Saturday, June 30, 2012

Jussi Jokinen Rookie Materials

A few months back, there was a swap meet in town and I thought I might stop by looking for cool deals and neat finds. Well, I didn't spend much money there but I did get a couple fun things. This post is about one of the fun ones. I managed to pick up a few packs of 05-06 UD Series 2. I was hoping to maybe land a great Victory rookie or an Ovechkin Young Gun. I ended up with some pretty sad Victory rookies, Ryan Suter Young Gun (which my two year old son managed to ding a corner on) and this Rookie Materials.

At three bucks a pack, I did end up ahead of the game. However, Jussi has been struggling the past couple seasons after posting 30 goals in his first full Carolina season. However, he still electrifies during the shootouts and this still is a pretty decent hit considering it could have just been another base card!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Eric Staal Game Used

When it comes to game used cards, unless it is a patch, it is often hard to tell where exactly the piece came from. That is not the case with this piece, I recently landed a nice Eric Staal game used card for 2 bucks and my only reason for bidding on it was I wanted a piece of a fellow Thunder Bay boy Eric Staal. When the card arrived, I first noticed that texture was odd and very elastic. Also, the black stripe was pretty small and looking at the picture of him I couldn't see where it exactly came from.

11/12 Panini Pinnacle Threads  #/50

However if you look at  the jersey as a whole, I think it was part of the bottom trim.

Eric of course has had a pretty busy few weeks getting ready for his younger brother's wedding and then helping him move his stuff from Pittsburgh to Raleigh is likely on his to-do list. This coming season is going to be very exciting for Canes Fans, and with Marc still playing in the NHL maybe they will form a Staal reunion next season. After all, they already have the rights to Jared, it would only make sense to land the 4th and final piece of the bunch.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

53-54 Parkhurst Harry Howell - Auto Rookie

I mentioned earlier that I picked up two "Buy It Now" autos from a dealer on eBay, well here is the second and I would say more exciting auto. Since I am actually trying to build the 53-54 Parkhurst set, this auto counts as three different cards to me. Sure it is a part of the set, but it is also a rookie of a HOF defenseman and it is an autograph. The card does have some rounded corners and the crease you see is only visible on the front side of the card. In all the card is in pretty weak shape (g-vg) but the autograph more than makes up for that to me!

Like the previous Howell auto, the signature looks 100% legit both in the scan and in person which is awesome and the fact that this is a rookie card made this card far more valuable to me as a collector than what I had to pay to get it. Thanks again Ralph, I certainly will keep watching your postings!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

85-86 Topps Master Set

A life long goal I have for collecting is to try and get one complete set from every year hockey cards were produced. This is of course a goal, and I am not sure if I will ever reach it, but it certainly will keep me busy and interested in collecting  year after year. 

Last summer I made a trade with Sal from for a pretty amazing Mario Lemieux Topps rookie. As far as cards go in my collection, this is in the top 10 and what makes it extra cool is the wax stain on the reverse.

85/86 Topps #9 Mario Lemieux Rookie
Here is the front of the card....iconic.

Here is the back side, and you can see some wax stainage by the Mario and vitals.

After I got the card, I went on the hunt for the rest of the set. After a few months I found an auction that was almost ending and I landed the set minus Lemieux for 41 bucks including shipping. That might seem a little steep to some, but to me it was the right price for the quality. Every card was near-mint to mint.

Now that I had the "complete set", I wanted to try and go after the master set. In 85/86, each pack of Topps hockey included a sticker. I actually already had the Lindbergh sticker as part of my PC but I wanted to try and get the complete set. After doing some research, the set books for about 20 bucks and they can easily be had for about 12 bucks shipped online. I tried to do better and this week one my "Father's Day" gifts came in and it cost $8.15 shipped.

So here are the 33 stickers that make up the All-Star insert set.  The first 6 represent the first all-star team for the season, and the second 6 represent the second all-star team. The last 21 are stickers for each NHL club that participated in the 84-85 NHL season.

 Card 1 John Ogrodnick. I sometimes forget he was an all-star. John had three 40 goal seasons and one 50 goal season to his credit. This card represents his finest season where he had 55 goals and 105 points.

Card 2 Wayne Gretzky. An 80's set without Wayne is incomplete. This was Wayne at his finest, 73 goals, 208 points and an NHL record 47 points in the playoffs. 

Card 3 Jari Kurri. You could actually have the entire first all-star team be comprised of all Oilers, but then again that wouldn't be fair for other fans. However, Jari's season was great and that is why he was included on the first all-star team. 71 goals good enough for second in the league and 135 points also good enough for second, hence a first team all-star. BTW, Jari also had an NHL record 19 goals that post-season as well.

