Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Kind Gesture By a Friend...

As I mentioned in the previous post I would get to a post about a nice gift I received from a friend of mine. Given I live in a rural community and have little friends who share my interest in collecting, any one I do have in that category are fantastic in my books. Truth is I only have about two people whom I would call friends that I could drive over and see and have card collections of their own and one of them is the guy who owns the LCS. The other is my friend and neighbour and Christmas 2015 was one time I will never forget what he did for me.

Like all collectors I was trying my best to pull and Connor McDavid rookie (YG in particular). I was striking out on my attempts and while Dylan Larkin (4 YGs and 2 Canvas YG) later showed me a couple things. Upper Deck's collation isn't terribly random and Mr. McDavid wouldn't be finding me that Xmas. However, my friend did have success. He bought just two boxes and a blaster or two and hit TWO of them. What he did next I wouldn't have ever expected but he showed up on my steps after telling me he hit another and just gave it to me. No strings and no expectations back. A truly selfless act and one I really really appreciated.

I went to my own collection, grabbed a gift bag and I filled it with cards to show my appreciation in return and in the end both sides were happy and I still display this card frequently and I know that this card will always mean more to me than just some BV amount.

15-16 Upper Deck Connor McDavid Young Gun
Sorry for the poor quality but I took the photo with my cell phone because I didn't want to risk damaging the card pulling it off the scanner bed with my fingers. I loved this card from the moment I saw it and I know that Upper Deck had to have picked this particular pose for McDavid for the following reason:

Is it just me or do they look similar?? Anyway, thanks so much Brett and I look forward to many more trades either open ended or agreed upon! Next post will be a more recent gift I received from the fine folks at Upper Deck!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Parkhurst Project Card 37: Mr. Hockey

If there was ever a fire and my family was safe and I could go and grab one item, this might be it for me. I have made it very clear 1951 Parkhurst is my favourite set all time and when it comes to this set there really isn't much bigger and better than this.

1951-52 Parkhurst #66 Gordie Howe Rookie
 As you can see from the front, there is some damage. A pretty significant crease and some tape stains. With that being said, I only see beauty. This card is in fantastic shape and thanks to being taped in some book for a number of years have helped preserve the card I believe and prevented other creases from happening.

To see the card in person is a pretty awesome experience to be honest. It's hard to truly explain but for me personally this could be one of the best cards I will ever add to my collection and one I will certainly cherish for the rest of my life.

It is worth sharing the backside to show that this card is indeed a gem. Nice clean back with the same crease you may have noticed on the front.

What adds to my enjoyment of this card is the fact that I got to meet him many years ago and get a couple autographs. More recently, I bought and read his book Mr. Hockey which was a fantastic read and in ways I felt brought me closer to the man that was Gordon Howe. In many ways this marks a turning point for me in the set as I have been able to land a few whales from this historic set but alas there are a few more in the sea (Richard, Sawchuk, The Goal) but patience has got me this far and patience will be what it takes for me to finish it too. Thanks for stopping by and while my next post won't be featuring any cards of this magnitude, it does feature an amazing surprise!


Card #66 and # 37 of my set

Percentage Complete:


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dollar Bin Signatures

Sometimes you go to a dollar bin and see the same cards you already have in your collection 10 times over (Mark Recchi 90-91 UD Rookies) and sometimes you find something that makes you go...."Hey!". I had such moment finding these:

89-90 OPC Brian Bradley Auto Rookie
This is not a buyback rookie but likely an autograph that someone got in person. Not having any comparables or anything like that I bought this card on blind faith. Seriously, who'd forge Brian Bradley's signature.

Here is a legit one I found online as a comparison

Apart from a sloppy thick sharpie on my signature is all seems legit. Brian wore 19 during his prime years so I am guessing that is why he signed this one with a 19 instead of 10. Also dates my autograph in the post 1993 range. 

Brian Bradley was a fun pick up because I remember him as Mr. Expansion draft and he had a monster year with the Lightning scoring over 40 goals in a season.

90-91 Bowman Wendell Young Auto Rookie
Here is another fun auto for a dollar. In fact, I got two of him. There was also an OPC rookie as well which I grabbed but only bothered scanning the one card. I didn't doubt this one for a second because Wendell was from Halifax and this autograph could have been easily obtained by a collector in my province who bumped into Wendell Young. Neat fact I learned while researching this post is Wendell Young is the only person who has rings from the following championships: CHL, AHL, IHL and NHL. Certainly a very fun trivia question to ask someone!

Anyway, two fun players who both had some successes and at a cost that was totally worth the risk. I don't believe I could even buy two stamps and get these via TTM for that price. Have you ever taken a chance on an autograph that wasn't certified? Anyway, thanks again for stopping by and happy collecting!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Parkhurst Project Card 36: Woody Dumart

Continuing on with pick ups from the past is card number 36 in my set and 28 in the set which is Woody Dumart. To be clear, this is NOT his rookie card. There are a number of rookies in the set and this isn't one of them. Dumart and a small number of others who were still playing in the NHL at this time had rookie cards make it into the OPC sets of the late 30's. 

