Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Hits

I love the holiday in a previous post I mentioned my love for the World Junior tourney but I do also love the exchanging of gifts. I am aware it is more blessed to give then receive and I do enjoy giving, but it is also fun receiving. My in-laws know my love for collecting and I really appreciate the support that they have for my hobby by giving hockey card related gifts. This year I received a few blaster boxes and a couple random packs. For the record, I am not a huge fan of blasters because the hit odds are against you with the packs usually being of the retail variety and the odds on those are usually pretty gross. But, some of the local merchants were having large sales on the blaster boxes so I received a few and they didn't cost the gift-giver too much either. Over the next couple posts I will share with you my results.

From my "stocking" I received two repacks of Upper Deck Hockey. One was a pack of 07-08 Series 2 and the other was of 08-09 Series 2. I am fond of Series 2 no matter what year because of the increased Rookie Card odds and frankly 07-08 was my first set to get me back into the hobby so it has a special place in my heart.

The 08-09 pack yielded absolutely nothing! Even the Victory insert was a base card of Curtis Joesph and the best UD base card was Gary Roberts who is now a training guru and is responsible for the amazing growth of Steven Stamkos but not very exciting as a card.

The 07-08 UD was a much better result. No rookies but I did get a Milan Lucic Rookie Materials Jersey Card. I know there are differing opinions on these cards but personally I love them. Sure they are "event-used" but they are released during the rookie season of the player. The production numbers are lower than most of their rc's and they look much better than most base cards.

In all I would say this is a nice surprise which can also be said about Lucic's season this year. After a injury filled 09-10, he is off to an excellent start. After 35 games he is already one goal away from tying his career best of 17 and he is on pace for a personal best of 37 goals and 62 points. Definitely a great holiday hit!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wanted and For Trade

I am slowly getting this together. I have some of the cards I am currently looking for and that list will keep growing so please check it often. I am also adding a list of cards that I am willing to trade to help your own collections out. This list too will be growing with some being specific cards and others are blanketed amounts because I have 1000's of the particular set. I love making trades and promise to make honest deals!

The list can be found on the side margin or here:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays

I would like to wish all my fellow bloggers out there a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It has been almost a year since I started this blog and I have really enjoyed making posts and reading other people's blogs as well. I especially enjoyed how close the sports card blog community seems and I appreciate the kind words as I got started and I enjoyed the trades I have made with all of you.

Here is a card from the 1991-92 Parkhurst set. It was a NNO insert with a pretty nice message on the back. I know Santa has had his fair share of cards made over the years, but I believe this is my favourite of the bunch. I remember when this set came out. I was so excited and thought the product was nice and fresh. Unfortunately Proset mass produced this like all their products and with the 92-93 Parkhurst they kept a near identical design which kind of ruined the 91-92 product. However, I still like them and feel it was a much better card than the 91-92 UD set.

Front side with Santa inspecting all sorts of quality Proset products

Here is the back with a nice holiday message.

So all the best to each of you and your families and I look forward to more posts after Christmas and I hope you all receive the gifts you are looking for in life!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WJHC Contest

If you are anything like me then the Christmas holidays are more than turkey and family time. They also represent time for one of the best tournaments on the planet. You can keep March Madness, I love the World Junior Hockey Championship. The best young prospects on the planet all playing for the love of their country. What can be better than that? Well the Stanley Cup playoffs I suppose, but for those who want to make the WJHC more interesting...

My buddy Mark at has a WJHC contest for all those interested go here:

Good luck to those who enter.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Drop The Gloves Contest

Check this out!
Real cool contest design that looks like a lot of fun!

10-11 Score Hockey

I bought 3 boxes of 10-11 Score back in the beginning of Nov. I know this is pretty slow getting to post but life has just been a little to busy so rather than review the product and be like the 75th person to do so, I am just going to share the results.

I really enjoyed opening this product because of the nostalgia and the feel. This set really was designed to be a yearbook of the 09-10 NHL season. There are highlight cards and player cards and even the inserts commemorate different points in the season. In all I really liked this product and the price and quality are excellent and though this will never be an investment set, it was fun to open and I was lucky enough to get a hit in each box.

Here are the front and back sides of the cards. Pretty clean mixing up something old with something new.

By using the glossy inserts to help complete my set I managed to get 419 of 500 base cards and 49 of the 50 of the SP'ed rookies. So I am pleased that Panini did a great job "shuffling the deck" so to speak.

The hit from box number one was difficult to find because it was a "french back" base card and I only found it after looking at the cards a second time.

If I remember my grade 10 french well enough, the translation is "Don't forget to collect Score Cards". Seems like they could have used a little more creativity in their quote. But apparently these are pretty rare falling about 1 per case.

