Monday, July 13, 2015

a small hiatus

Hi readers and fellow bloggers. I am writing a post not about hockey cards and not about hockey but rather about me. I have been blogging for a number of years now and have managed to string together enough words for 700+ posts. I have met many people and made many friends and even more trades. I have loved every moment of my blogging experience and I never want it to end.

Over the past 5+ years I have seen bloggers come and go, some have taken breaks and others have packed it in. There are a number of OG bloggers who have been there before me and are still going strong and regardless of who they were I have enjoyed something from everyone. It used to make me sad when I would see someone take a break or step away and in many cases I don't know if I truly understood why.

Well this past year since I developed carpal tunnel, had surgery, severe knee contusion, two bouts of bronchitis and two bouts of pneumonia. In addition there are some other life factors and it just seems that I am spread out far too thin to handle everything. I don't write this for any reason other than to share a small piece of my life to by boys when they read this and to my friends to explain that I am not ignoring anyone but rather trying to just get by :)

I will be doing a couple of things, first is I will be back and when I am, I will be posting back at my usual pace. Secondly, despite my hiatus from blogging, I will still be collecting. I always have time to flip through cards and stay in touch with my hobby so I will still be collecting and lurking behind the scenes and comments on all your great posts people.

Before I sign off for my break, I want to thank Jeff from 2x3 Heroes and Shane from Shoebox Legends for two great PWEs. I promise my first posts back will be to share your generosity. In the meantime I will be looking for ways to hit you both back! Thank you guys, you are great. I also want to thank Sal from Puck Junk not only for being an inspiration for getting me into blogging and collecting but also for a package he tried sending and hopefully will be able to get to me now that I sent him my address (sorry about that curve ball buddy).

Sports card collecting isn't just for kids and I hope each and everyone whose out there collecting is still there when I return. Thank you all for the page visits and comments over the years, I am truly humbled by the amount of people who check my site on a daily basis and have an interest in my adventures to the flea markets, swap meets and LCS.

Good night all, and see you back very soon!

Dave Harrison

Saturday, July 4, 2015

08-09 OPC Premier Cory Schneider Auto Rookie /299

As we all know, life goes on. Still its tough to see a fixture of an organization leave and in the past couple years the Devils have had two mainstays step aside for the next generation with both Marty and Lou moving on to some degree. The amazing thing, is I just need to say their first name and chances are you know who I am talking about. Well the future is now, or so they say and lets start collecting in that direction



08-09 OPC Premier Cory Schneider Auto Rookie /299
Cory is not new to the organization and I have added a couple of his cards to my collection over the years. I had two autographs to this point, one numbered to 99 and another to 25. But as far as rookie went, I only had one lowly rookie and it was from 08-09 OPC which I pulled from a pack. So I wanted to rectify the situation a while back and I was able to do so by acquiring the above card. 

Nice on card auto with actual game-used event used swatches. What a shame they say game on the front and event on the back. I'm sure many have already gripped about this so I will move on to the nice on card auto and decently low print run of 299. I've said this before and I'll say it again for value, it's hard to beat OPC Premier and Sweet Shot when their Young Gun counterparts are far more plentiful and far less cool in my opinion. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

14-15 Artifacts Gold Spectrum Evgeny Kuznetsov Patch Auto Rookie /3

Let's file this under reasons why you should ALWAYS go to your LCS on a regular basis. I stopped by a while back and just went to chat with the owner about this and that and as we were talking I spotted the below card in the showcase:


14-15 Artifacts Gold Spectrum Evgeny Kuznetsov Patch Auto Rookie /3
I was awestruck. The patches were fantastic, the signature is good and numbered 1/3!! That's pure ebay 1/1 gold! So to top it all off, he's a decent prospect and a rookie I've been looking to possibly add to the collection. The price....less than 2 packs of Artifacts! I know that's a lot of exclamation points but truth be told, they were totally warranted!

