Well, with the NHL season now officially done for another year, I thought I'd give my thoughts on collecting over the summer.
Back when I was a kid, hockey card collecting was a very small window in my 12-month year. OPC would release their product, I would go bust some packs, there would be some trading and eventually, I would finish my set (or abandon it as my cash flow was pretty non-existent).
Summer would come and the thought of hockey cards would be a very distant memory. Back then, it was baseball cards. Add to that the fact that there was tons to do outdoors, vacation time, and no reminder of the NHL at all.
Nowadays, the NHL 'vehicle' is a year round show. Preseason starts in September and the Finals end in June. You have the combine, free-agency, the draft and blamo - you are right back into next season before you know it.
The same holds true for cards.
Before, it would be a small 3-4 month window with only one set to chase. Now, you have sets being released every month (and with the addition of another license, that will only increase).
For me, primarily being a player collector, I was searching year round. Things would ease off during the summer, but I would sometimes find great deals because others weren't looking for the card I needed. As for sets, I don't mind the release of cards all year....I just hate that one season blends into the next. There should be a hard date set and any cards being released before it given the date of one year and after it the date of the next.
For example....June 1 would be the hard date set. Before it, and your cards are 2009/10. After and it's 2010/11. Makes sense to me.
Ultimately, the barrage of product out there is a good thing. I don't like everything....so I don't look at everything. Just because it's been released doesn't mean I need to collect it (that was me a number of years ago - I learned my lesson).
Parameters and decisions from the collector determines the best time to buy or trade or sell or whatever.
It's just still a little weird to me to see new product come out in the middle of a gorgeous summer day.
I'll head to the store another time then.