Monday, December 23, 2013

11-12 Prime Adam Henrique Rookie Silver /50

Despite the reasonably low print run of 50 copies I have had a few chances to try and get myself a copy of this card. After a few denied best offers and too high BIN's, I found one copy that was up on eBay for auction! I love auctions because they allow you to name your price and if a card is worth more to you than anyone else you win. Also, sometimes they go unnoticed and you can steal one. I am not going to say I "stole" this one but I did land another card for my Henrique PC for much less than my limit.

11-12 Panini Prime Adam Henrique Silver Auto Rookie /50

The foil on this card is pretty nice, pops well with the rest of the card. On card auto is also a nice plus and two seam pieces and two standard pieces. All three Devils colours are accounted for and overall this card is perfect. The parallel versions of Prime Rookies interest me much more because of the holofoil and the swatches. The print run of the regular Henriques are /199 with most swatches being of single colour and the foil is gold. Really happy to land this one and my next post will be another from this set.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The third highest scoring professional hockey player of all-time

Blogging has given me a chance to share a passion with all sorts of people who like the same things I do. This is important because in my life outside of the internet ( I do have one of those, most people do) I don't really have anyone to share it with. Both my boys are too little, though Rhett my 11 month old seems to have a fascination for cards that are shiny, his current favourite are the 13-14 Select cards.

A several years back, a fellow blogger shared a neat post on Guyle Fielder. Growing up I used to spend countless hours memorizing hockey stats from magazines and almanacs. The problem with many of these publications is that they were always NHL stats and NHL focused. Great leagues like the WHL, AHL and WHA all went unnoticed by my young and eager mind. Then the internet grows in popularity and usefulness and all of a sudden a new world is opened to me and I realize there was someone who flew under my radar and carved themselves an amazing minor hockey career (1929 career regular season points). 

Rather than rip off someone else's hard work or reinvent the wheel, check out this great write up and his career stats

12-13 ITG Motown Madness Guyle Fielder Auto
Because Guyle only played in 9 career NHL regular season games and 6 post season games he only ever had one card created (57-58 Topps). The fact that ITG included him in their set is amazing because finally the Golden Guyle has a verified auto card on the market and I was able to swoop this up for less than 2 bucks plus shipping.

If Guyle was born a decade or two later and had a chance to play in the NHL during his prime, I think it might be interesting to guess at how well he might have done especially in today's game when small players get a fair shot.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Watch out for scammers!

Trying the mobile app thing again here. Saw this auction a few days ago, starting bid was set to 24.99 and until today, no action. However, 20 min to go, someone decided to make a move and bid! This card is more fake can fill in the blank.

Since when did the Sidney Crosby phenomenal beginnings box set have memorabilia cards? Autos yes, 87 of them I think but no swatch ones.

Our scammer has a back scan too. No Richard guarantee on the back confirms my suspicions. Hard to believe someone with a 1000+ sales and 100% rating on eBay would sell this stuff but here is an example! BTW they do sell other cards too so clearly they are sellers in the hobby.

Friday, December 13, 2013

10-11 Upper Deck The Cup - Dustin Tokarski Patch Auto Rookie

Hard to believe someone with Dustin's skill and resume is still toiling in the minor leagues. Lets look at what he has done so far. First off, he won the 2008 Memorial Cup including a 53 save performance in the Memorial Cup finals to win the game 4-1 over Kitchener. During that tournament he was name top goalie and tournament MVP. Then in 2009, he backstopped the Canadian World Junior team to their last gold medal. During that tournament he stopped 39 of 40 shots in the gold medal game once again showing he is a money goalie. 

Then in the 2011-12 Season while playing in the AHL, Dustin leads the Norfolk Admirals all the way to the Calder Cup finals where they are victorious in 4 straight games over the Marlies. That season he won 32 games in the regular season with 5 shutouts and then in the post season put up another 12 wins in 14 games including another 3 shutouts. 

Dustin Tokarski is a poor man's Carey Price and the only reason why I don't think he has had a fair chance in the NHL is his size. When tall goalies are all the rage, Dustin is a mere 5' 11" and despite getting results he is still waiting for a fair chance at being an NHL 'tender. I sincerely hope with the awesome start he is off to this season, Montreal tries trading him to a club which could use someone like Dustin either on the bench or as a 1b goalie because I know he will be successful!

10-11 UD The Cup Dustin Tokarski Rookie /249

As far as Tampa patches goes, this one is a little dull but still I like it and this card is all great to me. This card is only my second Tokarski rookie and second Tokarski auto. I haven't been pursuing him too aggressively because I had already had one rookie auto and because his prices were a little high due to him being a goalie and a member of Montreal's system.