With that being said, there is still actually loads of demand and value on some of these cards despite more than a decade of time has passed between their first and second cards. Landing another HOF'er off the checklist was very rewarding and the condition of this card is very acceptable for my personal needs and was a very welcome addition.  

1951-52 Parkhurst Woody Dumart #28
Not a bad looking card, a little bit handled and some soft and rounded corners. The red ink on the bottom is very faded as well but you can still read it all when you look at the physical card. I definitely get a great deal of enjoyment each time I cross one of these off the list and the fact it isn't just a common increases the enjoyment! I am nearly caught up with just a couple left to share. One big fish coming up sometime soon so keep an eye out for it. Thanks for stopping by!!


Card #28 and # 36 of my set

Percentage Complete:


Monday, April 10, 2017

89-90 Topps Gum

This may be the strangest post I have ever put up to this point and may be the strangest I ever do, time will tell on that one. A while back I bought a box of 89-90 Topps for a couple reasons. First the box cost me a dollar plus shipping and I wanted to have some cheap ripping fun, maybe build another set and hopefully create some art. I kept all the wax packs and hope to create something cool with them this summer. As far as the set goes I am almost done sorting it and it appears I will have one complete set for sure which is also nice (only hit one Sakic) but I believe I am missing a sticker or two.

When I was opening the packs, each pack had this strange foreign non-cardboard object. I decided to put one of them in a top loader so some day I could show my kids what used to come with hockey cards.

89-90 Topps Gum
That baby is MINT! Not flavored but mint in terms of condition. I thought it kind of silly at first but it actually does look a bit neat in person to see a top-loaded piece of gum. Anyone else out there have one of these preserved for future generations to enjoy? I have been tempted to buy another box and never open it but I haven't gone as far as doing so yet. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, I promise no more gum in my next post (not even the famous 90-91 Upper Deck Joel Otto card). 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Happy Trails Patrik!

They say you don't know what you have until you lose it. Long story short we as people can often be guilty of taking things you have for granted and I certainly have been a repeat offender in that department. However, this post isn't really about me, it's about Patrik Elias. It's hard to find a player who has silently put together such an amazing career playing for a defense first team but still putting up All-World Numbers. Many might be skeptical but don't worry, I will share some supporting figures.

First off, his raw numbers are pretty decent:
1240 Games 408 Goals 617 Assists 1025 Points and another 125 Playoff Points all are franchise highs for the Devils with the exception of games played. Patrik played in 4 All-Star games, made the All-Rookie Team and one First All-Star Team and he won 2 Stanley Cups.

If you look at all those raw numbers I think ANYONE would induct him into the Hall of Pretty Good. However, there are many players out of the Hall of Fame with better numbers and stats. So here is where we consider the fact that Patrik Elias did play a majority of his career in the dead puck era and those numbers are much more amazing than they appear. If you take a visit to Hockey Reference you will find many of the facts I am about to point out.

408 Goals actually adjusts to 464 Goals when you consider overall scoring. That total puts him in the same group as Bure (463) Bossy (461) and Hawerchuk (435) and to be honest, Patrik wasn't known as a goal scorer.

617 Assists adjusts to 680 Assists. That change has him in line with stars like Guy Lafleur (681) and Peter Stastny (637).

1025 Points adjusts to 1144 Points. This is the most telling stat in my opinion when you combine his goals and assists you get a true sense of his place and standing. This total is 57th best All-Time and has him around players like Crosby, Gartner, Perreault and Henri Richard.

In addition to putting up offensive numbers he was really valuable to the club in all situations and would kill penalties and back check with the best of them. When you consider the player as a whole I believe he will make it to the Hall of Fame. Probably not on the first ballot but I do honestly believe he has a shot. Now time for the cards!

97-98 Upper Deck Ice Patrik Elias Rookie

97-98 Donruss Priority Patrik Elias Rookie

97-98 Upper Deck Star Rookie Patrik Elias Rookie

97-98 SP Authentic Future Watch Patrik Elias Rookie

97-98 Pinnacle Be A Player Patrik Elias Rookie

97-98 Pinnacle Be A Player Patrik Elias Auto Rookie

00-01 Be A Player Signature Series Gold Patrik Elias Auto

12-13 Fleer Skybox Autographics Patrik Elias

06-07 Be A Player Signature Duals Elias and Rafalski

These are a few Elias cards from my collection including some of my favourite rookies and all my autographs of Elias. I do have a few game used cards as well but nothing that I felt would have added to this post so I decided to leave them out. While Elias was never a PC of mine per-say, I have collect a few cards of him over the years and I will continue to enjoy what I have and maybe add a few more in the future as I continue to appreciate all he has done for the franchise. Happy Trails Patrik and thank you very much for all you've done and I wish you health and happiness in your retirement. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Russian 3

Back in 1992 the NHL was an explosive and exciting league and offensive numbers were high and no one was aware of the decline that was eventually to follow. Selanne and Mogilny tied for the most goals in the league with 76 and 14 players in total would score 50 goals that season. Mario Lemieux had an amazing 69 goals in 60 games. If Mario played the full 84 games he may have scored 96 but fact of the matter is streaks and slumps happen but I do believe he might have scored 90 that year.

