Beckett Hockey

HELP WANTED

- Al Muir - amuir@beckett.com • @almuirsi on Twitter

As much as I love the NHL, I live and die by internatio­nal hockey. So yeah, 2022 is my kind of year. As I put this issue to bed my favorite event on the calendar, the World Junior Hockey Championsh­ip, is just days away. is year’s tournament was set up as the coming-out party for superstar prospects Shane Wright, Connor Bedard, and Matvei Michkov. All three players are poised to dominate the hobby for the next decade and beyond. By the time this issue hits newsstands, I have no doubt their electrifyi­ng play in Edmonton and Red Deer will have multiplied their fan bases exponentia­lly.

Of course, the WJC won’t attract the eyes of the year’s main event, the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. Sadly, there’s no telling what form the tournament will take. A er missing out on the 2018 Games in South Korea, NHL players fought for the right to participat­e in China. But a er months of barstool roster discussion­s, it appears the Omicron variant of COVID-19, along with quarantine restrictio­ns issued by the Chinese government, could put an end to that dream.

We’ll know by mid-January at the latest whether NHLers will get to represent their countries, but even if they don’t the tournament will still be played by elite athletes. And who knows what sort of surprises it will offer? Will Michkov join the men’s team and elevate his profile further? Will there be another Cinderella team like the silver medal-winning Germans?

Whatever the case, it’ll be great exposure for a game that is thriving in more places than ever. And one thing that watching all these games reminds me of is that wherever there’s hockey, there are collectors. And wherever you are around the world, I’d love to hear your stories.

Before the pandemic, we ran a piece on the thriving hobby scene in the Czech Republic. Now it’s time to hear from those of you in Sweden, Finland, England, Russia, Germany … really, anywhere that hockey cards are being sold there’s a story worth being told.

Here’s the key: It’s up to you to tell it. ink someone else will volunteer to represent your county? Don’t think you can write well enough? Don’t think you can communicat­e well in English? Don’t worry, and don’t wait! We want to hear from each of you, and we’ll make sure you sound great. Whether you’re a shop owner, a card manufactur­er, or an average collector, you have a perspectiv­e worth sharing.

Write to me at the email address below. Let’s show everyone just how internatio­nal this hobby is.

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