Saturday, October 30, 2010

SCRIBBLES & SCRIBES - New Jersey Devils

A recent card show inspired this post. I couldn't believe my eyes when I was flipping through some singles boxes and came across these cards.

Alex Brooks

Now apparently, the names Alex and Brooks are spelled with the exact same letters. Either that, or Mr. Brooks just created his own brand new way of spelling.

"Around the block twice, a loop-dee-loop and home".

These scribbles just never will go away will they.

Hold on.....wait a minute. What's this?

Frank Doyle

I can't believe it! An NHLer that is younger than 25 and has a legible signature. Do my eyes deceive me?

Funny thing is, this is one heck of a boring signature. Yes, it's one I can make out and he does have good penmanship. But there is just no flare in his autograph. Maybe that 'F' but there is just not much more than that.

Still, I applaud you Frank Doyle. Thank you for giving me hope that there are be players out there who can sign their names with some level of competency.

Now if you could just break into the NHL.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I gotta say, just a week into my renewed Linden collecting and I have landed a pair of SOLID cards to add to the collection.

Last week, it was the stunning Panini 2010/11 Certified Mirror Emerald autograph /5. This week, it is his brother, the Mirror Gold autograph /25.

A great looking card I must say. I'll admit though, a little weak on the autograph quality. Trev normally has a bit better first name. This one looks more like a scribble.

Gotta love any card numbered /25 or less. Thing is, I've seen a few pop up already. I should have kept track.

I'm just glad to get one in my hands. A great price as well. One I'm really happy with.

Now on to find more Lindens. The Score product is being released tonight at midnight so I am eagerly anticipating more chances to add to my collection.


I went to my local card store last week for 'Trader's Night'. I had a great time talking with other collectors, opening some packs, playing pack wars, chowing down on some 'za and making a couple trades.

It's the last one that has been weighing on my mind for the past few days. Hence my post.

Have you ever agreed to a trade where you ended up having 'trader's remorse'? I think that's what I have (just a bit).

Now, before I go any further, I'd just like to say that the cards I traded for are ones that I wanted. I instigated the trade and in the end made the decision to say 'yea' to the trade.

There was nothing sticky about the trade at all. NONE.

I got home that night and took a look at my cards. I then opened up my trade list and took the cards off that I traded away. That's when it began.

Just for some context, here are the cards I traded for...

I was really drawn to this card. The signature is an ugly odd.

Now I'm assuming this was the most expensive card in the lot (that'd be my first problem.....I didn't know the 'value' of the cards I was looking to get. Nor what I was trading for that matter).

This is a nice Brodeur rookie mask closeup card. It'll go nicely in my masks collection.

Not a high end insert, but not a throwaway either.

This Potvin Masked Men insert goes into my set I'm collecting. Another nice card, but the price on these have been getting lower by the year.

I've always liked the looks of these cards, but never started the set....until now I guess. I figured I'd add it in to the pile of cards I was looking for.

note: I didn't notice it until I saw the scan just now, but it is a 3-color jersey piece. How did I miss that? (again, something I need to pay more attention to as a trader).

There was one other card in the trade, a Matthew Lombardi jersey card. Again, not a super high end card. One that I actually assumed would only be a few bucks worth at best.

Again, all the cards in the trade are ones I am happy with, but I traded away a few nice cards.

Looking back, I wonder if I should have revised the trade. Too late now obviously, but I can't help thinking about it.

What really gets me is that I am asking myself - why is the 'value' of the cards of utmost importance? Why do I feel like I got the shorter end of the deal?

I got cards I wanted....I got rid of cards that had been taking up space in my trade box for a while. Makes sense that the trade would be a success.

So what if I got rid of cards that add up to more than what I got back. A card that never gets traded isn't worth anything really.

I'm really on the fence on this one. I like what I why mention it? I mention it because this trade left me feeling different than it normally does.

What are your thoughts when it comes to trades? What is a 'fair trade' in your eyes?

On the flip side....what is an unfair trade?

