You might need a coffee or two for this one. Seriously, grab a cup.....
Yesterday afternoon was probably the best single-day mail day I’ll probably ever have. So good, in fact, that I even took a day to compose myself and settle down a bit before hammering out this post to share this all with you today.
As a quick prelude, I randomly received a few Enroth cards from a member on BlowOut back in May. This member isn’t too active on the forums, but saw my collection online so they knew I collected Jhonas Enroth cards and wanted to help my collection out by sending me some Enroth cards. You can read more about that unexpected mail here on my website.
Surprised, I immediately reached out to the member and thanked them for their generosity and helping my collection grow, even if it was just by a couple of cards. Every addition helps! That was all the way back in May and it looks like the story was just beginning.
A few weeks ago, this very same member on the BlowOut forums reached out to me again saying they had sent me another package FREE of charge that they knew I would love. Having no idea what to expect, I initially assumed it was a few more cards for my collection or some duplicates. Boy, was I ever wrong....
THIS behemoth of a box arrived at my door step Yesterday afternoon...
*Yellow bubble mailer added to emphasize size*
Shocked that this giant box even had my name on it to begin with, I quickly recognized the name and set it aside so I could finish up my work for the day. However,I didn’t stop thinking about this box for the rest of the day. What could it be, I wondered?
Seconds after I finished work (the beauties of working from home right now!), I went to check on the box.
Filled with all the suspense the world has ever seen and shaking with excitement, I slowly began to unpack the contents of this massive box.
Pink packing peanuts! Every collectors dream?
After opening the box, I quickly realized I had more unpacking to do.
Is this the mansion I’ve always dreamed of?
And a smaller box to boot! What. Could. It. Be.
But which should I open first? Decisions, decisions.
After deciding on the black plastic wrap, I carefully unwrapped the object from the plastic and was amazed at what appeared in front of my eyes.
... A Jhonas Enroth Reebok Premier 4 Game-Used blocker.
No. Freaking. Way.
Unreal. Is this real life?! You bet your Crosby Young Guns it is.
After examining the blocker for a good long while (and trying it on, of course) I actually forgot for a split second there was another mystery to solve! What’s in box # 2 ?
A MeiGray box! For those who’ve ever had the opportunity to open one of these boxes, you know the experience can be a thing of beauty. Still stunned by the randomness of this entire mail day, I carefully opened up the box and...
A Jhonas Enroth Game-Used LA Kings Jersey from 2015-2016! Holy smokes!
Here are some pictures of the jersey from the original Meigray listing:
A Game-Used Blocker AND a Game-Used Jersey gifted to me FREE of charge in the same box? You just can’t make this stuff up. Incredible. Even 24 hours later, I am still in shock, to be honest.
After staring at these two items for what felt like a literal eternity, I ran over to my laptop and typed Blake a big ol’ thank you for these pieces. To be honest, I don’t think there is enough words in the English language to begin to describe the generosity of it all, but I tried, I really did.
These pieces recently sold on the secondary market, so Blake must have picked them up for the sole purposes of gifting them to me in order to further add to my Jhonas Enroth collection. Amazing.
I don’t know Blake, and the the only hobby interactions I’ve had with him has been answering some questions and him offering things to me for free. That’s it. He seems like the most generous person on earth and I am beyond shocked that I would ever benefit from such an act of kindness like this from a complete stranger in this hobby. If there was a hobby award ceremony, I know Blake would win MVP.
I’m going to dive into these pieces a little bit more and the significance these pieces have for my collection. First up, the LA Kings Jersey from the 2015-2016 season.
