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!

Friday, October 11, 2013

This is my trade of the year: Part 1 of 3

Not too long ago, Matt from Cardboard Conundrum announced that he was starting a new PC. When I read his post on collecting UND alumni I knew I would be able to help him out immediately. I had a few doubles of former Devil Zach Parise that I wouldn't mind trading and an extra Ed Belfour auto. Unlike Clarkson, I didn't have a Zach fire sale because I knew going to Minn wasn't going to add value to his collection and in same cases it dropped the value. Secondly, I didn't take his departure as personally because he wasn't an undrafted signing like Clarkson who was passed over by all 30 clubs including Toronto. Instead, Parise was drafted in the first round and picked by the Devils ahead of Minnesota who would much have rather drafted Parise instead of Brent Burns.

So I emailed Matt with a few cards I had up for trade and a few I was interested in and BANG, one of my fastest trades ever. Then I thought I would ask if Matt had any interest in my Crosby GU 5/5 and he went above and beyond to ensure that was included in the deal. So, here is the first part of my amazing haul thanks to Matt:

2010-11 ITG Decades 80's Esa Tikkanen Auto 
The Tick! Yep, I own an on-card auto of former NHL super pest and 5-time Stanley Cup Champ, Esa Tikkanen. The Oilers are always a club that I liked, and maybe the most of any Canadian club. There are only two names that come to mind when I think of a player who could effectively throw another star player off their game, then score the game winning goal for their own club. Those players are Claude Lemieux and Esa Tikkanen. What some people don't know is that Esa actually in the top 20 all-time for regular season short handed goals despite only having 244 career goals. Esa was also a New Jersey Devil for 9 games in the much forgettable 1995-96 season where we missed the playoffs by 2 points. That season the Devils had more point than 5 teams that made the playoffs in the Western Conference.

11-12 Dominion Peerless Patches - Adam Larsson /40
A rookie year auto is always nice and when you add in the patch it is just awesome. True the patch is a little dull, but when you consider the Devils emblem, there really aren't many exciting swatches you can pull from it. The swatch is nice and large and the auto is large and spot on for Adam. This card was one that had to be included in the trade because there just aren't many bloggers out there who would appreciate this as much as I would so it came home with Esa.

There are the first two from the trade, there will we two more posts each with a single card focus. See you next time. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

2011-12 ITG Heroes and Prospects Review and Contest

Head over to Dirty Dangle and check out a box break I had a little while back. Free prize for anyone who comments.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

At long last - Bobby Orr Auto

Selling my David Clarkson The Cup Rookie /199 netted me enough money to buy this beast!

10-11 UD Ultimate Bobby Orr Ultimate Signatures
I tried to buy many in the past, I tried trading for one and every time ended in failure. Finally armed with some PayPal cash I went looking specifically for a Orr auto. Patience is fine, but eventually you just need to take the bull by the horns and I did that. I made an offer or two with some BIN options and one seller countered my 40 less than asking with 30 less than asking so I said SOLD. Using no money from my pocket I was able to buy this card!

The thing with Orr autos is sometimes they can get a little sloppy, lets face is Orr signs lots of stuff for Upper Deck and is getting a bit older and sometimes he probably just wants the job done so he can get back to Chevy commercials. I am very pleased that the auto is solid and legible. I wasn't picky about on card, but that is a nice added bonus with this one. I did want him in uniform which did cut out some cheaper Goodwin options but in all this card was perfect for me and the price was right. Another HOF'er to the collection and one less HOF'er I need to land.

BTW please excuse the team bag line on his face, I should have took it out when I scanned it, but I didn't so I apologize.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Easy come, easy sold.

In less than a week, this redemption arrived in the mail and then it went out the door. I priced it based on BV and it sold for Hi BV. I went with the high sale price because the card is worth a fair bit to me because of Brendan's ties to Team Canada and the fact that I love Auto Rookies. True this card is more of an XRC insert, never the less it was worth HI BV to me. A buyer agreed and it is going out the door less than a week after arriving.

I will keep you posted in the next couple months what I do with my paypal loot and I hope it will be as rewarding and interesting as some of my other purchases. I can't wait to share what I was able to do with my The Cup Clarkson rookie!

Friday, October 4, 2013

1981-82 OPC Jari Kurri Rookie

Back in the early spring I wrote a very short post about one of my favourite cards. I do want to point out that I have lots of favourites and they really are in no particular order. In fact that list could be as high as 40 or 50.  Not more than a week or so after that post my LCS had this card in via a large collection and it was priced to sell.

81-82 OPC Jari Kurri Rookie
This card is in great shape and well centered as far as OPC goes. Clean cut and that upper right corner is likely odd looking because of the penny-sleeve / top-loader combination. The corner actually looks near perfect in person. The surface is also in awesome shape with a nice gloss and no creases.

The back scanned a little oddly, I assure you the white isn't that white it is mostly due to the photo software. I should really use Photoshop it is just sometimes I don't have time to correctly enhance them. You can see a little loss of blue on the back which is pretty typical, but in all a pretty solid Nrmt-mt card in my non-professional opinion.

While this card books for more than 6 times the Topps version, I do like them nearly equally. I do have a slight preference towards to the OPC and I am not sure if it is because I have bought into the OPC snobbery that goes around or being Canadian I feel my cards need some French on them. Either way, glad to have the pair now and who knows maybe someday the full set.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

John Tavares TTM Auto - With a cool twist

A while back I received two John Tavares autos which were personalized. However, there was a neat twist to how the envelope found its way home, check out the rest of the story at Dirty Dangle!