Leafs tickets command a pretty steep price tag and that is if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a pair. Very rarely can you find a pair at face value. Growing up I quickly realized that Leafs games were not in my family's price range and that I would be lucky to go once every couple of years. As a huge hockey fan I found the next best thing, the Oshawa Generals.
Growing up being a generals fan made geographical sense but as any collector from the early 90's remembers the Generals were the buzz team with an up and coming star in Eric Lindros. Cards with Lindros wearing his Generals red/blue/white were everywhere and if you had no idea what the OHL was you knew that the Generals were a minor team with a major star.
The generals have a very rich tradition as a team with an impressive list of 160 players who have gone on to play in the NHL. Luckily I was able to see some of those players before they moved on to the "big leagues." Players like Tavares, Lindros, Clutterbuck, Horton, Eager and Del Zotto. Although some of these players play on teams I don't like I still root for these guys because of their ties to the Generals. If they score against the Leafs it stings a little but is bittersweet because you feel you have a connection with these guys.
Now that I have gushed about my love for an OHL team and it's player it is time to announce my new collecting goal/challenge. And that is to collect an auto of each of the Generals alumni that has made it to the bigs and any card featuring a player in a Generals uniform.(most likely from the Heroes & Prospects set.) This challenge sounds easy enough as most OHL cards go for pennies but what some people may not know is that the generals have one of the games most elite players name hanging from the rafters and that player is Bobby Orr.
I look forward to this challenge and will post a list of all the Generals Alumni I am looking for on a tab on the side.
Also if you haven't been to a minor hockey game be it the OHL, AHL, QMJHL or any other equivalent league, do yourself a favour and check it out. The atmosphere is electric and you get to see some of tomorrows stars today.