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The First Word: Calling a Timeout For Fun

Look on the lighter side and get in the holiday spirit with some incredible hockey-themed Christmas cards from a collection that dates back more than 30 years.

Tis the season to be jolly, which is desperately needed in this age of folly. The holidays are a respite, a timeout from the madness when we hopefully can call an ideological truce and agree to ditch politics for joysticks, recognize our polar views should only come from the North and concede the critical cherry debate is why on Earth we put candied ones in cakes. Blech.

During the break, we’re also blessed with World Junior Championship competition, the most wonderfully exuberant hockey of the year. Ryan Kennedy, who will be podcasting from Ostrava, Czech Republic, during the tournament, tees up the 2020 WJC with scouting reports and predictions. This special holiday edition of The Hockey News also pays homage to video games of yore in a deep-dive feature by senior writer, and kid at heart, Matt Larkin. And Ken Campbell examines the gift wrapped in an enigma known as the Buffalo Sabres.

I’ve opted to eschew my traditional prose in this space for something more jovial, saluting a more innocent time. (Yes, 2001 was a more innocent time. Work with me). Erle Schneidman, a Montreal-based dentist and memorabilia collector, has been amassing hockey-themed Christmas cards for 30-plus years. He has hundreds of them, though as we march deeper into a greener age, there are fewer being disseminated. Which, like vinyl LPs, Polaroid cameras and comic books, should add to their nostalgic value.

So cuddle up with a blanket, pretend to eat Aunt Joan’s fruitcake and check out these beauties, some of my favorite pearls in Erle’s collection.


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