What to do with this card? I know I can sell it and make a handsome profit, I know I could trade it and probably do well there too. But for the meantime, I think I'm just going to enjoy it. I asked the owner how he came across this card and he said that the guy who pulled it buys packs all the time and usually just leaves stuff behind in exchange for more packs. I guess there are collectors like that out there but given the cost of the card, he probably wouldn't have been able to trade it for much which boggles this blogger's mind.

Kuznetsov had his first full NHL season this year and finished up with 11 goals, 26 assists and 37 points in 80 games. He then put another 5 in the net during this past post-season and was electric at times. While his numbers seem small, taking time to adjust to the NHL is expected and of all the top 10 players in rookie scoring, Evgeny had the second fewest average time on ice per game behind Kevin Hayes. But towards the end of the season, Kuznetsov put up a very respectable 13 points in his final 16 games. I believe there will be a bright future in the NHL for this particular Russian and hopefully Ovi will help him blossom into a superstar.


Monday, June 29, 2015

1964-65 Topps Tall Boys #42 - Floyd Smith

The last of my tall boys (for now) is number 42 in the set and number 6 in my collection, Floyd Smith. Floyd played in parts of 13 NHL seasons in a total of 616 regular season games. He scored over 20 goals twice and over 40 points three times which is very respectable for the time period.


1964-65 Topps Tall Boys #42 - Floyd Smith

As far as my tall boys go, this one is one of the better conditioned ones. Crease free with just a little wear and tear on the card.




I don't know if I like the card or feel bad for poor old Floyd. Floyd was a very good player in the AHL and would be a decent NHL player but apparently he is best noted for who he married? The cartoon is a little tragic if you ask me but still a fun sign of the times.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

1964-65 Topps Tall Boys #6 - Terry Sawchuk

Let's get back aboard the Tall Boy Train! Since my last post about my fourth one I have added a 6th so here is number 5 and I will share number 6 in my next post. I find this card very interesting for a number of reasons. First of all, it has been loved numerous times probably by numerous people. I suspect this card could have been handled more than a 1970's pay phone. With that being said, it only adds to the character. What I like more about this card is it happens to be an UER but there might be more than meets the eye here too and I am curious to get YOUR take on it.

So when you look this card up in the "bible" it lists the card as an uncorrected error because on the back of the card his name is spelled incorrectly. The correct spelling is on the front of the card "Sawchuk" and on the back they have included a second c spelling it "Sawchuck". How much saw can a saw chuck chuck anyway? Lame? Yeah probably...

But what interests me even more is the front of the card where Terry appears to be wearing a jersey with a number 25 on it. I was perplexed by the situation and did a little research because I always knew Terry to wear 1 or 30. Well it turns out according to Hockey Reference Terry wore other numbers including 29 for the Red Wings in 1968-69 and 24 during the 1964-65 season with the Leafs. I have no idea why he wore 24, Johnny Bower had his number 1 and Terry would switch to 30 the following season so the 24 remains a bit of a mystery to me. However, Terry isn't even wearing 24 in this photo which only adds to my intrigue. So I did a little more digging and it turns out someone else was in the 25 jersey during that season and it was a player named Pete Stemkowski. Pete played about half that season 36 games or so and had 20 points during his "rookie" season that year. So did they put someone's head on someone else's body? No. It turns out Pete was left out of the Tall Boy set and his rookie doesn't appear until the following year. So my best guess is this photo was taken at the start of the season (hence Terry's very tanned neck) and he probably hadn't settled on a jersey and just grabbed the first free one on the pile.

What is also interesting is the following season Topps used the exact same photo and just cropped it so you can't really see the number on the jersey. Enough of my ramblings, on to the cardboard!


1964-65 Topps Tall Boys #6 - Terry Sawchuk
Creases? Sure, but the colour is still sharp and the card has some gloss still!


Not sure why someone wrote 43 on the back of this card but it must have meant something.


Well there you have it, my 5th card from this set. It almost seems like I could actually complete this thing? Well maybe, someday.

