Thursday, January 31, 2013

70-71 OPC Brad Park Rookie

Why my collection is missing are cards pretty much from the 60's to mid 70's. I have some in that range, a few big names like Dryden, Lafleur and Barber but not much else. I am always trying to find cool card and important cards I don't have, but budgets are budgets and it is a marathon not a sprint! 

Here is one that I have been wanting for a while. The topps version of this card had popped up as trade bait once and when I couldn't pull the trigger on the trade I went hunting. Many graded versions of this card exist and are often well above the BV and ungraded ones tended to go for much more reasonable prices (of course). Well I think this one was a steal. Though it isn't in mint condition by any stretch, it is clean and crease free with a little loving on the corners and aging of the white.

The front shows a bright-eyed kid with a future. I think I might have combed my hair like that when I was 10 years old.....but I will never provide photo evidence.

Back side is pretty cool, lots of info in a small space and a neat cartoon player with vitals in large print cover the left part.

Brad Park was a first ballot HOF'er and a 5-time NHL first team all-star. He was often compared to Bobby Orr which I am sure was a blessing and a curse in itself. Brad was named top defenseman and game 8 MVP in the '72 Summit series and even though he never won a Cup, his victory in '72 is every bit as important to many hockey fans.

In his career, Brad scored 213 goals and had 896 points in a solid 1113 game career. Even in his final season, he managed to get 43 points in 67 games for a pretty weak Red Wings team. Brad was even ranked by The Hockey News as the 13th greatest NHL defenseman of all-time and a player of that calibre is ALWAYS welcome in my collection! Now I just need his autograph.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

76-77 OPC Checklist Upgrade

How often do you walk into a card shop and you see checklists in toploaders? If they are current/modern cards, that might be true of the young guns checklists as they tend to draw some interest from collectors, but in MY OWN experience this doesn't happen often.

To be honest, most checklists especially from the 80's and 90's aren't terribly valuable and they are often a part of a complete set but don't get lots of love. I am like the 50th blogger to probably talk about checklists since Sal had his online poll which determined that they are pretty much appreciated. In the  last year or so, I have come to the realization that they do make good art and are actually cool and fun! Some are also indeed valuable too!

Case one, 79-80 OPC #131

I have one of these and it is unmarked and in amazing condition. I have had it for an eternity and main reason for owning it is.....Wayne's name is on the card! It is the closest thing I have to a Gretzky rookie right now and I think it is pretty cool. I watch many auctions on eBay and I recently saw an unchecked one in VG condition sell for over 20 bucks with shipping!!

Case two, ANY Checklist prior to the mid 70's

If you own a checklist that is from the mid-70's to earlier and it is unchecked, you are sitting on cardboard GOLD! Many kids growning up used them for what they were intended for and that is checking what they have and don't have. So the actual amount of mint, unmolested cardboard checklists is much lower than any other card in the set due to the nature of the card. Some checklists like the ones from 71-72 or 66-67 can book for several hundred dollars.

So there are some value to some checklists, but what I find cool about the vintage checklists are the designs of some of them and how cool they look. Here is one of my personal faves and even though I don't own it yet, I can still appreciate it.

1966-67 Topps Checklist #66

Look at that beauty from both sides. Without a doubt, one of the most unique and cool looking checklists ever made! No room on the front for full names because of the design, Terry Sawchuk gets the T.Sawchuk treatment.

Meanwhile the backsize has plenty of room for Bobby Orr to have his full name and even the checklist is mentioned in a cool fashion. Just love the use of pucks on the front and back!

Now on to checklists I do own...

As most of you know, I have been working on the 76-77 OPC set and I am getting very close to the end. However, a few cards in the set aren't in great shape and that includes the three checklists. The checklists are in nice enough shape, they just happen to be marked either partially or completely. I was hoping to get some solid excellent shape checklists that were unchecked and I did even better than I hoped. My LCS had three, near-mint or better unchecked checklists for sale. I asked the boys to try and do better than the price listed on them which was full BV (and fair really) but they were more than willing to do a buy 2 get one free on those.

Check them out!

Centering on all are great, chipping is very minimal and the corners are all very very sharp. They are pretty much in line with many of the nicer quality cards in my set so I am very happy to have an upgrade in that department. With that being said, I have three old, marked checklists with your name on them Robert so if you need some for your set chance, you can have them free of charge my friend!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Luck of the Crosby?

There really hasn't been much money in my budget these days for packs, but I did get a blaster of Zenith a while back when a local hole-in-the-wall second hand store had blasters of Zenith for 14 bucks. I took a chance on one and it appears Sidney has taken a liking to me. This is the third game used Crosby I have pulled in the last year and personally, I don't mind!

The blaster also yielded a Rookie Roll Call Derek Stepan and a nobody rookie I don't even remember now!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

With their first pick in the 2031 NHL Draft, the Devils select...

