When a former player dies, there's usually a rush to get his cards and autographs. Prices rise on eBay auctions. The same holds true when current players are killed or die.
The difference with an active player is that card manufacturers have to consider what they're going to do, especially if a player dies just before or during a season.
That's the case with Atlanta Thrashers forward Dan Snyder, who died Sunday night as a result of massive brain injuries suffered during an automobile accident Sept. 29. Teammate Dany Heatley, who was behind the wheel at the time, was seriously injured in the crash but is expected to recover. Snyder, 25, spent much of the first three years of his pro career in the minor leagues. He helped Orlando win the IHL title in 2001, then played a key role for Chicago’s AHL championship squad in 2002.
Last season, Snyder netted 10 goals and 14 points in 36 games as a rookie with the Thrashers. He also earned his first NHL-licensed collectibles, appearing on 10 cards.
At this point, no manufacturer has reported any plans for special tribute cards to Snyder, although that could change "Certainly we are very saddened by Dan's passing and want to offer our sincere condolences to his family," Upper Deck hockey brand manager Joe Fallon told beckett.com.
"Tragic events such as these are never easy to accept. At this time there is no plan to honor Dan in product. I would prefer, and find it more appropriate, to let some time pass. Perhaps we will approach the family in the future with a charitable contribution that would enable us to include a tribute."
Pacific has a slightly different tack, said spokesman Jeff Morris.
"Our initial plans were to include Dan Snyder in the Pacific Complete series, and to include him in products later in the season if he had a breakthrough year," Morris said. "Pacific will not be producing any special commemorative cards as we don't want to come across as taking advantage of such a horrific tragedy.
"We would still like to include him in Pacific Complete and give him a tasteful bio on his card back, but only if we have a 100 percent level of comfort from the hobby, the players association, the NHL, the Thrashers and the family of Dan Snyder."
In the Game, manufacturers of high-end cards that include some with pieces of a player's jersey, has seen this happen before. "We have issued hockey cards in the past acknowledging the passing of active players," said Baron Bedesky, whose company makes the Parkhurst and Be A Player brands.
"In the 1999-2000 Be A Player Memorabilia Series, we produced cards of Dmitri Tertyshny of the Flyers and Steve Chiasson of Carolina. With regard to Snyder, we are simply not in any position to comment about future trading cards given the fact he died (so recently). It is a very sad situation for the Snyder family as well as the entire Atlanta franchise."
Want a program from the National League championship series between the Chicago Cubs and Florida Marlins? You've checked eBay and don't want to pay upwards of $25 plus shipping?
Forget that. Just go to www.majorleaguebaseball.com and click "shop." Find the postseason merchandise, and there it is, the same program that will be sold at all NLCS games at Wrigley Field and Pro Player Stadium for $10, plus $2 postage.
You like the Red Sox instead? The same site offers a Boston-New York Yankees program, at the same price. In fact, one of each is $20, plus the same $2 shipping, UPS or through the Postal Service. Not a bad deal.