Card 4 Paul Coffey. Paul finished with 121 points and finished 5th in league scoring. He would only play 2 more seasons with the Oilers.

Card 5 Ray Bourque. Ray posted solid offensive numbers to go along with a better defensive game than Pual Coffey.

Card 6 Pelle Lindbergh. Pelle was the Vezina trophy winner from the 84-85 season, thanks in part to 40 wins and a stellar 3.02 GAA. Pelle had seven wins more than the second highest goalie.

Card 7 John Tonelli. The season was the only one where Tonelli would top 100 points and he would also post a career high in goals with 42.

Card 8 Dale Hawerchuk. Like Tonelli, Hawerchuk posted career highs of 53 goals and 130 points during the 84/85 season.

Card 9 Mike Bossy. A perennial all-star, Mike was demoted to second all-star this season despite scoring 58 goals and 117 points.  

Card 10 Rod Langway. Rod a two-time Norris Trophy winner made his  third and final all-star  team appearance.

Card 11 Doug Wilson. 84/85 was a pretty decent year for Mr. Wilson. Doug had 22 goals and 76 points during that season and chipped in another13 points in 12 playoff games.

Card 12 Tom Barrasso. Tom came out of the gates hot into his NHL career and then finished rather quietly. I almost don't even remember him leaving the NHL to be honest. 84/85 was a pretty solid year for Tom, he lead the league in GAA and Shutouts.

In case you were wondering, here is what the sticker backs look like. Stats from that year's All Star Game as well as career totals.

The rest of the stickers are team logos with numbers and pucks.

 Finally, here is what the backs of the stickers look like.

There you have it, a pretty cool insert set to go along with a solid and iconic base set. If it wasn't for the Lemieux rookie card this set might be very forgettable. However, if you combine the Lemieux rookie with rookies from Kevin Dineen, Thomas Sandstrom, Kirk Muller, Kelly Hrudy, and a solid collection of star cards, this set is a solid offering from the mid 80's.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tyler Toffoli Auto

One of the biggest steals of the 2010 draft in my opinion was the 47th overall selection - Tyler Toffoli.

Tyler has just finished back to back 50 goal and 100 points OHL seasons and is about ready to start his pro career. Will it be in the AHL or NHL, that is up to the LA Kings to decide, but either way I expect at some point next season he will skate his first NHL game. How good will he be? Of course there is no way of really knowing, but the website Hockey's Future has him rated an 8 which compares him to a Spezza, Marleau or Richards calibre player. Tyler is an offensive stud in junior and that sometimes doesn't mean a whole lot and other times it is exactly what you can expect to continue.

I decided to pick up his auto before he hits the big time and I landed this beauty for 7 bucks shipped and with the potential this kid has I believe it is a good deal. Of course, you might be able to find these in the 25 cent bin in 5 years but I expect Tyler is the real deal!

10/11 ITG Heroes and Prospects Tyler Toffoli Auto

Monday, June 25, 2012

ITG Delivers

Well a while back this post got deleted and unfortunately it is going to be much more abbreviated.

In less than three weeks I had my redemption in, filled and returned! You hear that UD and Panini? Now I knew my chances were about 50-50 of getting something decent and well here is the return. I will let you be the judge. Personally, I like the players, but they are both Flyers which means this card is up for sale/trade.

Front Side
Here are the swatches. The Schenn piece is pretty cool and the Couturier isn't white which is a plus. I do wish these cards were autographed considering the lengths people have to go through to get one of these redemptions.

The Back Side
The best feature of the card could be the fact it is number 1. That matters to some collectors.

So there you have it. A pretty decent return, I consider this a success myself, but as always beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

1954-55 Parkhurst Harry Howell - Auto

When it comes to card buying, I have a few simple rules that I try to follow to help ensure I get the best bang for my buck, so I don't get scammed and so I can maximize my enjoyment. Well this post and the next post are examples of when I throw all those rules out the window and still have as much or more fun than following my silly rules.

Harry Howell is a Hall of Fame defenseman who played for the New York Rangers, Oakland Seals, Los Angeles Kings and a few other pro teams. He won the Norris Trophy as top defenseman in 1967 and won his first and only Stanley Cup with the Oilers in 1990 as a scout. Harry wasn't an offensive defensemen and his 94 career goals in 1411 games tell you so. But he was a smart and reliable player who made a career of shutting down the other team's top guys.

This card popped up on eBay as a "buy it now". I almost never do these because usually the asking price is a little silly and even when it isn't silly, I try and negotiate a slightly lower price. However, this was priced to move and I know this because it had only been posted for a few hours and I was salivating at the price it was listed at. This is his second year card and if you look at the condition, there are two bad corners and a slight crease on the upper right of the card. The surface, apart from the slight crease is flawless. This card's surface almost looks like it came out of the pack yesterday. The crease on the front doesn't appear on the back which I must tell you is flawless.

