Monday, January 31, 2011


With the imminent launch of the 'new' Beckett website, I thought I'd pull a little blast from the past out of the closet to remind me of the good ol' days.

Beckett Hockey Magazine #1
Sept/Oct 1990

Remember when the Beckett magazines were fun to read? Remember when the Beckett magazines actually had content that was useful? Remember when Beckett magazines were monthly? Remember when you used to buy them?

I do. Although it's been quite some time.

This magazine was the launching point for card pricing the way we see it now. Rarely will you go to a card show and not see a Beckett magazine behind each and every dealer's table.

This first issue was not the one I originally bought - and thrashed as I would be constantly leafing through it. Instead, I picked this up a few years ago when I bought a box full of 'stuff' from off an ebay auction. It had a couple other items that were the keys ones for me. This Beckett was a very nice surprise.

Why? Because this magazine is MINT! And I mean that in both contexts of the word. It is a great piece of hobby history, and it is in gorgeous condition. It doesn't even look like it was opened (except for me bending the spine so I could scan it). :)

The front cover is an obvious choice - Gretzky. He has been (and still very much is) one of the most desired players when it comes to collections.

The back cover shows Patrick Roy - who had by this point developed into the top notch goalie everyone knew he would be. Right? We all knew that?

The magazine has a number of articles inside featuring players like Gretzky, Hull, Lafontaine and Orr as well as some insight into the huge landscaping change of the industry. After all, Pro Set had just hit the scene.

Who remembers the 'Weather Report' (nice name)? I still never understood how you could be on both the hot and cold lists at the same time. Clearly foreshadowing the debacle that Beckett has now become.

Let's look closer at the Hot list. I'd say the top 8 are no-brainers......even today. They'll always be right up there. Lafontaine, Neely, Savard, Turgeon, JANNEY? What gives? I think Janney only had 3 or 4 cards total at this point in his career. Wow!

But what this magazine was all about at the time was the pricing. I loved the fact that there were some actual prices for cards in the guide. And take a look at some of them. I tell you, if I knew then what I know now........

This was my favorite find when looking back. Maybe Roy wasn't as big as he thought by this point. Again, if only....

I thought it would be fun to post one of the articles from the first issue. This one is a very VERY brief history of hockey cards. In my opinion, it's the best article in the mag.

Heed the advice of the mag! Beware of the bogus cards! Bogus! I can't believe someone would use that in an article. Ha ha ha.

This was the part of the magazine that gave me the biggest laugh. Some of these questions are so contrived, that it's clear they came up with them all by themselves. Clearly bogus.


All in all, a real fun read and if you ever come across one of the early issues, pick it up and take a look at how cheap some of your cards once were. And if your cards are from the early 90's, you can check what they currently go for as well.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

TO THE BIKE SPOKES!!! - Jaromir Jagr

I've been saving this one for the right occasion. With today's All-Star game on tap later this afternoon, I thought this would be an appropriate time.

1991/92 Upper Deck
#617 Jaromir Jagr AS

One of the all-time greats......for terrible photos I mean.

This mullet is legendary. Business in the front - party in the back doesn't even start to describe this haircut. Freshly feathered and surely a new cut, Jagr was styled to the 10's for his high school, er All-Star photo.

Add to that a confused glare, not-quite-sure smile and what looks to be Spock-like ears, this photo takes the cake.

It's so good, I bet you could put on it on a five dollar bill and it would look awesome.


For introducing one of the most notoriously terrible haircuts of all-time into the NHL, Jaromir Jagr.....



OPINION: All-Star Weekend

Alright, this won't be much of a post when it comes to the hobby, but with it being All-Star Weekend I feel it's time for me to confess something.

For the most part, I actually enjoy the event. The evolution of the weekend and the root feeling and attitude that comes with it.

It's all about fun.

From the pretty successful draft on the Friday, to the exciting (although a little long) skills competition, to the actual game itself (and yes I know I'm in the minority on this one). I like it. I like it because it's fun.

It's fun to see these professional athletes acting like kids on the pond. It's fun to see some of these guys try tricks that they'd never attempt in a real game. It's fun to see the crowd cheer their hometown faves. It's fun to see the smile on the faces of the players after witnessing something - good or bad - and then razzing his teammate for it.

It's fun.

The only unfortunate thing is that most of the time, fun can be had by all. Why not in this instance? The corporate mumbo jumbo and the disgruntled haters of the event. The skeptics and those who don't even give it a chance. All of these things put a fog in front of the fun. Why? Why can't the game just be about the game? Why can't the event be about highlighting the talent and skill the stars possess?

