Friday, August 31, 2012

Erik Johnson Auto

Yet another Puck Signings from the 07-08 UD Sweet Shot release. I am a sucker for the silver sharpie, what can I say? This auto is from his rookie year and his auto seems like a glorified EJ 6.

I have much respect for this kid's hockey skill and not very much respect for his golf cart driving skills. The only question about the incident I have is, how many did he drink before that happened?

As the Avalanche continue to grow and improve, expect his numbers to do the same. I think he is easily a 10-15 goal and 50-60 point a season defenseman. Of course, that is assuming he stays healthy and there are no more freak accidents in his future. This auto like some of my other Puck Signings set me back about 4 bucks with shipping.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Toonie Treasures

My LCS has just continued to evolve over the past year or so thanks to Mike. He has taken the approach of moving lots of product fast rather than make more of each card slowly. It certainly is a business model that I think works for everyone, but then again my wife is the one with the business degree. All of these cards were in the 2 dollar bin which offers a good balance of value and coolness.

11/12 UD Young Guns Checklist
I am going to say that if this was one of my Young Gun hits in a box I would be happy, but not excited. At two bucks, I am excited. Three solid rookies including my boy Larsson. The other two were ROY finalists including the winner Landeskog.

08/09 UD Young Guns Checklist
I think any card with Stamkos on it from his rookie year is a home run. Both Doughty and Pietrangelo has become soild D-Men not unlike the early 90's when it was Lidstrom and Niedermayer.

05-06 UD ICE Zach Parise Rookie /999
 I bought one of these a while back in a lot deal with a Duncan Keith Ice rookie. I thought it was a pretty good deal to land both for under 10 bucks, but this takes the cake!

07-08 BAP Auto Tobias Enstrom
Here is a rookie year auto of Tobias Enstrom. If this kid was in Toronto he would be getting as much praise as Jake Gardiner, however he is stuck in the Winnipeg Thrasher organization and back to back 50 point seasons mean your auto is in the two dollar bin. He did only have 33 points last year, but he was hurt for 20 games.

06-07 Bee Hive Booth /100 and Zajac
A Booth rookie /100 had to come home with me and the Zajac was a rookie I didn't own already so these two are likely my least biggest savings but still two good cards that found a loving home!

I will keep sifting the boxes and sharing what other good stuff I can find. Parise is up for trade if anyone is interested.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

70-71 Esso Power Players - Alex Delvecchio

Well the summer has just about drawn to close for me and my summer of collecting certainly has been the best I have ever known. I still have many more posts to share and hopefully I will be caught up by Christmas. I am glad to have this problem :)

Here is a new addition for my Alex Delvecchio PC. This is a stamp from the 70-71 Esso Power Players set. The set features an amazing 252 stamps of NHL players ranging from Orr to Ab McDonald. The book value on the set is 250 dollars with the Orr booking for 25 bucks. My LCS has a few from this set including Orr which they are asking 40 on it. I left with just the Delvecchio and it set me back 2.50, 50 cents above book but totally worth it!

As you can see he is in the twilight of his career with the grey hair. There is nothing on the backs of the stamps (of course) but the front is designed in a way that almost speaks for itself. The stamps measure 1.5" by 2" and apparently you got the stamps in sheets of 6 for free when you bought $3 worth of Esso gas. Back in the day that might have been a fair bit of gas, but today that might get you a little more than 2 litres where I live. There was also a soft and a hard cover album which currently book for 15 and 50 respectively.

I don't think I will chase this set, but having the Delvecchio for my PC was a must!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Three Swell Guys

I can't remember which lot I bought this from at my LCS, but basically I saw this card and loved it from the get go and lumped it in with a few others. Can you imagine three more likable guys these these three? Unless you are talking Wayne, Gordie and Bobby, I can't. I respect Savard a great deal, I love Hawerchuk and Gilmour is an ex-Devil and a player I would want on any team, even if it meant cutting a HOF'er. These three guys are all HOF'ers and the swatches are even nice and match up well with the pictures on the card. 

