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Gary Bettman, Don Fehr and the NHL Freeze Out

Gary Bettman
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
Two Jews are at the center of the freeze out between National Hockey League owners and players, as the two parties have failed to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement, again, leading to yet another a work stoppage for hockey.

Don Fehr
Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA. Photo by Chris Young/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is Jewish.

So, too, is Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players Association and the former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Bettman memorabilia is scant, but not scarce.

Beckett.com show no cards for the hockey commish.

Dozens of Bettman photos, autographed and unsigned, are available on eBay. Autographed images bring $15-$65, depending on the image and authenticator associated with the listing.

Gary Bettman Signed Puck
Gary Bettman signed hockey puck. Photo courtesy of eBay.
There are also several pucks inked by the hocky commissioner available for bid, as well as a "Bettman Sucks" hockey puck decal protesting the lockout. These stickers will prove more popular with fans than with hockey's corner office, no doubt.

Bettman detractors can pair thier Bettman Sucks decal with an explicit MP3 download, F%*k Gary Bettman, available on Amazon.com.
Gary Bettman Book
The Instigator How Gary Bettman Remade the NHL and Changed the Game Forever. Photo courtesy of Amazon.com.
Less offensive Amazon offerings include Bettman signed photos and books.

Bettman is the subject of a biography, The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade the NHL and Changed the Game Forever, due out on October 15, 2012.
Bettman is also the author of the foreward to The Official Treasures of NHL Hockey

Fehr also has little in the way of collectibles, as detailed in this JewishSportsCollectibles.com posting written when the former MLBPA exec traded his baseball cleats for hockey skates

Don Fehr JML Card
Don Fehr 2012 JML card.
Photo courtesy of Joshua Platt.

Although Beckett.com shows no cards having been issued for Fehr, Jewish baseball collectors know better.

Fehr is, in fact, featured in the Jewish Major Leaguers sets.

Ferh appears in the 2007 edition on card 45, which he shares with former MLBPA executive director Marvin Miller, and in the 2010 issue, on card 44, with Miller and current MLBPA exec Michael Weiner.

A search of eBay turned up very little memorabilia for Fehr. At the time of this posting, only the JML card and a signed baseball were listed on the auction giant, which is also available for purchase on Amazon.

Certainly, patient collectors will, over time, find other Fehr collectibles for sale on eBay

Don Fehr Letter
Donald Fehr signed letter. Photo courtesy of Joshua Platt.
As the former head of labor relations for baseball, Fehr is the subject of numerous books written on the subject available on Amazon.com. These include Marvin Miller's A Whole Different Ball Game: The Inside Story of the Baseball Revolution, Getting On Base: Unionism in Baseball and Swings and Misses: Moribund Labor Relations in Professional Baseball.

Fehr was a reluctant, but accomodating through-the-mail signer in the past. I've got an autographed letter, on MLBPA letterhead, from the player rep in my collection.

Can the hockey collectors out there add to the list of Bettman and Fehr memorabilia? Have you had any experiences in acquiring Bettman or Fehr's autographs, either in person or via mail?

Share your thoughts with other JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers by commenting below.

You can also keep up with the latest news about the hockey labor freeze on Google News, the NHLPA and the NHL news feeds.


More Ice: Trevor Smith

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Mea culpa!

I overlooked another member of the tribe who wanders the ice instead of the desert.

Ron Kaplan's end of season Jice ("Jews On Ice") update shows seven Jews saw ice time during the NHL regular season, not the six on whom I'd previously reported (read the original JSC JICE post and the update on Carter Camper and a Camper follow-up here).

Trevor SmithAs one who prefers my sports neat (that is to say, "no ice," a farsical way of confessing that I don't follow hockey, get it?), I had no idea that Tampa Bay Lightning center Trevor Smith appeared in 16 games, notching two goals and three assists during the 2011/2012 NHL season.

Trevor Smith Autographed Rookie CardSmith's collectibles include 22 different hockey cards, including O-Pee-Chee and Upper Deck base cards, autographed cards and limited, edition printing plate varieties, according to Beckett.com. Only five of these are being sold in the Beckett Marketplace. Smith's base cards cost $2 or less. His autographed rookie card sells for about $12.

