Beckett Hockey

10 CAREER-DEFINING

MARC-ANDRE FLEURY CARDS

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2003-04 BAP Memorabili­a Masks III #M-18 2001-02 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles #1

Fleury wasn’t the top goalie prospect in the 2000 QMJHL draft – Maxime Daigneault went first overall to Val d’Or – but he did sneak into the tail end of the first round, going 16th to Cape Breton. He appeared in 35 games in his rookie season, going 1212-2 with a 4.05 GAA and a .880 save percentage. Despite those unspectacu­lar numbers, scouts loved what they saw in the young prospect and his card from this team-issued set drew plenty of hobby attention. It’s worth noting that his actual first card is found in the 1998 Quebec Pee Wee Tournament set. It remains a white whale to countless Fleury collectors.

Facing high expectatio­ns, Fleury’s rookie season started well enough. He capped off October with his first career shutout, a 3-0 win over Chicago, that clinched Rookie of the Month honors. But his game sagged behind a soft Pittsburgh defense, and he eventually was returned to Cape Breton after being loaned to Team Canada for the World Juniors. Still, his cards sold well, including this single from the popular Masks series. If you’d prefer a more challengin­g version of this card, try tracking down the Autographs (/10) or Memorabili­a (/10) parallels.

2006-07 Between The Pipes Autographs #A-MF

This was the season Fleury hit his stride. He vaulted from 13 wins in 200506 to 40 and set franchise marks for most minutes and games played. Hobby demand, which had cooled the previous season, picked up noticeably and his autograph – with the M and F combining to look like a hockey net – became an instantly recognizab­le staple in most products. He was particular­ly visible in the goalie-themed Between The

Pipes product, which benefited from an oversized signing space to maximize the visual impact of his signature.

2003-04 UD Premier Collection #117

As the top pick in the 2003 NHL draft – and the first building block of what soon would become a dynasty in Pittsburgh – Fleury’s first Penguins cards were highly anticipate­d by the hobby. Manufactur­ers more than met the demand with a stunning 41 official RCs in 2003-04, and more than

200 cards in total. With a print run of 99 copies, this Premier single ranks as one of his toughest RCs, along with the Private

Stock Reserve (#134), SP Game Used (#91), Titanium (#132), and Upper Deck Ice #130. But this one offers something the others can’t match: an autograph and a patch swatch.

2010-11 Dominion Honoured Rivals Dual Jerseys #7

It’ll be remembered as the most important save of Fleury’s career: 2009, Game 7, Detroit. With the Pens holding on to a slim 2-1 lead in the dying seconds, he makes a key stop on a Henrik Zetterberg shot from the right circle. Cruelly, the rebound landed on the stick of Nick Lidstrom, who was alone in the left circle. The Detroit defender had Fleury dead to rights, but the keeper flung himself across the crease and made the diving stop with 1.5 seconds remaining to preserve the win and seal the Stanley Cup win. This single, part of the first Dominion release, was limited to 49 copies.

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