This past experience has not made me question trading in the least. At the end of the day, I'm not losing sleep over it. It's just an observation that I've made over the last week.

I look forward to doing a lot more trading in the future. Getting stuff for my collections and projects.

Having fun!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

REVIEW: 2010/11 Panini Certified

As promised, I'm taking a closer look at Panini's first ever product release in the hockey card world.

A highly anticipated product both for it's potential and the curiosity hobbyists have for something new.

This isn't technically a 'box break' as I gained most of my cards in a round of Pack Wars at the local card store's 'Trader's Night' this past week. I also purchased 5 packs of the product after the fact (probably shouldn't have done that).

note: this could be a long post. I won't feel the least bit slighted if you just want to scroll through and look at the pictures. :)

2010/11 Panini Certified

Packs were $9.99 each with 5 cards per pack. Boxes were $100 with 10 packs per box. FYI.

Quick note....if you are under the age of 9, I'm sorry, you can't participate in this product. Sorry. Those are the rules. The pack says so. No, no, I don't care if you say you can handle it. Panini knows best. You're too young to handle what is about to come. Turn your heads away or just move on to another webpage on the internet. I'm sure there are much safer things there.

Sheesh. NINE? C'mon. What's Panini afraid of? Kids getting papercuts? The funniest part of the ridiculousness was when we were looking through the packs at the store, one person pointed out on the UFC trading card pack - 'Ages 5 and up'. Nice.

This is a 150 card base set.....with a bazillion inserts, parallels and serial numbers bits of goodness. And I'm not kidding. You've been warned! The biggest beef so far is the fact people can't figure out what all is available from the product. As a player collector, that's no good.

The player selection is pretty solid for the base cards. A nice mix of stars, young up-and-comers and impact-type players.

Here's a look at the simple base cards. Not numbered to anything. Just base. Not too bad of a design. But one thing really bothers me. The lack of quality photos. There is a lot of blandness when it comes to the pictures. With all the shiny card background going on, the player photo should pop right out and kick you in the face. Instead, it just makes me do a raspberry face.

Here's a perfect example. The whiteness of the jersey and the pale color complexion just does nothing for me. A real miss in my opinion.

The back of the card is ok. A little 'McDonald's-ish' in its look. It gets the info across though and the design is consistent with the front of the card. The texture of the card back is interesting as well. It's got a 'lustre photo paper' feel. Unique for sure.

Prepare to have your mind blown.

No.....really. I still can't figure it all out. The parallels in this product are out of control.

They should have called it Panini Certified Parallels.

These are the Platinum parallels. They have a texture and look on the front of the card similar to the old Pinnacle Rink collection cards of the mid-90's. They don't scan well, but they look pretty cool.

The Platinum Red's are numbered out of 999.

These are the Platinum Blues. They are numbered out of 250. There are also Emerald parallels and Gold. Sick already?

A side note, this is the card that won me my round of pack wars. 'The player with the jersey number closest to 22'. Thank you Drayson Bowman..... whoever you are.

Also, the round I won was a 'hot box' round. Apparently, there are some boxes that are just loaded with these parallels. Normally slated 1 every couple packs, the hot box packs have multiple parallel cards in each pack. Cool.

Time for the Mirror parallels. Another round of the Reds (/250), Blues (/100), Emerald and Gold.

Player collectors....are you paying attention? I'm lost too.

Apparently, there are also auto versions of the cards which really throw a wrench into the......pile of wrenches.

Oh yeah, jersey cards too. And I'm sure there are parallels of the jerseys of the base. Mirrors and Platinums? I don't know. I don't care.

My beef with these jersey cards is that the jersey seems like an after thought. I didn't realize I even had a jersey card initially. The swatches just get lost in the blackness of the photo. Terrible display and layout.

My Mirror Red jersey of Goligoski is numbered out of 150....just in case you cared.

The Immortals insert set is what had my mouth watering for this product. Trevor Linden in the house.

This is one of a bazillion insert sets /subsets included in this release. It is a 20 card subset (151-170) and includes names from some of the greats of the game. The 'base' version of the card is numbered out of 500 and there are a multitude of parallels (although not to the extent of the regular base cards....thank goodness).

