Panini Unwrapped Special Edition: Newest Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk

July 11, 2011

It’s not every day you find out that a true-to-life NHL legend will soon be in your midst.

So when Panini America NHL acquisitions specialist Alex Carbajal told me last Friday morning that three-time Stanley Cup champion Joe Nieuwendyk was coming into the office later that afternoon to sign some of his autographed cards, I did what anyone in my position would do: I picked my jaw up off the floor.

I then spent most of the rest of the day attempting to gather my bearings for one of the most star-studded episodes of Panini Unwrapped ever filmed.

Nieuwendyk, who just two weeks ago was informed that he would be joining former teammates Ed Belfour and Doug Gilmour in the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011, joined the Panini America crew to bust a box of 2010-11 Luxury Suite Hockey and to discuss, among other things, the evolution of trading cards, signing the tape from one of his game-used sticks and the manifold brilliance of his playing career.

Currently the General Manager of the Dallas Stars, Nieuwendyk easily is one of the most decorated players in NHL history, claiming among his spectacular list of accomplishments three Stanley Cup titles (with Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey), a Calder Trophy (1988), a Conn Smythe Trophy (1999), four All-Star nods and an Olympic Gold medal (Canada in 2002).

The sweeping sweetness of his autograph is merely icing on the cake.

This special episode of Panini Unwrapped includes behind-the-scenes footage of Nieuwendyk’s signing session as well as his thoughts on players such as Pavel Datsyuk and Dustin Byfuglien. After you’ve watched that, be sure to check out the stunning gallery of cards Nieuwendyk signed late Friday afternoon.