Friday, January 30, 2015

The Greatest Goalie in Devils History and Possibly NHL History Retires

I definitely owe Marty more than I can ever mention in a post. I could probably dedicate an entire blog and fill it with 691 posts and STILL not do him justice. I have been a Devils fan since 1987 and in those nearly 30 years I have been a very very spoiled fan. 3 Cups, 2 other Cup final appearances and many many more playoff appearances. In the mid-late 90's when he was putting up his best numbers he was often overlooked because of the great tandem of D-men in front of him. It was almost like he was being punished for being on a good team. That didn't happen to Ken Dryden, but for some reason it happened to Marty. Still he never complained and kept putting up HOF numbers and finally in the 2000's he got his due. 2 Olympic gold medals and a HOF career. Now he is transitioning to stage two of his life and I suspect he will be just as successful there as he was on the ice. I look forward to his Devils return next year where he will likely join management in some capacity and I hope to see him as our GM some day (assuming it is a fit and something he wants).

In the meantime, here is a nice card my BFAM (Brother from another mother) Tom sent me a couple months back.

13-14 Artifacts Tundra Trios Brodeur/Elias/Kovalchuk
This card features three neat players. First is the GOAT Devil Marty, then our franchise leading scorer Patrik and finally what some may call our greatest mistake Ilya. This card is nearly perfect, I would love to have seen a white swatch and maybe a D-man instead of Kovy.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

11-12 Dominion Mammoth - Adam Henrique (Player Worn) /50

There are some cards out there that are part of my PC but I really don't care if I ever land them. This card is a prime example. While Panini did some pretty bad things (Pinnacle anyone?), Dominion was one of my favourite products. But with that being said, the Mammoth inserts were pretty much ho-hum in my opinion and for really only one reason. There is no blue in the Devils jerseys....ever! I suspect I am now a proud owner of a Panini jersey swatch! I have seen a few photos and patches from that said jersey and it really is the only thing that makes sense here. So the question is, do I really want to own a piece of a jersey that is about as fake as they get? The answer is pretty much no.

With that being said, I made a twitter trade a while back which featured a load of cards and this one was in there so I am guessing I care about it more than a Henrique base card but that is primarily because it at least has a low print run and is a rookie year card.

11-12 Dominion Mammoth - Adam Henrique (Player Worn) /50

What I do like about the card is the photo, NHLPA symbol and the large swatch size. I really just dislike the swatch. If that was a nice Devils jersey, this card would have been a winner for me. Instead, it is another for the pile and one I will probably not display on a regular basis.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fin Finds - 13-14 UD Series 1 Marc Staal Game Used Patch /15

My LCS seems to have little respect for GU cards with many living in the 3 for 5 bin or are labelled with unbelievably awesome prices. That is the case with this card.

Marc and I are from the same part of the world with both of us having been born on the Fort William side of Thunder Bay.

13-14 UD Series 1 Marc Staal Game Used Patch /15
Being a collector who has busted countless packs of UD's base set I can attest these patch cards are nearly impossible to pull. Since getting back into the hobby in 2007, I probably have busted over a case or two of this stuff and while the is a small number to some, that is still a pretty significant number of boxes. In that time, I have pulled loads of game used cards, countless Young Guns and even more inserts. I however have only managed to pull 1 patch card and 1 autograph card. The patch card was a pretty epic experience and it is a card that probably has diminished a fair bit in value due to saturation but is still a card I cherish a fair bit. The autograph was of Ryan Potulny and I certainly don't hold it in the same light!

Landing a fellow Thunder Bay boy in patch form with a really low print run is a nice deal if you ask me, what sweetens it is the fact it cost a fin! Yep 5 bucks for a card that if I spent 4 bucks on a pack and pulled I would have danced a jig. Hmm, am I finished with packs for good now?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

13-14 Prime Mark Arcobello Rookie /25 (Trade bait?)

Here is another twitter trade acquisition. I got this from someone in a pretty big blockbuster trade and I wanted the card initially because I like the kid and I have a soft spot for the Oilers as far as Canadian teams go. 

