At "The Big One" card show in Vancouver - 2001
Me and Phil Kessel at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft card show in Vancouver.
Ray Bourque addressing the crowd at the Western Canada Sports Collectors Show in Langley, BC November 23, 2019.
Articles by us or about us:
•Why Sportscards do better during recession years.
•History of the Hockey Card.
•Hockey Cards: Not the pursuit it used to be?
•How to Choose an NHL Team that's right for you.
•The Top Hockey Card Cities of Canada in 2019.
•If all the Canadian Teams had been in one division -
historical year to year standings.
Other Articles we've enjoyed:
•Why the Sportscard Industry Has Not Yet Reached It's Peak
•Why Tim Hortons Cards are a Big Deal
•What I Learned from Collecting Baseball Cards
THE BEGINNING I first started collecting hockey cards back in 1970 starting with the Esso Power Player's album. The Esso gas stations would give you packs of six stickers with every fill-up, and in rural Rocky Mountain British Columbia you drove a lot. Every kid in our school was collecting them, and every Monday morning there would be groups of kids out there in the cold with their Power Player's wallets looking to trade and finish their albums. The collation wasn't that great, and I remember showing up one day with four Bobby Orr stickers.
That opened the door to wanting real hockey cards, and the next ones that came out were the good looking 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee set with the Dryden, and LaFleur rookies. Although there wasn't enough money to pick up more than the occasional pack, I always knew hockey cards were a more fun way to buy bubble gum.
Then elementary school gave way to middle and then high school, and other interests and sports became my focus as the 70's wound down. Adult life and a move to the big city of Vancouver started off the 80's. Then came travel and marriage.
THE REAL BEGINNING While visiting friends of ours in Seattle in the late 80's, he showed me his baseball and basketball card collection. He had bought a case of 1986 NBA Fleer and had nine Michael Jordan rookies. Learning that cards had value, I said we have hockey cards in Canada, I wonder if they're worth anything. Going home, I did some research, and found out there was. But not to the degree that baseball cards had, but there was some. A mint Wayne Gretzky O-Pee-Chee rookie card was going for $100. Steve Yzerman's O-Pee-Chee Rookie was going for $12. I discovered a couple of card shops around Vancouver and had a good look, and picked up a few cards. But on a subsequent visit to Seattle, I dropped by a place called Pacific Trading Cards in Lynwood, Washington. I noticed one Gretzky OPC Rookie in their case for $200, a Robitaille Rookie, and nothing else. So Iasked if they had any other hockey cards. The guys in there that evening said they had some boxes of them in the back. So they brought out a bunch of 1971-72 Topps, 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee, and some 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee. All these cards were mint, and it seems that they hadn't been picked over, or touched since the day they were opened. All the players from the set were there in quantity. I asked them how much they were. They said five cents each. And on the 71/72's, 25 cents each. A business was born!
DOING CARD SHOWS I had picked up about a dozen 71/72 Topps Bobby Orr cards down there in Seattle, along with a lot of everyone else, and I wanted to recover my investment, even though I had only spent about $500 in nickels and quarters. A card show was coming up in Vancouver, and so I rented myself one table. My wife found it hard to believe that anyone would want to pay the prices I was saying these cards could go for, but she came along and helped me out. I recoved my investment, and acquired some more cards as well. So, the pattern of going down to Seattle and cleaning out dealers who didn't want to have much to do with their hockey cards, coming back and doing shows in Vancouver continued for a couple of years, until Beckett came out with their price guides, and the big fun was over by about 1992. By then I pretty much had the same stuff that everyone else did, and the over-production and greed of the card companies in the early 90's killed the hobby. The bubble had burst. And so I abandoned cards for a short time.
THE INTERNET AND THE WORLD WIDE WEB By 1994 this thing called Compuserve and its rival America Online were becoming household names, and I found forums on there where people were starting to trade and deal in sportscards and memorabilia. And so I put a webpage together on Compuserve and listed cards and food issues that were only available in Canada. It caught on, and I was making regular trips to the grocery store and shipping boxes of Kraft Dinner, and Post Cereal, and McDonalds hockey cards to the U.S. That evolved into an actual presence on the World Wide Web in 1996, and that has now turned into what you see today.
EXCLUSIVELY ONLINE We would still do the occasional card show, but haven't done one now since about 2006. As a sole operator of a sideline business, it wasn't manageable to be selling cards at a show, and then keep the inventory accurate on the website. So now, all the business is done online at CanadianHockeyCards.com. I still keep a focus on selling cards that are only available in Canada such as this past year's amazingly good release by Tim Hortons. But the regular Upper Deck Series One and Series Two cards are the only mainstream releases that I like to keep in stock. So today my goal is to provide the cards that Canadians and many Americans like to collect, and to try to keep them fully in stock, and to sell them at a reasonable price. So you will notice that McDonalds, Tim Hortons, Kraft, Post, Vachon, Gillette and Esso have a notable presence on this website. I thank the thousands of customers over the years that have made this a lot of fun, and I hope to continue on with you for many more years to come.
Your email and home address information will not be sold or given to any third party.
•1st: Email us a list of what you would like to buy. You can copy and paste the card and price from our web site, or type it in as it appears. Make sure the player's names are on it. Our prices are as listed, so only order what you intend to buy at this time.
•2nd: We will confirm that everything is still in stock and email you usually within 24hours with the final price on your order.
•3rd; Please give us your mailing address as your confirmation. Then we will pull your order aside and get it ready to go. When payment is received, your order will go out.
•4th; You can pay by e-transfer, cash or money order (no green US postal money orders please). We also accept Credit Cards via PayPal secure service. Western Union is also available for larger orders if you live overseas.
•All prices on this web site are now in Canadian currency, although for US customers we can invoice you in converted US funds.
•Once order is confirmed, send payment via PayPal, or e-transfer in Canadian funds, or mail payment to:
Thomas Clemmer #211 - 255 West 3rd Street North Vancouver, B.C. Canada V7M 1G2
•Basic card orders over $10 have no postal charges added. Orders under $10 pay just $2 postage ($4-6 overseas). Orders of bulky items such as Food products or oversize cards and collectibles will have postage added. Small orders paid by PayPal may also have a transaction fee added.
We have shipped to the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Rep., England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, St.Pierre & Miquelon, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales, plus all 50 U.S. states, D.C., the U.S. Military, and all 10 Provinces and 3 Territories in Canada, and Canadian Military. Satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are not satisfied with the condition of your purchase upon receipt we will give you a full refund upon return.
We ship from North Vancouver, B.C., Canada