By Barry Hren aka Wolf1bh

Each year, the trading card world foists upon us the latest and greatest innovations to the hobby. What started out as a few short printed cards, then serial numbered and autographed inserts, has morphed into articles of clothing, pieces of equipment, and even human hair and fossilized bones. The latest hot new things include shadowbox cards, 14k gold plated ones and even mini videos. While I am sure we will all be surprised by what comes next, here are a few ideas of what we probably WON’T be seeing anytime soon in the hockey card industry.

1. Stanley Cup Ice Cards- While it would be cool to ship an actual piece of ice to the consumer (I think the recent traveling “Titanic” exhibit had some sort of way to keep ice frozen on a wall), it more likely would come in the form of a tiny vial of water. Take it out of the card, sprinkle it on your home pond, and voila’, you can skate the same ice as the legends.

2. Playoff Beard Clippings- Allen & Ginter made a splash by putting in strands of hair from both John F. Kennedy and a Woolly Mammoth, so why not beards? Imagine the thrill of opening a pack to find some pieces of Lanny McDonald’s red walrus whiskers, Scott Hartnell’s bushy caveman beard, or a few strands of Sid the Kid’s porn mustache?

3. Authentic Mouth Guard Cards- By now, almost all of us collectors have a piece of jersey, stick or even skate on a card, but what a thrill to have the first pieces of authentic player mouth guard! Complete with authentic DNA from players like Patrick Kane who spend more time chewing it then actually, you know, protecting their teeth.

4. Authentic Shoulder/Knee/Elbow Pad- Goalie pad cards have been around for years, but how bout a piece of sweaty pad? Complete with that “hockey cologne” smell of dried funk that never seems to leave your gear now matter how hard you try.

5. Authentic Playoff Popcorn- Remember a few years back when someone put an official Seattle Seahawks NFC Championship hot dog on eBay? It garnered over 300 thousand views, and bought it for $1800.00! While bits of slowly rotting meat might not be the best thing to have in your card boxes, how bout a few kernels of popcorn from Madison Square Garden or Joe Louis Arena come playoff time? Keep ‘em, trade ‘em, dare your friends to eat ‘em!

6. Legends of the Lockout Cards- The cards that no one wants. The possibilities include dual autos of the great commissioner Gary Bettman and player representative Donald Fehr. Would be a redemption, probably with a 4-5 month wait. “We’ll work on getting it done sooner”.

7. Legendary Jock Straps- Enforcer fight strap cards have become all the rage recently so why not a piece of the great Jacques Plante’s Jacques Strap…yeah, maybe we’ll just pass on this idea.

8. Punch Redemptions- These “Black and Blue Tickets” could be redeemed at the National Convention, where 6 lucky winners will have the opportunity to take (or give to their unsuspecting buddy) a shot right in the kisser from enforcing legends past and present, including Terry O’ Reilly, Stu Grimson, Tie Domi, and Tiger Williams. Imagine the pride and envy of your pals, walking around town with an autographed black eye from Dan Carcillo!

9. True Mystery Autographs- While players of the past like Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Hull are known for taking their time writing a full, legible signature, many of today’s young millionaires can’t seem to bother with more than 3 seconds per illegible scrawl. Players like Marian Hossa, Alex Ovechkin, and Jonathan Cheechoo have the kind of scribble that make you turn it 3 different ways to see if you are reading it right. These redemptions of the up and coming hot, young, bad signers will be on white cardstock, with no pictures or names, making it virtually worthless and a “true mystery” of who your player might be!

So there you have it, some “not so great” ideas for the future, though I must say, wouldn’t surprise me if any of them came to fruition. If anyone from Upper Deck, Topps, or Panini is reading this and is looking for a new marketing guru, drop me a line, plenty more bad ideas where these came from!