1954-55 Parkhurst Harry Howell #70 BV$50
There is one other flaw on this card and that is someone wrote on it. At first glance it certainly doesn't look like Harry Howell was the culprit. I have never bought an autograph on-line that was not an insert from a card manufacturer. However, something about this auto make me think it was legit. So I immediately did a quick search and sure enough I came across this:

This gave me the confidence to believe the auto was indeed legit and there are no incorrect starts and stops in my auto.

So, I did the buy it now and even bought a second card from the seller and he was kind enough to save me money on shipping (yes I know I am cheap). When the card arrived, what I thought might be too good to be true, turned out to be the real McCoy in my opinion. I was so glad I took a chance. This card is easily worth 5 times what I paid for it to me, and if it came graded I am sure I would have paid it no questions asked.

I think the only question left is would I break all my rules again, and for now I am going to say no. I think that if it is too good to be true on eBay it most certainly is! But the seller (his name is Ralph) was more than fair with his prices and was just pricing his IP autos (both he and his father accumulated over the years) to move fast and I am glad I found it before someone else did!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thomas Hickey Auto

The whole reason I shelled out three bucks for a three card 08/09 ITG H&P lot was Mr. Hickey. Thomas was a member of two gold medal winning World Junior teams and was the 4th overall pick in 2007 for the LA Kings. Thomas is currently a member of their AHL affiliate the Manchester Monarchs and he has played reasonably well for them. I believe he will be NHL bound eventually but that could still be another year or two away. He is only 23 years old and is a victim of an organization with a very deep blue line.

08/09 ITG H&P
Like the other two, love the look of the card and his has a pretty nice autograph anyway which makes this card very nice.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ivan Vishnevskiy Auto

Card two in the lot I mentioned in my last post is Ivan Vishnevskiy. Despite having only played 5 NHL games, he has been traded more times than Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic and Martin Brodeur combined.....(ok bad joke).

Currently a member of the Blackhawks system, Ivan came there as part of the deal for Andrew Ladd. This past year he spent it in the KHL, and his return could be in question due to more money over there and more playing time. However, like Doyle, he is still relatively young and a return is always possible. 

08/09 ITG Heroes and Prospects
One of the more legible Russian autos I have ever seen, I can almost read this one...his name is Vishf.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chris Doyle Auto

Chris Doyle is a household name...if you have lived in PEI from 06-10 or are a close follower of the ECHL. If you said no to either, then you are in the same class as me and have no idea who he is!

Despite having some decent QMJHL numbers and being NHL drafted (Rangers), Chris has yet to see any AHL or NHL action. He is only 22 years old, so it certainly isn't too late for him to make it, so a buck for this card isn't a huge gamble in my opinion.

08/09 ITG Heroes and Prospects
I really like the look of these cards. Huge space for an autograph and a pretty nice layout. I actually like this look better than ITG's auto layouts for the past two seasons. I got this card in a lot with two others which I will share in my next posts!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Keith Kindaid Auto - The new heir apparent?

Having been a Devils fan longer than Brodeur has been with the franchise has allowed me to see many back-up goalies come and go and even more prospect goaltenders  never touch NHL ice. Since we drafted Martin Brodeur in 1990, we have drafted 16 other goalies and signed many other undrafted goalies. Keith Kinkaid was one of the undrafted goalies. Of the 16 drafted goalies, many have found other homes outside the Devils organization. You may not know this but Jets goalie Chris Mason was a Devils draft pick, so was Scott Clemmensen, and Mike Dunham. Meanwhile picks like Ari Ahonen of the KHL never got a chance because there was just Marty and someone who backs up Marty for nearly 2 decades. 

With Marty near the very end of his career, any goalie in the Devils system must be tasting opportunity sooner or later and as it stands right now our 4 in the system are Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, Jeff Frazee and Maxime Clermont.

11/12 ITG Between the Pipes
Today I will focus on Keith Kinkaid. This was a goalie we HAD to have. Actually, Lou had to have him. Keith put up some amazing numbers while playing for Union College in the ECAC (NCAA). His second year of college saw him go 25-10-2 with a 1.99 GAA. He finished second in league wins, gaa, save and shutouts.

This past season why playing for a bad Albany Devils team, he still was a respectable 17-20-3 with a GAA of 2.94 and a .904 save percentage and 3 shutouts. Do I think he will be filling in Marty's shoes very soon? Probably not, but he could get a shot at being the number one in the next couple seasons and if he continues to grow and improve who knows how good he COULD be. Clermont and Wedgewood might have been skills and abilities than Kinkaid but skill only goes so far and hard-work can be a difference maker. Either way, with this many goalies in the system I am confident when the best player in Devils history hangs them up we will have some good talented kids to help maintain a winning tradition.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ed Giacomin Auto - Thanks Badwax!