I have actually had my eye on a The Cup rookie for quite some time and with Ebay having a large number posted for sale I decided to throw a couple Best offers out there and after some reasonable haggling, one seller and I came to a superb agreement on this on a little while back and it will be appreciated in my collection for many years to come.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 7 - Its an Evolution

So the final card I bought with my Gallagher loot was actually a bit of a gamble in my books. Upper Deck released a new concept to their lineup with the 11-12 Upper Deck The Cup release and that was video cards. Each is apparently limited to 99 copies and when you land your redemption, you have a code and you don't find out which card you have until it arrives (or so I read).  

However, the one I bought was already redeemed so I knew exactly what player I was getting but no idea what the card entailed. The card came with two cards, the first is a simple plain looking card:

Here is the front of the simple card.
Here is the back explaining how to charge the card etc. 

11-12 The Cup Rookie Evolution Ryan Ellis /99
Here is the front side of the card, and as you can see Ryan Ellis is the subject matter (a minor PC of mine). Book value on these cards are reasonably strong with this one booking for about $100 on the high side. I don't know what these cards cost to make but I am sure I bought mine for less than the manufacturing price.

Here is the back side, the holes are for the speaker, a few stats on the back and a hologram for authenticity. On one side there is a mini usb port for charging, but you can't change the video or upload anything to the device. I am actually a little disappointed with this because the video which is about a min or so clip, features Ryan talking about his accomplishments and role models but not much in the way of actual game play or cool tricks. Also missing is any autograph or additional memorabilia which is also a little sad. I wish they slapped an auto sticker or something on the card but I guess that is why these cards have been a little luke warm on the secondary market. Still, a neat card and a neat idea and I am glad to add it to my collection. 

Not a bad batch for a card that I pulled from a box with a bunch of trade-in cards. Stay posted for a few breaks and some more cool additions.

Friday, December 6, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 6

So the posts on this topic are dwindling down and the last two are both fun ones. The 10-11 rookie year in my opinion is one of the best since 07-08. You have Hall, Eberle, Skinner, Seguin, and Subban just to name a few. With that many awesome rookies, I was missing a few key ones from my collection. I have done well nabbing some interesting ones over the years including an Eberle from the 10-11 Certified set which is one of my favourites. What I really like about this set is unlike MANY products which feature rookie memorabilia, these ones are actually GAME USED! Sure the autos are stickers but you need to remember this stuff came out really early in the season so to have game used stuff right off the bat is pretty awesome.

10-11 Panini Certified Jeff Skinner Auto Rookie Parallel Red /100
One of the players I have been missing from my collection was a mid-range Jeff Skinner rookie. I also didn't have any of his autographs yet so when I saw this beauty up for auction, I knew I had a fair bit of funds left to try and go after it. It turns out, I didn't have to go any where near my max! This rookie is numbered out of 100 and features a cool auto with his number 53. Funny thing is there have been a number of other players to have worn 53 in the NHL before including Khabibulin, Chara and Derek Morris.

After winning the Calder, Skinner had slumped a bit in years two and three but this year he is on a tear. Last night he scored his first career hat trick and is on pace to put up another 30 goal season despite missing 11 games already due to injury. What sometimes gets easily forgotten is Skinner is only 21 years old and he has an incredible future ahead of him as he keeps developing.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 5

Ryan Murphy was a player who has been on my radar since he tore up the OHL in the 10-11 season with the Kitchener Rangers. Ryan Murphy is an excellent offensive defenseman who was drafted 12th overall by the Canes in 2011. I am turning into a Murphy super collector since I already have a 1/1 and a couple rookies. 

13-14 Panini Prizm Ryan Murphy Rookie Auto
This is an autograph parallel of the Ryan Murphy rookie. I was really keen on this set when it was first released but was curious to what "value" it would be as far as secondary market goes. My hesitation was because box prices were about 100 bucks with 2 autos and 20 rookies. The 20 rookies is cool but many were duds and with 20 rookies and 2 autos I suspected secondary pricing to rival that of OPC and sure enough it did. Autos have some value but again aren't selling for as much as the box price dictates so I decided to buy one rack pack (will share later) and this auto online. The price was about 4 bucks with shipping and apart from my top loader scuffs, this card does look nice. I plan on buying a few more of these once the market is flooded with key rookie autos or when boxes hit the 60 dollar mark.

Two cards left to share with my loot, one is pretty interesting and the other is one I have wanted for a while.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 4, A Devils Legend

Ken Daneyko really didn't get much appreciation during his early playing days but in the years since he retired he has received a lot more love from fans (especially non-Devil fans). I wouldn't say he is under-appreciated because the respect he gets now is the respect I think he has earned and they are in correct proportions. With that being said, my collection had zero Dano autos so I fixed that with some of my Gallagher loot.