What was equally exciting was the promise of all the young stars in the league and in particular Fedorov, Mogilny and Bure. Fedorov was coming into his own setting a career high in goals (34) and points (87) while just playing 73 games. Mogilny as previously mentioned scored a career high 76 goals and 127 points. Meanwhile, Bure scored his first of consecutive 60 goal seasons and he would flirt with that total a few more times in his short career.

Having lived through this golden age of hockey I have always been interested and enamored with these three superstars and hope all three make the Hall of Fame some day. As a result I was pleased to land all three in autograph form. What is another cool tie is all three have their rookie cards in Upper Decks 1990-91 release where Bure and Fedorov were listed as Young Guns. However, Mogilny had already played an NHL season with the Sabres so he didn't get the same cardboard treatment but nevertheless is a rookie in the set. Seeing these cards as a kid and wanting to pull them out of every pack I believe only adds to my nostalgia with these three players. So here are their autos, please enjoy!

2015 Leaf Signature Series MVPs Sergei Fedorov Auto

Unlicensed products can really be amazing or really awful. What Dr. Price and ITG accomplished in their over 10 years of making products like Heroes and Prospects and others must be acknowledged. I believe ITG was a fantastic company that did quite a bit with very little and pushed other companies to step up their game and use their licensing to it's fullest. Since the buy out, Leaf has tried to continue the trend but to be honest with you I really can't comment on the product as I don't really own many pieces or have tried purchasing any packs or boxes. I do own a couple singles with the being one of them and I like the card and feel that it's a good product. Given collector's hesitation towards this product, secondary market prices are low and this card was had for a very good price (about half book value).

95-96 Be A Player Global Training Alexander Mogilny Auto
The second auto of my trio is a card from the mid-90's. If I have one regret it wasn't loading up on boxes of this stuff once upon a time. With that however, who would have known that little from this era would have been very desirable. Even over time lots of the auto stuff has diminished to very affordable prices too and this potential HOF on card auto was a very affordable 10 dollars.

99-00 Upper Deck Retro Inkredible Pavel Bure
Despite Mogilny's 76 goal season and 473 career goals in less than a 1000 games, most would probably name Pavel Bure as the best goal scorer in the bunch. Personally I do consider him and Alex equals in those regards but with that being said, Bure was the most explosive of the three. Hard to say what may have happened if he didn't have all those injuries (how many times have we said that about a player) but two 60 goal seasons and a couple near misses showed everyone what he was capable of accomplishing. I love this card and the large and prominent auto. Florida isn't how I'd like to remember him but nevertheless this was a pleasure to add to the collection.

Do you have any memories of these three lighting it up? Would you have a preference of one over another on your team? If I could pick one it would be Sergei because he was the most complete but if I had just one game to play, Bure in his prime would be pretty awesome too. Thankfully the Devils did have Mogilny and we do have a Cup to show for his efforts! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

1979-80 Topps Wayne Gretzky RC

Oh boy, I figure it is about time to share this one. I have actually had it for about a year and a half but with my time away and stuff I have finally got around to scanning and sharing this. The unfortunate part is this card is slabbed so scanning it wasn't as successful as I hope and I didn't really feel like playing around with the camera today. So please keep that in mind as you proceed through this post.

1979-80 Topps Wayne Gretzky RC
To say I have wanted this card my whole life would be a bit of hyperbole as I have only been collecting since 1990. However, I have wanted this card ever since then so that pretty much feels like my entire life. Having a pretty tight budget meant that I couldn't drop 2000+ on a PSA 9 or 10 but at the same time I felt life is short why not at least get a decent one for a decent price and then worry about a better one for my OPC set later. As it stands I am not done my Topps set and even with this card I am still about a dozen (give or take) away from the set. While my set is an average of Ex-Mt or better I was willing to let a little go when it came to the Great One.

The card itself is stunning in person. Don't let the grading fool you at first glance it looks like a 7. However, it is truly a 4 and it's flaws are visible if you take a few moments to scan around and tilt the card. You can see corner wear on the upper right and bottom left.Tilt the card and you will see the upper left is a tiny bit soft. On the back by the 1978-79 there is a tiny hairline crease that sometimes takes me a while to find depending on the light etc. Also a tiny bit of browning on the edge of the card make it truly a 4 I suspect. Enough of the bad, this card is all great to me and it a very very fun addition to a collection I always felt needed at least one Gretzky RC.

