Saturday, May 23, 2020

18-19 Upper Deck SP Evan Bouchard /25

Despite my previous post about the gamble with opening product, the truth is I still buy the odd pack here or there but much of what you will see has occurred over the past year and a half (and at a rate significantly less that I have at any point in my life). If I do buy a product it's usually where the cost is low or the promise of reward is congruent with my beliefs. One product that came out at the end of last year was Upper Deck SP. Not to be confused with SP Authentic.

The analogy that I will use is think of SP Authentic as Coca-Cola or Pepsi. It's the name brand flashy version of soda and SP is the RC Cola or Great Value version. Both have their markets and I personally think both are great. However, SP Authentic carries a pretty high pack and box price where SP can be had for much less. SP delivers some neat rookies and rookie parallels and offers a nice bang for your buck which had me drawn in. While they don't have the resale value of SP Authentic's Future Watch, I personally wasn't buying packs for that.

I bought a couple packs from my local Walmart and was fortunate to his this card:

18-19 Upper Deck SP Evan Bouchard Rookie Authentics /25

Simple SP Authentic inspired design here, sticker auto which is a detractor for some but not me. It's very low print run is one think all people can get behind. 

I love the back. Stats, vitals and a guarantee. Can't ask for much more.

Evan Bouchard was drafted 10th overall in 2018 and is considered a blue-chip prospect. He put together an excellent junior career playing for the juggernaut London Knights in the OHL and you can see his second last season on the back of this card. He'd return for more "seasoning" where he'd score 53 points in 45 games and another 21 points in 11 playoff games and another 8 points in 8 playoff games with the Condors. This past season he played all his games in the AHL and has put up a very respectable 36 points in 54 games which is good enough for a tie for second in team scoring and tops among their d-men.

This success is far from a given as many players who have done well in junior have had trouble translating it to NHL success, especially when a player has benefitted from other talent on the team. For example, Aaron Berisha scored 45 goals one season with the Knights (good enough for second just behind Christian Dvorak) would never get drafted, play university hockey in Canada before heading to Austria.

When it comes to Evan, I think he will make it to the point he will be an NHL player for good and a good one at that. He has the potential to be the best defenseman on the Oilers or at the best least their go-to offensive defenseman. When you add him with the weapons they already possess you get the feeling they could be as good as Sid, Gino and Letang were and still are. Time will tell but I do feel good about this prediction. Thanks for stopping by and see you next post.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

In The Game Really Had Game

Since 1910 hockey cards have existed in many different configurations and the evolution over the past 110 years has shown collectors many advancements. Are those advancements good ones? Since 2000 when In The Game made history but cutting up history for their 2000-01 Be A Player Memorabilia Set collectors and fans have had mixed feelings. As a whole, I'd say it has been positive as many more sets would feature "memorabilia" pieces embedded in cards and there is a whole culture of collectors who live and breathe "APRs".

There has also been cards on CD, virtual cards and many other different iterations. Autographs on card, on sticker and even pieces of table clothes and banners from special NHL events. Personally, I like some of the changes but there are many I can live without. However, for ever fan out there who dislikes much of this stuff, there are others who use products like e-Pack all the time and strive to complete rainbows and chase "Bounties".

I have become disillusioned a bit by the many products that are out there today which really are just repeats of other ideas that were lukewarm received at best the first time. Is it laziness in companies like Upper Deck or is it just a case where collectors really only care about the top 5% players in the league and the rest are nothing more than just filler cards? Once upon a time the jersey card was a chase card which was the result of truly beating some incredible odds. Today even low production numbered jersey cards from high end products leave you with a card that may be worth no more than a couple bucks on the secondary market. Collecting isn't necessarily about the money but for a fan of someone like Duncan Keith, what motivation is there to drop 200 bucks on a box when you could just by that card for 5 bucks on eBay? The answer is simple, gambling. The hope you could land the $1000 autograph or rookie that box is potentially hiding.