The hit from box two was this little gem. Of the 50 sp'ed rc's this is one of the better ones. Jared Cowen is a monster and could have the potential to be a poor man's Chara or who knows he might replicate what Tyler Myers has managed to do in Buffalo (that is a little optimistic). But really, a nice hit and not bad for a 28.99 a box. However, I was looking forward to a redemption rc in each box instead, but Panini did replace that with something decent.

The last of my three boxes had one of the SSP rookie cards. Rumours suggest that there are only about 4-5 in each case so I was pleased to get one in my last box. Cam Fowler is off to a great start this season and this is card number 551 in the set. Panini has 9 SSP rc's in the set and I am not sure at the moment if I will bother tracking the other 8 down. Maybe next summer when the market is flooded with different rc's of these guys I might see if any deals can be had!

In all, not bad for $100 with taxes included. I am close to finishing 1-550, I hope to get my missing ones posted along with some other sets I am working on if anyone wants to make some trades. It will be interesting to see what Panini does with this product next season. One thing for sure, I do hope they decide NOT to recreate the 91-92 Score set.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bill Guerin Retires

Well my favourite player from my childhood has decided that he is done playing professional hockey as has retired as a Pittsburgh Penguin. The retirement ceremony can be see here.

Bill Guerin had an excellent career, the former 5th overall pick of the Devils in 1989 scored 40+ goals twice and had a career high 85 points in 2000-01. His final totals were 429 goals and 856 points in 1263 games and 13 times finished with 20+ goals. In addition to those stats, he also won two Stanley Cups.

The one games I will always remember of Billy was game 4 of the 95 Finals when he scored 3 points to secure the first cup in Devils franchise history.

Bill was an excellent power forward who skated well and had a shot that rivaled some of the best in his prime. As I mentioned in a previous post, Bill was my first and only TTM. As you can see below, he used blue sharpie on his 92-93 Parkhurst RC. The other auto was signed with a black sharpie and was one I has bought a few years later from a sports store in the mall back in 98. I believe I paid 5 bucks and in my opinion it was money well spent. Both autos have his name and number 12. He would switch to #13 after he was traded for Jason Arnott and would keep that number for the rest of his career.

In addition, I also bought a game used lot off ebay a year or so ago and managed to get three g-u cards for 0.99 plus shipping. The blue swatch was from his brief time with the Blues and the other two are different greens both from his days with the Stars.

The Shooting Stars swatch is the nicest of the three in my opinion partly because the play on words and it is the largest of the three swatches.

I am sad to see that he has decided to call it a career, but he did leave relatively on top of his game. His final season he still managed to score 21 goals with the Penguins and though they didn't win the Cup that year and he likely will never make the Hall of Fame, he still left the game with two rings and many other accomplishments such as Olympic Silver Medalist, and World Cup of Hockey Champion.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Well I have decided that I am going to give a few of these a try and see if I have any success. I have only ever tried once and it was back in 1994. I send a fan letter to Bill Guerin while he was with NJ and within two months I received my signed card back. At the time I didn't have any US stamps (as they are hard to come by back then because there was no online shopping) so I mailed a US dollar along with it for return postage. I was quite happy to receive the card back and unfortunately there was no written response other than the card but I was just as happy to have the card regardless.

I mailed my first one out on Sunday and it was sent to Stephane Richer. I sent him a fan letter along with three cards. I had a difficult time trying to settle on two, so I sent three hoping for the best. One was his RC and the other two were his 90-91 Score card and his 91-92 Parkhurst (he is in a Devils jersey by then). I will keep you posted on my successes and failures.

I will save the photo of the Guerin auto for my next post as it seems Billy has decided to call it a career today.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Need Help...

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have had a little trouble with my custom cards because of the trouble I have had trying to match the fonts. If anyone out there knows what font I can use to match up with the 90-91 UD it would be greatly appreciated so I could finish the card I have below. Most of you could see that it is a hybrid between the Score RC and the UD first round draft pick subset.

Thanks again - Dave

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fun with Photoshop

Definitely something I would love to do if I had more time is make my own cards. I used a template for the 88-89 OPC set and I found this nice photo of Crosby online and blammo, he is now a retro card! I always find the hardest part about making your own cards is getting the right font. If you are going to copy a style already in existance you have to make the fonts match in my opinion which can always be tough. I missed the boat a little bit with this card, but I like it anyway.

Some day I would like to try and design my own card from scratch like some of you other bloggers out there...but that I think is something for another day.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Failed Prospects - Angelo Esposito

Flashback to 2005. Sydney Crosby has moved onto the NHL and the QMJHL is looking for its next big name. Angelo Esposito, a 16 year phenom steps in and scores 98 points in just 57 games including 39 goals. Surely this kid is going to be a superstar. Angelo really couldn't do anything wrong during the regular season, he had Radulov on his wing playing for the Remparts. Radulov put up 21 goals and 55 points in 23 playoff games, but come playoff time Angelo found trouble maintaining that same production. Maybe he was burnt-out from too much hockey that season? After all, including international action he was pushing 100 games and Esposito was only 16 years old.