95-96 BAP Ken Daneyko Auto

For a guy with stone hands on the ice and been known to chuck the knucks he has an awesome signature. I went looking for a good Daneyko auto and paid 3.50 with shipping for this. Small piece of my loot and a big piece on my collection!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 3

One thing I wanted for sure with my Gallagher loot was a HOF auto. Given my new project I had planned on starting I decided to try and get an autograph of a HOF player whose rookie was already in my collection. Gerry Cheevers had this sweet auto pop up online:

11-12 ITG Canada vs The World Gerry Cheevers Auto
Cheevers has a few autos out on the market but this one just spoke to me. Team Canada jersey with his iconic mask and a nice a large auto are a trifecta that makes this one a winner in my eyes. The card itself doesn't carry much in the way of a book value and in the end I nearly paid full book value anyway. Book value on this is about 15 dollar and I think I had 10-12 into this one once you factor in shipping. Totally worth it for the card and factor in that Gerry is a HOF goalie and I know its a gem for me. 

Gerry Cheevers:
Inducted: NHL 1985 and WHA 2010
Claim to fame: 2 time Stanley Cup Winner, Key WHA defector, Successful NHL Coach
1965-66 Topps Gerry Cheevers Rookie

This rookie is one of my favourites in my collection. Boys at the LCS set this aside for me some time ago and I was able to get it for a pretty fair deal. Hard to believe that Gerry would dress that way to stop Bobby Hull slapshot, in fact I don't even know if he has his chest protector on or not! Maybe he could have used some of J.S Giguere's Michelin Man equipment

Here is the back side of my Cheevers rookie. Like the front, it is in pretty good shape, my four corners are the only blemishes on an other wise great card. I am not too sure what this would grade as, the surface is amazing and the back is clean and crease free. The answer to the riddle on the back is No One. Gerry was the only goalie to play all 72 games in the 64-65 AHL season which is pretty impressive given the time period.

Friday, November 22, 2013

My largest PC undertaking ever. The HOF Rookie and Auto/Memorabilia Project. Tom Johnson

There are loads of different PCs out there and I have respect for all of them. A couple of my favourite blogs out there have ones that involve HOF'ers. They gave me the idea to try and get a rookie card and an autograph/game-used card of each one. The plan is to get the rookie and one of the other two. For example, Terry Sawchuk has not been with us for a very long time so when I got his game-used glove, that would count as the memorabilia piece and now I just need his RC. Alex Delvecchio on the other hand, I have his RC, game-used and auto so I have all three which is fine too. I will strive to do one rookie and one memorabilia/auto but if all three can be had, that would just be amazing. I am going to share them as they are completed and eventually get a checklist of missing ones up along with a checklist of missing Delvecchios. It will all take time, but this should be a fun PC that will never end. So the kick things off, here is one I complete this past summer.

Player: Tom Johnson
Inducted: 1970
Claim to fame: Won 1959 Norris and 8 Stanley Cups

1951-52 Parkhurst # 7
BV: $125 for a NrMt Version

Some of you might remember this card from a few years back. It is in great shape and one of my better Parkies from the set in terms of condition. 


This auto is NOT a certified auto, but from what I can tell and given the reputation of the seller, I am more than willing to say it is legit. Pauses in the auto and how smooth everything is are all characteristic of a few legit ones I saw. I actually won this with a Best Offer at the same time I was winning another auction. My auction got cancelled with about 12 hours to go because the price was too low for the seller. I was winning with just a two dollar bid at the time and I brought this one home for 7 dollars with shipping. Tom is not only a HOF'er but he also has been deceased for about 6 years so getting autos for him are challenging. This is an example of the 56-57 Parkhurst " Missing Link" set that was released in the mid 90's which someone got signed by Tom.

Very happy to have a completed pair of HOF'er Tom Johnson who was not only amazing defenseman during his years in the league but he was an excellent NHL Coach with a Cup in 1972 and the NHL record for highest career winning percentage at 0.738. Shame I couldn't score this myself via TTM, but having one anyway is still pretty awesome.   