Here is the back side, the scanning didn't turn out as well as the front but I wanted to share it anyway.

I bought this card knowing it was a PSA 4 and would have its flaws. Given how difficult they are to spot I felt it was an amazing purchase and am so pleased to have it in my collection. I honestly don't ever see myself getting rid of it ever, even if I added more Gretzkys to my collection. My end goal is to have a nice one in the 7 range in both Topps and OPC to go along with my autograph and game used Great Ones.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing one of the most important cards in my collection. Are there any cards in your collection that you would say are keystone cards which you had to have or knew needed to be apart of the collection?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Parkhurst Project Card 35: Doug Bentley RC

This Parkies set is one which has small fries, medium fries, large fries and massive potatoes. This pick up is one of the medium fries in my opinion. Even though Doug began his career in 1940 this card is indeed his rookie. One misconception I see all the time is vendors assume that ALL the cards in the set are rookies cards which sadly isn't the truth. Players like Elmer Lach, Turk Broda and others make appearances in card sets from the 30's. However, Bentley was just late enough to miss the 39-40 OPC set and here is his rookie and really apart from his Bee Hive photos doesn't have any other cards from his playing days. With that being said if I were to only ever have one card created of me, this one is pretty darn awesome. 

I love the snow shower picture and the fantastic "Black Hawks" sweater. The Hawks players seemed to think this was a great idea as well as a few other cards in the set have the same idea

1951-52 Parkhurst Douglas Bentley Rookie
As you can see the text and front of the card are pretty clear and in person the colours are nice. There is some definite rounding of the corners and some creasing but nothing that really takes away from enjoying the card. I can't remember what I paid for this card but I do remember picking it up and another from a card shop in Halifax for around the price of a blaster.

Doug Bentley was a very good player from the 1940's who lead the league in goals twice and points once. He was eventually inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame which is pretty impressive for a young lad who grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan. Having just finished reading Mr. Hockey it seems there were a number of these young farm lads from Saskatchewan and I both enjoyed the book and this card greatly! Thanks for stopping by, not sure what I will post next but I will find something fun to share.


Card #48 and # 35 of my set

Percentage Complete:


Officially I've crossed the 1/3 way mark. I have about another half dozen to share but it's still cool to see that milestone on here. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Parkhurst Project Card 34: Robert Goldham RC

Wow, I cannot believe it has been nearly 3 years since I have updated the Parkhurst Project. In that time I have added a few cards, some found in random card shops, some online and even one was sent to me out of the kindness of a fellow collector's heart! With all that being said, I am making a slight alteration to the project because I have long forgotten what I have paid for some of the cards it's going to continue forward without a cost tally.

Today's addition I am going to share was my freebie thanks to Sal from puckjunk.com. Two summers ago he sent me a nice package with all kinds of cool goodies and this card was one of the ones in the package. I was totally floored by his generosity and couldn't thank him enough. In fact, Sal, thank you once again!!

1951-52 Parkhurst Robert Goldham RC

The card is pretty nice and clean. Two tiny tape stains on the bottom left and upper right corners and some rounding of the corners but otherwise this awesome. No real creases to speak of and original gloss make it a card that's even better looking in person.

Robert Goldham better known as Bob had not just one nickname from his playing days but two! He earned the nickname "Golden Boy" during his Malboros days and then "Second Goalie" for his fearless puck blocking. In an era of limited armour, the puck blocking is extra impressive if you ask me. His career in the NHL spanned from 1941-1956 but he did miss a few seasons while serving his country in the Navy. Thankfully he returned home safe where he would have an impressive NHL career as a defenseman. During those years he would win 3 more Cups to go with the one he won as a rookie in 1942 (His 1946-47 Leafs would win the Cup but he didn't meet the games requirement to make it on the Cup). This card lists his best offensive point total of his career where he would score 5 goals and 18 assists in 61 games. For his career of 650 games he would finish with 28 goals, 143 assists for 171 points. Not too bad for a player who gave up many of his prime years to fight for his country.


Card #67 and # 34 of my set

Percentage Complete:


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Trio of 13-14 Artifacts Brett Connolly Team Canada Patches

Brett Connolly the other night against the Rangers scored the game winning goal. That goal was his 13th of the season which is a career high and his 3rd game winner which is also a career high at the NHL level. With the home stretch coming up and a chance to play in 17 more games I am still optimistic he can approach 20 goals on the season which would be an impressive accomplishment. Combine that with him being a restricted free agent at the end of the season and is approaching his prime I am hopeful there will be a few suitors out there if the Caps decide not to retain his services. In celebration of his accomplishments here are a couple news Team Canada Connollys and one that you've seen before.