Check out the swatches. A two colour patch, a two colour jersey, a white jersey and a piece of the fight strap! Nice on card auto, but sadly a little chipping on the far side. I didn't notice the chipping when then scans were sent prior to trade but the swatches more than make up for it.

13-14 Prime Mark Arcobello Rookie /25
So what to do with this card now? Since the trade, Mark has been waived from Nashville and Edmonton and has landed in Pittsburgh. I like this landing spot because it means he could get a chance to just play offense which is his best trait. However, Pittsburgh also means that many teams passed on him during the waiver process and unless he starts performing he could be in his last NHL stop. I am hopeful things will work out and in the meantime I can enjoy this card. However, since he is out of Edmonton the draw to own this is a little less and I certainly can make it available to anyone who might be a die-hard Arco fan or Pittsburgh/Nashville fan.

Monday, January 19, 2015

13-14 ITG Heroes and Prospects Jonathan Drouin Subway Super Series Patch /30

Living in Nova Scotia for the past 10 years have been pretty good, especially from a hockey standpoint. The Mooseheads have had some pretty decent teams during that time and the province has pumped out a few decent players. Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon being the two best in recent years. While Jonathan Drouin is not a Nova Scotia native, he did spend a couple seasons with the Mooseheads so I am willing to overlook place of birth and call him one of our own!

13-14 ITG Heroes and Prospects Jonathan Drouin Subway Super Series Patch /30

Still waiting to land an official rookie auto of this kid but in the meantime here is a nice game used patch from the Subway Super Series! This is from the crest on the front of his jersey and is a pretty decent sized one at that! I love how affordable ITG stuff is on the secondary market and if you plan on not making it an investment piece, then it is often the best bang for your buck! Landed this a while back for less than a pack of Artifacts shipped!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

11/12 Panini Prime Larsson/Greene/Brodeur Prime Trio /100

Another twitter trade here this time with my brother from another mother Tom. He collects Brodeur exclusively but lucky for me he doesn't want the card sullied with any other players so I was able to get this beauty among others.

11/12 Panini Prime Larsson/Greene/Brodeur Prime Trio /100
Just an awesome and simple card with Three future HOF'ers on it. Oops did I say three? One is a very very very long shot to make the Hall and the other is too early in his career but the start definitely isn't one of HOF pedigree but hey Marty is on the card. I actually like the other two kids as well! Any Greene could be our next captain (secretly I am hoping for Henrique) and Adam will finally get a chance to learn and grow with Scott Stevens at the helm so this card definitely is cool to me!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Give me an A - Probably one of the coolest names in the NHL

Radko Gudas. In my opinion one of the most unique names I have ever heard and probably as cool as Zarley Zalapski!

I have made loads of Twitter trades in the last couple months and now time is a bit on my side I hope to start sharing some of them.

13-14 UD Ultimate Radko Gudas Debut Threads Ultimate Patch /100
Here is a pretty awesome patch with some very nice holo-foiling around it. This patch features a good portion of the Tampa A as well as a piece of the T and M. These are the types of patches we are used to seeing ITG and Panini pump out and now UD is getting their act together. I hope we see more patches like this in the future on cards with this large of a print run!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Complete Hall of Fame PC - Paul Coffey

Given this size and this scope of this PC. I want to try and formalize how I present it. This is my first attempt and I am hopeful that I get it right the first time and don't have to tinker with it too much. As some of you know, my plan is to get at least 2 out of 3 key cards in a HOF player's career. My plan is to try and own a rookie card, an autographed card and/or a game used card. In some cases a rookie card might be too far out of my reach so I will gladly settle for an auto and a game used. In other cases, an autograph might be nearly impossible so I will have to chase a game used and a rookie. 

With many of the modern players (1980 to present, I will do everything I can to try and go 3 of 3). 

While I have a number of these "done" I am planning on starting from scratch and sharing them in a common format.

What is complete: In the case of Paul Coffey I was able to go 3 for 3.

Card 1: 1981-82 OPC Rookie
This is a card I had for a while, mailed it away to be signed TTM and never saw it again. I was able to buy another to replace it and I just tried to get one in the same condition as the last. Some day I hope to get the set and then maybe get a copy in better shape but for now this is more than fine for me!