Thursday, November 21, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 2

Like I said in my last post, I am really just trying to convert my Gallagher auto into cards I would appreciate more. For a few years now I have been trying to secure a nice mid-range Tavares rookie. My packs and boxes of 09-10 UD Series one have yielded nothing so I decided to try my hand at landing a Young Gun. Tavares Young Guns started out around the $100 mark and have steadily dropped despite him picking up his game. You can typically land a Young Gun Tavares in the 30-40 dollar range for ungraded Nrmt-Mt ones. I felt that was a little rich for my blood so then I tried landed a Trilogy Tavares rookie. I like these cards a little better because the print run is actually about a 1/10 of the Young Guns. Young Guns are a tremendous value and are more sought after but typically you can expect a print run of at least 5000 per card. The Trilogy Tavares rookie was limited to just 499. After a couple failed Best Offers, one of the BIN's I had been watching ended and reappeared as an auction. I was all over that and wasn't going to let it go for peanuts. Sure enough, I was the lucky winner and an easy fiver under my max bid. So here is the mid-range Tavares rookie specimen in my collection.

09-10 UD Trilogy John Tavares Rookie /499

So this card is amazing in person. The card is printed on a very nice and vibrant foil board and you certainly get a nice rainbow effect when you look at the card. Numbered as I mentioned before and the card is in perfect shape. Book value on this is 10 bucks lower than the Young Gun rookie (60 for YG 50 for Trilogy) and in my opinion worth every bit of the book value and much more than the $15 I stole it for. When Trilogy came out in 09-10 you could easily expect to pay 25-30 a pack for this stuff with there being hits in every pack. Rookies fell 1 in 3 packs and autos and memorabilia hits in the other 2 in 3 packs. Prices have dropped on this product and you can find hobby boxes (9 packs) for less than $180 bucks now. Still pricey, but there are some pretty cool hits if you are among the lucky.

If you are looking for a mid-range Tavares, both the Trilogy and Black Diamond versions can be had at deals if you are patient!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 1

So I did very well on the sale of my 12-13 Artifacts Brendan Gallagher Auto Rookie /99. I wanted to make sure that when I bought cards with that money I was going to accumulate a batch of cards that exceeded my interest in the card that I sold. If I could do that, then in my opinion I feel like I went ahead on the transaction. So, here are the cards I landed and yes I feel in the end, I am further ahead.

11-12 The Cup Adam Henrique Auto Rookie / 249

The was a beast off the want list. While the patch is insanely dull, the auto is large and crisp and it is the pinnacle of Henrique rookies as far as most collectors go. It is worthless because of the patch? Not in my eyes, but many collectors shied away from this auction as it sold for well less than half the price another Henrique did at the same time with a nicer swatch. Really happy to gain this card and there was plenty of money left over to land some more gems, stay tuned!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sometimes an autograph card's best feature isn't the auto.

As I said in the title, sometimes the best feature on an autograph card isn't the autograph. This can be very true for memorabilia cards because teams like Chicago can result in some amazing patches and the auto on the card becomes very secondary:

Brandon Bollig is not going to ever be a superstar but this card is! A sweet patch with some graffiti on it is what this card looks like to me. 

 12-13 ITG Between The Pipes Denis Herron auto

Here is what I am talking about. I saw this card up for auction and had to have it. In the end it was under four dollars with shipping and I feel like I stole it. First off, Denis Herron, not a current household name but he did win a Vezina and a Jennings 1981 and 1982 respectively. Nice to have on the resume, but the player on this card isn't its best feature.  The autograph is solid and far better than most modern signers but still not the best feature on the card. The photo, in my opinion is what solidifies the awesomeness of the card. For those of you that don't know, this is Denis Herron wearing a road Kansas City Scouts uniform. The mask, a cool and simple design that features team colours. I am glad to have an auto from my favourite franchises' first start and while the Scout days are very forgettable, this card isn't. Now I have myself a Scouts auto, a Rockies auto and of course countless Devils autos.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

1980-81 OPC Wayne Gretzky

I have mentioned in a previous post my admiration for the 80-81 Gretzky card. That was my first ever 80-81 Gretzky and not long after that I landed a second one as part of a complete 80-81 Topps set. So it would only make sense that someday I would land the OPC version right? Lucky for me this past spring my LCS landed a boat load of Gretzkys including his rookie and a few others. I sadly couldn't leave with the Gretzky which was easily in EX-MT condition with a $450 dollar price tag on it but I did manage to get his OPC 2nd year card for a very nice price which was in even better shape than the rookie.

80-81 OPC Wayne Gretzky
Classic photo!