I urge those of you who were either going to ridicule the game or pass on it all together to watch the match this afternoon with a different set of eyes. Watch the players in between the whistles. Watch the guys on the bench. Watch the kids whose eyes light up when the highlight reel goal is scored. Watch the event for the fun it is.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the All-Star event. What works? What doesn't?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WHO AM I? - Things Are A Little Clearer

With only two guesses submitted, I am assuming one of two things...either I stumped you all with some outrageously difficult signatures, or I've stumped you all with a vague clue.

Regardless, only 'jeff0120' came the closest getting the first two but missing the third (right idea....wrong player)

The clues....'head scratcher' and 'aren't too sharp' as well as all three being out of the game right now.

You guessed it - all of them have had their bells rung. Concussions are the common thread.

Here are the names that go with the signatures.

Matthew Lombardi

David Perron

Peter Mueller

Better luck next time!

Monday, January 24, 2011

ONE SHEET, ONE SET - 1992/93 Parkhurst Dynasty

I'm going with a subset this time around. It's one that might have missed a lot of people as it comes from those overproduced mid-90's products that most collectors pass right by these days.

1992/93 Parkhurst
Dynasty Subset (13 cards)

This small subset has some power to it. A tribute to the Broad Street Bullies of the 70's, these cards represent just how talented and focused those Philadelphia Flyers teams were when they won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975.

The cards feature players like Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, Reggie Leach, Bill Barber and Dave "The Hammer' Schultz....all led by legendary coach - Fred Shero.

These cards are a simple design utilizing the same background for each and capturing the player action via artist rendering as opposed to photos.

Buried deep in the series II release of a mid-90's overproduced set, these cards don't get near the appreciation they deserve.

Until now.

What really draws me in to the cards are....well....the drawings. To flip through photo after photo, card after card, it's hard not to stop and do a double take when you initially see these. That and the flowing locks of the helmet-less players.

Let's take a look at the background of the cards first. The old Philadelphia Spectrum. While I never set foot in the building, I know through reputation that it had a strong history and unique charm attached to it. And while the building and the city are synonymous with the Flyers, it was all bound together by the players who wore the orange, black and white jerseys.

The players depicted on the front are the who's who of those dynasty teams (and yes I call them a dynasty - heck, they have their own moniker - Broad Street Bullies). The drawings are lifelike enough that they are recognizable yet show an artist's flare giving these cards a unique presentation.

The ice surface at the bottom of the card gives a great sense of depth separating the player from the background building. The colors are not too bold which give a bit of an old-school feel. There are however a couple flaws to the front of the card which drop it a slight notch or two.

While I like the borderless simplicity of the design, it's a little too simple. The player's name or some sort of text other than 'Dynasty' would have been nice. And on the subject of the 'Dynasty' text, it has a 'slapped on' feel to it. Lost on some cards and competing with the photos in others, I think that could have been better executed.

The back of the card has a real 'Plain Jane' feel to it. Not overly impressive. While I appreciate the ice surface background which really ties in with the front of the card, and I also enjoy the player photo giving me a different look than the front, it's the complete lack of creativity that leaves me on a down note. The border for the photo is boring. The text font is boring. The information on the back is boring (could have used some stats) and the player name and position at the top are boring.


I will give slight points for the english and french text. You don't see that much anymore. Takes me back to the good ol' days. But overall it's a miss for me when it comes to the card back.

In the end, it's a decent subset that makes people stop and appreciate one of the most memorable teams in the history of the NHL. Almost 40 years after the fact and these players still bring about instant recognition. C'mon....'The Hammer' - awesome.

The other thing I like about this subset is that it is by far the cheapest I've featured in my One Sheet, One Set posts. I have no doubt you could find all 13 cards for a dime. Yup, the book value of the most expensive card is .02 cents. That's kind of nice.

With 'retro' themes all the rage these days, it should be a no-brainer to pick this set up.

3 out of 5

One last note. For those who have not caught it, HBO did a great doc on said Flyers team that uses footage I've never seen before and has recent interviews of a lot of the players from that time period. Well worth the watch. Sadly, it's not yet on dvd.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

WHO AM I? - I'll Give You A Clue

I seem to be stumping all of you when it comes to the latest installment of Who Am I?

Before I give you all a hint, I'll let 'jeff0120' know that you figured ot the theme and you've got 2 out of 3.