A smattering of Smith's minor league and professional cards are evailable on eBay for similar prices. Many of the listings, though, offer Smith as part of a "you pick 'em" lot.

Trevor Smith Champs Rookie CardFurther complicating a search for the Jewish hockey player is the commonality of Smith's surname. You can filter, as I did, for hockey cards produced since 2007 when searching for Trevor Smith's hockey cards on the auction giant's web site.

Searching in other subcategories in eBay's sports memorabilia directory proved harder. I came up with nothing concrete in the way of other Smith memorabilia. 

Smith has player since 2003, however. Certainly signed pucks, programs, yearbooks or his game-used uniforms must exist.

Do any Jewish hockey collectors who are JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers have Smith's memorabilia in your man caves?

Photo by Scott Audette, via Getty Images/NHL.com


More Jews on Ice

After posting a review of Jewish hockey players' collectibles on JewishSportsCollectibles.com, I re-read the March/April issue of Jewish Sports Review.

Carter Camper Headshot
Seems I missed a note in the "Sports Shorts" section about Jewish hockey player Carter Camper.

Carter CamperCamper is an undrafted free agent playing in the Boston Bruins' system. On February 20th, Camper was called up to the NHL. He played in 3 games for the Bruins and scored his first goal before being sent back down to Providence Bruins in the AHL (hockey's minor leagues). Proof that ice melts quickly!

According to Beckett.com, Camper has several cards available to collectors, including a 2007-2007 issue from the Lincoln Stars team issue (#24) and traded version of the same card (#T18). A signed version of the card (Upper Deck Signature Series #6) is also available.

Unfortunately, no sellers in the Beckett Marketplace appear to be selling Camper's cardboard. Ditto for eBay.

I'm not much of a hockey fan, am I'm certainly not an expert on hockey collectibles. Do any JICE collectors know if Camper has other cards available, perhaps minor league team issues?

Certainly there are photos programs, yearbooks and game tickets associated with Camper's college (Miami, OH) and minor league hockey career.

Anyone know if any of Camper's signed pucks, game-worn uniforms or equipment have made their way into collections?

Let JSC.com readers know by commenting below. 

Photos  courtesy of NHL.com/Boston Bruins.


Jews on Ice

As March goes out like a lion in the winter that wasn't, it's natural that collectors' minds turn to spring, warmer weather ... and, naturally, ice hockey.

Capping off an otherwise forgettable season, the cellar-dwelling Columbus Blue Jackets hosted Jewish Heritage Night on Wednesday, March 28 during their game against the Detroit Red Wings.

This presents the perfect opportunity for JewishSportsCollectibles.com to provide an overview of the collectibles associated with the men on skates who Ron Kaplan refers to as "JICE" -- that is "Jews on Ice."

The lansdmen who share the frozen water include:

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Michael Brown

A winger who has played for the Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs during his short NHL career, Michael Brown has numerous cards available to Jewish hockey collectors. The problem is finding them, if you're shopping online.

Mike Brown RookieGiven the commonality of Brown's name, isolating his cards can be tough. Doubtless, Beckett.com lists Browns pasteboard, but isolating hockey's Mike Brown from any football player named Mike who played for the Cleveland Browns during the team's long history can prove daunting.

eBay, which allows shoppers to filter results by numerous attributes, may be the easier option. I found more than 200 possible results, although many of the items listed included multi-card and you-pick-your-cards lots. Your best bet (and best for small businesses!) may be to shop for Brown's pasteboard at your local sports card and collectibles shop.

Wherever you might buy them, Brown's cards include numerous rookie and standard issues, along with a few serial numbers, signed and memorabilia cards. These appear to be relatively common, selling for $1-$5, depending on condition. Brown's limited edition issues can fetch as much as $10-$12.

As a baseball fan and collector, I'm a bit out of my league when it comes to hockey. Perhaps readers can weigh in with a list of Brown's cards and other memorabilia? Comment below!