Here is the back, avec texte francais. Currently the card books for $80 which I think is a travesty, but value is determined by whatever collectors will pay and obviously this isn't as desirable as his rookie or even other cards in the set. Still a drop off of 90% from rookie to second year card is pretty steep when you compare it with player cards. For example, Ray Bourque drop from an $80 RC to a $40 2nd year which is a 50% drop; Paul Coffey starts at 50 for a rookie and 12 for a 2nd year card in a very unpopular set. Paul's drop off is only 76% despite those factors. Messier is along the same path with a rookie booking for $100 and a second year at $25. I think the Bourque drop off is less because he is the first card in the set and they typically are higher because condition is sometimes a factor with first and last cards. If you used a Messier or Coffey model you would expect the Gretzky second year card to book closer to $200, but I guess supply and demand doesn't always follow patterns and trends. Personally I love looking at values and trends and this is one that I always found very interesting.

I do regret not trying work out a trade/pay deal for that rookie but I suppose there are many more of those rookies out there and I will someday land one of each (Topps and OPC) and it will be a very sweet day when that happens! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A pair of Brett's for the price of a pack of Prizm!

Brett overload I know, but I do really like the kid and his cardboard is often found at real nice prices! I landed two great autos one from my favourite set 11-12 Certified and another from a set I don't typically collect but it was attached to the auction for the Certified so I went for it.

11-12 Certified Brett Connolly Rookie /499

This was the card I went after. I absolutely love the 11-12 Certified Rookies and when you combine that with my boy Brett, this is a must have for myself. I am not a huge fan of the white only swatch, but the autograph is awesome. The Certified set was very early to market in the 11-12 season and clearly Brett signed his stickers during the transition from junior to pro and his signature definitely reflects what he was signing in junior and even has his number 8 from Prince George on it.

When you compare his auto from the beginning of the season to the one at the end of the season you can see he shortening his last name up significantly

 11-12 Panini Contenders Brett Connolly Rookie /800

Here is a Brett rookie auto from later in the season and you can see when he started signing serious numbers of cards he shortened things up to basically a B, C and Y and there are no numbers with his auto here.

The latter appears to be the way he is signing now which is all good in my books but what I do like about the second card is it is ON card and I love the first one because the auto was done clearly before he was assigned 14 in the NHL and you see his old auto style.

Two fun cards for the collection and 7 dollars was all it set me back. Not too bad, I promise no Brett in my next post so if you are tired of them, don't worry! If you are loving them, I am working on another one or two...stay posted.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

11-12 The Cup Brett Connolly Rookie /249

If you  have a PC of a modern player, what is their most desirable rookie card? Many collectors wouldn't hesitate with their answer and it likely would be their "The Cup" rookie. As far as book value goes, these rookie usually carry a pretty hefty price tag and are sought after by fans of the set and of the players.

Since I consider my Brett Connolly and Adam Henrique PC's to be reasonably serious I felt it would be important to try and cross The Cup of their lists. My Brett Connolly The Cup rookie isn't my favourite but I do like it a fair bit. When compared to my Dominion Gold card, the swatches aren't even close in comparison. The Cup version does have a nice subtle two colour swatch and isn't much smaller than the Dominion one. But the print run is nearly 10 times larger and this card actually cost me 5 dollars more than the Dominion Gold card. Those factors do take away from the card a little bit but still in the end it is a great card for my PC and I do like it lots, it just isn't my personal favourite. 

11-12 The Cup Brett Connolly Rookie /249

As you can see, this is numbered 52/249 and features a cool two colour swatch (blue and white). The auto is nicer on this card because he includes his Tampa number 14 with a signature that looks a little less rushed than the Dominion one. In fact, you can see some elements of his old autograph from junior which I will get into when I finish all my Brett pick ups.

Here is the back side of the card which I do like the improvements that UD has made of the years to their The Cup back designs. This has a few important stats and your lengthy authentication note that you have come to expect from UD.

The book value on this card is 80 bucks which is tied with his Crown Royale rookie as being the most "valuable" base rookies you can get of Brett Connolly. I don't include his Titanium rookie because it is limited to just 14 copies and doesn't have a book value. In fact, I haven't come across any online in the last year or so but I suspect I could have easily missed it.

So there you have it, my third favourite Brett Connolly rookie which trails only my Rookie Anthology Patch Rookie /15 and my Dominion Gold Rookie /25

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

11-12 Dominion Gold Brett Connolly Rookie /25

I have been very fortunate the last month or so thanks to more eBay sales and I went on a pretty decent spending spree. I decided to focus on primarily PC stuff and get cards that may not be worth much but have more sentimental meaning. So my next several posts will reflect those purchases. I also got two boxes of Series 1 from my LCS in exchange for some cards but I will save that for a little later.

11-12 Dominion Gold Brett Connolly Rookie /25

Without a doubt my favourite Brett Connolly card in my collection and I have added ones that cost more than this one recently too. I love the large signature, huge multi-colour swatch and very low print run. While it isn't the lowest print run Brett I own, and it his signature isn't numbered like many I own I still love all the other components combined together here.