Names in the product include Neely, Yzerman, Giacomin, Beliveau, Lemieux, Roy, Mikita, Esposito (both of 'em), Lafleur and Linden.

One of these things is not like the of these things just doesn't belong.

I'm a big fan of Trevor Linden. Huge fan! But even I can't figure out why he's in with this group of guys. Other than the fact that there are a few crazed Trevor Linden collectors out there who will travel to the ends of the Earth in search of new cards to collect.

I'm not complaining, I just find it odd.

The design is identical to that of the base card, except for the words 'Immortals' down each side. Keep it simple.

The photo selection is again ho-hum. I got a nice Mirror Blue McDonald (/100) for those keeping score.

Hey, these cards look different. Yup, here the onslaught begins.

The Certified Champions insert set (25 cards, /500) is one that I like. Players at that moment they reach the top of the mountain. And a pretty neat mixture of players.

I really like the Robitaille Red Wings card.


The Masked Marvels set is one that at first glance looks really cool.

A second look says - no.

Basically, it's a goalie mask insert set. One problem can barely make out the masks. The photos are way too small.

Terrible card design. Can you make out any of the details in the two goalies I've scanned? Neither can I. What a waste of space.

Swing and a miss.

Autograph time. I'm tired. I'm losing steam. And this card does not help one bit.

Sure, a nice auto card. But again with the crappy photo selection. Black on black is horrible. Why even have a photo? Really. Brutal selection.

This card is numbered out of 799. I don't know why.

And yes.......parallels.

The Freshman Signature cards are much nicer to look at. A hard signed auto. Nice and easy to read. A bit of a change to the design. Nice. What's odd is these cards are numbered to 1299 copies. Seems like a lot.

Now if we can just get these guys to not scribble all over them.

If you have time, go search for Nazem Kadri's auto. As my niece would say...


I did get a redemption for a Freshman Signature card in my pack war victory. Some of the players just were not able to sign for one reason or another.

My guy.....P.K. Subban.

Can't wait for his scribble to arrive.

More jersey cards. The Certified Potential cards are the new crop of players. Kadri, Subban, Tavares, Myers and Rask to name a few in this 18 card insert set.


Mine is a Mirror Red (I think) and is numbered to 99 copies.

Dual jersey cards. These are a nice switch from what I've seen so far.

The Shirt Off My Back Combo insert set (15 cards) has some great pairings.

In addition to the Iggy/Crosby that I landed, there are Lemieux/Roy, Crosby/Stamkos, Ovechkin/Backstrom combos.

Decent cards numbered to 250.


The final card in my show and tell (doesn't it seem like we've been in an extremely long car ride or something? I need to stretch my feet).

This is the big hit in my pack wars win. A great looking patch card of one of the league's best. And a low print run (numbered to just 25)!

A totally different looking card than anything else in the product.

I really like the layout of the card. The jersey mesh, skate leathery, sewing bits and stuff look is one that I'm a sucker for.

The one beef though I have with it is the die-cutting on some of the other cards. They have the jersey or patch in behind words like 'Flames' or 'NHL' and the font style used for the die-cutting is a little weak. I think they could have created better windows to show off the memorabilia pieces.

In addition to the cards I've shown you, there are other insert sets that I never got any hits from.

Big Men On Campus, Junior Legacy Combos, Certified Top Choice, Collision Course, Throwback Threads (which looks really cool) and Certified Legends to name a few.


Overall, a decent attempt of a debut product. I hope they learn their lesson about not confusing the buyer with a bazillion types of cards (told you so).

In addition to the craziness of the checklist, the lack of a user-friendly Panini website to check out your favorite player's card lists is severely evident. A terrible workflow and structure to the checklists online make it not even worth checking out.

Is it worth buying a pack or a box? It won't be the worst purchase you've ever made, but it's a real hit or miss.

Now that I think of it....'Age 9+' does seem a little more appropriate.


