Friday, October 31, 2014

11-12 Certified Ryan Ellis Auto Rookie Gold /25

In terms of my PCs as they stand right now, Connolly and Henrique are definitely the tops but Ryan Ellis is another player I have certainly collected with some level of commitment. He had one particular card I have been watching for a couple of years now and this past summer I was able to land the whale finally. 

 11-12 Certified Ryan Ellis Auto Rookie Gold /25
 When you mix a PC player and a set you love it is a dangerous combination. The gold variations all are thicker than their regular version counterparts and they feature a seam piece instead of just a regular swatch. 

Here is the back, all the same as the regular run except the run is 25 instead of /499 or /299 in the case of Mr. Ellis.

Ryan is poised to make a big jump this year, I can feel it. He is off to a decent start with 1 goal and 5 points in his first 9 games. He has a future in the NHL as a regular top 4 defenseman with a specialty on the power play. I just hope someday he might be able to find his way to New Jersey!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

11/12 Dominion Pen Pals Stamkos/Connolly Auto /50

I think this one speaks for itself! One for the PC and one I didn't have already all in one.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

13/14 Select Jonathan Huberdeau Auto SP Rookie /199

More Select! This time 2012/13 Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau. He came down with a case of the Sophomore Slumps and that combined with the dual rookie class made it book for very cheap so landing one by buying or trade is pretty easy. Like last season, he has started off really slowly but I am a believer in this kid and given time I think he will be a star.

13/14 Select Jonathan Huberdeau Auto SP Rookie /199
Here is the typical front of a Select auto rookie. Sticker fun.

Most of the rookies in this set are /399 including some of the big names. Why this one is only 199 I am not too sure, but that only adds to the coolness in my opinion. I already have one of his autos from ITG but two is always better than one in hobby terms.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quick and easy trade with Cardboard Conundrum

 Matt and I have done a number of trades over the years, here is another beauty.

 13/14 Prime Prime Duals Hall/Henrique /200
 Jersey cards have flooded the market in the last 15+ years and the value most carry is purely in the beholder. Some will fetch huge dollars but most are a year or two away from the dollar bin at your LCS. I really really wish that Panini had one that spelled out SPIT because I would have been ALL over that card. Sadly, these two former Windsor Spitfires will have to live with FIRE.

13/14 Prime Scott Laughton Auto Rookie /199
Scott hasn't taken off yet but I am hopeful someday he will be as good as Mike Richards was before he hit the skids. I once had a pretty cool Laughton that I sold and I was pretty keen on trying to get a new one so here it is.

Thanks for the quick trade Matt, I hope you needed some of those base cards ( I just mailed everything I had before as list was put up) and I especially hope you liked the Hornqvist Retro Rookie. I assure you, he is the real deal and with Crosby or Malkin he will put up some pretty huge numbers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2011-12 Panini Certified Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Auto Rookie /499

So a while back I landed a very nice IMHO Landeskog rookie with funds from selling my Cheevers rookie. I did land another couple cards with the funds and here is another one of those cards I am proud to add to the collection.

2011-12 Panini Certified Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Auto Rookie /499

Blue swatch, simple auto and all round nice and shiny. I do wish he used his number 93 on his signature because he normally does but at the same time I already have two autos from Ryan and I do like this one is different than the other two (one with #9 and other with #93)

Here is the back side of the card. Cool info, nice relatively low number and some pretty awesome junior stats.

Now that I have some of the big names from this set, part of me thinks it might be nice to chase them all! Oh why do I have so many ideas and very little time and money? I am pretty serious about trying this out but I believe it will be a marathon-like project.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Another Wayne Autograph

I hope you didn't come here thinking it was another Gretzky auto because you will be saddened. However, it is another Wayne who was a WHA star and an all round pretty awesome minor league player Wayne Connelly. No relation to Brett Connolly as they spell their names differently and all but still a star in his own right.