Here is the back side of the card, I like that it is simple and almost muted. It definitely doesn't distract the person from what is on the front but I really wish there were some information besides a small anecdote on the back.

The book value of this and other Dominion cards I find a little on the low side since pack prices are easily 300 dollars a pack and in many cases I feel they look  nicer than some of their The Cup counterparts. However I can't complain because it allows collectors like me to be able to land dream cards for little money. The book value of this is 60 dollars and I picked it up for about 27 dollars with shipping which I felt was an awesome deal.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

08-09 SP Game Used Number Marks Alex Delvecchio /25

Patience is something that I am sure I can always use more of, but sometimes I am just patient enough. This is one example of where it pays off in my opinion.

08-09 SP Game Used Number Marks Alex Delvecchio /25

I saw this card almost a year and a half ago on eBay. The seller at the time wanted $99.99 for it and I felt that was a little steep. The book value on it is 80 bucks and I usually don't try and pay full book unless I have to have the card. 

As far as the card goes, it is an auto which I have lots of, and it is a manufactured patch. Alex never wore this number, which makes it a novelty card at best. However, I liked the look of the front (the only pic he had and it was fuzzy) so I decided to watch the card. Time after time it would get relisted and not sell. It isn't that there aren't Delvecchio fans out there, it is just the price was pretty steep and many thought that. After a year and a half I decided to send an offer since I had some extra PayPal cash. My offer was based on what I felt the card was worth to me and was really a take it or leave it offer (I didn't say that in the terms).

I seller obviously thought it over and sure enough accepted my offer which was around the price of a blaster with tax.

When the card arrived I was both surprised and disappointed. The card looked nice in person, better than the scan and had an awesome photo on the back, but there was also some damage on the back which was never pictured or mentioned in the sale description. 

Here is the back, if you notice the photo is very similar to the photo from my Delvecchio Bee Hive. What you will also notice is the photo is the exact one used on his rookie card. That was a very nice surprise, but the damage was a little disappointing. I decided not to complain and just keep the card since I didn't pay very much for it and it is a really hard card to find. Now I need to decide if I want to try and chase the number 1 so I can make 10. I think the answer is yes, so if anyone out there sees #1 autographed or not please let me know and I will try and trade/buy it from you. I don't think I would pay ANYTHING for it, but I am sure we can figure something out. Funny how things change from want to need.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

07-08 BAP Matt Niskanen Auto

When injuries occur, opportunity presents itself. First opportunity for Matt came when Pittsburgh fleeced Dallas in the Neal and Niskanen trade for Goligoski. In hindsight, this trade should have been Niskanen for Goligoski but alas Neal is the player he is because of self-growth and having a decent centre. 

Still, that didn't help Niskanen as much as Letang going down with injury. Letang getting hurt made Matt the go-to powerplay defenseman and he made it count! As of today, Matt has 9 points in 15 games and is an impressive +11. He is on pace for nearly 50 points and is 6th in scoring on the Pens and he is their highest scoring d-man. Will he maintain this pace? Who knows, probably not but I would be willing to bet he could be in the 35-40 point range which isn't bad by today's standards. 

07-08 BAP Matt Niskanen Auto
This is a rookie year auto of Matt Niskanen I bought in the summer with a few other cards in a self-made lot. I paid about a buck for it and seeing his success so far this season makes it that much more fun in the collection! As far as his rookies go, I am not sure if I have any or not. Might be worth a look.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A pair of non-identical 86-87 Wendel Clark Rookies

 A while back I picked up a few 86-87's from my LCS and here is the last of the loot. Not one but two Clark rookies and one of each denomination.

86-87 Topps Wendel Clark Rookie
This is a bad-ass rookie card. 'Stache and mullet. No wussy fluffy mullet either, this is screaming tough guy. Only thing missing is someone else's blood on his jersey.

86-87 OPC Wendel Clark Rookie
Here is the much more coveted and appreciated OPC version. As you can see both are in pretty great shape with no stains, creases or damage other than a faint touch of corner wearing or off-centering. The OPC version has increased a bit in value over the years as some sentimental collectors wonder what could have been with Wendel Clark if he had remained healthy. The OPC version books for 30 dollars and the double printed Topps version books for 8 dollars. Given the low value of the Topps version I might be mailing that off to Wendel in the hopes he will sign it and I could have my own rookie auto of his. 

Without a doubt his finest season was in 1993-94 where he put up 46 goals in a mere 64 games. If you want to play the what-if game, that would have had him on pace for 60 goals if he played all 84 games. However, that was always his problem, playing a full season. What made him good was how he played that game but it is also the thing that often lead to more injuries. He was without a doubt a very talented player and I certainly appreciate his legacy and what he did accomplish in his 14 year career which only had one "full" season.