13-14 Artifacts Team Canada Brett Connolly Patch /5
 This is pretty awesome, ok patch and amazing IIHF tag. This is probably my favourite swatch out of my entire Connolly collection.

 13-14 Artifacts Team Canada Brett Connolly Auto Patch /8
I've shared this one before but this card probably has it all. Nice jersey, great patch which actually has a hint of gold in the window and an autograph. Sadly it doesn't match the photo but otherwise it's a pretty awesome piece.

 13-14 Artifacts Team Canada Brett Connolly Patch /15

The last one is new shared content as well. No autograph but two just down right fantastic patches. Part of the A in Canada and some piece of the crest with 4 colours. For a non-autographed card it does a pretty good job being awesome. The person at Upper Deck who assembled this one did an amazing job. Plus when you see the holo-gold foil it just draws your attention. 

I do have another rare one from this sequence and that is the basic auto black /5 but it didn't have any patches or swatches and is standard thickness and I am worried about trying to pick it back up off the scanner bed given the black can chip easily so perhaps I'll snap a photo some day with the camera and share it. Thanks for stopping by, next post hopefully will be coming in a day or two!

Friday, March 3, 2017

An Improved 11-12 Upper Deck The Cup Adam Henrique Auto Patch Rookie /249

Couple years ago I picked up an Adam Henrique The Cup Rookie which was pretty great. Great in the sense that it was a must have for a PC and I believe most collectors who have a big interest in a specific play will try and land one. A little while after I posted the card I noticed something sad.... finger nail indentations into the top of the card. They were small, but just enough to make me feel disappointed. It's not the first time and in fact I have noticed it several times over the years. I don't know if it is the player who damages it or if its the pack opener but either way the card is now far from mint. Fast forward a couple years and I was able to find a new copy which has no indentations and a slightly better swatch too! Win win!

My old copy is still in my collection and actually I have it displayed in my classroom where it looks fantastic and my new copy is at home in my collection where I enjoy it regularly.

11-12 Upper Deck The Cup Adam Henrique Auto Patch Rookie /249
 Front side is standard issue. Nice on card auto and a two colour patch this time instead of just one white piece.

This time around here is the back side.

This season has been a forgettable one for the Devils. After a great start we have been inconsistent since December and as a club we clearly have a ways to go before we will taste the post season again. I'm hopeful for a good draft pick in a believed to be weak draft class and perhaps we can see some continued growth from the prospects we do have so veterans like Adam Henrique can be rewarded for these lean years.

How about your own collection? Do you have any cards the require an upgrade or have you upgraded some in the past? Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

13-14 Upper Deck Vladimir Tarasenko Young Gun

Vladdy Tarasenko has been on my radar ever since him and the Russians broke my heart at the 2011 WJHC. Tarasenko was the captain and scored the game tying goal in the third period after Canada has been up 3-0 after 2 periods. He would then set up the Breadman Artemi Panarin for the game winner 8 minutes later and Canada would have to settle for silver.

It would be a couple years before he would make his mark in the NHL but there is no doubt Tarasenko is a star and he is two goals away from 3 consecutive 30 goal seasons. During his rookie year he started to show signs of brilliance so I tracked down two of his rookie cards including this one here. Looking back I am not willing to say just yet he is the best of the Dual Rookie Class but he certainly is one of the best that includes Nathan MacKinnon, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Galchenyuk just to name a few.

13-14 Upper Deck Vladimir Tarasenko Young Gun
Despite the larger print run than many rookies, Young Guns always are a fan favourite and as far as designs go, the 13-14 Young Guns design is one of my favourites of the past decade. Time will tell how the 13-14 class will fare but with players like Nail Yakupov and Valeri Nichushkin not panning out as expected and MacKinnon stuck doing it all by himself in Colorado the true star of the class might be a few years away from being decided. Players like Barkov and Huberdeau when healthy have begun to show great promise as well. What are your thoughts on the 13-14 rookie class? Has one player emerged as the tops of the group yet?

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Homemade Hobby 6 Pack For About The Price Of One

This batch I bought so long ago (1.5 years ago) that I almost forgot I didn't even share it. It was around my birthday two years ago I was doing some looking and one of the online/in-store dealers near my place had a batch up on eBay. He always posts like 400 cards and lets them ride on auctions and then a month later he will be back with a new batch. The cards are always decent and he is very accurate with his descriptions for quality purposes so I really trust him. He has a pile up starting at 99 cents and free combined shipping meant deals could be had. Alas when the dust settled I ended up with this 6 and the price was very nice and well under a blaster. 

14-15 UD Ice Teemu Pulkkinen Premieres Rookie /799
 I am not sure if Teemu will be a bust or a late bloomer but he's now 25 years old and currently in the AHL with the Wild owning his rights. He was an AHL superstar but his big league game hasn't made an appearance yet. I figure one more season to crack the line-up otherwise he will likely bolt overseas. I'm hopeful still but realistic too.