ITG 1972 The Year in Hockey - Wayne Connelly Auto

Picked this up in the spring for $1.50 and that isn't bad for an on-card auto of a former NHL and WHA player. As far as accomplishments go, Wayne scored a career high 35 goals in the NHL and hit 40 twice in the WHA. He also scored 45 goals in the WHL with the San Francisco Seals. While he never was able to put together a consistent career in the NHL, he did very well in the WHA averaging over 30 goals a year and finishing with 329 points in 366 WHA regular season games. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A nice little haul from my buddy Dave.

Sometimes just adding simple cards to your collection can be almost as fun as landing a huge card. Here are a few little fun ones I added early this summer from my buddy Dave. Dave sometimes trades and sometimes sells these were all added for under 2 bucks a piece.

13/14 Artifacts Autofacts Tuomo Ruutu
 I try to get autos of Devils players past and present no matter how long their stay is. Looks like Tuomo will be a mainstay on the 4th line and so far he has played very well for us. Interesting auto to say the least, but I do like he numbers his signature.

12/13 Panini Classics Derian Hatcher Auto
When I first got into watching hockey and collecting cards both Kevin and Derian Hatcher were beasts. Kevin was the older brother and he had a great start to his career setting up high expectations for Derian. While Kevin was by far the more offensive d-man, Derian had himself a very good career too including a Stanley Cup in 1999 and an induction into the American Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010. While I don't think either Hatcher will make it into the HHOF, I do believe both brothers had amazing careers that most can only dream of.

13/14 Score Mason Raymond Auto
I have been a fan of this kid for a while. Great player and now with the Flames he should get a chance to play regularly on the top line and I wouldn't be surprised if he hits 25-30 goals this year if he stay healthy.

11/12 Panini Certified Gold Brad Richards Auto /25
I have been a fan of Brad's for a very long time. Sadly his career hasn't been as consistent as I hoped but like a few on the NHL greats, when the game is on the line and it is the post-season, no matter how bad his regular season was, you want him on the ice. Brad is a winner and so is this card. It was without a doubt the centerpiece of this lot. There was also one more card but it is already destined to go somewhere else so I want to leave it as a surprise and hopefully the next recipient enjoys it as much as I was going to. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

13/14 National Treasures - 11/12 Prime Brett Connolly Black Plate 1/1

 If you said to me 7 years ago when I got back into collecting I would be having some PCs of players who aren't on the Devils and chasing parallels etc I would say you were crazy and there is no way. However, it has happened and I have probably 15 or so autos of Brett Connolly and countless rookies. But of course, I didn't have a true 1/1 yet just a Artist Proof from The Cup so I was able to fix that this spring.

The nice thing about my plate is I have two examples in my collection that were made with the plate:

 Example 1
11/12 Panini Prime Brett Connolly Rookie Holosilver /50

 Example 2:

11/12 Panini Prime Brett Connolly Hologold /25

 Here is the printing plate that was used to help those two cards above!

 When I picked this up, I didn't know what to expect. How thick are they? What do they feel like?

They are actually very thin and they have some weight to them (more than a normal card of course) and they feel really cold (metal obviously). No real texture to the surface and I was surprised the printing wasn't reversed.

 Here is the back side of the plate.

Getting my first plate was pretty cool, and I really like the idea. However, I don't see myself trying to get every single plate from Brett Connolly or any other player for that matter (unless circumstances are too good to pass up of course). I do have one more plate I added to my collection around the same time as picking this one up but I will save that for another day.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Chance To Land An Escaped Whale

Over the years I have been very fortunate to add cards through purchases and trades thanks to the internet and blogging. Sometimes though, cards I learn about aren't able to be had and it is almost torture. Someone contacts you and says hey I have a card you might like and you write them back only to hear dead silence. I have had that happen a few times and I am left wondering why the heck did you contact ME in the first place. With that being said I have also had times where the owner and I just couldn't reach a deal and that is all good too. For example one guy contacted me about 4 years ago with an insane collection of David Clarkson cards. I wanted a few pieces, he wanted to sell the whole lot and I knew the lot was far beyond what I wanted to pay so we just left it there. This post however is about a success.

