Wednesday, July 31, 2013

65-66 Coca-Cola Gordie Howe

Here is my second 65-66 Coca-Cola card and it is every bit as beautiful as the Delvecchio.

Love the posed photo on ice, this is how I always picture Gordie in my head. The card is in amazing shape with the only issue being the bottom right. These cards are also a little thinner than your average card too, I forgot to mention that in the last post.

 Here is the back, again lots and lots of stats and info. I really think it is amazing that he would play another 15 seasons after already what would be a HOF career. Because of his time in the WHA, he would only score another 489 NHL points and 206 of those would be goals. His WHA time would see him compile 174 goals, 334 assists and 508 points. Pretty amazing considering he was 37 when this card came out!

There you have it, my two Coke cards and my oldest Howe in my collection. This card is the most expensive in the set booking for about 60 bucks.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

65-66 Coca-Cola Alex Delvecchio

Part of being an Alex Delvecchio collector means that I have to decide if I am going after some of the food and confectionery cards. The answer is yes! I have some Bee Hives already and now I have my first Coke.

1965-66 Coca-Cola Alex Delvecchio
 I love these cards! They are a little larger than your standard OPC or Topps card, but they are just as easy on the eyes. I have one more to share that is even cooler than this believe it or not. Just a perfect B&W headshot of Alex.

What I like most about this set is how complete the stats are on the back. Almost unheard of at the time to have complete NHL regular season and post-season stats. As you can see, Alex was good regardless of the time of year. Please forgive the pink tinge on the front and back, they don't actually appear on the card, but my old scanner for some reason tinged them. I should have scanned them with my new scanner, but alas I am limited on time and am pretty lazy. I do really like these cards and might some day consider tracking down the complete set of 108 cards which currently is books for about 400 bucks. Alex is by no means a super expensive card as it only books for about 5 bucks, but as I said before, I do have a fun one to share next post!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I signed Rostislav Olesz about a day before the Devils did.

About a day before the Devils signed Olesz to a one year deal, I inked him to a lifetime deal for about a dollar-fifty. Like all free agents I guess there way a chance he could have been a Devil, but I clearly picked it up for fun purposes because I didn't have an Ocho-Cinco auto yet. There is no word if he will get that number with the Devils this upcoming season, but I am hopefully he will regain his 14 goal form once again with the Devils. 

07-08 BAP Rostislav Olesz Auto
This card is easily worth 3 times what I paid for it now that he is a Devil and the fact I landed it first just makes it that much more fun. Truth is this card will never be worth more to anyone that it is to me and I like that! I also hope that he does have a fruitful career with the Devils and this upcoming season is slowly shaping up to possibly be an exciting one for us Devs fans.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Moose is no longer loose. ITG Superlative Volume 3 Mark Messier Edmonton Auto

Being a Devils fan, I probably disliked Messier as much as anyone out there during the 90's. I even felt that often he was one of the most overrated NHL players of all-time. If I was building a team, I would gladly have taken Mike Gartner or Dino Ciccarelli over Messier but I am sure I am in the minority there. However, there is no denying his accomplishments during his HOF career:

2nd in all-time Regular season games (1756)
7th in all-time Regular season goals (657)
3rd in all-time Regular season assists (1193)
2nd in all-time Regular season points (1887)

and he did all this without ever leading the league in any one category during the regular season.

ITG Superlative Vol 3 Mark Messier Auto Silver Edmonton
Here is the front side of the card featuring a very nice and large on card auto. In addition, you see the Moose in an Edmonton uniform and wearing the C. I love the intensity on his face, the Winwell bucket and the chipped teeth. In all, for a Messier card I would say it is nearly perfect.

Here is the back side and you can see it is a Silver version limited to just 20 copies. What is worth noting is there is another version called A-MM which I can only assume is a Rangers auto, but then again I guess I don't care enough to really solve this riddle. What is rather peculiar to me is that if you look closely at the bottom you see something strange.

The copyright on this card is 2010, on a product that was released in 2012/13. I don't think this is an error, but rather it has been a few years since the last Superlative release and I suspect ITG was making cards for a while before they finally released the product so as a result there are a couple different copyright years that may appear on this product. I just checked my Tretiak from this set and the copyright on that card is 2011.

So there you have it, a Devils fan with a Messier auto. Truth be told it was picked up at an insanely cheap price thanks to some very patient waiting by me (almost 2 years to pull the trigger) but I am glad I did wait and this card is exactly what I would want from a Messier auto. What are some of the painful purchases you have had to make (cards you sorta need to finish a set but really didn't want to shell cash out for)?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jaromir Jagr is now a Devil!

Wow! After losing two favourites of mine, we get back a pretty awesome player in the twilight of his career.