The following season, Radulov departed and Esposito's number dropped as well, he managed a modest 79 points in 60 games as a 17 year old. Remparts didn't last long in the playoffs, but Espo almost matched his previous season playoff total playing in just 5 games. Then comes the draft and in 2007 he is picked 20th overall by the Penguins, clearly this is a steal for a prospect who was once considered a better prospect than Patrick Kane.

However, as an 18 year old his numbers dropped again. He finished third on the Remparts team in scoring behind players Felix Petit and Kelsey Tessier. Esposito scored 69 points in 56 games that season. Esposito's last successful season came the following year in 08-09 with the Montreal Juniors when he started with 24 goals and 42 points in 35 games. However, a knee injury and subsequent surgery ended that season and it seems that he really has never been the same since.

Over the last two seasons, Esposito has put up 5 points; 1 goal and 4 assists in 24 games. In fact, this season with the Chicago Wolves, he has 1 goal in 11 games. Angelo will turn 22 this February so, it is difficult to say his career is over. However, he definitely has fallen from grace especially considering he was an early favourite to be the number 1 pick in the 2007 draft. I am not sure if he was as great of a player as he was fortunate to have been playing with a talented team at a young age, but, Esposito clearly had enough potential to be selected in the first round and his NHL future really looks to be in doubt. Esposito was apart of the trade that brought Hossa from Atlanta to Pittsburgh and as of today he is still in the Atlanta system which is the good news. If he is ever going to crack the NHL it will likely be with a young and inexperienced team desperate for scorers. The bad news for Angelo is since turning pro, his production has been far from desirable and the AHL may be the highest level of hockey he will ever play. There was a time when I was trying hard to see him as a junior player because I wanted to say I saw him as a 16 year old tearing up the junior leagues much like people still speak of Crosby, Lemieux, Gretzky or even Lafontaine. However, it appears that Angelo may have peaked at 16 and the fall from grace has continued from that point on.

I guess it goes to show that drafting NHL talent is a difficult process and there is no such thing as a "sure thing". While it isn't over for Angelo, it is a long way from the prediction many people had for Esposito.
Here is a photo I found of a Heroes and Prospects card from ITG of Angelo Esposito. You can buy this card on ebay for less than $10.00. I wish him all the luck in the future and I hope he can make it to the NHL someday, but I have a feeling he will likely have a similar fate experienced by Kory Kocur another successful junior player who couldn't turn a first round pick into a single NHL game.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prospects with Potential - Matt Taormina

Something I really wanted to do with this blog was to find time to "prospect" the prospects. I like most hockey fans, I have an interest in the young kids and like to make predictions on how their careers will turn out. I have had some hits and some misses. Finally, I will put into print, what I think and possibly make a huge ass of myself in the process. I am not going to always choose the obvious choices like Crosby (I think most knew he would do fine), but at the same time I am not too delusional to think that Jordan Smotherman is going to be a HOF player.

Matt Taormina is the first player I am going to go out on a limb on and I think for good reason. This kid was never drafted and very much reminds me of another undrafted diminutive defenseman with a knack for putting up points.....Brian Rafalski. Matt signed with the Devils last season and then proceeded to tear it up for the Lowell Devils finishing third in team scoring with 50 points. He moves the puck well and though he isn't the strongest defensively he for the most part isn't a liability either. Currently he is a minus 2 on a team that really is playing bad hockey and apart from a minor injury it doesn't appear that he will be leaving the NHL anytime soon. He is smart with the puck and passes it well on the PP. I believe when the Devils get their offensive issues worked out, he may put up about 30 points this season. I think he has much too learn much like Brian did in Europe but give him 2-3 years in the NHL and Matt will easily be a 40-50 point d-man in the NHL and for a kid who was never drafted that is quite an accomplishment.

Here is his 10-11 UD Young Gun RC. Currently I do not have any of his cards, but I am always looking, so if you have one to trade let me know and we can try and work out a deal. I see big things for Matt and maybe he could end up as good as Rafalski and should he miss that mark, the very least he will be a quality #3 or 4 defenseman for years to come.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Parkhurst Project Cards 2 and 3

What do George Sullivan and Benny Woit have in common? Well they were both played in NHL All-Star games. They both have RC's in the 1951-52 Parkhurst set and they both were purchased by me for $13.00 including shipping from Ebay.