As I slowly get caught up on like a million posts I have been meaning to do, here is a little gem I got a small while back in a trade with Mike from Badwax. I have never bought a box or even a pack of Between the Pipes cards. It isn't that I hate on goalies, I have lots of friends who are goalies and I was a goalie myself for many sports including street hockey! I also have been a fan of Ed Belfour, Martin Brodeur and others for more than 2 decades. So why haven't I jumped into this product? Many reasons, the biggest is convenience. These aren't convenient to get as no one within an hour of my house sells BTP. Secondly money, I don't have an endless supply so usually H&P or some other ITG box gets my ITG quota first.With that being said, I still like the product and purchase singles here and there.

When Mike put this card up for trade I knew I had to have it! Ed Giacomin!!!

11/12 Between the Pipes Decades Auto
Ed was a Vezina winning goaltender with the Rangers back in 1971 and was a 5-time all-star and a two-time first team all-star. He has 54 career shutouts which is good enough for 19th all-time and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987 (and survived not being booted by Casey too!).

As a player he was great, and his auto is pretty classy too! Just an all round awesome card and I want to thank you again Mike!

Andrei Markov Auto - I paid less than the Montreal Canadiens for mine!

I will begin by saying, Andrei Markov is a good defenseman. I think that most teams would LOVE to have him on their PP unit. In fact, he has 40 points in his last 65 games! However, it took him 3 seasons to play 65 games and there lies the problem. He is making 5.75 million a year to make comebacks and get re-injured. 

If I was a Montreal fan, I would be pretty disappointed that my club dumped that much money into a defenseman who has had some issues lately being dependable and healthy. Sure it doesn't count against the cap, but at the same time it is still money that is being spent for another spectator.

10/11 Artifacts Autofacts
I guess that auto says Andrei Markov or something along those lines....I can read he signed 79 on the end which is always cool. Looking at the photo I believe he is looking through the fog from a concussion or is in the process of winking at YOU! Yes you!

Anyway, this was the best card in a three card auto lot from the 10/11 Artifacts set featuring all defenseman.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mark Fraser Auto - A little love for a former Devil

The main reason I went after this lot was Mark Fraser. If you aren't a Devils fan or Leafs fan you won't really know who he is. Mark Fraser is a defenseman with the Toronto Marlies at the moment and came over to Toronto in a trade from Anaheim for Dale Mitchell. While in NJ, Fraser was a 6-7th defenseman who brought some toughness to the team. He isn't terribly offensive, but then again he isn't terrible either. I suspect Toronto is going to use him as a depth defenseman as well so he MAY see some action next year but I doubt you will see him as a full-time NHL'er.

10/11 Artifacts Autofacts

Great signature here, not too hard to see what his name is from the signature. I really like the look of this card too, not sure why he looks a lot better than the Martinez one, but the Devils away jersey looks neat on this card.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Alec Martinez Auto - No hard feelings here

A long while ago, I first learned of Alec by pulling his young gun rookie card. At the time, I considered it a 2/10 and figured he would be a fringe player. Well now Alec has something I don't and that is a Cup ring and he is turning into a pretty reliable defenseman. This past year saw him score 6 goals, 6 assists and 12 points in 51 games and another 3 points in 20 playoff games. Based on those numbers, you won't confuse him with Drew Doughty, but seeing him play in the finals, I saw a player who is pretty capable in his own end and can log some good minutes.

I think his rookie card is turning into more of a 3.5/10 which isn't too shabby but likely still beyond a must have for most people. But I also added an autograph of him to my collection as well and for an extremely low price too!

10/11 Artifacts Autofacts
This is from the 10/11 Artifacts set which yields 1 Autofacts card per box. If this was my auto hit for the box I would be pretty sad, but for 2 bucks as part of a lot deal you really can't go wrong. I see Mr Martinez having a pretty decent career in the NHL and with 1 Cup already, Mike Gartner and company are already jealous!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thanks for a good season boys!

Well I guess we didn't have enough left in the tank after knocking off the Rangers and that was a fear I had all along. It was a great season though and as a Devils fan I am sad, but not disappointed. 

Three predictions I can see happening are:

1. We will give up our first round pick as our penalty for the Kovy signing...utter BS if you ask me.

2. Brodeur will come back for one more season given there is no lock-out.

3. Parise will sign with another team....I don't think he heart is 100% with us.

Of course, I will still always be a Devils fan and being in the finals is still a great accomplishment. Hard to think we will be back next season, but that is why they play the games and that is why we watch!

Go Devils Go!

Friday, June 8, 2012

I hate blogger

Just lost about 25 min of work...didn't save anything but the title.

Blogger sucks...just saying.