14-15 Upper Deck Series 2 Seth Helgeson Young Gun
So far Seth has been a bit of a cusp player for the Devils. I like to say he's our 8th defenseman really. Good enough some nights to be a 5-6th but inconsistent which makes him an easy scratch target. He is pretty reliable in the AHL and given he's 26 he too will need to prove his worth soon as the Devils are loading up on young d-man prospects or he could be searching for a new organization as well.

12-13 Panini Classics Reggie Leach Auto
 The first big name in the lot, Reggie Leach was a big force in the 70's with the Flyers winning two Cups with the Broad Street Bullies. Reggie scored 61 goals one season and then backed it up with an NHL record 19 post-season goals. Despite some impressive years and accomplishments, Reggie likely won't be a HOF'er ever but if there was a Hall of Very Good, I believe he would be a first ballot inductee.

07-08 Be A Player Signatures Nicklas Backstrom Auto
This was the one I was most excited about because it is a rookie year auto of a player I love watching and believe is greatly underrated. Nick is off to another great season with his production spiking of late. As of today, he sits tied for 4th in points with 63 and second in assists with 45.

07-08 Be A Player Signatures Jason Spezza Auto
 Ages ago I wrote Spezza and never heard from or got my card back. These things happen but that didn't mean I didn't want his auto anymore. When this was was up for bids, I threw a bid that would cover two way postage and thankfully it was enough and righted a wrong! Spezza seemed to hit a wall in Ottawa and has since been revitalized in Dallas. This past year has been a tough one in the Lone Star State but Spezza is young enough that he could be a good trade deadline pick up or have another go next season after Dallas does something about their goaltending.

11-12 Panini Rookie Private Signings Brett Connolly Auto
The last was a fun one for the PC and that is this nice on-card auto from Brett Connolly. Brett has been playing well of late and making a bit of a push to be in Cy Young contention. After pretty soft start and a few nights of being scratched Brett had a pretty solid point streak going (6 games) and currently has 12 goals and 6 assists for 18 points. He is on pace to 18 goals and with a little luck that could be 20. As it stands right now he has tied his career high for goals so the next one will be a big one.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

13-14 Select Justin Schultz Auto Rookie /199

As little as a year ago, Oilers fans were dumped hardcore on one of the most sought after college free agents from 2012. It turns out he just needed a new focus and a new scene and this season he has had a resurgence in his career and is on track to have his best season ever. True it doesn't hurt to have the forward crew that he has to work with and you or I could rack up a few points being Crosby's D-man but only 52 games into this season, he has at a career high for points already and will likely eclipse his goal high of 11 before the season closes too. The best stat though is his +/- which leads the team at a +29 and is good enough for 5th in the NHL as of Feb 9. While a Norris might be a stretch for Justin given his competition (Brent Burns), this is turning into a great story and one I hope continues to be successful for Justin Schultz.

13-14 Select Justin Schultz Auto Rookie /199
I'm both a fan of Justin Schultz and the 13-14 Select set so you get the best of both worlds with this card. A nice jersey swatch and autograph. I do have a couple more Schulz auto but I will save those for another day. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

7 Super Select Auto Rookies

I don't even remember when I bought this lot but it's been probably close to two years ago which makes it kind of fun because at the time of the purchase my reasons for excitement could change when I reflect back on the deal. If memory serves me right this batch probably set me back around 30 dollars with shipping and exchange. Almost from the get go, Select auto rookies on the secondary market were well below their Upper Deck counterparts which made collectors like myself happy and in search of deals. The two exceptions were Tarasenko and MacKinnon. Since then even both of them have come down to earth a bit but Tarasenko would be the big fish in that pond. All of these rookies are /399 and feature sticker autos. Please sit back and get comfortable and enjoy the show.

13-14 Select Mark Arcobello Auto Rookie /399
Of all the rookies here, none broke out of the gate hotter than Arcobello. He was nearly a point a game for his first 10 games and then someone threw a bucket of ice on his career. He bounced around a bit stopping in Nashville, Pittsburgh, Arizona and Toronto. 9 goals and 7 assists in 27 games with the Coyotes was his most productive stop but sadly he was in the AHL by the middle of the 2015-16 season. He is currently tearing up the Swiss League leading Bern in scoring (21 goals and 44 points) and sits one point back of Linus Klasen for the league lead. Not sure if he will make a come back to North America but it's safe to say he will continue to excel in the European leagues.

13-14 Select Drew Shore Auto Rookie /399
I wasn't too sure what to expect with Drew Shore. Two years ago I felt he still had potential to be an everyday NHL player but like Arcobello, two years can expose lots about a player and their futures become less cloudy. Much like Mark Arcobello, Drew is in the Swiss league and is excelling as well. Drew has 21 goals as well and 35 points through 39 games for Kloten HC. I predict a similar future for Drew Shore as Mr. Arcobello.

