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Each month Upper Deck spotlights one of its hobby retailing partners and shares a few reasons why you need to visit their store. If you haven’t been to a card store lately and are in the Alberta, Canada, area, please make sure to visit our Retailer of the Month. I was really excited to visit Darren’s store on a recent visit to Calgary. I was blown away by some of the items in his showcase including a variety of rare cut signatures and all four Dion Phaneuf cards from the 2008 Spring Expo. Darren seems to do a very good job of moving inventory through his store so you’ll likely see something different every time you visit.
Maple Leaf Sports
1043 – 40th Avenue NW
Calgary, Alberta T2K 0G2
Owner: Darren Pawlyk
Open: Tuesday-Friday 12:00pm-7:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm & Closed Mondays
“My name is Darren Pawlyk and like most hobby store owners, I collected cards as a kid. Then I took a break and got back into the hobby during the early ‘90s and soon became a part-time card show dealer. Fast forward to 2002 and that’s when a friend of mine, who noticed that I was spending more time selling online and at shows then at my regular full-time job, suggested that I finally take the plunge and open a retail store.
“I figured what the heck? What’s the worst that could happen [other than bankruptcy, of course]? So I decided to give it a try and on October 1st of that year, Maple Leaf Sports opened its doors.
“It has been a fun and enjoyable ride every day since. And I have my customers to thank for that. They are a very loyal and supportive bunch and I am forever grateful to them. That’s why we host a monthly Trading Night and showcase some of their ‘better’ pulls on our blog.
“I pride myself on having a clean and organized store that’s easy to navigate through and offers a nice selection of all the latest major sports releases. Other highlights would be a full selection of collector supplies, a large assortment of McFarlane Sports Picks and we also dabble in autographed memorabilia and licensed merchandise.
“We also carry a broad range of singles from all sports and years with our specialty being hockey.
“If a trip to the Rocky Mountains or Calgary Stampede is ever in your plans, then don’t forget to stop by and visit Maple Leaf Sports. We’re always happy to meet out of town collectors and make new friends.”