A proud sponsor of the Canadian Olympic Team for several years, they made their presence felt in women’s hockey. In the autumn of 2007, cereal boxes were now adorned with the images of Canada’s female hockey heroes.
The images of athletes like Cassie Campbell (along with Brendan Shanahan on Maple Frosted Wheaties), Nancy Drolet (Reese Puffs) and Geraldine Heaney (Apple Cinnamon Cheerios) were now on store shelves throughout Canada. It would also create a demand from hockey collectors in the United States.
While some of the players featured on the cards (Luce Letendre, Rebecca Fahey, and Danielle Dube) would not be part of the roster in Nagano, it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the first women’s hockey cards that Upper Deck produced. In addition, it marked the first time that Jayna Hefford appeared on a hockey card, making it a coveted card to collect over the years.
A film produced by the National Film Board of Canada called “The Game of Her Life”, was broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation prior to Nagano. Not only did it help kindle interest in the sport, but it also fuelled the collector’s interests for women’s hockey products.
Every sealed videotape of Game of her Life that was purchased featured eight free women’s hockey cards. With a powder blue border, the NFB’s logo was prominent on the front. Unfortunately, there were no statistics on the back (similar to cigarette cards of baseball players in the 19th Century). Among the eight women whose image graced the cards, it marked the first time that Shannon Miller was on a hockey card.
After Nagano, women’s hockey cards were not part of any sets in 1998-99. After the momentum of competing on the world’s biggest stage, the interest in women’s hockey cards should have grown. Instead, a major company producing a card set featuring an assortment of women’s players would not become reality until 2007.