Or is it twirling into its unavoidable doom? It may seem real healthy despite the worst financial global crisis since 1930’s, despite collapsing economies, despite layoffs and desperate people with no help in sight. But the hockey card products keep on selling.

That in itself should be a great proof the hockey card products are healthy, alive and foolproof of financial collapses. That, my friends, is smoke and mirrors. Some of us said already seven to eight years ago that the game-used craziness would lead the hobby to its grave within a decade, but the years after 2004’s lockout have been truly blinding of success stories. The only thing that keeps the hobby buzzing and full of life is indeed the recent crops of super-rookies. Without them in this harsh economical environment the times would be very bad.

Falsely we may believe it’s all fireworks and glory, but to have several seasons with young rookies who immediately have an incredibly large impact and success within their first two in the NHL is something we haven’t seen since the 80’s. I’m not only thinking about dominants like Sydney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin. We can line up a whole bunch of them like Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Getzlaf, Paul Stastny, Phil Kessel, Zach Parise, Dion Phaneuf, and Jeff Carter. That’s for the 05-06/06-07 seasons alone (I haven’t even mentioned soon to be stars like Jordan Staal).

The 07-08 slacked on super-rookies, but still had teenagers like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Niklas Backstrom making immediate impacts in the league. The 08-09 slacked even more on them, with the exception of Steve Mason and early-injured Derick Brassard. Super-rookies of 09-10 will pick up again with everyone turning their eyes on John Tavares and Victor Hedman. But what happens if the world turns normal and the young players will take a few years to blossom (like Joe Thornton and Vincent Lecavalier)? It’s a fast food business today, so we want the players now at this moment or even wanted them yesterday if possible.

Even if the training and evaluation of young players make them more ready early, as everything has its turns. We can expect a few year’s slump sooner than later, which will then cause the question rise; will the hobby survive it? Today the hobby solely survives on the rookies and without the hot patch or auto rookie cards the buying frenzy would promptly stop.

In the meantime Crosby, Malkin and company will grow older and no longer be the hot kids on the block. The bloodlust for younger stars will take over, and the Kid’s name won’t be enough to carry any product. Let me be a bit of a rain cloud and warn the card companies of this possible scenario, which might happen sooner than you expect, if Steven Stamkos keeps underperforming, if Tavares won’t deliver and if no other youngster transform into a superstar then the slump is happening already and we will see the crash within two years.