Let's start with Benny. He was born in Fort William which joined Port Arthur in 1971 to make Thunder Bay which is where I was born. Benny won 3 Stanley Cups over 7 seasons all with the Red Wings. Benny was an original Dustin Byfuglien in that he was a winger and defenseman. He was a pretty big player for his era standing 5' 11" and weighigng 195 lbs. He only managed 7 career goals and 33 points in 334 games but with 3 cups he was successful in the NHL. After a failed stint with the Blackhawks, he played in the minors for a number of years including a team called the "Jersey Devils". How can I not like him! Hometown boy and mention of the Devils (no affiliation though).

The card itself is #58 in the set and has a couple light creases with some rounded corners. The colouring is excellent.

George "Red" Sullivan was a centre who played in Boston, Chicago and New York (Rangers). Sullivan was a left handed shooter and was 5' 11" just like Benny and was 155lbs or 40 lbs less than Benny. Offensively Sullivan was a little more prolific than Woit in the scoring department with 107 career NHL goals and 346 points in 557 games. One of his best seasons was with the Hawks when he put up 61 points in 70 games and lead the 54-55 Hawks in scoring. Red would top that amount with 63 points and was second in Ranger scoring in 58-59. Red never managed to win a Cup and was most famous for being nearly killed by Doug Harvey. A priest was apparently brought in to read him his last rites and somehow managed to pull through. He would stay in hockey and was the first coach in Penguins history and found himself coaching in 74-75 for the Washington Capitals (worst coaching position ever) and was 2-17 with the Caps in that season.

The card like Woit has been weathered! There are some light creases and the corners are rounded as well. The colouring is excellent on this card as well. In all I didn't spend much for these cards and they do get me closer to completion.

Card #27 and 58 and 2+3 of 105 for my set.
Percent Completion:
Cost of Cards:
Total Cost of the Set to Date:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

1910-11 Imperial Tobacco Reprint Set

100 years ago, the first hockey set was created. ITG is doing a tribute set to honour the 100 year anniversary of the C56 by creating their Ultimate 10 to look like the original Imperial Tobacco cards. The cards were designed much like other tobacco cards of the time to help protect the cigarettes from being damaged. PSA offers a really neat article on the origins of the C56 set here. I am a fan of vintage cards which is part of the reason why I am working on my own Parkhurst project. After reading the PSA article online and seeing an article in the Aug/Sept Beckett I thought about looking for a reprint set of the C56 series. Sure enough, I was able to find a decent set that was done by the Lancaster Company. I am not too sure about the details of this reprint job, but I was able to purchase the set for $4.95 plus $2.50 shipping on Ebay. Other people are selling it for a bit more but the dealer who sent me this set mailed it pretty quick and the quality is decent. I looks like the cards where hand cut much like the original set was so a couple cards are off-centered. The ink of the back is brown much like the original set so all in all they did a pretty good job maintaining the feel and authenticity of the old cards.

Two of the biggest names from the set were Art Ross and Newsy Lalonde.

Art was famous for his donation of the trophy for the leading scorer and Lalonde was one of the first superstars of Ice Hockey. As you can see from the back of the card it is listed as a reprint. The fronts of the C56 are in colour and with the exception of a few are portrait shots.

My favourite card in the 36 card set is Fred "Cyclone" Taylor.

In this photo Fred looks rather menacing and during this time frame he was one of the most paid athletes in sports and the highest paid player in hockey. He made $5250 for a two month season.

Taylor, Ross and Lalonde along with many others from this set would make it into the HHOF. Each card in the original set is considered to be a RC of each player and for some reason both Jack Marshall and Art Ross end up with two cards a piece in the set. Someday it would be nice to buy a card or two from this set, but for now I will have to settle for the reprint version.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Parkhurst Project Card 1

The first card I purchased, was from Ebay, and it was Bert Olmstead. Definitely the best player of all the cards I have bought from this set so far. Bert was an all-star 4 times and lead the NHL in assists twice. His best season was a 70 point performance in the 55-56 season. Bert was an early power forward who could hit with the best of them earned the nickname "Dirty Bertie". Bert eventually made it into the Hall of Fame in 1985 while finishing with 5 Stanley Cups in 11 appearances.

The card itself isn't in the greatest of shape. The red ink has a little fading, and there is some shiny glue marks on the back. The front isn't horrible, there are not major creases or damage to the front, you can see the reflection of a little glue on the front as well. This scan looks worse than the card does in person.

