Saturday, July 15, 2017

A new minor PC - Blake Speers

How many PCs can a fella have? Probably as many as they want or can afford to chase/trade for, but in my case I usually stop ones and start others and while Brett Connolly is big in my collection and I will always follow along, I've officially stopped chasing his stuff and will just enjoy what I have accumulated. As a result I've started a couple small PCs to replace BC with and Blake Speers is one of them.

I really enjoyed his efforts at the 2017 WJHC and he looked really good last fall with the Devils and actually made the opening night line up. I suspect he will make it again this year but perhaps will manage to stick it out this time for the whole season. He's a very tenacious player who does very well at both ends of the ice and has lots of speed which seems to be the direction the Devils are going with their rebuild which makes him a perfect second/third line player.

16-17 Upper Deck Blake Speers Young Gun
 What every PC needs if the card exists is a Young Gun version. I don't have the acetate version yet but they are out there. I'd be willing to make a trade for one if anyone has one to part with.

15-16 Leaf Heroes and Prospects Blake Speers Prospect Auto /80
 Also who could start a PC without an autograph of the player? This one is fun because it's him in a Greyhounds jersey and represents him prior to being in the NHL.

There you have it a couple to kick off a minor PC. I do have a couple more I will share but those will come at a later date! Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

85-86 OPC Kirk Muller Rookie

So when I was a kid just getting started into collecting, I always had an eye for "vintage". Of course the concept of time was still relative so for me anything that was older than 90-91 was considered vintage by my little developing mind. One card I remember distinctly on my want list was the 85-86 OPC Kirk Muller Rookie. It didn't book for much at the time 4-5 dollars and even today it still doesn't book for much $4.00 in the most recent Beckett Hockey Monthly. So when I was at a card shop back in like 1991, the same one where I shelled out 8 dollars for an Upper Deck Ed Belfour Star Rookie, I saw a Kirk Muller rookie for $5.00.

I still remember it like it was yesterday, it sat there in the display case in a 10 count card holder and the card had a bit of curl to it. Later in life I'd learn it's called the OPC curl and basically all the OPC card if left for a long extended period of time outside a toploader or other case it would start to curl on you a bit. So I brought my purchase home with me and was perplexed by why it had curled and figured that I could just flatten it out and shove it into a toploader and that's just what I did. However, in the process of flattening it I created a new problem and that was I damaged the card in a new way...wrinkles/ripples in the center of the card. I was pretty bummed out but still enjoyed owning the rookie card of the best Devils player ever (at that point) and over the years somehow that card managed to disappear.

Several years ago, I was able to build an 85-86 Topps set which got me another Muller rookie this time in Topps form. However, a hole was still there from my childhood and about 2 years ago I was at the LCS and the owner had a bunch of new stock which included a bunch of vintage cards and in there I found myself an 85-86 OPC Kirk Muller rookie in fantastic non-curled shape in the 3 for 5 bin. You better believe I left with it.

85-86 OPC Kirk Muller Rookie
While I always believed that we should have been the ones to get Mario Lemieux and it should be him in this jersey, things still worked out ok and in the end it would be a trade that sent Kirk Muller to Montreal that helped them win a Cup and eventually us win a Cup too. Glad to have you back in the fold Kirk and I promise to just leave you as is.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

73-74 OPC Billy Smith RC

Sometimes a mint card isn't what is needed in a collection, sometimes just having a nice copy is sufficient enough. While it is my hope to collect at least one set a year from 1910-present, I know that goal isn't too realistic. However, having some key single rookies is rather doable and one of the biggest from the 73-74 set without a doubt is Billy Smith! 

73-74 OPC Billy Smith RC
Not exactly an exciting photo of a goalie in action but it is perhaps a bit better than a studio shot of a goalie in his equipment sweating it out under the lights.



Here is the back side of the card. Interestingly enough, this particular year OPC used two different types of card stock one with a light back and the other with a darker back. This is a dark back version. Even his rookie card predicted that Billy doesn't mind mixing it up with players in front of his net.

While I am not a big Islanders fan or even a huge Billy Smith fan, I greatly respect his career and accomplishments and this card falls under the category of me wanting to own every significant player's rookie card in the history of hockey which is a massive under taking in itself and the best part is it's a project that will never end! Thanks for stopping by and until next post...

Saturday, July 1, 2017

13-14 The Cup Scripted Swatches Nail Yakupov /35

Nail Yakupov had a decent start to his NHL career. He was a finalist for the Calder and the future seemed bright. However, in the past year or two many fans are beginning to think he is just another Alexandre Daigle and are considering him a bust. I am thinking perhaps the right situation hasn't presented itself and given he is only 23 years old I want to believe there is hope yet. As I write this, no Canada Day signings have happened yet but I believe someone will sign this kid. Heck, I'd love it if New Jersey took a shot and perhaps we'd be rewarded with a solid second line winger.

Fact of the matter is he needs to change a bit, get a little tougher on the puck but with the right coach and atmosphere this kid's career is salvageable and there are a few teams that could do it for him. In addition to the Devils, I believe clubs like Tampa, Florida, LA or Vegas could benefit from a one dimensional scorer. Time will tell where he signs but regardless, I still wish Nail all the best and hope these past few seasons will be nothing more than a slow start and he will blossom into a 30-30-60 player I know he's capable of being.

13-14 The Cup Scripted Swatches Nail Yakupov /35
About a year ago I put a low ball offer in on this particular card and won it! It's a great looking card with a huge patch and you can actually see three colours on it. The auto is solid and I am pleased to have his number 10 on it to go with some of my other auto rookies of his where he signed them 64.

Thanks for stopping by and no matter where you are or who you cheer for Happy Canada Day / Happy Free Agency Day.