Let me be the first to say, welcome to NJ Jaromir!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

12-13 ITG Heroes and Prospects - Slater Koekoek Auto

I really like what ITG did with their 12-13 Heroes and Prospects autos. In the past you typically got an autograph card that was pretty much ALL auto with a little head shot off to the side. See the previous post for an example. 

However, this past year they now have a large photo which is an action shot and a reasonably large area for the autograph. I think ITG did a good job balancing subject matters here. The card is a full bleed photo so you maximize card space and the auto is still "front and center", but now the collector can enjoy a very large photo of the player whose signature is on the card. I am curious to see if ITG is planning on continuing this next season, I for one certainly hope they do. I do like what they did in the past too, don't get me wrong but I think that this new design is a keeper. 

12-13 ITG Heroes and Prospects Slater Koekoek Auto
On to the player, Slater was drafted in the 2012 Entry Draft to the Tampa Bay Lightning 10th overall. Slater could play a pretty big role in the future with the Lightning as one of their offensive defenseman. Victor Hedman and Slater could roam the blue-line on the PP or set up Stamkos or Drouin on some odd-man rushes. This past year playing 40 games with the Petes, Slater lead the defense in scoring before being sent over to Windsor and then subsequently was shut down for shoulder surgery. Slater isn't without his risks as he has had two shoulder surgeries already.

I for one hope he is able to recover successfully and resume his career but given his history, the Lightning are going to move him up slowly so that he doesn't have any major set backs.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

10-11 Heroes and Prospects Update Box Break

Been pretty crazy around here and I have had little time to get up some posts of a few breaks I did recently. So first up is my 10-11 Heroes and Prospects Update Set. 

I bought this because I did have the 10-11 H&P regular set and I thought it would be nice to have the update to go with it and the price was more than right on the box/set at 24.99. Two hits for 24.99, why not.

Auto Hit
Not a bad start, with H&P sometimes you will get autos from players who can't or never will make the NHL but here I got myself a NHL regular. Matt had 8 goals and 5 assists in 42 games last season with the Ducks.

Game Used Hit
Whoa! My first 1/1 wasn't that great but my second 1/1 ever is pretty soild. Ryan Murphy is a very talented offensive defenseman who I remember representing Canada this past Dec/Jan at the WJHC. He moves the puck very well and even though he is a little smaller than some defensemen I don't remember him being too much of a liability in his own end either. My only complaint is that this 1/1 isn't labeled 1/1 and I had to find out online what the print number was, but I guess that is ITG for you!

In all a very great box especially considering you also get 50 base cards featuring some pretty good players who are still kids in the minors and the NHL. The last two cards are Theo Fleury and Eric Lindros too which are also fun base cards to own.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Just hit my second 1/1 ever!

I will post more later, but here is my second 1/1 ever!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Alex Delvecchio Beehive Series 3 Home Jersey

I am going to avoid commenting on the obvious because it just seems to be a summer of hurt for us Devils fans. I will say I think Reid Boucher will be the real deal and I am looking forward to seeing him crack the big club.

Beehive Series 3 Alex Delvecchio Home Jersey
There are variations of Alex Delvecchio in the Series 3 release. One is the home jersey you see pictured above. This is the most common version and there is a second version in a white away jersey that is very rare. I will refrain from posting the image because I hope to own one some day and share it that way. This one books for about 20 bucks and the rare one for 200 dollars. Like my other two this is in fantastic condition and I just think it is a very very cool looking photo.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Another for the PC - Alex Delvecchio Beehive Series 2 Error

A while ago I shared my first beehive pick up ever. Then a couple months later I was able to land my second and third which leaves me with just one ultra rare Delvecchio Beehive missing. 

This is the second of two Delvecchios from the Series 2 release of Beehive photos. This one is a little more rare based on what I can tell, but I have no idea of its value or rarity. I was able to land it for what I felt it was worth and as you can see, it incorrectly lists Alex's name as Bill. Based on the photo, I would say it was taken between 51-55 just based on the appearance of how old Alex looks. However, again I am just guessing here.

1944-64 Beehive Series 2 Alex Delvecchio Error
I really like the look of the photo, just a simple still shot. The photo itself is in amazing shape and a good piece in my collection.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pretty bummed about losing Clarkie, a Savard Auto could cheer me up I guess.

As you all know I WAS a huge Clarkson fan. So Toronto fans, congrats on landing what I think is a very good player and if you have seen any Clarkson cards on here that interest you, please contact me. With that being said, once upon a time, Savard left the Windy City to be a Hab (a trade instead of a free agent). Many felt he belonged as a Canadien even though they passed up on him much like all 29 other teams passed up on Clarkson and the Devils were the only club to give him a shot. (The wound is still raw I know).

Anyway, Savard did carve himself a second identity with the Habs and even won a Cup with them. I am not sure what Clarkson's future holds for him in Toronto, but I am pleased Lou has helped the Devils move on and I think we are a much better team now, than we were at the end of the season. Time will tell if that is true or not.