Card # 1 of 105 and #5 in the set
Percent Completion: 0.95%
Cost of Card: $7.95
Total Cost of Set to Date: $7.95

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Parkhurst Project

Ever since I have begun collecting cards, I always preferred the older cards over the newer one. Since I started collecting in 1990, it was a good thing as I didn't spend ALL my money on 1990 junk wax and spread what little money I had around a little bit. My collection does have 90's stuff don't get me wrong, I was young and poor and it was often all I could afford. But I do have some older cards in my collection from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. The set designs over the years are pretty darn cool and I definitely have my favourites much like everyone else does I am sure. My all-time favourite is 1951 parkhurst. There are other iconic sets out there like 67-68 topps, or 71-72 OPC or even 79-80 OPC. But it was the Parkhurst set that ushered in the modern card collecting era for hockey cards and the set was the largest ever produced at the time at 105 cards. My life goal in collecting will be to get this complete set. Like most people I can't just drop 15k on a completed set so I will build this set one card at a time. I hope to share my collecting of this historical set. Over the years I have really only ever seen a couple completed sets for sale so I know my goal is challenging but with auctions every day on ebay and thousands of these cards still available it is by no means difficult. The hardest part will just be saving and buying the cards for a price I think is reasonable. To help keep this project reasonable I plan on buying cards that may not be in the best condition especially in cases like Howe, Sawchuk and Richard rc's. But with that being said I do have SOME standards.

1. The card must be a complete card (Not pieces of it)
2. There can not be any handwriting on the card (I don't like it when they have been defaced)
3. The card is obvious (The card shouldn't look like it went through the wash in someones pocket and you can't make out what it says anymore)
4. I want to get a wrapper of the packs from 1951

So with those things in mind I hope to build the 105 card set before I meet my end. Maybe I should make provisions in my will in case I die that my estate finishes the purchases? I wonder if that has ever been done before?

Here is a picture of what the orginial 1951 Parkies came out of. Once in a while I see them on sale but they are much more rare than some of the cards themselves.

I found this picture online as well. It is a picture of 100 of the 105 cards from the set. Can you pick out which ones are missing?

So there you have it. I think it is do-able but of course with time just about anything is I suppose. In the coming weeks I will share with you as I make my attempt and if you wish to help out I am willing to make trades or barter to try and get more cards.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

07-08 Sweet Shot

So maybe it was the lack of sleep due to a newborn, or maybe I convinced myself it was a good idea by watching too many box breaks on youtube. But I decided to drop 65 dollars (shipping and tax included) on the 'bay to get a box of 07-08 Sweet Shot. I told myself hey, about 6 bucks, 5 cards, 3 hits and the payout could be really cool!!! In fact, with the deep rookie pool from 07-08 I am bound to get someone decent right?

So the ride begins with Sir Patrick

A neat little tin, inside the cards are in a see-through package so looking right up at me as I open the box is a base card of....

Zetterberg. Base cards design is pretty nice, I don't mind them at all. At 65 bucks a tin I don't believe I will try and build the base set. The base set consists of 100 cards, mostly stars and Beckett lists the value between 20-50 bucks. Definitely don't see the value in trying to build this one!!

Next in the pack was base card number two and it was Dion Phaneuf. Both stars in their own right but nothing I was really in love with yet.... Now on to the hits. The first hit was..

Not a bad card. The puck signings are silver on a black rubber insert. The card isn't numbered but I love the penmanship and it is his rookie year so it means a little more to me than a regular auto of a third line player. The next hit was..

Dany Heatley. This card was numbered to 299, many fans will remember Dany was involved in a motor vehicle accident that almost ended his career and did end the life of Dan Snyder. He did bounce back from the accident and tragedy to have himself a good career so far. I was not excited about this one because there are much better cards out there including many current HOFs. So at this point I am telling myself, one card to go and it is going to be a rookie! Rookies are my favourite part of collecting so I know this last card could be good. Kane, Toews, Backstrom heck even Andy Greene would be fine...

Jared Boll....sigh.....Well it is a rookie....that is what I wanted....but Jared's skills are likely more appreciated in an octogon than an ice rink. He is a fighter, he isn't a fact he has compiled 13 goals in 218 games over 3 seasons. He is a regular NHL'er so it isn't the end of the world but I would say that I got a dud as far as rookies are concerned. (the card is white, it just for some reason scanned a little goldish)

So did I get 65 dollars in cards here? I don't think even a Sens fan would agree here. I do have a nice Patrick Roy Tin, there must be some value there! In the end I think it was a bad idea especially if I used the 65 dollars for I used the money for this. If I pulled something numbered to /25 or /15 then I would say it was a success or even one of the better rookies I would have a smile on my face. This is likely the last Sweet Shot tin I will ever buy which is good because they also have stopped manufacturing this product after 07-08 season. Have you ever bought a tin? Would you ever buy one?

Friday, August 13, 2010


Ok, so the ruling didn't go the way I hoped it would. Now the waiting game continues, so I thought I would share a box I opened a little while back of 09-10 UD Series 2. I usually don't mind this product because of a couple of reasons. First of all, you get a crack at the Victory versions of the rookies you missed from Series 1, you get a shot at a Rookie Memorabilia card and finally it completes the series. I must say, before I opened this box, I knew it could only get better! My Series one box best card was a Brodeur game used and the best rookie was Ryan O'Reilly. That was a dud box to say the least. I usually like the feeling I got what I paid for, but I was left unsatisfied and disgusted because all 6 of my pathetic young guns had roller marks all over them. SO here we go, this time around I feel I got it right, the young gun pool is much shallower, but I did alright...