13-14 Select Mikael Granlund Auto Rookie /399
This card was probably initially the second most exciting from the lot. A former 9th overall pick who had made a relatively smooth transition to the North American game and saw some improvement each season he played. These past two have been big steps for Granlund and currently he is having his finest season yet. As we near the All-Star break, he has 10 goals and 36 points in 44 games which is good enough for second in team scoring for the Wild. Given he is only 24, he may have something else to show us before he reaches his prime.

13-14 Select Matt Tennyson Auto Rookie /399
Wasn't too excited about this card to be honest. It's one of those rookies you know are bundled in with others to try and move more product. However, unlike Shore and Arcobello, Tennyson is still in the NHL. He has found himself a home on the Carolina Hurricanes blue line where he is logging about 14 min a night. He could be in a nice location for a team on the rise and could be a solid defensive tool for a young Hurricanes club.

13-14 Select Rickard Rakell Auto Rookie /399
Of all the players in this lot, the past two years have been the kindest to Rakell. After an ok rookie season scoring 9 goals, the departure of Kyle Palmieri, Rakell saw an increase in ice time and took full advantage of it scoring 20 goals last season. He waited out the preseason and finally was rewarded with a pretty impressive contact of 22.8 million over 6 years and this season he is showing the Ducks they got a huge deal. Rakell is scoring at a rate of about 0.5 goals per game which at this pace could translate into a 40 goal season for the young forward. That makes this auto a little more fun than an autograph of a 9 goal scorer if you ask me.

13-14 Select Eric Hartzell Auto Rookie /399
In early 2014 it was difficult to see who would emerge as the backup to M-A Fleury. So many young goalies with varying potentials. Fast forward 3 years and the funny thing is M-A Fleury isn't even their number one starter, they have already won another cup and Zatkoff is in L.A. Eric a former Hobey Baker nominee is currently overseas in a Slovak league and sadly never made it off the bench in an NHL game.

13-14 Select Seth Jones Auto Rookie /399
At the time this was the big fish in the pond. While some of the other cards have gotten more and less exciting, this one has been pretty consistent and with his play this season it's easy to see that when I look back at this post in 10 years, Seth could be the best of the Super 7. At the half way point of the season he is already nearing career highs in goals, assists and points and at this pace is looking at 13 goals and 41 points which gives fans a glimpse of what he really can offer. I am looking forward to the next few seasons and perhaps he could be a true superstar on the blue line.

Thanks for checking out this lot deal. I used to love to pick these up from time to time, perhaps I will go hunting again some day for a fun one from this set or another. In the meantime, hope everyone enjoys the All-Star festivities and I hope to get a few All-Stars posted up here very soon!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Another White Whale Captured - A Piece of Pelle

Pelle Lindbergh was a special player and one who I always had a fascination with. I would wonder, what could he have done had he not made a poor choice one night? He had some much promise and ever since him, the Flyers seem to have been cursed when it comes to goaltenders. I moved around a lot especially in my early adult years especially at University. One thing I always had with me was this little display:

This is a little to big to fit on my scanner so I took a photo with my phone. These are all the cards the were released in North America from his playing days. He should have been in the 84/85 OPC set in my opinion but was only mentioned on the back of one card. I completed this little PC back when I was 13 years old and all 4 cards have pretty much been in that case ever since. It's a little scratched up now and I suspect some day I will need to upgrade it at some point but for now it still is within reach in my hockey card closet and I display it regularly. 

Now I know that I probably will never have a Pelle Lindbergh auto because they are just well beyond my budget and what I would be willing to pay for a single autograph but instead I was able to land this card which is equally awesome to me.  

2015 Leaf/ITG In The Game Used 2 Vintage Memorabilia Lindbergh/Parent /30

It's hard to see the pieces but the Pelle piece is a piece of nylon that looks nice and crusty. It's probably off a glove or blocker I am guessing and the Bernie piece is a nice chunk of leather which I would guess is off his pads or glove. This card is numbered to just 30 and looks magnificent in person.

Here is the back side and as you can see ITG is now a Leaf product but unlike some of their pieces I believe this one was very well done. While Pelle is not going to ever make the Hall of Fame, I felt my collection really needed one more piece of Pelle just to make this PC complete and I believe this card really does it for me. There are lots of memorabilia pieces out there now and I may find another one or two before my collecting days are over but any additions will be merely by happenstance and not anything I am going to actively track down. It's nice to sometimes close out a PC and I believe I am pretty much there with this one! A nice finish if you ask me. Does anyone out there have a PC they have been able to "finish"?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

14-15 SPx Emerald Rookies Damon Severson Patch Auto /10

More Damon Severson folks, I appologize but he's rapidly become my main PC it seems and this one is another fun one I couldn't help but share!

