I generally spend about 2-3 hours a day minimum on sportscardforum.com, in the hockey section of course. Every day, you see the regulars there normally at the same time, but on the 26th February this year there was a lot of traffic on the site. Why you ask? Well, because as it happens every year when the NHL regular season is close to its conclusion, it was the trade deadline. For die hard hockey fans, this is always a great event and what better way to live it than to discuss the many trades as they happen.

Many users see the forum strictly as a way to make trades (I know I used to be one of those users), but the hockey chat section really came alive as the trades were pouring in. The thread Trade Deadline-A-Palooza 08 got 1031 views and 111 replies as the trading period came to a close. Here I must give praises to TannieS who was our official trade reporter and was posting every deal, the second they were confirmed. And of course, once the trades were done and the dies had been thrown, it was time to discuss who made a good deal or a bad one and who came up top of the General Manager class.

One of the most talked about trade was no doubt the one which sent the then Montreal Canadiens Goaltender Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals for a 2009 2nd round draft pick. Not necessarily for the trade itself but for what it meant…yes Montreal got rid of an experienced goaltender for a draft pick, meaning that come playoff time the fort will be held by an incredibly young tandem of Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak.

Price has already made a lot of noise this year and on the hobby front, his rookie cards are some of the most sought after for this season. His Black Diamond rookie books at $100, his ITG game used is listed at $50, the easy to get OPC rookie books at $25, his young gun card currently sits pretty at $70 and his SPx auto rookie can set you back $250.

Not bad at all for a goalie who as only so far featured in 29 matches in the NHL. What do you think will happen to the value of his card if he manages to do well in the playoffs or even be the second coming of Patrick Roy as some people are hoping? I think we could well see their value rocket up. I for one will follow this one closely, not only because I support the Habs but also because my Price collection is growing by the day.

Another one of the big trades of the day was Atlanta sending Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to the Pens for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a 2008 1st round pick. I think the Pens have paid a high price for this trade and given away a lot of talent, especially Esposito, who even though he has been cut of team Canada junior 3 times now, is still a dominant figure in the LHJMQ with 61 points in 50 games. However, what really caught my attention with this deal is how many people were posting trade threads shuffling out their Armstrong, Esposito and Christensen cards! I was aware that many of SCF members collect the Pens, but still I was shocked at how they immediately wanted to get rid of cards they had invested a lot of time and effort in acquiring. Perhaps my surprise is related more to the fact that I am mainly a player collector and that to me it doesn’t matter if Roy is in the Montreal uniform or the Colorado one and I couldn’t care less if Brodeur was to get traded (that’s not going to happen though) his New Jersey cards would still be valuable to me as they are part of his career.

I also collect to a lesser extent cards from both the Avalanche and the Canadiens, cards which I willingly use as trade bait to upgrade my Roy/Brodeur collection. All the Pens fan out there trying to get rid of their traded players made me wonder whether some Capitals fans would be eager to get their hands on Huet cards, I therefore decided to test the market and see if anyone would be interested in an auto of their new goalie. No result so far though, not that I mind hanging on to Cristobal he has helped the Habs greatly in the last 3 years and I wish him the best of luck in Washington.

All that to say, I much prefer focussing my collection on players rather than teams, no need to trade like mad on trade deadline day to keep my PC current and up to date. I wonder if a majority of collectors out there are players or team collectors…Not to exclude the set builders but those seem rarer these days…What kind of hockey cards do you collect?