09-10 UD Black Trios Hawerchuk/Savard/Gilmour /50

This card was an absolute steal and the main reason why it cost only a fin was there is a little chipping around  two edges on the back. When it comes to game used cards unless it is a rookie, I tend to not care too much if there is a little chipping mainly because it is the swatches that matter in those cases.

This card is well designed and from a product that sells for about 200 dollars for a 4 card box. That's right, 200 dollars for 4 cards. Certainly a high end product, but as you can see from this card, you do get a quality card for the price. However, secondary markets might allow you to get the card you like at a price you can afford. The UD Black Trios inserts have some pretty cool combinations and if I get the chance to snatch another one up I think I will.

Bobby Clarke OPC Rookie

It isn't too often when I walk into a card shop and see a pair of Bobby Clarke rookies in the store. My awesome LCS guys had one up on eBay and one in the showcase. The one in the showcase is the one I ended up buying. Both were in rough shape, but something about this one made it worth the price and I had to snap it up. They had a price of 12 bucks on it, but it got lumped in with a bunch of others and they gave me a great lot deal. In the end it was less than 10 bucks.

70-71 OPC Bobby Clarke Rookie
No creases believe it or now and the corners aren't bad. Obviously there is some tape action on the front a little paper loss.

On the front you can see the tape hang past the bottom of the card and that is because it took a little paper off the back of the card.

Another case of me getting a classic rookie card, in tough condition. Still, this suites my needs and I am content with one in this condition. I may down the line upgrade or just chase the Topps set. It has certainly been a fun summer of card finds, and I still have a few more to share!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sets of Yesteryear - 1991-92 UD Eurostars

Another thing I am going to do on my blog is feature sets and subsets (both good and bad) that I have picked up over the years. In cases that are subsets I will try and show as many or all the cards and in the case of sets I will highlight some of my favourites. First one I am going to do is the 1991-92 UD Euro-Stars insert set. I managed to get many of these cards back in the day, but a couple months ago, my local card shop was selling complete sets for like 2 bucks so I snapped one up.

This set was released during the 1991-92 season as a 1-per jumbo pack insert with the 1991-92 UD hockey. Packs featured 17 cards including 1 Euro-Star card instead of 12 cards in the regular hobby packs. The set itself consisted of 18 cards featuring many of the young European NHL'ers as well as a couple veterans. One notable exclusion was Pavel Bure, for some reason Robert Kron made it into the set instead of him. Well, strap on your time machines and lets party like its 1992!    

Card 1 - Jarmo Kekalanien
Jarmo was a pretty popular name in the NHL at one point, those of you in my age range might also remember Jarmo Mylyss of Minnesota and San Jose fame. However, Jarmo Kekalainen was more Euro than Star and only lasted in the NHL 55 games.

Card 2 - Alex Mogilny
The first true star in the set. Mogilny may or may not find himself in the Hall of Fame, but the kid does have a Cup ring, 8-30+ goal seasons and a 76 goal season which really was sensational for all those that remembered it! As you can see from the card fronts, the design is very similar to the 91-92 UD Base set and the Euro-Stars emblem on the front features the flag from each country the player was born in.

Here is what the backs of the cards look like. Simple and all text.

Card 3 - Bobby Holik
One of the best two-way players in the whole set. He could punish you with hits or punish you on the score sheet. Bobby might be best remember by some for scoring a huge 9 mill a year deal from the Rangers, but I will always remember him for his 9 seasons with 20+ goals.

Card 4 - Anatoli Semenov
Anatoli was nearly 30 when he finally came over to the NHL. During the 80's he was one of Moscow Dynamo's best offensive players before coming over to the Atlantic. Unfortunately, there wasn't much left in the tank and he couldn't produce the same number in the NHL. He did bounce around a few clubs before retiring in 97 after scoring 68 goals and 194 points in 362 NHL games.

Card 5 - Petr Nedved
Petr was the second overall selection in the 1990 NHL draft. That means that he was picked higher than 250 other players. He did put together a rather nice career which includes career highs of 45 goals and 99 points in 95-96 with the Pens. I really think he did turn out to be a top 10 pick in the draft, even maybe a top 5 pick. However, Canuck fans, if you could do it all over again, do you think Jagr might have been the better Czech choice?