A while ago, not sure how long ago someone (not sure who) had contacted me about a rare Score Auto Rookie of my boy Brett Connolly. When they told me it was rare and numbered to 5 I was interested right away. I wrote them back saying hey, I am interested, what are you looking to get for it. Response, nothing. Not nothing as in free, they wouldn't tell me what they wanted. They never acknowledged my existence. I checked my sent message to make sure I sent it properly, everything check out so rather than harass them with more emails, I sadly had given up on it and just keep an eye out on the internet. 

Fast forward to the spring and I see a seller with the exact card I was looking for and missed out on trading for, for sale. His price, $50. Now, if we were talking trades, I would have easily traded twice that value for the card. However, cash is different and I am very partial to my money especially since budgets are budgets. I gave him an offer of $15 knowing there was no way he would take it. He responded with a counter of $35. I couldn't do it.

Fast forward a few more months and finally he posts it as an auction, opening bid, 99 cents. I was all over that. A couple bidders also jumped in but in the end it was mine with shipping for less than $10!!! That is more than 10 times less than I would have given and more than 5 times less than the original price which I MIGHT have paid if I had the funds. While I went a long time without having it, luckily it will stay with me going forward and for a price everyone can live with! 

11/12 Score Brett Connolly All-Star Rookie Auto 3/5
Here is the front. Sticker auto with his number 14 on the card. Also All-Star 2011/12 is embossed on the front as well. Other than those features, it looks just like his Score Rookie.

Here is the back, all the same again with the exception of the numbering 3/5. Strange not to see a guarantee on the back about the autograph but I suspect these convention cards sometimes are just thrown together pretty quickly and no need for a few extra printing plates.

While many wouldn't care too much about this card, it is my main PC and relatively rare too. I hope that I can land a few more rarities as he is now back in the NHL hopefully full-time with the Lightning and a few more cards will be produced! Patience is key, I am not the first or last to benefit either. I just need to remember this experience when future trades and purchases don't work out when I hope them to!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

When the Kings win the Cup, so do I!

When the Kings won the Cup a couple years ago, they beat my beloved Devils I might have felt like I lost, but I did win something! This time around my Devils didn't make the playoffs so I was able to cheer guilt free. However, they got themselves into some trouble early on but when it was said and done they were the best team in the NHL and as a result won their second Cup in franchise history.

In the beginning Casey warned us the prizes were going to be awesome and man o man, they were better than anyone including me could have expected. Without further ado, here is the loot:

91-92 Parkhurst Niklas Lidstrom Rookie
 One of my favourite sets from the 90's and my absolute favourite from that year. A rookie of a future HOF defenseman is not a bad way to start.

 91-92 Parkhurst Dominik Hasek Rookie
 While this is one of my favourite sets of all-time, this isn't one of my favourite players. Not even close to one. But he too will likely find his way into the Hall of Fame some day and not just as a visitor. I do to just remember him as a Hawk because it seems like after he left everything went down hill as far as respect goes.

91-92 Upper Deck Dominik Hasek Rookie
 Hate the set and hate the player. Still a future HOF rookie so it isn't all bad!

91-92 Upper Deck Teemu Selanne Rookie
 Future HOF rookie? Yep, and maybe you are noticing a pattern with this awesome look. While I dislike the set, I did like the Canada Cup cards at the beginning of the set, it is more the base card design and over production that I disliked.

90-91 Upper Deck Pavel Bure Rookie
 I could own 100 of these and it won't diminish the coolness of Bure's only rookie card. K is for Kaptain.

95-96 SPx Daniel Alfredsson Rookie
 Very cool card and one design I haven't actually seen before. I wasn't into collecting much during this time period and only have his Young Gun from this year thanks to me still going after Collector's Choice. However, this is a neat enough card to have me interested in the set and this is another example of a future HOF rookie I am sure.