As a person who has always loved vintage, this has just confirmed for me that vintage cards are one way to keep my passion going when it comes to the hobby and there really is no shortage of very cool and very fun vintage sets out there. However, not all modern cards are junk. I also have found myself appreciating the many cards that In The Game has put out over the years (specifically from 2000-2015). So today I am going to share one such card.

2009-2010 ITG Superlative Vol 2 Milt Schmidt Patch SP /15

The front of this card is what truly makes this a winner and for what the back is lacking in my opinion the front is making up for it. You get a good photo of Milt on the front and you are coupling it with an amazing patch which you can completely picture where it came from on his jersey. What you don't see is loads of foiling and modern embellishments which you get on many cards today. 

 Here is the back side of the card. Very plain and while I'd love to see something about Milt or at least some vitals, you are treated to a write up explaining what you are seeing on the front of the card. Try and find that on most modern cards today. I have both bought and pulled cards which did leave me puzzled wondering what article of clothing or gear was my "player worn" piece originated as when it was on the player.

As I finish up this post I want to make something very clear, I am not shitting on any one company or any one collector. If there is something out there you like/love, chase it, collect it and don't let the opinions of others diminish your enjoyment of that pursuit. For myself, I have changed over the past couple years and while I still appreciate the memorabilia card, the need to own 30-40 pieces of a single player definitely isn't there anymore. With that being said, please keep enjoying your finds and successes and I will continue to do so myself and share them on here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Forgotten Records

If you were to ask the typical NHL fame, many would be able to tell you who has the NHL record for most points in a game. Darryl Sittler's magical night happened Feb 7th 1976 when he scored 10 points (6G, 4A) against the Bruins. Sure many have come close but no one, not even the Great One equalled this number.

In the AHL, the single game record has stood for so long even the Leafs have won a Cup or three since then. Art Stratton put up an impressive 9 assist performance on St. Patrick's Day 1963 against the lowly Pittsburgh Hornets. Despite his impressive point per game production (1.14 ppg) based on 766 points in 669 ganes, he'd never get much time in the NHL.

This takes us now to the WHA. The most point in a WHA game record belongs to Jim Harrison who matched Sittler with an amazing 10 point performance (3G, 7A) against the New York Raiders nearly three years before Sittler's 10 spot. Jim being no stranger to setting records apparently set a record (I discovered while researching background on this) he scored the fastest natural hattrick in WHL history scoring 3 goals in 24 seconds.

1970-71 OPC Jim Harrison RC

Jim would have a better NHL opportunity than Art Stratton as he'd see 324 games of NHL action compared to 232 WHA games. While his NHL production wouldn't match his WHA, he'd put up some fine numbers including a career high of 41 points in just 60 games with the Blackhawks during the 76/77 season.

What are some forgotten records that stand out to you?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Anyone interested in a box break?

Hey all! Like I have mentioned previous I have been very active on Twitter in lieu of posting on here which has been both good and bad. I am still working on balancing my time and efforts. One thing I have started on Twitter is organizing a box break. I have participated in the past with some of the ones my fellow bloggers have put on and it has always been lots of fun so I thought I would take a stab at one. Here are the products I am looking at breaking:

There are some beauties in there. Loads of great rookies and memorabilia cards to be had. I am asking $27 CDN a spot so if you want in, please just comment below and I will add you or send me an email. I have included the rules below and please don't hesitate to ask any questions.

90-91 Pro Set Mike Krushelnyski Error

If you were a hockey card collector in the early 90's there is a strong chance that you had a few Pro Set cards in your collection and if you collected any sport except baseball from the same time period the same probably could be said as well. Pro Set created sets for the NFL, NHL, PGA, NASCAR and even non-sports sets like Yo! MTV Raps.

Pro Set took all these licenses and approached their production with the more is more approach and thus earned the reputation as being the King (or Queen) (or Genderless leader) of the Junk Wax World. However, in this mass production, there are some gems to be found. If you haven't had the chance yet, please check out the latest issue of Beckett Hockey Monthly because there is a pretty cool article written by Sal from which showcases some of these rare gems. For me, one that I needed was this card and I'm glad I was able to add it to my collection.