Michael Cammalleri

Michael Cammalleri Autograph CardBeckett.com lists more than 175 different cards for Michael Cammalleri. These include cards from all of the major manufacturers -- including Donruss, O-Pee-Chee, Pinnacle and Score -- including limited edition, memorabilia and autographed cards.

Cards in the Beckett Marketplace sell for between $0.25 and $40, for some of the center's limited edition rookie cards. Most of the more popular of Cammalleri's standard issue cardboard sells for $2-4 on eBay.

Michael Cammalleri Autograph FigurineIn addition to hockey cards, collectors can also find a 2009/2010 McFarlane Hockey figurine for Cammalleri. Both standard issue and autographed/serial numbered editions exist. Expect to pay $15-25 for the standard figurine and as much as $100-150 for the autographed edition on eBay.

A bevvy of Camalleri autographed and unsigned photos, signed pucks, sticks, jerseys and photos can be found on eBay for a wide range of prices (as always, buyer beware!).

There's even a plush toy and Fathead wall decoration for collectors who like to include JICE as a decor element.

What Camalleri items do you have in your collection?


Jeff Halpern

Jeff Halperin Memorabilia CardThere are nearly 300 different cards for Jeff Halpern listed on Beckett.com, including base cards, parallel issues, autograph, memorabilia and limited edition variety from all of the different manufacturers.

Jeff Halperin Signed Stick BladeStandard cards in the Beckett Marketplace and eBay sell for between $0.25 and $3. Haplern's less scarce memorabilia and autograph cards are available for $4-10, while graded and limited edition cards are available for $15-$50.

Collectors can also find Halpern autographed and unsigned photos, autographed pucks, sticks and jerseys can be found on eBay for a wide range of prices.

Halpern is also profiled in Jewish Sports Stars: Athletic Heroes Past and Present.  

Do you have a favorite Halpern item in your collection?


Eric Nystrom

Eric Nystrom Autograph CardCollectors can choose from nearly 200 different cards featuring Dallas Stars winger Eric Nystrom, according to Beckett. These include cards featuring Nystrom in his pee wee hockey and University of Michigan college uniforms, as well professional cardboard of all manner. Nystrom is well represented across all manufacturers, and has signature, memorabilia and limited edition cards available.

Eric Nystrom PuckNystrom's common cards can be found for $2 or less in the Beckett Marketplace and on eBay, while memorabilia cards generally command $10-20, and as much as $50 for extremely limited edition varieties.

eBay shoppers can find dozens of Nystrom autographed photos, pucks and jerseys (many of them team signed items), along with sticks and team logo merchandise. Standard eBay cautions apply when shopping for signed items. 

As a veteran player, certainly collectors can also find Nystrom in team programs and yearbooks. What other Nystrom memorabilia can you suggest?


Dylan Reese

Dylan Reese Jersey cardFor a player who has spent only parts of each of the last three seasons with Islanders, there are a surprising number of cards available to Jewish hockey enthusiasts seeking to add Dylan Reese to their collection.

Beckett.com lists 41 different pieces of pasteboard for the defense man, including limited edition and serial numbered cards, memorabilia and autograph cards, and 1-of-1 printing plate variations.

Reese's signature and memorabilia cards are very reasonably priced on eBay, with sellers generally asking between $2-$10, with the same cards in the Beckett Marketplace fetching between $4-8. 

Dylan Reese JerseyIslanders team signed items, including Reese's autograph are readily available on eBay. Single signed-pieces, not as much. A recent search yielded only one signed puck and one autographed photo. There was, however, a Reese game worn, minor league sweater (i.e. - jersey) available for $500. As always on eBay, buyer beware. 

What other Reese memorabilia do you have?

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As I mentioned above, I'm a lifelong baseball fan and Jewish baseball collector. So, I'm a bit out of my league when it comes to hockey.

What JICE hockey memorabilia do you have I overlooked? What's the best piece in your Jewish hockey collection?

Share your favorites in the comments below. If you email photos of your Jewish hockey memorabilia to jsportscollectr@gmail.com, I'll be happy to publish them.


Sports' Jewish Labor Leaders & Execs

With the recent passing of Labor Day, it seems a fitting time to pay tribute to the Jewish union leaders who have made -- and continue to make -- a significant impact on professional sports.

