Thursday, June 30, 2016

If I Were An NHLer I'd Be....

Nick Backstrom (not the goalie). Why Nick Backstrom I am sure a few people are wondering and perhaps the rest will just skip down to my new Backstrom cards and I'm cool with that...go ahead.

Still here? Ok, of all the NHL players, the one with the most skill and flies the most under the radar in my opinion is Nick Backstrom and I believe that is what I'd likely be like if I had his skill and position in the league. Apart from a small allergy medication mistake, he has been a model player and perfect teammate. He lets Ovechkin take all the attention and he quietly performs at a high level away from the spotlight. Of all the current active players, Backstrom ranks second in career assists per game (0.73) and 7th in points per game (0.98). Sure having Ovechkin helps one's stats but I am a firm believer Ovechkin equally benefits from their relationship and on a couple of occasions they finished within a handful of points of one another in scoring. With that all being said, Backstrom isn't a floater and knows how to compete and both ends of the ice and sadly isn't recognized for all that he does which only adds to my personal appreciation. Neat fact, for 6 of his 9 NHL seasons, he has appeared on some ballots for the Selke award. His best finish was 10th in 2009-10, perhaps like Nick Lidstrom the recognition will come later in his career when writers see him for who he truly is, an outstanding NHL Centerman.

07-08 OPC Premier Nicklas Backstrom Auto Rookie /299
Here is a nice 4 swatch piece of player worn jersey with an on card auto. Much like the Patrick Kane I shared earlier it is a pretty nice card if you ask me. One thing I always wished I could have done is picked up a pack of OPC Premier but sadly the price point was hard to justify. The good news is many of the big names (and there are many) can be had for fantastic prices for collectors who are willing to wait. If memory serves me right I landed this for the price of a blaster shipped which was a steal for a fan like myself.

Here's the backside which has the larger photo of Nick. Again stats or vitals would have been nice but I have his Young Gun if I want that info I guess...or the internet.

So question for those who are interested in playing, what NHL'er do you feel represent the player you would be or do you feel embodies how you'd play the game?

Want more Backstrom, here was my post on his Sweet Shot rookie from a while back.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Pair of Blackhawks Sweet Shot Rookies

Surprise surprise, here I am with more Sweet Shot rookies. What can I say, I am a sucker for these cards and I believe they both are worth sharing so here they are!

07-08 UD Sweet Shot Patrick Kane Rookie Jersey RC /599
First up is the 2015-16 Art Ross Trophy Winner Patrick Kane. This card is numbered to 463/599 and has three swatches including a two colour swatch. 

What I like most about the backside of this card is you get a small "did ya know" in the upper right hand side.

07-08 UD Sweet Shot Jonathan Toews Rookie Jersey RC /599
While I do like Patrick Kane, I am an even bigger fan of Jonathan Toews. I would totally add him as a PC if I could afford to but sadly his stuff is a little rich for my blood so I have to pick and choose what to add from him. Love this card though with all three Hawks colours appearing on the front.

Here is what the card looks like from the back side of things. You have to love that Team Canada saw so much potential in Toews that they put him on the roster before he even played in an NHL game given the number of NHLers who could have played in his spot.

Thanks for stopping by hopefully you aren't getting too tired of the Blackhawks cards of late, I promise something different next time!

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Beau-utiful Trade.

It wasn't exactly the draft I was hoping for, as the Coyotes grabbed Clayton Keller who by some projected would have been available in the 11 slot when the Devils were picking but clearly he was a bigger talent than some expected. So when it came time to select the Devils felt they could get their man in the 12 slot (Michael McLeod) and made a trade with Ottawa. That trade got them an addition 3rd round pick (Joey Anderson) and allowed us to trade our 77th pick from the 3rd round since we now had three choices in the round for Beau Bennett.

Beau hasn't really found loads of NHL success which is probably why the Penguins felt comfortable trading away a former 1st round pick for a 3rd rounder but New Jersey is a special place where people who haven't been successful find success (Devante Smith-Pelly, Kyle Palmieri etc) and others who have had success can't find it elsewhere (David Clarkson, Scott Gomez etc). Time will tell what Beau will be able to do in a Devils uniform but the cost (a 3rd round pick) seems like a very calculated risk to me and well worth the try. Beau was a fantastic junior player in the BCHL and I'm projecting 40 point seasons in his future which is an excellent return for a 3rd round pick.

I want to believe this is what Beau did when he heard about the trade! Welcome to the Garden State Beau.

Btw, Beau was born in Gardena California, kind of a neat coincidence.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2015-16 Art Ross, Hart and Ted Lindsay Award Winner...Patrick Kane

After so many seasons of having hot starts to only cool off or to have an injury limit Patrick Kane's season totals, he finally wins the Art Ross many projected he would win some day. Who would have thought all it took was a slow developing Russian winger to finally give him the offensive support to be able to go wire to wire. While Kane has steadily developed year after year, I believe he owes a great deal of thanks to Artemi Panarin who helped Kane reach the next level in terms of offense and in turn made Panarin the Calder winner and potentially a star for years to come.

Kane's offensive output this season has really pushed his cardboard prices up and thankfully I was able to land this one a while back before the spike in values happened. 

07-08 OPC Premier Patrick Kane Auto Rookie /299
Two sets I really love and are underappreciated in the 07-08 year are OPC Premier and UD Sweet Shot. This rookie has 4 swatches, on card auto and a respectable print run of 299 copies. All three are winners in my opinion and the book price isn't much different than his much beloved Young Gun.