Card 6 - Jaromir Jagr
Very few would disagree, one of the best players in the set and one of the best players to play in the last 20 years period. I have never been too sure where I stand with him personally, but I do respect his talent!

Card 7 - Tomas Sandstrom
Oh what could have been! Sandstrom was a player who had just great natural goal scoring talent, but he trouble staying in the line-up. There were two occasions where he scored 40+ goals and both time were seasons he didn't even get to 70 games played. During his 15 year career he would only average 65 games a season but still managed to average 26 goals a season. His rookie card can be had dirt cheap and I think he was one of the best Finnish players of all-time.

Card 8- Robert Kron
Robert Kron was the rookie shorthanded goals leader in the 90-91 NHL season. Not really an offensive star, he did break 20 goals twice and lasted a solid 771 games in the NHL. A good player yes, a Euro-Star...maybe not.

Card 9 - Sergei Fedorov
In the early 90's his rookie cards were must, I remember a french UD version of his rookie selling for nearly 200 dollars. If the dotcom bubble busting in 2000 didn't cause that guy to take a bath with his toaster, knowing the rookie is only worth $4.50 today might! With that being said, Fedorov took a page from Steven Yzerman and did an amazing job evolving from an elite offensive threat to an even better two-way player. Another amazing player in this set!

Card 10 - Esa Tikkanen
Ahhh the Tick. Tikkanen and Claude Lemieux are the two names that come to mind when you combine clutch with agitation. In 1990 the Oilers won the Cup without Gretzky and one of the main reasons was Esa's 13 goals during that post-season.    

Card 11 - Christian Ruuttu
If you were to spell his last name in Scrabble, it would use almost all the U's in the bag. Ruuttu had some pretty solid years with the Sabre from 86-91, but then fall off a bit before being out of the NHL at the age of 31.

Card 12 - Peter Bondra
Certainly one of my favourite players in the set! Bondra was one of the more under-appreciated goal scorers from the 90's who still managed 500 career goals in 1083 career games. He has a higher career goals per game average than some HOF's including Yzerman, Howe, Believeau and Shutt. If he had been able to stay a little healthier or had a quality centre, I felt he could have had 600 goals easily.

Card 13 - Mats Sundin
If I could ask Mats Sundin one question, it would be: "Do you wish you could have stayed in Quebec?". There is no doubt that Mats was a great player and a good leader. Just imagine him with Sakic, Forsberg, and Roy. When Quebec moved to Colorado, they could have easily won a few more Cups with Sundin in the line-up.  

Card 14 - Dominik Hasek
The only horizontal card is for the only goalie in the set. Love him or hate him *I am the latter, he is one talented player and this card is a pretty good one from his rookie year. Of course, being an insert card it isn't classified as a true rookie, but for collectors of Hasek, this card is a must.

Card 15 - Johan Garpenlov
Anyone who has the complete set of 90-91 UD will remember Johan as the other guy on the Young Gun Checklist with Sergei Fedorov. He spent a majority of his career with expansion teams and was greatly inconsistent collecting 20 goals seasons and non-20 goal seasons. His most successful season was with the Panthers when they went all the way to the Cup final in 96, he scored 23 goals that season and another 4 goals in the playoffs. He would only score 23 more regular season goals in the next 4 seasons before leaving the NHL for the Swedish Elite League in 2000. 

Card 16 - Alexander Godynyuk
Please don't let the number fool you, this isn't Doug Gilmour. Alex wasn't even brought in to the NHL to score, but what he was brought in to do isn't entirely clear. He didn't last very long and is another example of a player that was more Euro than Star.

Card 17 - Ulf Samuelsson
I am not sure even after all these years if Ulf is allowed back in Boston yet. While he might be best remembered for laying the knee on knee hit that would hamper the rest of Cam Neely's career, he was a reliable defenseman who won a couple of Cups with the Pens.   