No other solid guesses so far, so here's a clue:

All three players are not playing right now for some reason.

Let's see those guesses!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 2010/11 Limited Monikers 1/1

Another mailday and this one brought another low...low....LOW numbered card to the Linden collection.

2010/11 Panini Limited
Monikers Platinum Autograph 1/1

That's /10, cards /5 and cards /3 lookout! Here comes a big boy to the party.

This is the fourth 'true' 1/1 to be added to my Linden collection. And while it may not have the flash and pizazz of the Ultimate Memorabilia Emblem I picked up a couple months ago, it's still a pretty major card to be added.

Now why is it that there seems to be a story to go along with a lot of the cards I have been picking up recently?

This one is all about the customs form and packaging.

You would think that a 1/1 card would warrant some sort of solid packaging. Not so. Just a flimsy piece of cardboard and a soft toploader was all that was separating this card from the beating the envelope took (and it was a little banged up when I picked it up).

To top it off, the customs sticker on the envelope indicated a value of just $5. Great, so if the card had of been damaged, the post office would have been on the hook for a lowly fiver.

I e-mailed the guy I bought it from and expressed my concern. I asked why he put $5 down for the value (when in actuality I paid a lot more). He said it was because 'everyone from Canada complains about taxes of some kind'. He was doing me a favor.

FYI....not everyone from Canada thinks this way. I am fully understanding that when I purchase an item from outside Canada I may be on the hook for some extra charges. By writing down the amount of money I actually paid for the card, you are giving me the proper protection should something happen to it. That to me is being a responsible seller.

If nothing else, some communication AHEAD OF TIME to give me a heads up to your thinking would have been appreciated and could have avoided this potential problem.

It is a nice card though...isn't it! :)

WHO AM I? - Head Scratcher

Another round anyone? Let's see if you can figure out who these three scribbles belong to.

They may have good reason as to why their autographs aren't too sharp.

Need a clue? I've already given you one.

Remember, all three signers have something in common.

Good luck!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 2010/11 Ultimate Memorabilia Fight Strap

Well, it's the conclusion to one of the most interesting acquisitions of a card I've ever had.

Today I received a package in the mail consisting of a card that on any other occasion I'd be thrilled to post.

Sadly though, that's not the case.

2010/11 In The Game
Ultimate Memorabilia 10th Edition
Ultimate Fight Strap /3

For those who aren't up on the story, I saw the card at the start of the month on a trading board, inquired about purchasing it, received a price from the seller and agreed to a deal. Only to have the seller back out after he said he had 'double sold' the card. He had made previous arrangements to sell the card to someone else. That person agreed to the deal first, but I was the first to pay.

Honest mistake you say - I agree.

The seller refunded us both and decided to hold on to the card amidst the confusion. Again, no problem. I asked if I could be contacted once he was ready to move the card.

Things changed when I noticed he put the card up for sale on ebay for a highly inflated price compared to what I had paid. This bothered me and I asked what the situation was all about. He said he wasn't looking to sell the card at the moment. To me that says he's trying to get an idea on the value of the card. He said he received an offer above what I had paid but wasn't going to sell the card unless someone was crazy enough to pay the full overinflated price.

This disappointed me as I felt we had an agreement in place. So I contacted the moderators over at the trading forum and long story short, I received an e-mail from the seller asking if I would be willing to pay the current offered price (which was considerably more than the price we had originally agreed to).

I was pretty frustrated and felt like I was being gouged. I refused to pay that high a price but realized that the price we originally agreed to would not happen. I made an offer that was a slight compromise. I said take it or leave it.

He took it. And I got the card today.

I still feel like the seller backed out of the deal because he realized he could get a lot more for the card, rather than follow through with the agreed deal.

Funny thing is, if he had asked for the higher price in the first place, he would have gotten it from me. I'm just curious as to what the other original seller has to say about all this. He was never in the conversation and part of me is skeptical there even was another person. Just a gut feeling.

Now, I look at the card I received today and should be thrilled (it's one of the top cards in my collection), but instead I am just reminded of this whole ordeal.

Back to the card. It's the first 'fight strap' card of Trevor's ever to be released. I know one of the other copies has already landed in a Linden collection. So now, there's one left out there for the rest of you to fight over.

Hopefully your battle won't be as trying as mine.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


It was a trip to the LCS tonight for the monthly trader's night. And while the store is pretty much all the way across town, I have managed to make the last 3 or 4 of them. They're fun.