Monday, June 22, 2015

14-15 Upper Deck Trilogy Aaron Ekblad Level 2 Auto Rookie /399

It is a little less than a week away from this year's entry draft and being a Devils fan has gotten exciting for the first time in a couple months ( I wasn't too excited about a coaching change) but we get a chance to draft a piece of our future. Who will it be? Time will of course tell, Ray may have some surprises up his sleeve like the time we landed Cory Schneider or maybe he will just draft the best available player at the time.

Last year the best player in the draft and arguably the best rookie this past season was Aaron Ekblad. In my opinion he was a lock for the first overall pick much like this season's lock will be Connor McDavid. However, how big of an impact would this boy in a man's body actually bring to an NHL club. Well nearly from the beginning it was significant and by the end of the season he was arguably one of the best defenseman in the Eastern Conference. He still has lots to learn but the Panthers have gotten much more exciting thanks to an impressive collection of young forwards, Bobby-Lu in goal and a vastly improved blue line. 


14-15 Upper Deck Trilogy Aaron Ekblad Level 2 Auto Rookie /399
It appears that Trilogy is my love child this season as all the big rookies are in the set and the prices on the secondary market are very very reasonable. I was able to score this card for less than the cost of a pack of Trilogy. I have been a fan of Aaron Ekblad since he was granted exceptional status in the OHL. Internationally Aaron was a rock for the gold medal winning team this past spring at the World Championships and while I think his international resume could grow in the future it might be his only World Championship in the near future because I suspect the Panthers will be a playoff team before long. However, the 2016 World Cup of Hockey (age restrictions don't appear to play in his favour if the projections are correct) and 2018 Olympic Games will definitely feature this talent on Team Canada's blue line.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hockey Cards and Music - Tragically Hip - Fifty Mission Cap

One post I have been meaning to do since I started this blog was one about the song Fifty Mission Cap by the Tragically Hip. The song is about Bill Barilko and his final NHL game and following tragic demise. What I like about the song is not just it's a very interesting story, not just because it describes a card from my favourite set of all time but also because it references a hockey card I actually owned before I even heard the song. When the song came out and I listened to the lyrics I knew exactly what they were referring to and that just added to my enjoyment of all things related to Fifty Mission Cap. 


1951-52 Parkhurst #52 The Winning Goal
I wish I owned this card. Still on my want list and without a doubt one of the best hockey cards ever made and definitely one of the best from the 1951 set. Just sheer awesomeness. Because Bill went missing after this season, he wasn't actually included in the 1951-52 Parkhurst set because they just featured players from the 1951-52 season as opposed to players who played in the previous season so for some fans, this card is Bill Barilko's rookie.

As iconic I believe the previous card was, it was actually this next card from the 1991-92 Pro Set Series 1 set that The Tragically Hip reference. The photo is a zoomed out and larger than the Parkhurst one but still the same iconic scene.


Back side
Here is the back side of the card which was references in the song.


Fifty Mission Cap

Bill Barilko disappeared that summer
He was on a fishing trip
The last goal he ever scored
Won the Leafs the cup
They didn't win another till nineteen sixty two
The year he was discovered
I stole this from a hockey card
I keeped tucked up under

My fifty-mission cap
I worked it in
I worked it in to look like that
It's my fifty-mission cap
It's his fifty-mission cap
And I worked it in
I worked it in
And I worked it in to look like that
And I worked it in to look like that

Bill Barilko disappeared that summer (in nineteen fifty one)
He was on a fishing trip (in a plane)
The last goal he ever scored (in over time)
Won the Leafs the cup
They didn't win another till nineteen sixty two
The year he was discovered

In my fifty-mission cap
I worked it in
I worked it in to look like that
It's my fifty-mission cap
It's his fifty-mission cap
And I worked it in
I worked it in
And I worked it in to look like that
And I worked it in to look like that

It's my fifty-mission cap
It's my fifty-mission cap
It's my fifty-mission cap
It's my fifty-mission cap



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

11-12 Upper Deck Ryan Nugent Hopkins Young Gun

My BFAM Tom has been a fantastic friend completing a number of trades with me. One day he told me about the tin of 11-12 Upper Deck Series 1 he was given by a LCS and I wished him luck and even said I hope he pulls a RNH rookie. Sure enough, he did! What else did he pull? Brett Connolly. So being the nice guy I am I told him he did very well on his box and told him how awesome the cards actually were. I then proceeded to offer up an extra Brodeur auto I had and he was game for the deal!