Card 18 - Igor Larionov
So what if he was 31 years old, he was Euro and a Star right? Still I might have complained more if Sergei Makarov had made the set! In reality, Larionov did have a very long and product NHL career despite the late star. His best NHL season came at the age of 35 when he scored 21 goals, 71 points. Igor was named to the hockey hall of fame in 2008.

Well there you have it, the 1991-92 UD Euro-Stars set. 18 cards of some of the best players in the NHL at the time born outside of North America. I do think it was a shame Bure was not included, but apart from that, the set is strong and has aged rather well. For as much as I disliked the super over production of cards from UD that year, this set is a nice little collection that would fit in 2 binder pages and offers collectors a nice assortment of Europe's best. I certainly give this set a favorable 4.5 out of 5.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stan Mikita Game Used

When I got back into collecting a five years ago, "jersey cards" were something I thought was amazing and I was totally enamored with them. Now that my collection is littered with this cards, I still like them, but I am getting more picky about them. The price needs to be right, or they need to be cool, unique or matter to me. At my local card shop, I found a card that was priced right ( 3 bucks), was hella cool and mattered a fair bit. 

11-12 Panini Limited Retired Numbers Stan Mikita /99

Here is the front. First off, he is a legend. This card is classy looking and the swatch (albeit white) is large and you can tell it is old.

When you look at the back, you see it is numbered out of 99 which is a decent print run and the swatch is actually GAME USED. This means the jersey piece is at least as old as I am. This is just a cool card for a cool price. I really wish more of these cards were around because I would snap them up all day long. As much as getting ANOTHER Jason Allison game used jersey is cool, swatches of Steve Shutt, Stan Mikita or Marcel Dionne are far more interesting to a collector like myself.

Besides, how many of you are thinking Donuts when you hear Stan Mikita? I know I do! Party Time! Excellent!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Viktor Stalberg Future Watch Rookie

The same day a few months back when I acquired my first football card, I also landed a pretty nice deal on an 08-09 SP Authentic Viktor Stalberg Future Watch rookie. 

First looking at the card, I am really happy with the design. The card looks solid with a good spot for an autograph and a relatively unique modern look. These are numbered to 999 and as far as auto rookies go, they are rather plentiful, but like the Young Gun rookies hold a pretty good value.

Viktor proved to Toronto this past season that he was worth keeping as he nearly doubled his goal output with the Chicago Blackhawks with 22 goals and 43 points. Certainly a nice breakout season and at the age of 26 is likely hitting his stride and prime. I suspect he can easily match those numbers in the seasons coming, but it is hard to say if he can do even better. At three bucks, this card was a no-brainer for me and the auto itself is attractive and fun to own.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Group break goodness - Thanks again Matt

Matt from Cardboard Conundrum had a pretty cool break a little while back featuring two boxes of Luxury Suite. I am really excited to enter because it was a product I haven't bought before and the buy in price for two boxes and the team of your choice plus a few random teams was really good.

I lucked out and ended up with the best hit of the box with this Linus Omark Rookie Gold Version /10. 

Anaheim, Columbus and Vancouver were my other teams and I lucked out with hits from two of those teams.
Bobby Ryan/Saku Koivu is a nice hit and a Nick Holden rookie round out what I ended up with from the break. In all, I definitely got my money's worth and Matt was really cool helping out those who didn't get hits with cards from his own collection. Thanks again Matt, and I look forward to future breaks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Couple Masterpieces

It seems my LCS is adding singles by the day and that means for fun finds and great deals. I was in a little while back, just browsing for a particular card and I ended up leaving with a small stack so I guess that means I get a few extra posts for my dollar! One set I never collected is the 08-09 UD Masterpieces set. I wasn't a fan of the price/hit ratio and I figured as time would go by, deals might eventually arise. 

Here are two little gems that set me back about 7 dollars total.

08-09 UD Masterpieces Canvas Clippings Scotty Bowman
 The greatest coach in NHL history (according to me)! This is actually a game used swatch of something, (tie maybe?) and I love it. I remember getting my 74-75 OPC Bowman rookie was a kid and thought it was one of the best cards in the world. He would go on to win MORE Stanley Cups which just boggles the mind how he can do it year in and year out with so many different clubs.Truly one of the best hockey minds the game has ever known.

