Why bother?

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to hockey cards, besides that glossy coating that requires "erasing," happens early every season.

In Upper Deck's rush to satisfy demand, the company pushes out cards, under its litany of brand names, that are a waste of time and money. Take a look, please, at the 2006-07 Fleer Ultra cards above. At first glance, it's reasonable to believe that these players remain with the teams of the uniforms they're wearing.

A closer look at the fine print, though, proves different. Each card's front carries the team that each player has since moved to this season. For Chris Pronger, let's hope his wife likes Anaheim better than she did Edmonton. For Eric Lindros, it's on to Dallas, where he certainly won't be the lone star. And for Doug Weight, it's time to take his Stanley Cup ring back to St. Louis.

Granted, any knowledgeable hockey fan should know about those offseason moves. So, why does Upper Deck continue to insult our intelligence? It's almost like the company is trying to sneak one past us.

Instead, why doesn't Upper Deck wait until updated photos showing the players in their new uniforms become available and include those in its Upper Deck Series I product? I know I can live with one less card of Pronger, Lindros and Weight. Couldn't you?

In their places, perhaps these early season sets could include cards of such players as Anaheim's Francis Beauchemin or Dallas' Stephane Robidas or St. Louis' Bryce Salvador. They may not be top-tier stars, but I know of one autograph collector who certainly wouldn't complain.

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