Here is a short and very sweet post. Earlier today, like 12:48 am, my wife gave birth to my second child and my second son. When we named our first son my wife liked the name Quinn and so did I. If he was a boy there was no doubt there. This latest addition, we had two names. Both were names she came up with and both were good names, but in the end Rhett was the winner. 

Of course names always bring up other memories, and here are my two.

Believe it or not, Rhett Warrener was my first thought....

And the other "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!"

So there you have it, my family is bigger, more male and the Devils have a new fan as long as there are no lockouts and my latest Son doesn't decide to cheer for a different club (which he is more than welcome to, I don't brain-wash).

I am very proud of my wife and son, they did extremely well and it certainly puts the rest of life into perspective when you witness the miracle of life!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Scott Wedgewood 11-12 ITG BTP Auto

So the future between the pipes in NJ is not something I have spent much of the last two decades thinking about to be honest with you. Devils have been blessed with Marty and I have seen many back-ups come and go and really thinking about them as any more than a second goalie for practices would have been a waste of time. Not that any of those back-ups weren't capable goalies, it is just there was never much "pie" left over after Marty took his lion's share. 

However, all good things come to an end and the Devils have been stockpiling goalies through the draft the last few years and we now have a number of decent kids who can possibly embark on HOF careers once Marty is done with his turn between the pipes. 

Another sticker auto, but black sharpie and numbered are always nice pluses and the design is pretty decent as well.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

07-08 Be A Player - David Clarkson Rookie /99

Been pretty busy lately to have many posts, but I still try to steal time away to do this when I can. Things are about to get a lot busier here as we are due to have our second arrival in about 2 weeks which will make things even that much more busier. 

Preparing for the next several months sequestered in our homes, my wife surprised me the other day by placing an order with our cable company to get the "sports pack". Included in the "low" 31.99 a month price is NHL Center Ice. True with another baby on the way, money will get a little tighter, but my wife felt we can make it work and it is a nice present from her to me for all the nice things I do :)

So last night was my first chance to sit down and enjoy some NHL action so of course I picked NJ-NYI and even though the game was a little rusty on both sides of the ice, my boys came through with the Win and David Clarkson had himself another GWG. To commemorate the wonderful first W of the season, here is a recent PC pick-up of my man Clarkie.

I actually tried landing this card on several occasions and the price was always WAY TOO HIGH. The card is numbered to /99, but with 99 copies out there I suspected I could land it for under 20 bucks and I was able to actually land this for well below that mark including shipping!

07-08 BAP David Clarkson Rookie /99
I really like this card and it is the last of the high-end rookies I needed for Clarkie. The card is actually 3-D with Clarkson being glossier than the rest of the card and raised about the surface. It is a much nicer looking card than I thought it would be and I am really happy to finally land it after 2.5 years of trying. Certainly goes to show patience pays off and with the NHL back, prices are bound to jump so spending on my end is likely going to dwindle for a while....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Imagine a team with these three on the backend?

Here is a card I came across the other day in my collection and I realized I forgot to post it up online. This little beauty was at my LCS begging to come home with me and as always I bundled it up and save a few more dollars off the already priced to move cost. What did I pay, I don't even remember! However, these are three guys I have LOTS of respect for and they knew how to act, how to lead and how to play the game.

09-10 OPC Premier Trios     Robinson-MacInnis-Bourque /50
I really liked the look of this card and the subjects on it are the finest D-men of my generation. Swatches are all different in colour too which is nice and they just look awesome on cardboard.

92-93 Bowman Mario Lemieux Conn Smythe Foil
Part of the same bundle was this card. I don't own any other 92-93 Bowman cards except this one. I honestly was a bit of a card snob back then and Bowman had a bit of a reputation from 90-92 if you know what I mean...But these cards came out hot and before I knew it prices were far higher than I would ever pay and I just never got myself a pack let alone a set. However, I am older, prices have cooled a bit and if the right price ever came along maybe I will snag one. I have since grown to appreciate the 90-91 Bowman set, maybe it won't be long before I have a 91-92 and a 92-93.

However, this card is pretty neat and simple, features Mario and he looks like he is about to announce his pending trip to Disney World and he is very thrilled....Actually it looks more like it has been several hours since his last smoke and he could use another. Either way, I figured the price was right and my collection could use at least one 92-93 Bowman card!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Alex Delvecchio ITG Franchises Auto SP

Just a quick post here about another PC addition. This gem was acquired in the summer via eBay and it represents the most "valuable" Delvecchio auto in my collection to this point. This is also my second auto form the 04-05 ITG Franchises release with the first being a Jack Valiquette auto.

