Hockey in the cards

The fact Rob Raincock has rookie cards for every member of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team since the team’s inception in the early 1970s might seen odd — considering he’s a Calgary Flames fan.

Rob Raincock stands near the front of the counter of his store

Rob Raincock stands near the front of the counter of his store

The fact Rob Raincock has rookie cards for every member of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team since the team’s inception in the early 1970s might seen odd — considering he’s a Calgary Flames fan.

But Raincock’s fascination with hockey cards transcends team loyalties, and explains why he’s turned his passion into a business.

The Red Deer man opened Rob’s Hockey Cards in Bower Place Shopping Centre last Friday.

“To be honest, I’m a hockey fan,” he said of his interest in player cards from all teams, especially those in Canada.

His new shop carries hockey cards and memorabilia — including single cards and packs, framed sets, card and puck combinations, photographs and jerseys.

“We’re really trying to promote the enjoyment of the collecting hobby,” he said.

“Basically, what we’re trying to do is create the old-fashioned hockey card shop where you come in and BS for half an hour.”

Raincock, who’s been collecting hockey cards since 1989, said he designed his business around the many card shops he’s visited over the years.

“Having travelled around through Western Canada and been to shops all over the place, I’ve sort of taken the good aspects from the best ones and tried to avoid the negative aspects of the other ones.”

For instance, he offers free appraisals — a rare service in his industry.

“Some cards are worth an absolute fortune,” confirmed Raincock.

But many others are worth very little — the consequence of sports card companies saturating the market when producing sets.

Although the NHL is his focus, Raincock carries cards from other leagues. He has some for the Red Deer Rebels, a line he hopes to expand.

He sold a set depicting the Canadian women’s Olympic hockey team, and has even designed cards for local hockey teams.

“Eventually I’d like to move into some other stuff, but hockey is what I know well right now.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com