The highlight of the rookies was Logan Couture who saw some action at the end of the season and looks to be a rather promising star. THN has him projected to score 36 points this season. Brad Marchand and Lars Eller were the other two notable pulls and they are projected to be full-time NHL'ers this coming season according to THN.

My Victory Gold rookie for this box was good old JT. Since I missed him in Series 1, this is the equivalence of the Ms Congeniality prize. I don't mind Victory rookies as much as others, I love rookie cards so the Gold parallel is better then the regular base one, which I pulled two of him as well.

The Exclusives are inserted 1 for every two hobby boxes and I was lucky enough to pull my buddy Gio. A former Devil, he will always have a place in my heart especially after his magical 48 goal season. He will never be able to repeat it, but I wish him luck in Montreal.

After opening most of the packs, this little surprise was found toward the bottom of the box. I have never pulled a victory black in my life and Van Riemsdyk isn't a bad one to start a collection on. I had pulled a regular Victory Rc of him earlier in the box was well and also lucked into a Ultra redemption rc of my new best friend James. He was born in NJ so maybe this is fate.
I almost fell off my chair when I opened this one. If all these Van Riemsdyk cards can't turn me into a fan then I don't know what will. A black swatch is always better than a white one, but beggars can't be choosers because the other GU from this box I pulled was a JP Dumont which if I didn't already have another GU of him might have been mildly exciting....But alas I have a SP Game Used of him already so now I will try and find a Preds fan who would be remotely interested in it and trade it to them for some commons of a set I am sure I don't collect.

The final thing I have to say about this box is why did I pull two "ice dancer" cards? Since when did hockey and ice dancing go together? Worse yet, one of them has never even won a real event like the olympics! I think they won some crappy USA junior title or some shit like that? There are probably two people in the world that wanted this card printed...Him and His MOM. So why did UD think it was a good idea? I can't wait for Panini to print some cards and give me an option to not buy UD.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The waiting game

Well as I write this, a decision from Richard I Bloch has yet to come. The 48 hours was extended over the weekend and a ruling regarding the infamous 17 year contract will come sometime today. I have read on many websites on how the Devils are "losers" in the free agent market and how the signing is absurd. Well if the signing goes through LIKE IT SHOULD, I believe Lou has once again proved that he is the best GM in the NHL. There is nothing wrong with the contract except that people are hung up on the length. There are no length rules, there are no stipulations on age in the CBA so I think it is funny that people immediately call foul when the Devils organization has following the contract to the letter and found a creative way to spread the wealth. No one can predict what Kovalchuk will do once he gets into his 40's. Igor Larionov played into his 40's and is one of the greatest Russian players of all time and someone who Kovalchuk looks up to. I believe we need to cut the kid some slack, he isn't all about the money because he walked away from more. He wants to win and really WHO DOESN'T? The Devils are perennial contenders and with Kovy we have an offense that will grow under Johnny Mac and here is hoping Marty gets to hoist another cup in the next year or two.

As Homer once said "the waiting game sucks. Let's play Hungry-Hungry-Hippos!"
SO here are a couple GU Kovys I picked up off the 'bay.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A bright spot

Alright, I refuse to let this blog die so young. Been very busy, but then again who hasn't been.....Well I guess the Devils are one answer, been almost a week and still no word on a new contract for Kovy so I will focus on the good news from earlier this summer and that was the signing of David Clarkson. Here is a story of a kid who didn't grow up with the silver spoon players like Patrick Kane had and really used good old fashioned Canadian determination to make it to the show. He was never drafted and still managed to make the NHL and a name for himself. Now that he has a new contract I look forward to more seasons of Clarkson in the line up and I hope to buy a #23 jersey in the fall!

Here is the lowest print run Clarkson card I have (#'d to 25). Contact me if you have any lower I am always looking for Clarkie and would love to have a 1/1. (forestrydave at hotmail dot com)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

09-10 NHL Playoff Predictions Eastern Conference

This is my favourite time of year! I love the NHL playoffs. It is a war of attrition, teams play grueling a best of 7 series and a hot goaltender can really carry a team and steal wins at this time of year.

I am going to give my predictions for round one in the East.

Wash vs Mon
This series is not getting much respect from many of the experts. Most are saying Wash will walk all over Montreal and they might be right. I will say Wash is going to win, but I think that they may face a small challenge from the underdogs and I will say Wash in 6.