Upon further research, this jersey was used during the following games:
Jan 4, 2016 @ Colorado (4-1 Loss)
Dec 19, 2015 @ Toronto (5-0 Loss)
Dec 12, 2015 @ Buffalo (2-1 OT Loss)
Nov 22, 2015 @ Carolina (4-2 Loss)
Nov 20, 2015 @ Detroit (3-2 Loss)
Nov 3, 2015 @ St. Louis Blues (3-0 Win and 6th Career NHL Shutout)
Oct 22, 2015 @ San Jose (4-1 Win)
For those who remember, I own the CCM stick Enroth used in his 7th and final NHL shutout, so to have a game-used piece of memorabilia from his 6th shutout now as well is very, very cool.
Here are some HD photo-matched pictures of Enroth wearing this jersey during the 2015-2016 season:
Now for the grand finale.... the game-used blocker. For some, the jersey would take top spot in a showcase like this, but I quickly learned (with the help of my good buddy Eric AKA HammerHawks) that this blocker was also used Internationally as well across the pond. Let me explain.
The first appearance of this Reebok Premier 4 blocker comes during the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season with the Buffalo Sabres. To my knowledge, Enroth used this blocker in 6 NHL games, also recording a shutout (the 3rd of his NHL career at the time) during that span.
Blocker usage during the 2012-2013 regular season with the Buffalo Sabres:
March 19th 2013 @ Montreal (3-2 OT Win)
March 30th 2013 vs Washington (4-3 Shootout Loss)
April 13th 2013 vs Philadelphia (1-0 Win and Enroth’s 3rd Career NHL Shutout)
April 14th 2013 vs Tampa Bay (3-1 Win)
April 19th 2013 vs New York Rangers (8-4 Loss)
April 22nd 2013 vs Winnipeg (2-1 Loss)
Here are some photo-matched pictures of Enroth wearing this very same blocker with the Buffalo Sabres during the the 2013 season:
After the 2012-2013 season had ended, Enroth and other Swedish players banded together to play for their country at the 2013 IIHF World Championships, hosted in Stockholm, Sweden & Helsinki, Finland.
Team Sweden ended up winning gold and breaking the dreaded 27-year-old “home-ice curse”, a sporting phenomenon which had plagued the host nation team ever since the Soviet Union won gold on home soil at the World Championship in 1986.
Enroth was named MVP and voted the best Goaltender of the tournament for his incredible performance from start to finish.
Here are the games the blocker was used in during the 2013 IIHF World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden:
May 4th, 2013 vs Czech Republic (2-1 Win)
May 6th, 2013 vs Belarus (2-1 Win)
May 9th, 2013 vs Canada (3-0 Loss)
May 11th, 2013 vs Slovenia (3-0 Win, Enroth earns the Shutout)
May 16th, 2013 vs Canada 3-2 Win
May 18th, 2013 vs Finland (3-0 Win, Enroth earns the Shutout)
Finals - Gold Medal Game
May 19th, 2013 vs Switzerland (5-1 Win)
Upon further inspection of the gear, the internal blocker board of this blocker is damaged, which could be why Enroth rotated another blocker to use alongside this one for the Semi-Final and Gold Medal games.
This glove is still a piece of hockey history that was used during the golden run by the Swedish national team and I am pumped to say it now has a forever home in my collection.
Here are some pictures of Jhonas Enroth using this blocker during Sweden's gold-medal run at the 2013 IIHF World Hockey Championships:
Another great thing about this blocker is on the backside of the blocker board, written in Swedish, Enroth gets the identical inscription on every blocker he receives, and this one is no different.
While inscribed goalie gear isn't uncommon with goalies for in-game motivational purposes, the inscription on the blocker really plays into what type of guy Enroth is and what kind of teammate he strives to be within the sport of hockey, so I think it's a very cool thing to have. It also points to how poised, focused and confident he wants to be within the net while he plays.
From Swedish, the blocker inscription translates to:
Play For Others. Be Professional.
I Know I Can.
For those who have made it this far, thank you. You comments are all appreciated and read with care!
Author - Aaron
I've been collecting hockey cards (mainly the goalies) since 2005. I also Co-Host a Hockey Card Podcast.
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