MLBPA_logo Baseball is the sport that has seen the most MOTs at the helm of its players' union. Since 1983 the Major League Baseball Players Association executive director's office has been filled by a Jew.

The eminent (and under recognized) Marvin Miller gave way to Don Fehr (who in 2010 traded his baseball cleats for hockey skates, moving to the National Hockey League Players' Association), and the office is now held by Michael Weiner,

Labor leaders, of course, need management foils. The suites of the various major sports have also been filled by Members of the Tribe.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is the HHIC (head Hebrew In Charge) of Diamond Affairs.

The corner offices above the ice and the hard wood are also inhabited by desert descendants. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is Jewish. So, too, is NBA Commish David Stern.

Collectors interested in adding memorabilia associated with the Jewish labor leaders and league executives have limited, but varied, options.

Marvin millerMarvin Miller is immortalized on pasteboard with a 2005 Topps Fan Favorites (#80; refractor insert #77) and an Upper Deck 1994 American Epic (#74) cards. Both sell for under $1 on Beckett.

Miller is also included in the JML set (2007, #45, a card he shares with Fehr, and 2010, #44, a card featuring the labor leaders trio) and has a variety of paisley shirt/tie "relic" and autograph cards in the 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter series. The A&G relics have been selling for $20 or so on eBay, with the autograph moving for upwards of $30.

Miller is also the author of A Whole Different Ball Game. Signed copies of the book sell for $250 and up.

Miller has been known to respond autograph requests. He signed for me through-the-mail in the past, but took his time doing so (this is not a criticism, just an observation; no one is obliged to sign).

As he grows older and (justifiably) more upset about his exclusion from the Baseball Hall of Fame, I don't expect Miller will remain a willing signer -- although I hope this assertion is incorrect.

Don fehr letter Fehr is featured in the Jewish Major Leaguers set (2007, #45, a card he shares with Miller, and 2010, #44, a card featuring Miller and Weiner).

Fehr and Weiner have been willing through-the-mail signers, at least in my experience. I've got autographed letters, on MLBPA letterhead, from both, along with Weiner's signed business card in my collection.

Bud selig Commissioner Selig has several cards.

These include a Hero Deck playing card bearing his caricature, a Wisconsin Historical Museum issue (#63 in the series honoring the 1957 Brave), and JML cards (2006, #43, 2010, #43). The JML cards sell for $5-10.

I've seen the Wisconsin Museum card listed on eBay for $3. The playing card is available for around $2.

Selig has been a willing through the mail signer, in the past. He signed my Hero Deck card and enclosed a signed business card in response to my letter.

Selig statuette Selig is also memorialized in bronze, with a statue in his likeness having recently been unveiled outside of Miller Park. The St. Paul Saints issued a "Best Bud" statuette to commemorate the occasion.

The stadium give-away is limited to 2,500, and is selling for $10 and up on eBay. Selig's facsimile signature is, of course, on every official Major League Baseball. I'd love to add a signed Selig OML ball to my collection. Does anyone have one?

 
Gary bettman SP As for Gary Bettman and David Stern, unfortunately, I'm out of my leagues.

An eBay search for Bettman yields lots of unofficial photos, many signed, selling for approximately $25. Bettman has been featured in numerous hockey magazines, is also the author of the foreward to The Official Treasures of NHL Hockey.

Can the hockey collectors out there add to the list of Bettman memorabilia? Do any collectors have a puck signed by Bettman?

David stern SP David has no cards of which I am aware. Jewish sports uber-collector Neil Keller has investigated publishing a Jewish basketball card set. If the project ever comes to fruition, it makes sense Hoops' Head Hebrew would be included.

Signed photos of the basketball commissioner are available on eBay, along with a variety of other memorabilia, for about $20. As always with the auction giant, buyer beware.

Does anyone know of Stern cards and memorabilia? Is he interviewed for The First Basket, the Jewish basketball documentary? Do you have any Stern memorabilia or autographs in your collection?

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Author's note: A version of this posting was originally published on 9/7/2010, under the headline: "Don Fehr Trading Cleats for Skates."