08-09 UD Masterpieces Canvas Clippings Richard Brodeur
If I was to tell you one of these cards was event used, would you have guess it was the Brodeur? Crazy, but I guess his game used jerseys are harder to come by or something. Just a really cool looking card, I couldn't leave this card behind for 2 dollars.

If you have a chance to get a good deal on a Canvas Clippings, snatch it up. The designs are just awesome and they look good whether you are into game used or not! They are certainly one of the better designs I have seen from that particular year.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

David Backes Auto

I wrote David Backes a few months back during the post-season hoping to get a response. However, my LCS had this little gem priced to move so I picked it up. I did a few posts on the 10/11 Artifacts autos and much like the other ones, this one is pretty nice. 

I am by no means a Backes super-collector, but I am keeping an eye out for his card when I am out and about. You never know when a deal comes your way that can't be passed up!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

At long last.....

Patience is a virtue and patience pays off, I finally got myself a big fish! The guys at the LCS gave me a deal I couldn't refuse a while back and here it is. This one is definitely top 10 in my collection.

A good old fashion swap with Cardboard Conundrum

Matt from Cardboard Conundrum is a guy I have been hoping to make a swap with for a while because it seemed that he was stock piling cards I wanted. Finally the deal was struck and in the end I think both sides were pretty happy. Here is a look at the loot!

11/12 Limited Adam Henrique /299
 These phenoms cards are surprising nice. I though they were pretty dumb last year and avoided them like an STI, but seeing this seasons upclose, I am quite taken by them. The auto bleeds a little on the fabric, that is the only thing I am not sure about liking. The matted look and the large signatures are good features of these cards.

11/12 Limited Adam Larsson /299
 The other Adam. I didn't have any of his autos yet, so this was a must. I only wish he signed his auto with his number. Some of his other cards do have it, but it isn't something he does very often.

11/12 Limited Brett Connolly /299
 I love this kid when he played for team Canada at the WJHC. I think he had a Stamkos like rookie season, and I expect he will only improve. Don't be surprised if he turns into a 30-35 goal guy in the next two seasons. I want to thank Matt for not raping me on this trade because this card is worth thousands!!! It is a TRUE EBAY 1/1 as it is numbered 14/299. Ok, I know the joke is getting old, but I gotta take it when I can.

 10-11 ITG Decades Mark Howe Auto
 HOF and Son of Gordie. He could never match his WHA numbers when he joined the NHL, but then again who expected him to. Just an all-round dependable All-Star defenseman and his auto was a must have for me.

10-11 ITG Decades Harold Snepsts Auto
 Cool auto and a likeable player!

10-11 ITG Decades Anton Stastny
I am a big fan of the Stastny family. Anton joined the NHL at the same time as his brother Peter. Marian would follow a year later and for a few seasons all three brothers played in Quebec. In 1980-81 Peter Stastny would set the NHL record for most points by a rookie with 109. Also that season, Peter and Anton would score the same number of goals 39, which was tops for rookies that season.

I don't know if I have ever seen a more creative auto than Anton's, but I can at least make out he put his number 20 on there too!

So there you have it, 6 awesome cards from Matt plus he also sent some 11-12 Certified base cards for my set. Thanks a million buddy, I look forward to our next trade!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Andy Moog Rookie

File this card under the heading "Childhood wishes". Much like the MacInnis rookie I grabbed a while back, this card for some reason was one I always wanted as a kid. Unlike the MacInnis, I did see this card around a bit as a kid, but never saw one in decent condition or for a price I would pay.  Luck should have it, both factors came together and I snapped it up for under a sawbuck shipped.

81-82 OPC Andy Moog Rookie
This card is another case of an Oiler rookie being missed by Topps. The card is in awesome shape, and Andy Moog was one of those goalies from the 80's and early 90's that never seemed to lose much. From 82-86, he only lost 34 games in those 4 seasons. Even for his career for as long as it was, he only lost 209 games which is impressive considering he played 713 games. Just for comparison, Luongo has already lost 283 games and Lundqvist 155.