Hard to think that a 7th year card of am NHL journeyman would be one of the more valuable cards created by any company from 1990-91. The error was likely easily spotted and fixed quickly which adds to the scarcity of the card and is why it's somewhat sought after. Perhaps it is time to comb through your old shoeboxes and bins for 90-91 Pro Set as you could be in possession of some diamonds in the rough. Thanks for stopping by, next post won't be Pro Set related I promise.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Hi Everybody! It isn't Dr. Nick...

Hey all, still not dead but somedays it probably felt like it. Truth is I am still around, I have been tweeting a bit lately and a bit during the summer and early fall. One of the reasons is it is just so easy to post and interact and it can be done anywhere. However, I am dedicated to start posting here, especially after a few years of limited posting and content. One project I do have on the go for all those who are into Twitter or Pro Set please check me out @ProSetCards.

I can't leave you hanging on here without posting something so here is a gem I found on COMC ages ago.

90-91 Upper Deck Sergei Fedorov Young Gun French
Once upon a time I remember when I was a kid and we had satellite tv there used to be these QVC-style sports card auction site/sales site. Usually it was just sales and my step-dad and I would watch it for hours. The guy pretty much always said (Neear-mint to Miiint). The grainy standard def broadcast of the early 90's wouldn't betray his analysis either. On this channel I saw Brett Hull OPC rookies selling for 150 dollars and this about card was pushing close to 100 dollars on some evenings. I paid $1.58. Money very well spent because I remember laying on the floor wishing I had that card because I thought someday it will be worth some serious money. Well turns out it isn't but the memories are priceless and that is the true value! Anyway, I hope this post finds you all well and I promise to be back in a day or two! Cheers.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Parade of 53-54 Parkhurst Day 6 - Bert Olmstead

Next up is Dirty Bertie. The one award that was always out of reach for Bert Olmstead was the Lady Byng and I am more than sure he was fine with that. Every team needs a little grit and sandpaper to win a championship and it was safe to say Bert provided that service for the Habs. Bert would win four Cups in his career with the Habs and one more with the Leafs before retiring from hockey. 

While Bert never lead the league in PIMs, he was never one to shy away from physicality or taking the occasional penalty. Bert was best known for being able to dish out hits with the best of them but he could also dish out passes and actually lead the league in assists in back to back seasons (1954-1956). 

1953-54 Parkhurst Bert Olmstead
Bert has great colour like the last couple cards but a few more creases and some rounded corners. Based on the look on his face and body language my best guess is he's dished the puck off and is about to be hit by another player.

Here is the back side of the card which points out that he was traded to Montreal from Detroit. What is most interesting is that trade occurred during the regular season but he would never actually play a game in Detroit. He would start that 1950-51 season in Chicago and would be traded to Detroit in Dec of 1950. Then got flipped to Montreal about 17 days later in the trade mentioned on the back of the card. The original trade from Chicago to Detroit saw Bert being traded with Vic Stasiuk for Lee Fogolin and Steve Black. What I find neat about that trade is both players going from Detroit to Chicago are from my hometown (Fort William which eventually becomes Thunder Bay). Needless to say the best piece of any of these trades was Bert and I am sure both the Hawks and Wings may have regretted those deals eventually.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Parade of 53-54 Parkhurst Day 5 - Eddie Sandford

Eddie Sandford is a player who I didn't know much about before doing this post but afterwards learned that it takes many players to make a team successful and sometimes the best one on the team are the most reliable ones and reliability is what Ed Sandford always brought to the table. 

Ed broke into the league in 47-48 at the age of 19 and would last 503 games and leave the NHL when he was 27. Each season he played except for one which saw him play just 10 games, Ed would score between 10-16 goals each and every year of his career. The highlight of his playing career would likely have been 1953 when he played in the Stanley Cup finals against the Canadiens. Ed had a career postseason which saw him score 8 goals in 8 games but unfortunately the Habs were just too much for the Bruins and they would win the series 4-1. 

