Former Habs tough guy wants the blood off his hockey card
A new set of trading cards celebrating hockey's most famous enforcers is drawing criticism from a former Habs tough guy.
Georges Laraque, who amassed over 1,100 penalty minutes in almost 700 NHL games, said he wants images of blood removed from his Enforcers card, or the card removed from the set altogether.
Set to be released in January, the cards celebrate enforcers like Chris Nilan, Marty McSorley and Tie Domi on a blood-splattered backdrop.
Laraque said he gave permission to use his face on the card, but when he saw it spattered with blood, he was in shock.
"I just pictured a kid having that in their bedroom and seeing a card like that with the blood," said Laraque, expressing his disappointment.
The owner of the company releasing the collection said the cards were decided on more than a year ago, and he defends the Enforcer series.
"The subject matter is to highlight -- and almost use the word honour -- players, who played that role," said Brian Price, owner of In the Game trading cards in Vaughan, Ont.
Laraque told the company he's ready to pull out of the card deal, if necessary.
"I gave them two choices. They can remove me from the set or they re-do my card, but without blood," he said.
Price said that won't happen.
"We signed a contract with him. He did not have any artistic control over the designs of the cards. We can't do that. If we gave that to all players, we would never put a product out," he said.
Laraque said he understands Price's position, but feels this case is extraordinary.
"If you wanted to do something that was going to put blood on somebody's face, you clearly have to make sure that (you have) the consent," he said.
Price, who said he would discontinue the cards if fighting is legislated out of the game, added that the Enforcers cards are not aimed at the general public, but instead at a niche market.
"These aren't sold on a newsstand," he said. "These are sold to collectors, and our collector base is not children. So it's not going to be seen by the public."