Lately I've been tossing around the idea of adding a second player to my always expanding collection, for the second time now. This may sound familiar because I did a similar post back when I decided to start up a Dominik Hasek collection. That didn't go so well as it was kind of overwhelming seeing the actual number of cards he had out there. So eventually I gave up on it and stopped actively pursuing his stuff.
It's been a while now since I made that decision and with more and more competition arising for Jimmy Howard stuff, I wanted to find myself a player who would be a bit more manageable. That being said, I've decided to start collecting Patrik Stefan. That's right, Patrik Stefan, the former 1st overall pick of the Atlanta Thrashers who is best known for his empty net flub with the Stars a few years back.
Why, you ask? The answer to that goes all the way back to 1999, when Stefan was all the hype coming into the season. I was only 12 years old at the time and somehow got onto the Patrik Stefan bandwagon. Not sure how or why, but I became a fan of his and he was actually the very first player I got a TTM autograph response from. So there is a reason for this choice, I didn't just pull it out of thin air for the sake of picking a random player, because really who would really want to collect this guy?
There are also a few other things that make collecting him appealing to me. First, he is primarily pictured in one of my all-time favorite NHL jerseys (the dark Thrashers seen in the picture above). And second, he wore my one of my favorite numbers, 13, during the first several years of his career with the Thrashers.
Patrik was selected 1st overall by the Thrashers in 1999, placing huge expectations on the centerman from the Czech Republic. As most of you probably know, he did not live up to those expectations after several injury filled seasons with the Thrashers. In total, he would go on to score 188 points in 455 games, which makes him statistically the worst 1st overall pick in the history of the NHL. If you're curious about him and his ill-fated career, click here to read a pretty good article about him.
Now, as far as cards go, I have a decent start already after going through the Thrashers section of my binders. I've got about 25 cards of his already, mostly base, but still that's a good place to start from. I've actually already shown a few of them off here in the past. Here's a look at some of them:
Finally, I am going to set some parameters for this player collection. Since Stefan is retired now, there is an finite number of cards of his out there. That said, I plan to only collect his cards ranging from his rookie season (1999-00) all the way up to his last season with the Thrashers (2005-06). This is kind of nice, because it gives me something to look for in the years before the stuff in my Howard collection. Now I get to go after a bunch of really cool pre-lockout cards, plus they're all pretty cheap.
So what do you guys think of my decision to go after Patrik Stefan in addition to the other projects I have going. Also, be sure to let me know if you have any of his cards laying around that you don't want or need.