Eddie would play another couple seasons and eventually hang up his skates after a season split between the Hawks and the Wings. Eddie would rejoin the Bruins and work for them in a variety of different capacities. 

1953-54 Parkhurst Eddie Sandford
This card is sharp! Maybe not the corners, but the colouring and lack of creases make it a great looking card. I also love the action shot and the inclusion of a couple other players and a few folks in the stands. This really is just one beautiful piece of cardboard in my eyes. 

Here is the backside. As you can see it is not the best centering but I assure you it is at least cut straight. My scanner and the penny sleeve the card is in created a bit of an optical illusion here. Thank you so much for stopping by! For all those out there who care, Happy Canada Day!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Parade of 53-54 Parkhurst Day 4 - Sid Smith

Growing up in Ontario and living in Canada the Maple Leafs have always been around me in terms of television, media and just general conversation. However given that I am a member of the under 40 years of age demographic, the 1993 season was probably their best year and best chance to win the Cup since I have been alive. What I find neat is when I collect and complete older sets is imagining how different the world was at that time (when the Leafs were on top). 

This brings us to Day 3 and Mr. Sid Smith. Sid won three Cups with the Leafs with the last one being in 1951 which was a couple of seasons before this card was printed. If the Conn Smythe Trophy existed back in 1951 Sid would likely have been a finalist. Sid was the Leafs leading goal scorer during that playoff run and finished one goal behind the Rocket who had 8. Max Bentley lead the team in points and playoffs in points with 13 just 3 ahead of Sid Smith. 

Sid was a very good player during his time in the league and arguably would make the Hall of Very Good if one existed. He scored 20 or more goals six times in his career and finished in the top 10 in scoring three times. His best season was when they won the Cup in 50-51 when he finished with 30 goals and 51 points. Sid would eventually leave the NHL and move to the Ontario Senior league but before he hung up his skates for good he helped lead Team Canada to a Gold Medal a the 1958 World Hockey Championships were he'd score 9 goals and 14 points in 7 games. 

1953-54 Parkhurst Sid Smith
As you can see from the front, the card is a bit worn but what is very great is the colouring on the front still looks like it might have when it emerged from the pack 64 years ago. A few creases and rounded corners indicate it was probably played with a bit before it when into a box somewhere for a long period of time.

Here's the back side of the card. As you can read he was definitely a contender each season for the Lady Byng and would actually win twice in his career. Sid would also finish in the top five in voting for the award another four times.

Well thanks for stopping by, only a few more to go in this parade before I get a chance to update and share some other cards from my collection.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Parade of 53-54 Parkhurst Day 3 - Dave Creighton

Next up in the parade is Dave Creighton. Much like one of my heroes Alex Delvecchio, Dave was born in what would be known today as Thunder Bay. Dave would be born on the Port Arthur side rather than the Fort William which means little today but back in the day I am sure there would have been a little rivalry. 

Dave had a very respectable NHL career playing in over 600 games over the course of 12 years. His best offensive season was in 57-58 when he scored 52 points in 70 games. Dave would also score 20 goals twice and had over 15 goals in 6 different seasons and finish with 140 goals and 314 points in his career. Dave never won the Stanley Cup but did play for it in 52-53 when the Bruins lost to the Habs 4 games to 1. Dave did have one other accomplishment and that was he was a father to a former NHLer Adam Creighton. 

53-54 Parkhurst Dave Creighton
Here is the front side of the card. While Dave had been in the league for a few years, this is only his second NHL card with the first being from the previous 52-53 seasons. This card features a neat action shot where you can almost see the whole puck as it arrives on his stick (or just left his stick).

Here is the back side of the card. Much like the front, it has been well loved and handled but still in acceptable shape despite the mis-cut.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to continue the parade over the next couple days!