14-15 SPx Emerald Rookies Damon Severson Patch Auto /10
When it comes to autographs, I must say I sure do like the ones with inscriptions on it. It's fun to see a player's printing/handwriting beyond their name. Having a thousand Wayne Gretzky autos would be cool but having one with a note, quip or expression would be even that much cooler and in when comes to Damon Severson I am pretty lucky to have a few of his autos and now I have one with a "Go Devils" attached to it. The nice thing is he had to take a little more time signing this and I get a chance to see some additional penmanship. The rainbow gold foil is pretty cool on the card and the green normally wouldn't be the most appealing but given the Devils colour history it's a nice thing that works for this card in my opinion. It's got a decent patch and it's numbered to 10 which are all fun bonuses to go with my "Go Devils".

What are your thoughts? Do you like additional remarks on your cards? Thanks for stopping by and I will share something next time that isn't Devils related!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

14-15 UD Premier Premier Rookies Aaron Ekblad Patch Auto Rookie /199

When you think about your favourite NHL team, who would be the cornerstone your franchise is built around? Every long term successful NHL franchise has had one or two key players which laid the foundation of their successes. Think 50's Montreal and you have the Rocket. Think 80's Oilers and you have Gretzky. Think 90's Red Wings and you have Yzerman and this list goes on and on. Most times when you think of these teams, the player that stands out the most is the offensive superstar and usually is a forward. With the exception of Bobby Orr, when was the last time you got super excited about a defenseman? Erik Karlsson and PK Subban have brought a little appeal to the position over the past couple years but when you consider them one of the best in the game and compare that to a Crosby or a Price they pale in comparison in all facets. It just seems that NHL defensemen aren't that "sexy".

Since 1980 only 7 defensemen (technically 8 have but I am not counting Wendel Clark as he jumped to LW during his first season) have been drafted first overall in the NHL entry draft. Here is a list of those 7 and please brace yourself:
1982 Gord Kluzak 123 points in 299 games. Zero NHL awards or honours.
1992 Roman Hamrlik 638 points in 1395 games. Olympic gold medalist and 3 time all-star.
1994 Ed Jovanovski 500 points in 1128 games. 3 time gold medalist and 5-time all star etc.
1995 Bryan Berard 323 points in 619 games. Calder trophy, All-Rookie Team and Masterton Trophy.
1996 Chris Phillips 288 points in 1179 games. Several international medals.
2006 Erik Johnson 231 points in 552 games. Currently injured but has won several international medals and did play in 1 All-Star game.

Are you underwhelmed yet? Truth is, many of the best NHL defenseman in the last 25 years haven't been first overall picks. While nothing is a sure thing, I am willing to bet that none of those above 6 will be in the HOF any time soon and unfortunately despite some pretty excellent NHL careers, most would be considered "busts" so one degree or another based on the expectations of a first overall pick! Since 1982, 4 Hall of Famers have been chosen first overall and an additional 4 could be safe bets to get a call.

Now comes the 7th defenseman who was a first overall pick since 1982. Aaron Ekblad.

Aaron Ekblad is one of those players who I believe has the potential to be a cornerstone player that a successful franchise could be built from. Much like the 80's Bruins had Bourque, the 90's Devils had Scott Stevens or the 90's Rangers had Brian Leetch. I am not going to call Aaron Ekblad the next Bobby Orr because there is no next Bobby Orr. But I believe that Aaron Ekblad has already shown the potential to change a game and there is really nothing this kid can't do. He is already as successful as many other former number 1 picks and he is only 20 years old. His performance at the 2015 World Championships showed that he is truly a rare talent and a big reason for the Panthers turnaround is Aaron Ekblad. While defenseman aren't that "sexy" to necessarily watch and collect, I believe Ekblad could be an exception to this rule.

14-15 UD Premier Premier Rookies Aaron Ekblad Patch Auto Rookie /199
When I look at all the different releases from 14-15, I can't find one I like better than UD Premier. Even The Cup cards aren't as nice as these ones. Check out the size of the patch! It's a pretty solid one in my opinion and it manages to squeeze three colours into the window. Combine that with a nice on card auto and a clean use of foil and acetate you get a winner in my eyes. Well done Upper Deck, definitely a product that is nearly flawless in my opinion. The bigger named rookies are numbered to 199 while some of other more common ones were 299 and there were a few non-patch rookie autos also numbered to 299. 14-15 might be best remembered for Johnny Hockey's entry into the NHL but if I had my choice between him and Ekblad, I would take Ekblad every time!

What are your thoughts, would you draft your team back to front? Front to back or go with a solid defense core? Don't get me wrong, I would definitely draft a Crosby, or McDavid over any defenseman in the NHL. But after these two, would you take a player like Tyler Seguin over Aaron Ekblad or Erik Karlsson? Thanks for stopping by!