1 vs. 100 - Still One More

A mailday late last week has resulted in another addition to my 1 vs. 100 project.

I picked up a number of jersey cards for $2 a piece. Many of these cards will go into my 'One Sheet, One Set' project (finishing off a few that I'm looking forward to showing off).

I noticed this card in his tradelist and snagged it. Yet another lower numbered card.

2005/06 Upper Deck SP Game Used
SIGnificant Numbers #SN-BR Brian Rafalski /28

You've seen this design before. Nothing fantastic....until you look at the serial number. A card /28 is a welcome sight and will fit in nicely with the collection.

Some stats on my project so far...

I need 18 cards between numbers 1 and 50.
I need 17 cards between numbers 51 and 100.

I thought it would be more lopsided. I like the fact that I am getting some lower numbered cards off the list. That said, I am missing 6 of the low numbered cards (between 1 and 10). That'll be for the end of the project I think. It'll be a little pricey.

65 out of 100 (65%)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 2010/11 Panini Certified

Well, it's been a couple years since Trevor Linden has been included in an official NHL release. With the release of Certified from the new kids on the block Panini, that all changed.

I had only heard about the product and Linden's inclusion into the set and I had heard for the ridiculous parallels involved, but today I managed to land not one....but two of the Linden's from the set.

2010/11 Panini Certified "Immortals"
Trevor Linden #170 /500

This is it! Trevor was included in the Immortals set along with names like Steve Yzerman, Jean Beliveau, Bryan Trottier, Phil Esposito, Lanny McDonald and Eric Lindros.

The card is strikingly similar to the regular base cards except for the words 'Immortal' down each side.

It's a nice card, although I would have really liked it if they would have used a photo of Linden in his yellow and black jersey. Now that would have stuck out in a crowd.

I picked this card up along with a few others - the inserts I mentioned yesterday. As well, the big card that had me really anxious to pick the lot.

The moment I saw it, I was thrilled that it was coming into my collection.

2010/11 Panini Certified "Immortals"
Trevor Linden #170
Mirror Emerald Signature /5

Oh yeah!!!!!!! Now this is one sweet card.

I will just let the picture do all the talking.

Here's the back. Normally I don't scan the back, but that serial number just looks awesome.

With all the Linden cards being released this year, I never thought this would be the first one to get crossed off the list.

In fact, when I first saw the checklist, I thought it would be a longshot at best to land one.

To the person who contacted me and gave me the heads up, thanks! You know who you are.

What a start to the season.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BOX BREAK: Panini Certified Preview


Well, In addition to the upcoming Score and Ultimate 10 releases, I learned today that Trevor Linden is in the new Panini Certified product.


That just so happens to coincide with my trip to the card shop for tonight's "Trader's Night".

I was planning on buying a box first thing, but waited as I knew there would be some pack wars. Sure enough there was.....and I won a round.

Basically won a box worth of cards for the price of a pack. Granted, I lost the other 3 rounds....but still came out ahead.

I also bought 5 packs of the product as I liked what I saw. No Linden cards though. :(

All in all, I got about a box and a half. I will do a more thorough review and show & tell this weekend. But I thought I'd give you a sneak peek of what the cards look like and some of the stuff I will be going after.

2010/11 Panini Certified

The base cards are nice and shiny (the scans don't do them justice). I bet they are condition sensitive too. Looks like a good mix of players and Panini has tried to get players in their most recent uniform (or they put the "traded to....." text in there).

Oh, and parallels galore. A player collector's nightmare (or blessing....depends on how you look at it).

A mask set. Check. A lot of wasted space on the card. I would have liked a larger shot of the mask. I'm see-saw on this. I'm making a big purchase tomorrow where I will be picking up more of these. I'll see then which side of the fence I'm on.

Well, well, well......looks like someone's been reading my blog. What a great concept for an insert set. Check. I like the player selection too from what I've seen. How about Luc Robitaille in a Red Wings jersey. Nice.

This Lemieux is a parallel. I plan on going after the base set (less red....more silver).