10-11 Luxury Suite Denis Savard Auto

Here is a nice on-card auto of a Hall of Famer and 1000+ point man. I have decided to try and land an auto of every one who has cracked the 1000 point mark and I will post a list someday of my progress. I know lots of other collectors out there have projects similar and I think it would be a fun idea. HOF list might be impossible with all the players long passed away etc, but 1000 point men might be more doable!

Is it me or does his first name look like FERN?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fun cards in my collection - 73-74 OPC Larry Robinson Rookie

I am going to take a page from Tim over at the or, I am going to share some cards on occasion from my collection which really have nothing to do with anything going on in the hockey world other than I like them a lot and I want to share them with the world and my kids when they are old enough to read this blog.  So my first fun card in my collection is Hall of Fame Defenseman Larry Robinson's rookie.

72-73 OPC #237 Larry Robinson Rookie Light Back
Looking at the front of the card you can see many of the issues that exist with this set. Some choppy cutting, a little off-center and some colour loss on the border. The card also has a little corner wear, but I would be very confident to say that this card is in excellent condition! There are no creases on the card and it is very sharp looking in person. I love the look of Larry's mustache, he seems to be able to sport the handle bars really well. I just think this card is exactly what many cards from the 70's pretty much looked like, lots of studio shots with players not really playing hockey. This is Larry's only rookie since the Topps release was limited to 198 cards. With that being said, this card as a result books for a little higher than it may have if there was a Topps version. Book price as of July 2013 is $80 on the high end and $40 on the low. To be completely honest, when you do see these online there really aren't many steals to be had like other players, and I think it is because there is only one rookie and Montreal players tend to be highly collectible especially when it comes to HOF'ers. I had huge respect for him as a player even though I only saw him at the end of his career and his career as a coach is what really endeared him to me because he won 3 Cup with the Devils as either an assistant or head coach.
Here is the back side of the card. Again a very 70's looking back with season totals and a nice write-up with comic. I like the landscape design and I think it is pretty cool that there are two styles of backs with this set. I have a Bill Barber OPC rookie from this set which I thought was a Topps card when I first saw it as a kid, but it turned out it was just a Dark Back version of the 73-74 OPC set. From what I can tell in my limited research there isn't much premium for light or dark backs but some people do prefer one over the other, and others consider a complete set to have both versions.

In all, it may not be a set appreciated by many, but it is one I like and this card is among some of my favourites in my collection.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Back Checking - Ken Dryden Rookies

When you look at old OPC and Topps cards, depending on the decade the number of differences can vary from minor to significant. For example some of the releases in the late 60's feature no differences on the front and on the back the inclusion of french is the biggest difference. However, if you look at the ones in the 80's, Topps has their dark back and Topps logo on the front where OPC will have a light back and their branding on the front plus the typical french and english text. Set size is another difference too, but that varies very signficantly depending on the release. Some years they are the same (early 90's) and other years the difference can range from 66 to 198 more cards in the OPC sets.

1971-72 featured MANY difference between the two sets. First there was a difference in the checklist as Gordie Howe had his own player card in the Topps set instead of a tribute card in the OPC set and the design of the backs of the Topps cards were significantly different.  

1971-72 Topps #45 Ken Dryden Rookie
I already had the OPC rookie but I recently landed the Topps version online for the cost of a blaster and when it arrived I couldn't have been more happy. Here is the front of the card, looks exactly like the OPC version, it even is off-centered!

The back side
Here is the back side. Typical of Topps (after OPC started)  it features no french. However, unlike the OPC release, this layout has different colour combinations and is a portrait layout instead of landscape.

OPC Back

I never get tired of looking at this one, this is the back of my OPC Ken Dryden rookie. Same comic and same text, but the layout is pretty different.

I am very happy having both versions especially a sharp looking Topps rookie. The Topps looks every bit as nice as the OPC version except when it comes to price tag. OPC books for 300 in strong condition and Topps a mere 125. Depending on your budget there is a rookie out there for you and I was very lucky to steal mine for under 25 bucks.

I am not sure which back I do prefer, I guess I like them both for their individual reasons, but what about you? Do you like the Topps or OPC best?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wow, that was not the draft I was expecting.

Short post here today, I have a new scanner that I haven't hooked up as of yet. I have a busy day today hosting a neighbourhood BBQ for Canada Day and we just finished hosting the 2013 NHL draft and the Devils who don't have another first round pick until 2015 shipped our 9th overall pick to the Canucks for Cory Schneider.

Funny how a card in your collection all of a sudden becomes much more relevant. 

08-09 OPC #703 Cory Schneider Rookie
This scan was borrowed from, but this is my only Schneider rookie at this point

I really think the trade was a good idea, but time will tell if Cory is the real deal or not. In the meanwhile, any Canucks fans looking to unload their Cory Schneider autos and rookies please feel free to contact me.