Adam Graves

Adam Graves, Rookie (according to Beckett)

Fresh of the high from watching my Buffalo Sabres take down the Jets in overtime, I was really hoping to find a few Winnipeg cards in today’s pack. While none surfaced, I still got to take a glimpse back into a time where teams such as the Hartford Whalers and Quebec Nordiques still existed.

To be honest, at first I thought the only players out of this pack I had ever even heard of were Adam Graves and Martin Gelinas. But as I looked deeper into the names, I noticed that I’ve been hearing a few of these names all throughout the last decade. Ironically, Beckett has both of these two players listed as rookie cards, despite the fact that neither one says “rookie” on it. I’m going to have to research why it is these are considered as such.

As for the rest of the pack, the players seemed pretty average at first glance. A quick search for a few of them let me know that some of them had more of an impact than I originally thought. In fact, most of them played for over a decade in the NHL.

Pack Breakdown (Regular Cards):

  • Allan Bester – A seemingly decent goaltender for Toronto, who bounced between the AHL and NHL.
  • Craig Ludwig – Helped Dallas “win” the Cup against the Sabres.
  • Kelly Miller – My hunch was confirmed that he was Ryan Miller’s cousin.
  • Kevin Lowe – This one intrigued me. I had heard the name before, and had a mental block on where… He was an All-Star caliber player who won a ton of Cups with Edmonton. But what I remembered him best for, as I soon found out, was that he was the person responsible for Thomas Vanek and Dustin Penner’s outrageously high contracts.
  • Brian Hayward – While he did play for the Jets, he also bounced from team to team, never posting a season Sv% reaching .900.
  • Tony McKegney – A former Sabre, who posted a 37 goal season with the team during his stay. Also, the first Black Canadian hockey player to make an impact in the NHL. Works with the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association.
  • Gaetan Duchesne – Played over 1,000 regular season games.
  • Steven Rice – Scored 64 goals, but is better known for being part of the Messier trade.
Supposed Beckett Rookies:
  • Adam Graves – A core player of the Rangers for a decade.
  • Martin Gelinas – Had a long career, playing in teams all over the NHL starting in 1988 in Edmonton and playing all the way to 2006 where he ended his career in Nashville.
  • Sylvain Lefebvre – Assistant coach for the Avs, who played from 1989 to 2003.
  • Adam Burt – Defensemen who saw Hartford change into the Hurricanes.
So while this pack had little value in terms of Beckett, it provided quite the humbling history lesson for me as I continue to work my way through old packs of cards. The old saying “never judge a book by its cover” could be altered into “never judge a player by the lack of stats on the back of their card.” Many of the players in this pack had long careers, and I never would have known because most of them started around the time that this set of Score was released. Now I know for next time, not to blindly assume the cards are worthless just because Beckett said so. These cards have some inherent value, seeing as some of these players won or participated in Stanley Cup Finals. While they may not be worth actual cash, someone will find value in their historical information.
Also, I’ll probably keep the Tony McKegney card – just in case I ever get the chance for autographs at a Sabres Alumni game!

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