This was the big pull from my pack wars. A Malkin patch /25. Sweet.

There are a ton of parallels and a ton of inserts. The big complaint so far is that player collectors can't figure out what cards are out there to get.

I've had some help in getting my list. Linden appears in the "Immortals" insert set. A few parallels (including a 1/1) and an autograph version (including a 1/1). Lots to go after.

Speaking of Linden and the big purchase I will be making tomorrow. I should have by this time tomorrow the most rare Linden card from the set (not including 1/1's). I can't wait.

Like I said.......GIDDY!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

BOX BREAK: 5 Packs of 2002/03 Pacific Heads Up

Here's another product break from a card show pickup back in September. One of the tables had some great Pacific packs for just a buck a piece. I thought it would be some fun breaks as well as an assist for my 'One Sheet, One Set' project.

One thing I am learning....Pacific cards from almost 10 years ago do not scan very well.

2002/03 Pacific Heads Up
5 packs (3 cards per pack)

This is a simple 125-card release with a bunch of insert sets. In each pack was also a redemption form for the 20-card Rookie Update set. Those cards are numbered out of 1000 and were only available by purchasing them via the redemption.

Like I said, they don't scan well (the cards look much nicer in person). They are a mighty shiny card with a mirror-like foil background on them.

A good player selection and a decent card design makes this a nice simple set to build if you happen to find some packs for a good price.

Singles still book for .30 to $2 with the high end cards being Patrick Roy ($5), Steve Yzerman ($5) and Mario Lemieux ($6) although I'm sure they would be easy pickups for mere pocket change.

The big rookies in the set are Rick Nash and Henrik Zetterberg. I only with they were pack inserted. Those would have been fun to pull.

In my five pack break, this was my only insert. I was a little disappointed as there are a number of insert sets available. Your typical Pacific variety.

Some insert sets (like the one I got) are ratio'd 1:10 packs, while others (like the Etched In Time set) are 1:289 packs. Longshots for sure.

There are also quad jersey cards available in the product which I have found are pretty popular. There are also parallels numbered out of 30 which can bring in a fair penny.

A definite potpourri of cards to go after with this release.

The most interesting thing I found with my five pack break is that I hit 4 goalie cards from New York-based teams. Odd. want odd? Check out Dan Blackburn's double-blocker set-up.

And now.....a little segue.

Dan was a highly touted goalie for the Rangers right after the Mike Richter era. Mike had a career ending injury and Blackburn was thrust into the Rangers starting gig. He was pegged as the next big New York goalie.

Blackburn's NHL debut was a memorable 1-0 shutout performance vs. the Calgary Flames. However, he ended up playing only a grand total of 63 games in the NHL going 20-32-11 with just the lone shutout.

His career was sadly cut short due to an injury to his left shoulder. The nerve damaged caused left him incapable of rotating his glove hand.

Initially refusing to give up, Dan decided to try the double-blocker method. In 2005 he started his comeback by joining the ECHL Victoria Salmon Kings going 3–9–0 in 12 games.

He then attended Rangers training camp where he suffered a strained MCL. Subsequently, Blackburn gave up on trying to return to the NHL and announced his retirement. Had Blackburn continued to attempt a comeback, he would have forfeited an insurance payout of approximately 6 million dollars.

What could have been of Dan Blackburn had he not suffered the injury?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

RAISE THE CUP - Some Card Show Pickups

In addition to some great finds for my 1 vs. 100 project, I was able to track down a few cards for my Raise The Cup project.

The more cards I find, the more I enjoy what the cards represent....that moment in a hockey player's life where they reach the pinnacle - the top of the mountain. I can only imagine what they must be thinking at the very moment the photo is taken.

Anyways, on with the show.

Ugh. Let's start with Crap Crapier. Have I mentioned that I am not a big fan of his?

This insert set has me intrigued though. I have never heard of it. It appears that it is from the 2008/09 Upper Deck Series II release. I'll have to keep my eye out for more.

