Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Should I Collect?

This question is not the most common question in the hobby, but its certainly popular. If you're new to the hobby or you feel that your collection is stagnating, you often think of starting a new collection. When you think of collections, what immediately pops to mind?
  • Player Collections
  • Set or Subset Collections
  • Team Collections
Of course there aren't really only three types of collections, but these tend to be the most popular. Most player collections are for popular players and multiple people will collect the same player. With only 30 active teams and limited releases, those types of collections don't tend to be as impressive. The real question is how to make your collection unique and memorable. The answer is to find something in the hockey world that you admire and make a collection out of it.

Of all my collections from the common base sets to my vintage RC, I have two pride and joys collections. The first are my Goaltender Goals. This set has a plate (and base card to identify the plate) for every goalie who has been credited with a goal.

I also have a birthday collection. This collection has rookie cards for all the NHL players who share my birthday. Part of the challenge of this set was to find out which players share my birthday. I don't know of any website or book that arranges NHL hockey players by their birthday, so I had to get creative. My solution was to do an advanced google search on The Hockey Database. If your birthday is September 28th, 1983, just do a google search with the following:
"Sep 28" site:
This will search for the phrase "Sep 28" on the database's website. Each link will be to the player's profile page. You can even find which cards these players have had released. Its takes some time to figure out the players, but its worth it. You can modify this search to go for players born in a specific year, the player's hometown. height or weight if you want.

If you want to create a really unique and personal collection, you have to figure out what appeals to you. Here's a whole page of suggestions, the Stanley Cup Record Book and History page. It contains quirks about the cup and list of players who had memorable impacts during the cups illustrious history. Imagine starting a collection of players who have scored the game winning goal in the deciding game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Here's a brief list of collection ideas:

  • Sub-.500 Teams in the Stanley Cup Championship
  • U.S.-Based Teams in the Stanley Cup Championship
  • Stanley Before Calder
  • Back-to-Back Winners (either with same or different teams)
  • Eye in the Sky (Video Review Declared Winners)
  • Penalty Shots in the Stanley Cup Championship (goalie or shooter)
  • Gold Medalist and Stanley Cup Champion
  • Stanley Cup-Winning Goals
I know that its a little early to be thinking about the Stanley Cup, but if you want to get a head start on your collection in time for when the finals roll around, its always best to plan ahead.


  1. It's never too early to think about the Stanley Cup. Especially when you are defending it.

    These are all great ideas. I've been thinking of two different collections myself...the whole player with my birthday thing or players with awesome mustache's or beards. Not sure which one is going to yield the most enjoyment.

  2. I have a small collection of different NHL families. Ex (Stastny's, Sutter's, Sakic's etc) It is something that you can add to each year and some make it big and some don't.