Hockey fan collecting rookie cards of every Indigenous NHL player
Published Monday, January 1, 2018 9:49PM EST
A hockey fan in Edmonton is trying to collect the rookie cards of every Indigenous member of the NHL in hopes of highlighting the players’ success.
Naim Cardinal, who is Cree, has been collecting cards for close to 30 years and says he has about 10,000. The most recent subset of the massive collection – a smaller deck of about 70 cards – profiles Indigenous players from across the country.
His plan: to collect cards of every player of Indigenous descent.
Cardinal hopes the cards will show Indigenous youth that they can overcome any obstacle to achieve their dreams.
"It might be inspirational for them to see,” Cardinal told CTV Edmonton. “They have probably overcome similar things that some people are going through today.”
The collection includes the first-ever First Nations player in the NHL, Fred Saskamoose, as well as current NHL star T.J. Oshie.
Cardinal tweeted his collection a few months ago and was surprised by the overwhelming response. More than 500 people retweeted the post, and it was liked by more than 1,500 others.
"There’s a lot of people interacting with me and asking about certain players, asking if I have certain cards,” Cardinal said. "It’s been really good. Some good conversations have come out of it.”
The importance of Cardinal’s collection has already drawn the attention of First Nations hockey players, including Nakehko Lamothe, a forward with the MacEwan University Griffins.
“It's really important and it's really big that people know that these people were Indigenous,” he said. “The fact that they were able to make it to the NHL is pretty significant.”
With a report from CTV Sports’ Adam Cook
There they are, folks. One rookie card of every indigenous player who played a regular season NHL game & has a hockey card. 70 in total. pic.twitter.com/aZe2BUIMB1— Naim Cardinal (@NaimCardinal) October 22, 2017
A Christmas present arrived today for my collection of Indigenous NHL rookie cards. 1940-41 OPC Joe Benoit (Métis) rookie card. Joe was from St. Albert, AB & had 185gp 75g 69a 144pts. Won a Stanley Cup w/@CanadiensMTL in 1946. pic.twitter.com/C2VGu7sZ20— Naim Cardinal (@NaimCardinal) December 29, 2017