NJ vs Phi
I have to go with my heart on this one. I love the Devils and in past years I have dreaded some of our opponents or have had a slight bad feeling about the matchup. I don't have that this year, and I think we will win. I will call this Devils in 6 based on some good offensive outbursts and better goaltending on Brodeur's part.

Buff vs Bos
I sort of think that Buffalo didn't want to win their last game and have to face Phi so they tossed the Devs that game and took Boston as a result. I don't know if that was wise, Boston is hungry, and Rask may steal a couple of games. Both of these teams are a little offensively challenged and I think it may go the distance. Buff in 7.

Pitt vs Ott
This series will come down to how well Elliot plays. Fleury have been pretty consistent all season and he saw some rest down the stretch so he will know what he needs to do. Pittsburgh has not been the juggernaut of 08-09 and may seem a little more vulnerable. As a result, if Brian Elliot plays well I could see Ottawa stealing this one from the Pens. If Elliot begins letting in soft ones, then they will be out pretty fast. I will say Pitt in 6 unless it goes 7 then Sens in 7.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Trails Modano?

Last night Mike Modano may have had one of the most emotional games of his life. There is some doubt to whether or not Number 9 will have another season left in him. With last night being the last home game of the season and the Stars don't have a hope for the playoffs they stopped the game during the third period to pay tribute to his career. The score at the time was 1-1 and he had an assist on the Dallas goal. The Ducks then went ahead on a second Bobby Ryan goal to make it 2-1 and then in what seemed like a perfect script, Mike steps up for his time and tips in the game tying goal late in the game. If that wasn't enough, Mike then had a chance to win it in overtime but was stopped on a breakaway. So the game goes to a shoot out and Mike who is not known for any shootout abilities was given the chance to go out for his time and he scores the game winning goal in the shootout on what pretty much was Mike Modano Night.

What Mike has done for hockey cannot be measured. He is arguably one of the best American born players of all time and what he brought was more than just ability. He brought CLASS. I saw him in the same light as I saw Joe Sakic. Both were players who were team guys and stayed with their organizations for their entire career. They made players around them better and they lead by example and not by running their mouths. It is hard to say how many more players in the US started playing hockey because of Modano, but it is safe to say he put Dallas on the map in terms of hockey and many players like Bobby Ryan grew up idolizing Modano.

Mike never had a 100 point season, but he was the mark of consistency. Modano had 16 20+ goal seasons, and for a career he had 557 Goals, 802 Assists and 1359 Points in 1458 career regular season games plus a Stanley cup. His point production puts him at the top for American born players and there is no doubt in my mind he will be in the hall of fame when his time comes. With one game left to add to his totals the only question is will he be finished and possibly purchase the Stars with Hull and Gretzky or does he want to take one last crack at Lord Stanley's mug. If he does come back, it would be hard to see him do it with anyone other than Dallas.

Here is his OPC Premier RC, probably the most valuable of his RC's which came out during the 1990-91 season where all cards were produced like they were going out of style.

My favorite Modano RC is his 90-91 Upper Deck one. Not as valuable as his OPC Premier one, it does show case his solid rookie season and you have to love that old North Stars Jersey. I was lucky enough to see him in his second NHL season as a kid. He was playing against Fedorov that night and the two of them flying down the ice against each other I found absolutely impressive.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Brodeur's 600th Win

On Tuesday, Brodeur reached another milestone during the 3-0 win over the Thrashers. Brodeur now has 600 wins and 110 shutouts during his regular season career. Both of these totals are NHL all-time highs and at this current pace, Brodeur could easily reach 700 wins by the end of his career and that would have him at 149 wins more than the second place Roy.

What is actually more impressive is the 110 shutouts. Each season the NHL seems to try harder and harder to increase scoring in the NHL and every season Brodeur consistently racks up the shutouts. He has averaged about 7 shutouts per full season and if he plays another 3 seasons that would run his total over 130 shutout and the next nearest goalie is Roberto Luongo who at 31 years of age his only 51 shutouts. Marty's shutout record could be as unreachable as Gretzky's 2857 career regular season points.

Below I have three of my favourite Brodeur cards from my collection

This first card is from the 06-07 UD McDonalds Set. These were tough pulls and I just bought two packs and found this in one of them. Odds of pulling a Clear Cut winner that year were 1:100 and of course I was really happy to see it was a Brodeur. I think this is the most valuable Brodeur card in my collection.

This card was a relatively recent pull. It is the only Brodeur relic card I own and it is from the 09-10 UD series 1.