Unlike Jack, this auto is apparently SP'ed which means it is limited in comparison to the other autos, but since it isn't numbered, the number is copies are unknown to me. I love the design and style and it is a much different looking auto than my other three and is a welcome addition to my collection and the last of my Alex autos to share so I am up to date in that department. I do however, have a few more base cards from his playing days to share so keep an eye out for those.

04-05 ITG Franchises Auto - Alex Delvecchio

This card didn't scan well, so I took a photo of it instead. It features a very large on-card auto signed with a black sharpie.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

When building a relationship helps! Ebay-style

When buying online I try to approach it the same way as buying in person. I have places where I always go first and I try and talk to them on a personal level and often it leads to rewards. It turns out that this is equally true when it comes to online shopping. I have one dealer in Quebec who clearly does this job on the side but is still big enough to offer a big variety of cards. 

I noticed a while back he had a strange assortment of Devils autos and all of them looked very legit and actually I do trust him enough now to not really question authenticity anyway, but the scientist in my still wants proof occasionally so I will still verify most of them anyway on my own. However, the prices even though they were decent, didn't entice me enough because of the shipping costs. Most of the players are interesting to me because they are Devils, but not at the cost it would have been to buy them all. As time when by, the were reposted and again didn't sell. So I decided to contact him about the 4 autos in question and see if he would just do a flat price including shipping. He considered my proposal, and came back 50 cents higher which wasn't a deal-breaker for me so I said sure! The final sale price for 4 autos....$5.50!

Little did I know, I was in for a little surprise, here they are: 

87-88 Topps Alain Chevrier
 Ah Chevy.... Didn't last very long in NJ or anywhere for that matter. A good goalie, just found himself on terrible teams. I have the 87-88 OPC set, so it is nice getting his auto and getting his auto on a Topps card. The auto is very nice and clean with blue sharpie.

87-88 Topps Bob Sauve
 The other goalie I got was of Vezina winner Bob Sauve. Bob was a great goalie who stole many games throughout his career. Unfortunately for Bob he joined one of the worst teams in the NHL to finish his career out so I never got a chance to see what he could really do. His .831 save percentage in his final season was probably the reason he went into retirement, but the amazing 2.36 gaa in 79-80 was totally the reason why he can say he has a Vezina!

88-89 Topps Pat Verbeek
Totally the gem of the lot of 4 and the reason why I contacted him! The signature is unique to say the least, and I love the 16 inside the P. Do I love the auto as a whole, not too sure about that but I am happy to have a Verbeek Devils auto that is for sure! I liked him during his NJ days and was very sad to see him leave! Pat is the only NHLer to have 500 goals and 2500 PIMs and despite all his skill, he never got his name on Stanley's mug he did win one cup towards the end of his career in 1999 with the Dallas Stars.

88-89 Topps Joe Cirella
Joe is a player that I remember briefly as a Devil, but more during his time in Quebec and other stops. However, he was a huge player for the Devils during their early years and served as a great example for some young impressionable D like Ken Daneyko and Bruce Driver. Cool auto in blue sharpie and the number 2 caps it off at the bottom. 

Well that was the end of what I was expecting, but lo and behold a nice bonus appeared in my parcel!

88-89 Topps Mark Johnson
Wow! First off, when I became a Devils fan, I had two players I really liked and they were John MacLean and Mark Johnson. Mark didn't continue his NHL career after 1990 so I became a MacLean and Guerin fan before MacLean left. Johnson may be best remembered for the Miracle on Ice, but I will always remember him for the amazing post-season he had in 88 when the Devils were within one game of the Stanley Cup final and he scored 10 goals during that run.

So what I got for my 5.50 was 5 autos instead of 4, all Devils and they were all in great shape too. I wrote the seller letting him know I really appreciated the gesture and I will continue to check them out for awesome deals in the future too. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Reed Larson ITG Captain-C Auto

Now Reed Larson is a player I didn't know much about mainly because his playing career was pretty much over as I got it into the game myself. However, this photo is just down right bad-ass and his auto clearly shows this tough guy has soft hands. Larson was a three-time NHL all-star who put up some pretty decent numbers for a defenseman including one season where he had 27 goals (80-81) and one season where he had 74 points (82-83). His career numbers for defenseman are also pretty decent with him sitting 27th in all-time points for a defenseman with 685 and 14th for defense all-time with 0.758 points per game. 

Unfortunately, Reed had played for some pretty bad teams over the years and even though he played in 904 regular season games, he only ever saw the post season 7 times for a total of 32 games. Still, he was a great competitor and an auto I certainly didn't mind adding to my collection as part of the lot deal with McCollum and Connolly.

Nice auto using sticker technology with a black sharpie!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Now that we are back....Let the Luongo talk continue!

I must admit, even though I am happy to have hockey back, I certainly didn't miss the pro-Toronto media we have here in Canada. It couldn't have been 12 hours since the announcement and Bobby-Lu talk had begun again. Don't get me wrong, I love trade talk and if a trade was eminent great, but Toronto trade talks seem to take weeks, months or never happen so I do find it a little annoying at times...