Side note: One the back of the card, it says "Messier and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Brian Leetch brought the Cup on The Late Show with David Letterman, where it did "Stupid Cup Tricks."

I hate Messier even more now.

Now this.....this is a gorgeous card. My second Gillies in the project.

I'm starting to 'get' the idea of this set. Players tell their stories of the Stanley Cup. Hence - Tales of the Cup. So clever.

Clark's story is about how he used to take his dogs for a walk every day, as they were a big part of his life. When he won the Cup, he let the dogs eat from the bowl. "Why not? He's a good dog." Gillies said. Nice.

The last card I found from this insert set is Forsberg. Dude looks pretty happy. Bordering on giddy.

He has a neat story. Forsberg ranks as a pioneer when in 1996 he became the first player to take the Cup out of the continent when he boarded a flight to his native Sweden after the Av's triumph. Cool.

Here's another card from the Lord Stanley's Heroes subset from the 2007/08 Upper Deck Series I release.

The more I see Selanne play, the more I like him. I thought he was a cocky player when he was with the Jets, but his play nowadays is really solid. I think the lockout did him well allowing him to heal up. Good for Teemu.

Here's another from the insert set, Ryan Getzlaf. The newly named captain of the Ducks looks pretty overjoyed about hoisting the holy grail. This guy has accomplished quite a lot for such a young guy. And I think there is still more upside before he hits the cusp.

Pronger on the other hand is definitely on the downside. But you gotta admit, he still produces - especially when it counts. Love him or hate him, he's a gamer.

For the record, I'm not the biggest fan. Nice photo though.

The final card I found is from yet another insert set I have never heard of. Hardware Heroes I assume is a set that celebrates those who have won some trophies.

As much as I thought the Flames were robbed of the Cup in 2004, I was really happy to see Andreychuk hoist the Cup. That made Linden the longest serving player never to win the trophy at the time. What a dubious distinction.

Well, there you have it. Another good haul and a direction to look for future cards for my project.

Just for kicks, here's some video from the Islanders winning their first Cup in 1980. There were some others, but I couldn't embed. This one is pretty sweet though. Just look at the graphics, the camera angles....and that music. Sweet!

note: after watching the video, did you notice something interesting?

Current Collection - 21 cards

Saturday, October 16, 2010

1 vs. 100 - Significant Numbers

A trip to the monthly card show landed me SIX new additions to the 1 vs. 100 project. A huge day!

I grabbed one from a table early and then made a huge trade to snag the other five.

2009/10 SP Game Used
Significant Numbers Jason Pomminville /29

This one was priced just a little higher than I would have liked. I passed on it originally, but found some other stuff I had on my wantlist and so packaged it together. In the end, it made it into my collection for a price that I am happy with.

2005/06 SP Game Used
Significant Numbers Jeremy Roenick /97

This card starts the five that made up the big trade. Roenick and his card /97 is a nice one to cross off the list, but is not nearly the card to write home about.

2005/06 SP Game Used
Significant Numbers Doug Weight /39

Now we're talkin'. Not because it is Doug Weight....but because it's a card numbered to 39. We're already into cards less than 40. Nice.

2005/06 SP Game Used
Significant Numbers Mike Peca /37

Another one in the thirties. My question is....What makes Mike Peca so significant? Whatever.

2005/06 SP Game Used
Significant Numbers Martin St. Louis /26

A great add for me. A lower numbered card and a great player to boot. This set really helped me out today.

2008/09 SP Game Used
Significant Numbers Shea Weber /6

Now we're cookin'. This card could possibly be the biggest pickup for my project so far.

While I do have cards /1 and /5, both believe it or not are more common to find than a card /6.

I was always worried about how much it might cost me to land cards numbered less than 10. You don't put scrub players on cards with such a low serial number.

The above five cards came to me in what I would consider a blockbuster trade. It was those 5 for a single card I had. It was tough to give it up, but I had it in my traders for a reason. You trade stuff you don't want or don't need for cards you do.

I felt it was a fair trade and both sides were happy. What more can you ask.

A big day and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg.

64 out of 100 cards (64%)