Panini America NHL acquisitions specialist Alex Carbajal tends to pick up tons of the behind-the-scenes skinny and invaluable insight in his daily dealings with NHL superstars and their agents.
When you work on the manufacturer side of the NHL trading card business, you tend to pick up tons of behind-the-scenes skinny and invaluable insight into the daily dealings with the game’s superstars and their agents.
For example, Panini America NHL acquisitions specialist Alex Carbajal was one of the first people on the planet to know that Boston Bruins winger Milan Lucic earlier this year had expressed an interest in getting out of the card-signing business. It was nothing against collectors or the hobby, Lucic simply didn’t want to sign any more trading cards.
So you can imagine Carbajal’s surprise last month when he was presented with a fresh batch of 2010-11 Dominion Hockey cards to send out that included one particularly perplexing card: A three-player doozie featuring former Bruins greats Cam Neely, Derek Sanderson . . . and Lucic.
“My first thought was ‘Uh oh, how am I possibly going to get these cards signed?’ ” Carbajal said Tuesday. “I’ve been trying to get a deal done with him all year long. So I reached out to his agent and said, ‘Look, I know Milan doesn’t want to sign right now, but we’ve inadvertently printed these cards for Dominion. Do you think he’d be willing to help us out?’ ”
Luckily for us, Lucic was indeed willing. Carbajal expedited the shipment of those cards to Lucic, who actually signed them on the same day that he spent with the Stanley Cup.
How’s that for insight?