Anyway, here is a fun card about Bobby-Lu. I got this little gem from one of my fav online guys who I will post about later! I went after it because of Scott Wedgewood, but I love the card because of the Luongo seam piece. What is fun is the card has a Luongo Team Canada swatch! Of course, I don't know what competition Roberto wore this jersey in, but I could pretend it was from the 2010 Olympics :) 

Monday, January 7, 2013

GI Joe Mullen Auto - Canada Vs The World

So the latest installment of Canada VS The World didn't turn out so well, but congrats to the American U20 team on gelling together at the right time and winning the WJHC!

One reason for the Americans being as strong as they are is because of Bettman and NHL expansion (can't deny that), but more importantly for good pioneers/role models such as Mike Modano, Phil Housley and Joe Mullen. 

I have been trying to score a nice Mullen auto for a while and I landed an awesome deal on this auto below!

11-12 ITG Canada Vs The World Auto - Joe Mullen 
What is there not to love about Joe? 502 career goals, over a 1000 points and at a point per game pace! He broke 30 goals 10 times and 40 goals 7 times. He played with class and 2 Byng's and 3 Cups are proof of that and finally he earned his ticket to the HOF. Joe represented his country several times as well but was never lucky enough to medal in any of those events.

This auto is all class much like himself and I am very glad to add it to my collection!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ilya Kovalchuk 05-06 SP Authentic Chirograph Auto

Well it looks like there might be a season after all, of course I will still wait to see that there are actual games played before I am going to fully think this lockout is over! I hope that all those players overseas who didn't have season ending injuries are all ready to come back and play for their respective NHL clubs. 

For Devils fans, we have been pretty lucky as Kovy has avoided injury thus far and sits in a tie for 4th in KHL scoring with Ovechkin. What also might have some Devils fans excited too is the last time the league played a half-season, we went on to win the Stanley Cup! Of course, that all means nothing, but at the very least we all might have some hockey to enjoy!

Here is another Kovy treasure I landed in the summer. I believe I actually STOLE this card, and almost didn't big on it at all. The seller didn't list Canada as a place to ship to, but I talked them into accepting my bid and lucky for me I won the card and it was my cheapest Kovy auto yet! Like my other three autos, no stickers here and I was really happy to land it in my collection.

05-06 SP Authentic Chirography Ilya Kovalchuk

Nice auto as always with Kovy, and this was done in Blue Sharpie much like my auto here. My other two Kovys, here and here are signed in Black Sharpie.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Drop the Gloves! Trade Part 2 - This time it is personal

So part two I knew Casey was going to throw in some extras, I just had no idea what they were going to be. It turns out he really knows me as a collector and threw in some cards that are all important and significant to me in some way!

2002-03 ITG Signature Series Jerome Iginla
I went after an Iggy auto TTM style and even though it turns out that he doesn't sign cards, I did get an auto. However, Casey fixed that for me sending me a very nice Iggy on-card auto!

2002-03 ITG Signature Series Scott Niedermayer
Even though I already have two of Scott's autos, this is only my second on a hockey card the first being this one. However, this is a much nicer auto than my other, so this is a very welcomed upgrade and a very nice card!

2002-03 ITG Signature Series Daniel Alfredsson
Like the first two autos this is a nice 02-03 ITG BAP auto card. However, unlike the first two, I didn't have his auto at all! Instead of upgrading my autos, Casey was kind enough to give me one I didn't have at all, but definitely wanted! I have seen Alfy play live more times than any other NHL'er and his career which has spanned three decades may be finally over thanks to this lockout, but if he does return, he will continue adding to a very solid which may not result in a HOF induction, but will result in his number being retired in Ottawa when he is done with the game.

So there you have it, 6 autos, 8 cards in total and a very nice and well appreciated trade has come to an end! Thanks again Casey, I already have some cards on my end I think you might like and I look forward to our next deal as always.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Brett Connolly Heroes and Prospects Auto

As part of the lot deal with McCollum, I landed three other cards two being the main focus of the lot deal and two being deals that are just too cool to pass up. One of the centerpieces is this great auto of Brett Connolly. This kid is doing pretty decent in the AHL this season with 28 points in 31 games thus far including 12 goals. This total is good enough for second on the Syracuse team in points and a tie for 17th in the league scoring race. With that being said, another PC of mine Jordan Eberle is just running away with the scoring title as he leads in both goals (23) and points (47).

10-11 Heroes and Prospects Brett Connolly Auto 
I love this card because it features an auto of Brett when he was a junior and his interesting auto seems to not have changed much since then. I also like he numbered it with his player number from junior which compliments my collection well since my other Connolly autos have him signing with 14 (his NHL number).
This card is a welcomed addition for a cost of a pack of OPC.