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From the World of “Why?” – Curious Checklist Choices Edition

June 22, 2011

2009-10 Upper Deck MVP Luke Schenn Hart Candidates Insert

Roughly a month ago I wrote about a card that I came (re)discovered while making my way through my daunting project of scanning and adding images to every one of my current eBay listings.

I mentioned in that article that one of the unexpected fringe benefits of going through this process was that I was coming across a number of cards that seemed to fit my From the World of “Why?” series of articles.

Today’s article is about one of those cards that I have come across.  It is a Luke Schenn Hart Candidates insert from 2009-2010 Upper Deck MVP.

If your reaction to reading that was anything like mine was when I came across it in one of my many boxes containing cards currently listed on eBay, then you either have a very confused look on your face or you burst out laughing.

I don’t mean to take anything away from Schenn by saying that including him in this set is absolutely ludicrous.  He has become a very reliable defenseman for the Maple Leafs, but when you get right down to it, ludicrous is exactly what it is. In bold. And all caps. LUDICROUS!

While he had a relatively solid showing in his rookie season for a blueliner, Schenn is among a number of players included in this set that have about as good of a shot at winning the Hart Trophy as I do.

Schenn was included in this league-MVP themed set following just a single season in the NHL, one in which he totaled two goals, fourteen assists, seventy-one penalty minutes, and a plus/minus of minus twelve.

Not exactly a prelude to an MVP level performance season in his sophomore season. Or in his third season. Or in any season

It makes about as much sense to include him in this set as it would to drop him into In the Game’s Between the Pipes or Panini’s All Goalies brands. There is simply no logical reason to do so.

To a casual fan of the NHL it probably raises an eyebrow.  To a longtime collector it is just laughable.

After looking up the checklist for this set, Upper Deck apparently took the approach of including one player from each of the 30 NHL teams, deeming that player the team’s best chance at having a league-MVP on its roster.

I guess Schenn was simply the best option on what was a terrible group to choose from.  The Leafs leading scorer (aka best Hart Trophy candidate) in 09-10 ended up being Phil Kessel with a whopping 55 points, which followed an 08-09 campaign in which Jason Blake led the way with just 63.

In hindsight, perhaps a smaller checklist of legitimate candidates may have been a more suitable/positive way to put this insert set together.  Not only is the checklist littered with guys who are miles from Hart contention, but (at least according to the company’s website) Upper Deck didn’t even include a single one of the players who ended up being nominated for the award in 2009-10.

Not Crosby, not Ovechkin, and not the eventual winner of the award, Henrik Sedin.

Those are some pretty difficult names to ignore in any year’s Hart Trophy conversation, yet Upper Deck managed to do exactly that with this set.  The exclusion of those players is actually more unbelievable to me than was seeing Schenn included in the first place.

For a brand called “MVP” they sure missed the boat on providing collectors with MVP talent in an MVP themed insert set.

On the plus side they gave me one more thing to write about and a good laugh along the way though, so I’ll take it!

Let me know if you have any Curious Checklist Choices that you think I should include in a future article in this series. E-mail me at bb_bros@hotmail.com, leave a message below, or connect on Twitter and Facebook.

Until Sunday’s Month-End “Business” Update, all the best in your collecting pursuits, and best of luck in chasing down that elusive Hart Trophy, Luke!

Ryan

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