Friday, March 31, 2017

The Russian 3

Back in 1992 the NHL was an explosive and exciting league and offensive numbers were high and no one was aware of the decline that was eventually to follow. Selanne and Mogilny tied for the most goals in the league with 76 and 14 players in total would score 50 goals that season. Mario Lemieux had an amazing 69 goals in 60 games. If Mario played the full 84 games he may have scored 96 but fact of the matter is streaks and slumps happen but I do believe he might have scored 90 that year.

What was equally exciting was the promise of all the young stars in the league and in particular Fedorov, Mogilny and Bure. Fedorov was coming into his own setting a career high in goals (34) and points (87) while just playing 73 games. Mogilny as previously mentioned scored a career high 76 goals and 127 points. Meanwhile, Bure scored his first of consecutive 60 goal seasons and he would flirt with that total a few more times in his short career.

Having lived through this golden age of hockey I have always been interested and enamored with these three superstars and hope all three make the Hall of Fame some day. As a result I was pleased to land all three in autograph form. What is another cool tie is all three have their rookie cards in Upper Decks 1990-91 release where Bure and Fedorov were listed as Young Guns. However, Mogilny had already played an NHL season with the Sabres so he didn't get the same cardboard treatment but nevertheless is a rookie in the set. Seeing these cards as a kid and wanting to pull them out of every pack I believe only adds to my nostalgia with these three players. So here are their autos, please enjoy!

2015 Leaf Signature Series MVPs Sergei Fedorov Auto

Unlicensed products can really be amazing or really awful. What Dr. Price and ITG accomplished in their over 10 years of making products like Heroes and Prospects and others must be acknowledged. I believe ITG was a fantastic company that did quite a bit with very little and pushed other companies to step up their game and use their licensing to it's fullest. Since the buy out, Leaf has tried to continue the trend but to be honest with you I really can't comment on the product as I don't really own many pieces or have tried purchasing any packs or boxes. I do own a couple singles with the being one of them and I like the card and feel that it's a good product. Given collector's hesitation towards this product, secondary market prices are low and this card was had for a very good price (about half book value).

95-96 Be A Player Global Training Alexander Mogilny Auto
The second auto of my trio is a card from the mid-90's. If I have one regret it wasn't loading up on boxes of this stuff once upon a time. With that however, who would have known that little from this era would have been very desirable. Even over time lots of the auto stuff has diminished to very affordable prices too and this potential HOF on card auto was a very affordable 10 dollars.

99-00 Upper Deck Retro Inkredible Pavel Bure
Despite Mogilny's 76 goal season and 473 career goals in less than a 1000 games, most would probably name Pavel Bure as the best goal scorer in the bunch. Personally I do consider him and Alex equals in those regards but with that being said, Bure was the most explosive of the three. Hard to say what may have happened if he didn't have all those injuries (how many times have we said that about a player) but two 60 goal seasons and a couple near misses showed everyone what he was capable of accomplishing. I love this card and the large and prominent auto. Florida isn't how I'd like to remember him but nevertheless this was a pleasure to add to the collection.

Do you have any memories of these three lighting it up? Would you have a preference of one over another on your team? If I could pick one it would be Sergei because he was the most complete but if I had just one game to play, Bure in his prime would be pretty awesome too. Thankfully the Devils did have Mogilny and we do have a Cup to show for his efforts! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

1979-80 Topps Wayne Gretzky RC

Oh boy, I figure it is about time to share this one. I have actually had it for about a year and a half but with my time away and stuff I have finally got around to scanning and sharing this. The unfortunate part is this card is slabbed so scanning it wasn't as successful as I hope and I didn't really feel like playing around with the camera today. So please keep that in mind as you proceed through this post.

1979-80 Topps Wayne Gretzky RC
To say I have wanted this card my whole life would be a bit of hyperbole as I have only been collecting since 1990. However, I have wanted this card ever since then so that pretty much feels like my entire life. Having a pretty tight budget meant that I couldn't drop 2000+ on a PSA 9 or 10 but at the same time I felt life is short why not at least get a decent one for a decent price and then worry about a better one for my OPC set later. As it stands I am not done my Topps set and even with this card I am still about a dozen (give or take) away from the set. While my set is an average of Ex-Mt or better I was willing to let a little go when it came to the Great One.