This card is a classic, I must own about 6 of them. This is of course the only legitimate Brodeur rookie card. That year Score pretty much covered the entire first round of the 90 draft. As a result, this is the only card that year to feature Martin Brodeur in an NHL set. Upper Deck that season focused on the top 10 picks so you can find Drake Berehowsky or Scott Scissons in their set which I am sure are still in high demand.....somewhere... but of course no Marty.
As you can see, in 1990 the Dirt 'stach was pretty popular!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

09-10 Collector's Choice Review

Before I do this review, I must make a small confession. I used to be addicted to Collector's Choice. I still feel dirty saying it, but at one time it was true. During the mid-90's there used to be a game where inserted in Collector's choice packs were "You Crash The Game" cards where if the player scored on the day mentioned you could send away for a special set of cards. Anyway, I won a few of those sets and when they turned out to be worth very little, I was able to kick that habit pretty quick. Fact of the matter, the old Collector's choice were pretty cheap to buy, pretty cheaply made and they were mostly a novelty, at least for me. They didn't live very long and were eventually replaced with Victory for a low-end card.

Flash forward 10 years and Collector's Choice is back, and much like before the cards are sporting their strange font and lack of quality in design. Not much has changed except the price, they packs are now $1.49 instead of $0.99 so I afforded myself one pack. Let's take a look.

The front design is pretty simple, the cards have a gloss to them and the photography isn't horrible.

On the back side, they stick to the basics with simple information and complete career stats. There is no write up on base cards but the rookies do have a small blurb on the backs. The design on the back is different than the old product, I am glad to see they dropped Chippy like 4th period French.

Look Mom, no hologram! Again a sign that this is indeed a low-end product.

As for as my $1.49 goes, I was pretty lucky in getting a rookie, I got San Jose Goon Frazer McLaren

Each pack includes one insert card and mine was the 3 star selection of the Calgary Flames.

Well, as for as the low end cards, I believe this is the lowest. The design isn't quite where MVP is and in fact I believe that Victory is a better product. This set really is designed and intended for KIDS. I don't know if true collectors would make this their choice, but the set does one thing well and that is delivers NHL licensed hockey cards for cheap!

Card Quality 3/10 (Cheap look, without the nostolgia that OPC offers)
Photography 3/10 (Very basic, almost childlike design)
Inserts 1/10 (Would have been a zero if it wasn't for the sp rookies)
Value 2/10 (This will be my only and last pack of CC for this year)

This is really a set for little kids. Think of it as Fisher-Price hockey cards, it teaches them how to collect so that one day they can rip open tins of The Cup and boxes of UD.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Upper Deck McDonald's 09-10

I would like to have an order of McNuggets, fries and a coke. I would also like to have 3 packs of card with that too please. I can't count the number of times I have gone to my local McDonalds and ordered lunch and hockey cards.

It all began back in 1991-92 when Upper Deck and McDonalds collaborated to make a small set which had 25 base cards composed of NHL's who played in the All-star game and 6 hologram cards. The cards were of pretty decent quality for the time and they even had a hologram on the back in the shape of the McDonalds M. The next season they did the exact same thing and over the 14 years McDonalds did change companies who would make their cards but the ability to get hockey cards at McDonalds was always there. Then comes 2005 and a new rookie is in the NHL and Upper Deck and McDonalds release one of the most wanted base cards in McDonalds history and that is a Crosby rookie card. There was much debate if it would even be considered a RC but when the dust settles it is considered to be a true rookie and is one of the more affordable ones on the market. Here is one on ebay

It would turn out to likely be the last Crosby McDonalds card because of the deal Crosby has with Pepsi and since McDonalds is a Coke distributing restaurant those two topics will not mix. Now it is 2010 and once again a McDonald's set is available. I have stopped trying to collect a whole set, not just for my health but rather it seems to be a little bit of a gimmick these days. There are some good inserts that are very hard to come by, but the base cards are pretty worthless.

They are of decent quality, in fact I find they are every bit as good as UD Ice's product, but rather there is a noticeable lack of rookies. The last rookie to grace a McDonalds card was Rob Schremp. I for the most part I am a rookie collector and I can't justify buying more cheeseburgers than Randy from the Trailer Park Boys and ripping dollar packs like they are going out of style because in the end there will only be a bunch of base cards which aren't any different than the other middle road base sets. I still feel a patriotic duty to buy a few packs here and there even if only for nostalgic sakes. Here is a look at the product.

As you can see, there is a texture to the card much like UD Ice and Ovation, and there is a hologram on the back which again suggests that this is at least a middle range quality card. Each pack has 3-4 cards and there are some inserts including acetate cards, and other redeemables. Writing on the back is in both official Canadian languages.

I was able to get a checklist from the pack I am showcasing. These are inserted 1 per 4 packs which isn't especially rare and there were 6 checklists in total. Though I didn't show it here, in one of my other packs I bought this year I did have one real "hit". I pulled a Joe Thornton Pride of Canada card which is an acetate card. They are available at a rate of 1:40 cards which isn't too bad for only buying 8 packs this year from McDonalds.