Card 2: 2012-13 Artifacts Paul Coffey Auto Black /5
Currently this is my first and only Paul Coffey auto. I do plan on getting his 97-98 BAP one someday since I am working on that set but this is definitely a nice card to have as part of his PC. I am a little sad Upper Deck put a sticker meant for an Oilers card (#7) instead of a Penguins card (#77) but I guess the sticker monkey wasn't too concerned. 

Card 3: 13-14 Upper Deck Game Jersey Paul Coffey
Here is a nice solitary jersey swatch in plain white. It could have been from his Pittsburgh days, at least that is what I am pretending. Just a cool shot of him playing from the 91-92 season which was a Cup winning season if memory serves me right.

Card 4: Bonus! 10-11 ITG Decades 80's For Your Country Silver /30
The only card I actually pack pulled! This one is an Oilers swatch and an old one at that. Love the colour contrast with the other swatches on this one plus the low print run and the multiple HOF'ers. Safe to say this one card will be pulling more than double duty!

Paul's Career:

Paul had a fantastic NHL and International career which made him a shoo-in for the HOF. He has a number of NHL records and I like to think he was my era's Bobby Orr. He didn't change the game for defenseman because Bobby and others already did that but he did dominate his position and that was evident by his career totals, 3 Norris trophies and his many untouchable records for a defenseman. I like to think his 48 goals, 28 game point streak and 8 points in one game are probably records that will stand for a very long time or never be broken. 

Paul appeared in 7 Cup finals and won 4 times all with Edmonton. Paul also represented Canada a number of times as well and won 3 Canada Cups and was on the Silver medal winning World Cup team in 1996. 

Paul was inducted into the HOF in 2004 which I believe was his first ballot. Today Paul is coaching junior hockey in Ontario and running a car dealership. His cards are all relatively low priced and autos usually can be had for under 20 dollars. Game used cards due to the large number out there can be had for well under 10 dollars and his rookie card today books for 50 dollars with high graded ones often receiving a hefty premium. 

My thoughts:

I believe Paul is definitely one of the best offensive defenseman that I have ever seen play and when he was with the Oilers he did a lot of work for the forward and in many ways I like to think as dominant as Gretzky was, Paul did have an impact on the forward's offensive production thanks to his amazing skating and puck moving skills. Same could be true for the converse, Paul also benefitted from an amazing set of forwards. 

Career Regular Season Numbers:

Gm 1409 Goals 396 Assists 1135 Points 1531 Plus/Minus+294

Final Fact:
Currently Paul Coffey sits 5th in all-time playoff scoring with 196 points. The next nearest active player chasing him is Marian Hossa who is nearly 70 points behind.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

What's in your wallet?

A very cool and fun idea is sweeping the hobby world! A wallet card. A number of my fellow bloggers have jumped on board and after much deliberation I have selected my card for the year. This card will be with me everywhere I go. When I lose my wallet, it will be in there. When I find my wallet, it will be in there. When I pull out my wad of 5 dollar bills, it will be in there.

What card did I select? Behold!

1991-92 Topps Stadium Club Mike Gartner.

Why you ask? Well they say keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I am keeping a really close eye on those New York Rangers this way. As many of you know I am a definitely a Mike Gartner fan and seeing this card every time I open my wallet isn't a bad thing. Plus, how can you NOT love that mustache?

Another reason is on the back of the card is one of my favourite cards of all-time and that is Mike Gartner's rookie from 80-81. Shame it is a Topps card but Topps featuring OPC would have been strange I guess. So by choosing this I actually get TWO cards from the price of one. How about you? Have a card you want to carry around for a year in your wallet? #WalletCard

Sunday, January 4, 2015

13-14 Prime Jon Merrill Prime Time Rookies Jersey Auto /25

This was a simple twitter trade one for one. Jon I have posted about before is a part of the Devils youth movement on the back end. Younger goalie, younger d-men, now we just need to work on the forwards. Lots of talent in the minors but it will be a few more years before Lou believes in them (assuming he will be around).