The card itself is stunning in person. Don't let the grading fool you at first glance it looks like a 7. However, it is truly a 4 and it's flaws are visible if you take a few moments to scan around and tilt the card. You can see corner wear on the upper right and bottom left.Tilt the card and you will see the upper left is a tiny bit soft. On the back by the 1978-79 there is a tiny hairline crease that sometimes takes me a while to find depending on the light etc. Also a tiny bit of browning on the edge of the card make it truly a 4 I suspect. Enough of the bad, this card is all great to me and it a very very fun addition to a collection I always felt needed at least one Gretzky RC.

Here is the back side, the scanning didn't turn out as well as the front but I wanted to share it anyway.

I bought this card knowing it was a PSA 4 and would have its flaws. Given how difficult they are to spot I felt it was an amazing purchase and am so pleased to have it in my collection. I honestly don't ever see myself getting rid of it ever, even if I added more Gretzkys to my collection. My end goal is to have a nice one in the 7 range in both Topps and OPC to go along with my autograph and game used Great Ones.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing one of the most important cards in my collection. Are there any cards in your collection that you would say are keystone cards which you had to have or knew needed to be apart of the collection?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Parkhurst Project Card 35: Doug Bentley RC

This Parkies set is one which has small fries, medium fries, large fries and massive potatoes. This pick up is one of the medium fries in my opinion. Even though Doug began his career in 1940 this card is indeed his rookie. One misconception I see all the time is vendors assume that ALL the cards in the set are rookies cards which sadly isn't the truth. Players like Elmer Lach, Turk Broda and others make appearances in card sets from the 30's. However, Bentley was just late enough to miss the 39-40 OPC set and here is his rookie and really apart from his Bee Hive photos doesn't have any other cards from his playing days. With that being said if I were to only ever have one card created of me, this one is pretty darn awesome. 

I love the snow shower picture and the fantastic "Black Hawks" sweater. The Hawks players seemed to think this was a great idea as well as a few other cards in the set have the same idea

1951-52 Parkhurst Douglas Bentley Rookie
As you can see the text and front of the card are pretty clear and in person the colours are nice. There is some definite rounding of the corners and some creasing but nothing that really takes away from enjoying the card. I can't remember what I paid for this card but I do remember picking it up and another from a card shop in Halifax for around the price of a blaster.

Doug Bentley was a very good player from the 1940's who lead the league in goals twice and points once. He was eventually inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame which is pretty impressive for a young lad who grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan. Having just finished reading Mr. Hockey it seems there were a number of these young farm lads from Saskatchewan and I both enjoyed the book and this card greatly! Thanks for stopping by, not sure what I will post next but I will find something fun to share.


Card #48 and # 35 of my set

Percentage Complete:


Officially I've crossed the 1/3 way mark. I have about another half dozen to share but it's still cool to see that milestone on here. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Parkhurst Project Card 34: Robert Goldham RC

Wow, I cannot believe it has been nearly 3 years since I have updated the Parkhurst Project. In that time I have added a few cards, some found in random card shops, some online and even one was sent to me out of the kindness of a fellow collector's heart! With all that being said, I am making a slight alteration to the project because I have long forgotten what I have paid for some of the cards it's going to continue forward without a cost tally.

Today's addition I am going to share was my freebie thanks to Sal from Two summers ago he sent me a nice package with all kinds of cool goodies and this card was one of the ones in the package. I was totally floored by his generosity and couldn't thank him enough. In fact, Sal, thank you once again!!

1951-52 Parkhurst Robert Goldham RC

The card is pretty nice and clean. Two tiny tape stains on the bottom left and upper right corners and some rounding of the corners but otherwise this awesome. No real creases to speak of and original gloss make it a card that's even better looking in person.

Robert Goldham better known as Bob had not just one nickname from his playing days but two! He earned the nickname "Golden Boy" during his Malboros days and then "Second Goalie" for his fearless puck blocking. In an era of limited armour, the puck blocking is extra impressive if you ask me. His career in the NHL spanned from 1941-1956 but he did miss a few seasons while serving his country in the Navy. Thankfully he returned home safe where he would have an impressive NHL career as a defenseman. During those years he would win 3 more Cups to go with the one he won as a rookie in 1942 (His 1946-47 Leafs would win the Cup but he didn't meet the games requirement to make it on the Cup). This card lists his best offensive point total of his career where he would score 5 goals and 18 assists in 61 games. For his career of 650 games he would finish with 28 goals, 143 assists for 171 points. Not too bad for a player who gave up many of his prime years to fight for his country.