Here's the backside for those who like that type of thing. I love the photo on the back is a larger and less cropped photo from the front but I dislike the lack of Patrick Kane info.

So what does Mr. Kane do this summer to prepare for next season? Hopefully he stays out of trouble and just trains and rests. What does Mr. Kane do for an encore next season? That is anyone's guess but given the chemistry him and the Breadman have I wouldn't be surprised if its a 4 way race for the Art Ross next season between Kane, Benn, Crosby and McDavid.

Friday, June 17, 2016

13-14 Dominion Gold Alex Galchenyuk Auto Rookie /25

Before the passing of Mr. Hockey, it was my intention to share this card next but alas losing a legend takes priority over brags and shares.

This particular card was picked up last year before the season started in the hopes that Alex Galchenyuk would have a break out season and I could either enjoy the break out or eventually use the card as trade bait. Well Alex held up his end of the bargain but potting 30 goals and hit a career high of 56 points. There were times where he just seemed unstoppable but there were a few stretches where he did have some cold spells. I am a firm believer that this is just the beginning of things to come for this kid and in a few seasons I believe he will be a consistent 80+ point guy and the people in the "La Belle Province" will be sporting his number 27 on their hockey sweaters.

13-14 Dominion Gold Alex Galchenyuk Auto Rookie /25
Not exactly a "patch" which is my lone disappointment with this card but otherwise it has everything on it that makes it a winner and I am pleased to have it in my collection. Is it available for trade? Perhaps, but in the words of many NHL GM's "I am not actively shopping it around". Like the growth Alex has shown this past season I am still hopeful that Nail Yakupov can do the same stuff his former teammate and friend has done.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Congrats Penguins and 1990-91 Pro Set Stanley Cup Hologram /5000

Another season in the books and this time it is the Penguins that raise the Stanley Cup. This one is their fourth in franchise history and the second in the last decade. In honour of their Cup win, here is a Stanley Cup!

90-91 Pro Set Stanley Cup Hologram NNO /5000
Holy crap, that scanned like.....crap. Well, I am going to say this card isn't mint and really isn't close. But it does look far better than that in person. With that being said, I find the 75th Anniversary Hologram to be a much much better looking card. In person I would say the card is pretty decent and more importantly another one crossed off my bucket list of white whales. Sadly the trade I announced fell through and I didn't let that deter me and I was able to sell the box I was going to trade and buy this card AND others so not bad if you ask me.

Here is the back side of the card. It is hand numbered and you can read a little history on Lord Stanley's Cup.

Thanks for checking in and I hope to share a few fun mail days I received in the past while! Congrats Pens fans, hope it is was a great ride!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Rest in Peace Mr. Hockey

Today we lost one of the game's greatest players, ambassadors and father. Gordie Howe passed away this morning at the age of 88. Words cannot express my sadness and I am just so happy to have my own special memory of meeting this legend.

Thank you Gordie for all that you have done for the game, and here are a few special cards of him from my collection.

65-66 Coca Cola

70-71 OPC Mr. Hockey Error (NNO)

79-80 OPC  (Last card from his playing days)

 77-78 OPC WHA (Last WHA Card)

An autographed handout when I saw his skate with the Thunder Bay Thunder Hawks
The card Bamlinden turned that signature into. 
Thanks for looking. :'(

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hey Cougars, Brett Connolly is a fan!

We season 1 in Boston is over and my boy Brett is an RFA for the final time and Boston needs to decide if they liked what they saw or if they would like to move his rights/risk losing him. The good from the season was at times he played well on the top line and put up points in bunches including a 3 assist night against the Jets in February. The bad was a stretch to close the season out which had him off the top line scoring only 1 point in his final 10 games prior to ending the season injured.

I of course will be watching this off season closely and hopefully he will get a chance to play some solid top 6 minutes and have an opportunity to showcase his potential. Of course NJ is undergoing a retooling and while we need young forwards with scoring potential I am not sure if Brett is on Ray's Radar but one can only hope. In the meantime, here is a hat-trick of similar Brett Connolly SPx Rookies.

2011-12 SPx Brett Connolly Autographed Rookie /499
The first one in the three pack is the base Brett Connolly auto rookie which features a blue swatch and a sticker auto numbered with his junior number (8). I am a fan of the design of this and love how it almost looks like its a carbon fibre background. I am also a fan of the print run and think anything above /499 really shouldn't be numbered.

2011-12 SPx Patch Spectrum Brett Connolly Autographed Rookie /25
If you haven't seen these in person, add it to your to-do list. I love the spectrum foil on these cards. In addition each of the 25 cards features some inscription and in the case of Brett Connolly he went with "Go Cougars". How awesome is that, an inscription that could potentially have a double meaning! Of course he probably isn't referring to the urban dictionary version of a cougar but it still makes me chuckle looking at the card nonetheless. What is also sweet is the four colour patch they squeezed into the window of the card. Well done Upper Deck, well done! 

2011-12 SPx Patch Spectrum Brett Connolly Autographed Rookie /25
No you aren't seeing doubles here, but similar card yes! This time the patch is a three colour version and Brett is all about being on top of the "Go Cougars" instead of behind the idea. Ok, please excuse the high school humour but I just couldn't resist the lame joke. I did go after the second one because the inscription was written differently and the price was too good to be true. This is the only copy I have seen of this card where he wrote the inscription below his signature which made this a must have. I also like how the inscription versions have his NHL number and the base has his junior number.

Well there you have it a hat-trick of BC and a little HS humour. I promise a more serious post next time but in the meantime thanks for stopping by and putting up with me :)