77-78 OPC Cleveland Barons
 Fun cards you can only find in the OPC release of 77-78. I have a Colorado Rockies one and this makes two. I wish Topps included this so I could try and track them all down as part of my set chase which I will post about at a later date.

76-77 OPC KC Scouts Team Checklist
 Back when the Devils franchise began. Just a cool card that of course means Casey cares.

77-78 OPC Craig Patrick
 Another card from a set I like more than the average collector (again more on this in another post). I don't have many from the OPC release so this card is another welcomed addition.

88-89 OPC Steve Yzerman 5th year
 Back on the HOF/future HOF track. Stevie Y from the iconic 88-89 OPC set.

87-88 OPC Steve Yzerman 4th year
 Here is Steve from the not-so iconic 87/88 OPC set. I really don't know why this set isn't loved as much (design is a little weak). Oates and Robitaille rookies are the biggies here but a few good sleeper rookies like Damphousse, Mike Vernon, Stephane Richer, Claude Lemieux and Bill Ranford to name a few.

86-87 OPC Steve Yzerman 3rd year
 One of the coolest Yzerman cards coming my way and one I definitely didn't own but really wanted to have.

89-90 Topps Brian Leetch Rookie
Tired of the HOF and future HOF rookies yet? I am definitely not. Another one I might already own but is in amazing shape like all the cards that came my way and is truly appreciated.

79-80 OPC Barry Melrose Rookie
 This rookie books for higher than Simmer AND Tonelli! Make sense? Not to me but this is a pretty cool rookie nonetheless. Check out the upper left of the photo, looks like a printing error and I never noticed that before this post.

74-75 OPC WHA Anders Hedberg Rookie
 WHA HOF'ers! This package I got from Casey is amazing and there was a pair of WHA HOF rookies.

74-75 OPC WHA Ulf Nilsson
 Ulf is another WHA HOF rookie in the collection. Even though I already had these two cards, the condition they are both in are superior to the ones I have in my set and so I am very pleased to have doubles!

90-91 Score Martin Brodeur
 Wow. Best Devils goalie ever. Top 5 in NHL history if you ask me and maybe even top 3 depending on what we are talking about. Another very fine specimen for the collection.

02-03 Crown Royale Tim Thomas Rookie Purple /799
 Didn't have this one at all and glad I do now. Not a big fan of him, but I love rookies and I was missing one from the former Vezina winner.

02-03 SPx Ryan Miller Rookie /999
Another top notch player and perennial Vezina candidate in rookie form. Like Thomas, I really would like to have owned one but didn't have it high enough on the priority list to make the purchase. Really glad to see this one in the package.

84/85 OPC Steve Yzerman Rookie Leader
Part of the base set but from Stevie's rookie year is this leader card. I have a couple of his base rookies but only one of these cards which is in the set as well. Very happy to add this to my collection and I would LOVE to get it signed some day. Not sure if he does TTMs but I will check into it as this might be an awesome mail away.

62-63 Topps Jean Ratelle 2nd year
The 2nd oldest card in the lot and one of the coolest is Jean Ratelle. This is his second year card and the stats on the back are all from his rookie season. This card is OLD and in amazing shape. Another huge addition to the collection and one I didn't have but always wanted.

57-58 Topps Alex Delvecchio
Holy PC love Batman. Just pure amazing this card is.

79-80 OPC Gordie Howe Final Year
Another card I always wanted but didn't have. I have two of these in Topps form but not the cooler OPC. This card is amazing and in such superb condition it has been sitting on my display mantle for weeks now. Another winner for the winner!

77-78 OPC WHA Gordie Hower
Last card is another amazing Howe card. This is one I already had in my set but the one Casey sent was superior is quality and is also on my mantle at home. Just amazing when you consider all the cards and you have two Gordie Howe's from his playing days. Many consider Gordie the greatest of all-time and some day I would like to have one of every card from his playing days and having a couple not in a set I am building/already have is pretty nice.

Thank you very much Casey, all of these cards are going to be well taken care of and appreciated for a very long time!