I am pleased with the coaching changes and Stevens is the right man to be working with these kids. Let them go out and make mistakes so they can learn from them. We are pretty much toast this year anyway, why not get better through practice and game situations?

13-14 Prime Jon Merrill Prime Time Rookies Jersey Auto /25
Nothing super special about this card but then again there was nothing really special about the card I sent either. Just a simple 1 for 1 which are sometimes nice trades to make!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

00-01 Private Stock Game Gear Sergei Fedorov Patch /175

The more and more I look around it seems that during my nearly 10+ year hiatus from the hobby I missed out on some pretty neat cards and products. While I have added some of the stuff out there I missed I am sure they are thousands upon thousands I will never get to see. The whole Metal Universe for example, is a concept I missed out on but apparently was well loved. 

Game used cards have been around for over 15 years now and I suspect they are here to stay. While they aren't as loved, as rare or as valuable as they once were, it is still a chance to get close to a player and own a piece of the game. Here is one card I picked up from a time I wasn't collecting and is so filthy it is amazing!  

00-01 Private Stock Game Gear Sergei Fedorov Patch /175
Check out that swatch! Clearly this jersey is either so heavily used it was stained or it was just never washed after it left Sergei's back! Either way, I LOVE it. True there could have been more intricate or cool swatches off that tire/wing but the dirty white mixed with the red is pretty cool in my books. Definitely a nice swatch from a future HOF'er! With this and his rookie card I am all set for when he is inducted as I will have the two of three I am always looking for. With that being said, he was such a big part of my hockey life growing up and a player I always respected that I probably will try and chase his auto too. Surprisingly though for being a modern star, there aren't loads of his autos out there and they actually sell in the 25-40 dollar range so hopefully I can land one via trade.

Friday, January 2, 2015

13-14 The Cup Reid Boucher Auto Rookie /249

Reid Boucher was another Devil who seemed to be missed by the card companies when it came to auto rookies. He had a Young Gun and a few other rookies made but no auto rookie until The Cup came out this fall. 

Unlike Gelinas, Reid Boucher was a star in junior and even broke Stamkos' Sarnia Sting record for most goals in a season with 62 goals in just 68 games! I think a combination of him being a later bloomer and being a New Jersey Devil seems to have him low on the card maker's priority lists. Thankfully this card was produced for fans like myself!

13-14 The Cup Reid Boucher Auto Rookie /249
Neat auto here with Reid being over top Boucher and the 15 tacked onto the end. Right now Reid is spending lots of time in the AHL but I am willing to be now that PDB is gone he will see more ice time later in the season and hopefully be a regular next year! He has loads of offensive potential and I can't wait to see him hit his stride!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

13-14 The Cup Eric Gelinas Auto Rookie /249

Every year the hockey season ends, summer begins and some point after that a new season of collecting begins and The Cup shows up fashionably late. For many collectors this is the highlight of the season as the super-premium set hits the market and nearly an equal number of collectors are annoyed that it is even called a product from the previous year. 

I am on the fence a little bit, I know this product is something I probably will never be able to afford to break and the cards are a little inflated in my opinion. However, the cards are usually very good quality and the late release allows for collectors to finally get an auto rookie of their favourite players. Despite many strange auto rookies you can land (Daniel Bang for example has a few), Eric Gelinas and Reid Boucher actually didn't have an auto rookie on the market until the release of The Cup! I am a pretty big fan of Boucher and Gelinas so I was very pleased that at least Upper Deck had done the right thing and snuck them into their set as part of the infamous auto rookie subset. Usually there are 10 or so rookies that didn't get to go to the showcase and therefore there are no event used swatches of these players so they end up with just an auto rookie. Such was the case for Eric Gelinas, so here enjoy!

13-14 The Cup Eric Gelinas Auto Rookie /249
Neat signature, on-card and numbered with his 22. You can kind of make out his name but definitely more scribble than scribe! This year's design is pretty decent and I am pleased this is apart of my collection and is now my favourite Gelinas rookie replacing this one at the top.