Friday, November 1, 2013

06-07 Fleer Ultra Evgeni Malkin Rookie

So my last two 86-87's aren't scanned like I thought they were so that post will be pushed for one more day. Instead, here is another case of patience paying off. Rookies and sets are what I primarily collect and even though I have added a few hundred autos over the past couple years I still obsess on rookies and sets. My sets are slowly getting finished but I keep adding more so patience is important because sets can consume you. Rookie are the same, each year a new crop, more stars to chase and if you want to be on the cutting edge it can seriously cost you. I have  been adding rookies when I can and I really wanted to get a few mid-range rookies of stars I don't have covered to my satisfaction. 

Once upon a time I did have a mid-range Malkin, but I traded it away to score something more important to my collection. I do have two low end Malkin rookies, and I believe they are still one of the best bangs for your buck as far as Malkins go. I even once had a chance to buy his SPx rookie for a c-note but that price wasn't right for me. 

So, feeling a small void and having some paypal cash I was able to land this one:  

ITG History of Hockey 06-07 Fleer Ultra Malkin Rookie Buyback
Funny thing about this card is it is the SECOND one I have had in my possession in the last month. Both were ITG buybacks, but the first came with a pretty badly cracked case thanks to Canada post. I had this card send back to the seller and they replaced it with another. This TOO came with a very small chip out of the side but I let it slide this time.

I am a little disappointed that ITG didn't grade these card because the Malkin itself is in fine shape. Should have had no problem scoring at least a 9 but instead it is in a large case and only set me back 15 bucks. Malkin is crossed off!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

86-87 OPC John Vanbiesbrouck Rookie

Even though I am a hard-core Devils fan, even I sometime forge that the Beezer was a Devil. We were able to hold on to him for the final two season of his career. While he only spend two years, he was on the roster when we lost to the Avalanche in the Stanley Cup finals in 2001 and our more forgettable 2002 season. During his two seasons with the Devils he complied an amazing 1.78 G.A.A and a .924 save percentage. Of course he only played 9 games during that span but he was 6-3-0 with the club including a 4-0-0 record during the 2000-01 season. 

What Beezer is probably best remembered for is winning the Vezina in 85-86 with the Rangers or his solid seasons with the Panthers including carrying them to the Cup finals in 1996. What is neat about the Cup run in 1996, there were only 6 players out of the 24 players who had more penalty minutes than the Beezer did during the playoffs. He only had 10 regular season PIM and he managed to double that total in the playoffs in only 22 games.  

1986-87 OPC John Vanbiesbrouck Rookie
It took John over a 100 games to get his first NHL card which seems like a travesty especially since he had won the Vezina and lead the league in win by the time his first card it the printing press. What does he get for all his efforts, a rookie card featuring him at a public skate! As I have mentioned before and lots of other bloggers have, it is a shame that many players were overlooked for cards over the years and though this is a pretty bad case I don't know many that would top poor Ken Daneyko. But I will save that for another day.

I picked this card up the same time as the Lemieux 2nd year card and one other pair I hope to share in my next post. Like the Lemieux this one is in pretty great shape, a little corner wear on the top left and bottom right but otherwise it is a nice rookie. Definitely felt this belonged in my collection if not for being a rookie of a former Devil, then because it is an example of one of the best American goalies in NHL history and an inspiration to many other future goalies. John is currently 11th all-time in regular season wins with 374 and that is tops among all American born goalies.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Big Thanks to Duff over at the Hockey Card Geek

A couple months ago I was contacted by a reader asking if I was interested in an Alex Delvecchio auto. The simple answer is ALWAYS yes. It was a Champs mini auto so not having one I said sure what do you want, but rather than deal or trade Duff just sent the auto long with a load of different buddies for the long journey up to Canada. I must say I was very impressed with my special package and I hope the one coming your way Duff is equally delightful!

11-12 UD Parkhurst Alex Delvecchio Mini Auto
Just a cool and classy card with Alex's simple but elegant auto. Without a doubt my favourite card from the batch.

70-71 Topps Alex Delvecchio #64
While I already have one it doesn't diminish the appreciation I have for it. I don't have the set so this could be my first of many in the 70-71 Topps set which is a very undervalued and under-appreciated set!

73-74 Topps Alex Delvecchio #141
Needed this card and love it more for the back side than the front. I have never bought this card before because whenever I see it online it is usually 3-4 bucks min to get it to my house and at most this is a dollar card. But Duff sent it to me for free with a bonus:

Check out the stainage!!! This is my first Alex Delvecchio card with a wax stain! I wish that UD would throw that into some of their modern OPC packs. Forget blank backs and bring back wax stains.

