Monday, January 31, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Who remembers Jiri Dopita? There was a time when he was the “Best player outside of the NHL”. How many OTHER players have earned that same designation? Some names come to mind like Jonas Gustavsson, Pavel Patera, Igor Larionov, Dominik Hasek and maybe even Anders Hedberg. We as hockey fans always fantasize about the next big superstar that could end up playing for our team and helping them win the cup and GMs are no different. They keep their ears and eyes open for prospects that may have been late bloomers and try to draft them or woo them to sign with their team as a free agent. Pavel Patera is an example as he was drafted at the age of 26 after 5 professional seasons and scoring 231 points in 190 games with Kladno. Gustavsson was the most recent that comes to my mind as numerous teams were attempting to sign “The Monster” to their roster.
Are these stars able to transfer their skills to the NHL? Some have with seemingly no transition period at all, while other struggle like they have never played the game before. In the case of Jiri Dopita the answer was no. Dopita was sought after on more than one occasion as he was drafted by the Bruins at age 23 and then again by the Islanders at age 29. He was a superstar in both the Czech and German leagues by 2001 including some league scoring titles in 97 and 2000 as well as numerous playoff and regular season MVP honours. Dopita was even named top Czech ice hockey player in 2001 beating fellow countrymen like Hasek, Jagr and Cechmanek. So in his prime, he is signed by the Philadelphia Flyers, and the expectations are high to say the least. The result of his rookie NHL season is 52 games resulting in 11 goals and 27 points. The Oilers took a chance on Dopita the next season and he managed just 1 goal in 21 games thus ending his brief NHL career. Was Dopita washed up? Definitely not, he returns to Europe where he proceeds to lead
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The last of the holiday hits is one I bought for myself. Like many people I don’t mind getting myself a little treat over the holidays and I decided to go with a hobby gift this year. I normally don’t buy ANY cards except for hockey. However, I do have one love that almost matches my love for hockey and that is Audrey Hepburn. I found a card like this online one day and have been debating if I should try and get one on ebay. A few weeks ago, I found an auction that had her name misspelled so I decide to throw a max bid of 15 bucks and see if I could win it. Sure enough, for 15 dollars I had Audrey delivered to me. Some might think I over payed and I may have, but when it comes to love it is hard to put a price on that! I like the swatch, it is a fabric that I wouldn’t doubt was worn by her and the style is very neat. The photo is also very nice of her which must makes this card that much more attractive. On the backside there is a little write up about Audrey and the card is numbered 305/400. However, much like the ad, there is a spelling mistake on the back by Donruss citing her work with “UNISEF”.
What do you people think of these
Monday, January 10, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
My next set of holiday hits come from two blaster boxes of 09-10 UD Hockey. I received these as a gift from my in-laws as well. I was very happy to see these because each box should have two young guns and I am still working on both series 1 and 2 so there are bound to be a couple I need. These blaster boxes each have 12 packs with 5 cards per pack and the young guns are seeded at 1:6. The jersey cards are at a near improbable 1:240 which means you find one every 20 boxes!
The first box was my favourite of the two. I found an Alex Ovechkin Top Guns insert as well as two solid rookies. The first rookie hit was Ryan O’Reilly of the Avalanche who is a solid two way centre and at the age of 19 still he has many years of growth and development ahead of him. I already had this RC, but I can always trade one now as he is going to be desirable in the future. The second rookie was one that I was really wanting but didn’t have yet, Evander Kane. Evander brings back great memories especially in light of the recent loss by Canada. Kane was a member of Canada’s last gold medal winning Junior team and has already by the age of NHL developed into a decent NHL’er. I am excited at the potential this kid displays. I really believe there is no reason why Evander will not be a consistent 35 goal guy in the next couple of years.
The next box wasn't as strong, but it did produce two rookies and one surprise. The rookies aren’t household names in the circles I run in as John Negrin has only played 3 NHL games so far in his career and currently is with the Abbotsford Heat in the AHL. The other rookie is Mika Pyorala who played for the Flyers briefly but has taken his talents to the SEL where he has joined P.J Axelsson on the Vastra Frolunda roster. Currently Pyorala is second on the team in goals with 11. Neither of these cards are going to make anyone foam at the mouth with excitement but maybe someone needs them for their set. The biggest surprise came from the inserts. I pulled the usual couple of inserts and one of them was a Malkin Top Gun and a Malkin All-World Team. I joked to myself that this was a Malkin fan's dream box. However, I was pleased to discover the All-World insert was actually a SP. So even though the Guns were duds, I did have a decent Malkin card to show for it. I hope to get my inserts for trade updated with my "higher" end cards and the SP'ed ones. Malkin will be on that list shortly.