Card #67 and # 34 of my set

Percentage Complete:


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Trio of 13-14 Artifacts Brett Connolly Team Canada Patches

Brett Connolly the other night against the Rangers scored the game winning goal. That goal was his 13th of the season which is a career high and his 3rd game winner which is also a career high at the NHL level. With the home stretch coming up and a chance to play in 17 more games I am still optimistic he can approach 20 goals on the season which would be an impressive accomplishment. Combine that with him being a restricted free agent at the end of the season and is approaching his prime I am hopeful there will be a few suitors out there if the Caps decide not to retain his services. In celebration of his accomplishments here are a couple news Team Canada Connollys and one that you've seen before.

13-14 Artifacts Team Canada Brett Connolly Patch /5
 This is pretty awesome, ok patch and amazing IIHF tag. This is probably my favourite swatch out of my entire Connolly collection.

 13-14 Artifacts Team Canada Brett Connolly Auto Patch /8
I've shared this one before but this card probably has it all. Nice jersey, great patch which actually has a hint of gold in the window and an autograph. Sadly it doesn't match the photo but otherwise it's a pretty awesome piece.

 13-14 Artifacts Team Canada Brett Connolly Patch /15

The last one is new shared content as well. No autograph but two just down right fantastic patches. Part of the A in Canada and some piece of the crest with 4 colours. For a non-autographed card it does a pretty good job being awesome. The person at Upper Deck who assembled this one did an amazing job. Plus when you see the holo-gold foil it just draws your attention. 

I do have another rare one from this sequence and that is the basic auto black /5 but it didn't have any patches or swatches and is standard thickness and I am worried about trying to pick it back up off the scanner bed given the black can chip easily so perhaps I'll snap a photo some day with the camera and share it. Thanks for stopping by, next post hopefully will be coming in a day or two!

Friday, March 3, 2017

An Improved 11-12 Upper Deck The Cup Adam Henrique Auto Patch Rookie /249

Couple years ago I picked up an Adam Henrique The Cup Rookie which was pretty great. Great in the sense that it was a must have for a PC and I believe most collectors who have a big interest in a specific play will try and land one. A little while after I posted the card I noticed something sad.... finger nail indentations into the top of the card. They were small, but just enough to make me feel disappointed. It's not the first time and in fact I have noticed it several times over the years. I don't know if it is the player who damages it or if its the pack opener but either way the card is now far from mint. Fast forward a couple years and I was able to find a new copy which has no indentations and a slightly better swatch too! Win win!

My old copy is still in my collection and actually I have it displayed in my classroom where it looks fantastic and my new copy is at home in my collection where I enjoy it regularly.

11-12 Upper Deck The Cup Adam Henrique Auto Patch Rookie /249
 Front side is standard issue. Nice on card auto and a two colour patch this time instead of just one white piece.

This time around here is the back side.

This season has been a forgettable one for the Devils. After a great start we have been inconsistent since December and as a club we clearly have a ways to go before we will taste the post season again. I'm hopeful for a good draft pick in a believed to be weak draft class and perhaps we can see some continued growth from the prospects we do have so veterans like Adam Henrique can be rewarded for these lean years.

How about your own collection? Do you have any cards the require an upgrade or have you upgraded some in the past? Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

13-14 Upper Deck Vladimir Tarasenko Young Gun

Vladdy Tarasenko has been on my radar ever since him and the Russians broke my heart at the 2011 WJHC. Tarasenko was the captain and scored the game tying goal in the third period after Canada has been up 3-0 after 2 periods. He would then set up the Breadman Artemi Panarin for the game winner 8 minutes later and Canada would have to settle for silver.

It would be a couple years before he would make his mark in the NHL but there is no doubt Tarasenko is a star and he is two goals away from 3 consecutive 30 goal seasons. During his rookie year he started to show signs of brilliance so I tracked down two of his rookie cards including this one here. Looking back I am not willing to say just yet he is the best of the Dual Rookie Class but he certainly is one of the best that includes Nathan MacKinnon, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Galchenyuk just to name a few.

13-14 Upper Deck Vladimir Tarasenko Young Gun
Despite the larger print run than many rookies, Young Guns always are a fan favourite and as far as designs go, the 13-14 Young Guns design is one of my favourites of the past decade. Time will tell how the 13-14 class will fare but with players like Nail Yakupov and Valeri Nichushkin not panning out as expected and MacKinnon stuck doing it all by himself in Colorado the true star of the class might be a few years away from being decided. Players like Barkov and Huberdeau when healthy have begun to show great promise as well. What are your thoughts on the 13-14 rookie class? Has one player emerged as the tops of the group yet?