79-80 Topps Wayne Cashman #85
After putting a huge dent in this due to some help from the LCS and their mystery boxes plus a trade with Sal from I am now less than 15 cards from a complete set and Cashman makes me one closer. 

Maybe the biggest surprise are the 25 cards Duff sent me from my 98-99 Topps want list. This was a set I started thanks to a cheap retail wax box I bought of this stuff a year or two ago. I never posted it because I just never had the time to and I figured no one would be interested. I must say I do like the set lots and here are two of my favourites from the 25 he sent.

Nice action shot of Randy weighing out his options. The Devils would like to forget 96-99 but the 99-2000 season was really special and Randy has two rings for all his efforts with the Devils.

I always forget Trevor spent some time on the Island. I hated these jerseys nearly as much as I hated their Captain Highliner ones.


Here is what the back sides of the 98-99 Topps set look like in case you didn't know. Really, I am a huge fan of the backs. You get a second photo that is different from the front. Career stats and they include PLAYOFFS! Also some vital information and a small write-up. This is what a trading card should look like in my opinion and Topps did a solid job at it. The copper border isn't horrible either, in all a solid set with a few neat cards and inserts.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

86-87 OPC Mario Lemieux

Lots of new cards in the last two months to share still thanks to eBay sales. Also, a real generous gift in the mail from a fellow blogger that I am going to share next post (just need time to do it properly). In the meanwhile, here is a Lemieux second year card to look at.

86-87 OPC Mario Lemieux #122
 Look at fresh faced Mario. Years of smoking and stress haven't ravaged his looks yet. I think that is Craig Simpson next to him making this a Craig Simpson Pre-RC!!! Spread the word, lets drive up the value of this card.

I have always been pretty indifferent about this set. I like it more than the 85-86 and 87-88 sets but it falls behind when you consider some of the other cool sets in the 80's. What are your thoughts? 86-87 one of the better ones from the 80's? One of the better ones all-time?

Monday, October 21, 2013

A gift from a student - Jack Johnson Auto Puck

Teaching is one thing I love to do and collecting is another. All my students know I love hockey and they see that by all the hockey stuff in my classroom and they see it when I coach our girls hockey team. Sometimes I am surprised by how much they care about my day to day efforts and I occasionally get a token of their appreciation. One student I taught and still teach was able to score a couple autographed pucks from Jack Johnson and they gave one of them to me. 

Even though he was already in Columbus, Jack seems to not mind giving out memorabilia featuring his time with the LA Kings. He sadly missed out on a Cup thanks to a mid-season trade that sent him to Columbus for Jeff Carter but with Columbus appearing to be on an up-swing, he still may get a chance someday to hoist the Cup.

There was a time when I really wanted to get his auto, however since then I was luck enough to get one for free thanks to a contest Casey had on his blog Drop The Gloves! and now I have this one. All three will remain in my collection and each has a nice story to go with them. The Jack Johnson puck currently is displayed in a puck holder on my desk at school and I think that is a great home for it.

Friday, October 18, 2013

This is my trade of the year: Part 3 of 3

The biggest piece of the trade and one of my new top cards in my collection is this beast!

06-07 Flair Showcase Sidney Crosby Showcase Inks SP
The scan didn't turn out great because of the holder but man does this look great. I picture Matt having a hard time mailing this card off to me after it arrived at his house. The card is crisp, the auto is excellent and I have no cares that it is a sticker auto. Just a great piece of hockey memorabilia and I am very happy with our trade. I enjoyed owning the Crosby Game Used /5 for the last year or so and now I will enjoy owning this for many years to come.

Thanks again for the monster trade Matt and I look forward to maybe doing another one someday!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This is my trade of the year: Part 2 of 3

When the Devils acquired Schneider at the draft I was shocked and unsure how I felt about it. Within a few minutes I felt good about it especially when you frame it as Horvat for Schneider. True the Devils could have drafted someone else and time will tell if there were any huge prospects to come later in the first round but fact is we didn't draft anyone and we got a pretty solid goalie.

12-13 SP Game Used Inked Sweaters - Cory Schneider
I was having trouble debating if I should buy a Schneider already on the market or wait for him to be in a Devils uniform and Matt fixed that problem for me by trading this card to me. Game used, autographed not a bad combo, just wish it was a rookie card. I do have one of his rookies (OPC) and some day I might add more.

So far he has looked pretty solid which is exciting but also sad as it reminds me Marty's days with the Devils are nearly through!