Gotta love when both sides are happy on a trade and as much as I like Brodeur, I definitely wanted this card which has eluded me so far and felt I could spare an auto for the biggest Brodeur fan I know.


11-12 Upper Deck Ryan Nugent Hopkins Young Gun
I would have had that same look on my face had I pulled this card! The Oilers are hopefully going to turn the corner finally on their rebuild and RNH is one of their players I would say are a cornerstone for their future and this past year he proved it by leading the team in goals with Jordan Eberle (24) and finishing second in team scoring with 56 points.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The second best result I could hope for! And Namestnikov

So obviously the best I could hope for would feature the Devils in the Cup final against a scrub team and they would win in 4 straight. However, that wasn't even close to happening so my two adopted teams (Hawks of course) and the Lightning are in the finals. While Brett Connolly is no longer in Tampa, I still really enjoy watching them play and have kind of adopted them as one of my teams. I also banked my hockey pool heavily on TB and with a 24 point lead and the entire Triplet line on my roster it is safe to say I won that pool.

So who do I want to win the Cup? I honestly don't know. I have been cheering for the Hawks since the 1990 and I have followed the Lightning pretty closely over the past couple seasons and they have some very deserving players on the roster. I guess I will just sit back and enjoy what will probably be an amazing Cup final and be happy no matter who wins.

Speaking of winning, here is a little gem!


14-15 SPx Spectrum FX Red Rookie Auto /399 Vladislav Namestnikov

























It is almost unfair the amount of young talent the Lightning have in their system. While it is pretty easy to give all the credit to Steve Yzerman, the fact of the matter is the scouting staff has done an amazing job drafting early, drafting late and even finding undrafted talent (Tyler Johnson). When you have a 3rd overall pick (Drouin) sitting in the press box that just shows the world the amount of talent on your roster.  One player who doesn't always get much press is Namestnikov. He finished up his rookie season compiling 9 goals and 16 points in 43 games after putting up over a point a game in the AHL this year (35 points in 34 games). He currently is playing on the 4th line but is available to jump up on the higher lines if an injury were to occur. Namestnikov is only 22 years old and symbolizes the bright future Tampa will have going forward win or lose after the season.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

14-15 Fleer Showcase Hot Prospects Damon Severson Auto Rookie Patch /375

The Devils have been a team in transition. Since our last playoff appearance (2012 Stanley Cup Finals) we have been slowly turning over the roster and the position most affected has been on defense. We used to be known as the no-name defense but in a couple of years we will have one of the best blue-lines in the NHL. Don't believe me? That's fine, I will let the team do the talking but I figure in about 2-3 seasons it will be our strong point once again.

One of the best surprises of the season has been the play of Damon Severson. Prior to his broken ankle he was playing every bit as much as Aaron Ekblad and even was having as much as an impact as the 2014 first overall pick. However, the ankle injury forced him out and when he came back he had some rust and didn't quite match his early season performance. Well a summer of rest and training will hopefully rejuvenate his game and he will only continue to progress. 



14-15 Fleer Showcase Hot Prospects Damon Severson Auto Rookie Patch /375
I am a pretty big fan of these despite their low book value. A good two colour patch to go with a sticker auto and a print run of 375.

For people who don't follow the Devils, Severson finished this year playing 51 games (5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points) which was good enough for 4th among rookie defenseman and really he could have been 3rd if he played a few more games. Damon also was 2nd among rookies for average ice time per game with 21:57 (2 seconds behind first). So to say he was pulled from the pan and put in the fire is an understatement, but he handled himself well and I look forward to seeing what he is capable next season!