During my undergrad degree, I met an Australian exchange student ( I called him Ziggy) who learned everything he knew about hockey thanks to NHL 96. His favourite player was Andy Moog (and team Dallas), and when we first met and were talking about hockey, the first question he asked me was if Andy Moog was any good? I told him, that he had been quite good in the 80's and I really respected him as a player. Funny how cards remind you of things that have nothing to do with collecting, as I write this, that is probably the first time I thought of Ziggy in a few years.....

Josh Bailey Auto

I need to confess something, I really haven't been sending many TTM letters of late. It isn't because I don't want to, but the time it takes to write a letter (40 min + for me) and the lack of young kids that seem to sign today (0 returns from a few requests in Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal) I feel that my time is almost better spent on snatching up deals.

This auto is from a young "prospect", but I have a feeling if Josh Bailey doesn't start up the offensive machine he could be labelled as an underachieving 3rd line centre. In Josh's defense, he has never really been an offensive stud, since 2005 he really has only had one year you would call offensively strong. His 96 point performance in the OHL prompted the Islanders to select him 9th overall. In the years since his draft, he has played 4 NHL seasons and has never scored more than 35 points. He did spent a small amount of time in the AHL where he had 17 points in 11 games, but as far as points go in the NHL they are appearing to be a little more hard to come by.

True, the Islanders are rebuilding and more talent is arriving each year, but eventually his ice time will drop off and either he will be part of the future, or a member of the past. I am optimistic that he is just a late bloomer and the 60 point seasons are just around the corner, time till tell.

10/11 SP Authentic Sign of the Times Josh Bailey

A common staple in SP Authentic is their SOTT autos. They are nice on the card autos and this one is no different signed in blue sharpie. I love the design and the nice large signature, almost hard to image a TTM turning out better than this. The card was about 3 dollars shipped which as far as TTM requests go, it would be about a dollar more than it would have costed to write him. As scarce as time is the past 7 months, I guess my 45 minutes was worth the dollar!

Monday, August 13, 2012

David Clarkson PC - Pickups

Oh the life of a collector, so many things so little time. In spite of all my other additions, I am always looking for more Clarkson rookie and auto stuff. Here are two little additions that I landed for reasonable prices given their scarcity and competition (turns out I am not the only Clarkson collector out there).

07-08 SP Game Used David Clarkson Spectrum Rookie /25
 I am not a huge fan of the design, but I really do like the spectrum versions of these rookies. Just a nice looking card!

07-08 Hot Prospects Red Hot Prized Prospects David Clarkson /100
Another Parallel rookie. Much like the one above, I don't care for the design much, but in both cases I didn't have the base version of the rookie so these count as double for me. I likely won't chase any more from either of these sets now that I have these two. I am still on the hunt for an Exclusives or High Gloss Young Gun.

With the season about a month and a half away, the Devils have done very little. The Bobby Butler signing was really nice and I am glad they did it, but without rookies stepping up and Clarkson pumping another 30 in the net, it could be a long season. I am optimistic, but of course, anything is possible.

This card certainly has a little more meaning to me know, I love when you land cards that you like and then the player ends up on your team after the fact!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

53-54 Parkhurst - Jack Stoddard

Here is the 11th card in my quest for the 53-54 Parkhurst set. Without a doubt, this is the nicest card condition wise to date. Slight rounding on the corners and that is all. The surface is amazing, nice gloss and no indentations or bumps. I almost wondered if this card was a reprint.

However, when you look at the back, the paper is aged nicely and it is clearly original.

53-54 Parkhurst #60 Jack Stoddard

Not much to say about Jack. He only spent two seasons in the NHL and one of those seasons was a short 20 game stint before the one mentioned on the back of the card. He would post some decent AHL numbers, but he NHL time was brief to say the least.

I am not sure why he didn't get much of a shot, his 25 points in 52-53 was pretty decent by standards back in the day and he scored 30+ goals twice in the AHL before his NHL debut. I guess it was just that tough to make it in the big leagues back in the Original 6.

This card certainly is a GEM in my eyes and it is nice that some of my cards in this set won't be in rough condition.