the 2017-18 season and their 18-year career with the Canucks was filled with ups and downs but no season was as memorable as the 2011 cup run. They managed to capture the heart of a city and inspired people like Wong to get connected to the game and players like he did through hockey cards.
It can be rare that two athletes from the other side of the world become so embraced by a city, but that is what happened with the Sedins. They became so loved by the Vancouver population that fans across the city were inspired to get closer to their heroes in their own way, just like how Wong has attempted the difficult task of collecting these specific Daniel Sedin cards.
Nowadays, the Canucks have named a new captain in Bo Horvat and the team is filled with young and exciting players. Wong is excited for the future and lists players such as Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and Brock Boeser as potential future building blocks. He hopes that the team can hit on a few of their upcoming draft picks and start to morph into something that resembles the Chicago Blackhawks teams from a couple years ago, the same teams that were fierce rivals with the Canucks.