Stanley Cup reminds memorabilia investors of the power of hockey collectibles



The Stanley Cup, (ice) hockey's biggest event, got underway on Wednesday night (June 1 2011).

And while the result went by almost unnoticed in the UK, those north of the US-Canada divide have been talking of little else.

The Vancouver Canucks are leading the Boston Bruins 1-0 in the best-of-seven series that will determine the NHL's best team.

The Nucks, led by a set of identical Swedish twins, are aiming to become the champions for the first time. The Bruins, who have a six-foot, nine-inch defenceman in Zdeno Chára, have not won the cup since 1972.

Either way, it is sure to be a visually entertaining contest.

Hockey is huge in Canada and parts of the US, and the collectibles market reflects the game's strong appeal among alternative investors, with game worn jerseys and trading cards particularly hot commodities.

Not as appealing as they sound: Daniel and Henrik Sedin, the Swedish twins

The game worn rookie jersey of Bobby Orr, the Bruins defenceman who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979, sold for $191,200 at Heritage Auctions in April 2010.

The second highest sale at the auction was a 1912 C57 Hockey Series complete set of collectible cards, which drew $89,625. The market is usually dominated by baseball cards.

The Wayne Gretzky 1979 O-Pee-Chee PSA 10 became the most valuable hockey trading card ever sold when it brought $80,000 in 2006. Gretzky is widely regarded as the game's greatest exponent.

But the most expensive piece of hockey memorabilia is the Canada jersey worn by Paul Henderson when he scored the game winning goal against the Soviet Union in the 1972 Summit Series.

It made $1.27m at Classic Auctions in 2010.


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