A bunch of guys, a little pizza, a box of traders and the hockey game on the tube is something I'm up for once in a while.

Oh, and did I mention 'Pack Wars'?

Yes, it can get a little tight on the wallet, but when you win 3 rounds during the evening it makes the sting a lot more tolerable.

I ended up winning a round of 10/11 Upper Deck I, 09/10 SP Authentic and 10/11 Donruss. Not any huge hits (although I did see someone win a hard signed Patrick Roy auto from SP Authentic /10.....a real nice card), I ended up with a Jeff Skinner Young Guns card and a Mike Santoralli hard signed Future Watch card. That's about it.

Still, a lot of fun.

I made one trade tonight with someone I met for the first time there. He collected Mike Modano stuff and I happened to have a few jersey cards of his in my traders box. I noticed he had a bunch of Autofacts cards from various years and so we struck a deal.

I was really happy with the trade. Here's what I brought home...

2008/09 Artifacts

A real nice looking set. And I was drawn to the doodle-esque signature of Josh Harding. Sadly, I already had the Casey Borer card (which I realized when I got home). Still, not a bad start.

2009/10 Artifacts

Equally as nice, this set is framed a little better as a card in general IMO. The Mason Raymond is a sharp looking card.

2007/08 Artifacts
Autofacts Dave 'Tiger' Williams

This one was the first to catch my eye. The vintage uniform, the instantly recognizable name and a solid signature to top it off.

A great card to cap off a great trade.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 1998/99 Aurora Championship Fever Copper

With the continuous onslaught of new Linden cards coming in at a rapid pace (alright, I may be a embellishing things a tad) I've decided to go with an older card for this installment of the Linden Card Of The Week.

One of the more enjoyable aspects of this hobby is the ability to trade with others. Sharing the goals of finding that which has eluded us.....sometimes for months - sometimes for years.

Hobby boards and the internet in general has been an invaluable resource for tracking down numerous cards for my collection. But there's something to be said for tracking down a card in person and making an old fashioned trade.

Such was the case with this card...

1998/99 Pacific Aurora
#28 Championship Fever Copper /20

It was probably 6 or 7 years ago when I went to a card show in Red Deer. I had been buying a table or two at the local card show for some time and there was a bigger show in Red Deer. A few of us from Calgary went and a few from Edmonton made it out as well.

I remember being really disappointed at the turnout (I'm thinking the advertising was pretty much nil for the show). Frustrated at what seemed to be a wasted weekend, I decided to take a closer look around at the other dealers to see if there was anything I could take back home.

Hiding in the back piles on one table was this little gem. Now, the card was about 4 or 5 years old at this point and I never really thought I'd find a copy of it (as they're only numbered to 20). I immediately asked what the asking price was and if the owner would be willing to trade.

He popped over to my table and noticed a Luc Robitaille rookie card. He also scoped out a Patrick Roy 2nd year card. Combined, I think the price tag would have been $50-60 bucks. After some pondering, I decided to agree to the trade.

On the ride home, I was talking with one of the other dealers I drove up with and he mentioned that I paid a steep price for the card. My first thought was 'you're right', but that quickly waned and I said "Maybe so, but I'm coming home with a Linden card that I never thought I'd find. How can I be disappointed".

Years later, I consider it the best trade I have ever made for a Linden card. The two cards I traded could probably be had for $20 now. The Linden....well let's just say I have never seen another copy of it surface - ever.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

STASHED IN THE CLOSET - The Man Behind The Mask Comic

Years ago, I had the idea for a documentary. I thought it would be cool to see a 4 or 5-part series on the history of the goalie mask.

From its inception in 1959 all the way up to today, the mask has intrigued me. The evolution, the designs, the personal significance and the uniqueness. It's something that has always stuck with me.

At the time I thought of this idea (which would have been about 10 years ago) I thought it would be cool to have it completed so it could air Nov. 1, 2009 - the 50th anniversary of Jacques Plante donning the mask for the first time.

Well, the doc didn't get off the ground, but I can appreciate that there have been both books and docs released to focus on this great subject.

In my research and collecting of all things goalie mask, I came across this neat comic book released back in 1996.

It was illustrated by Michael Dixon and was released through McDonald's chains as part of a 4-comic series. The series was an adaptation of the famous 'Heritage Minutes' (if you live here in Canada, you'll know what I mean).

This comic tells the story of Jacques Plante, goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, and how he came to wear the goalie mask in a game for the first time in 1959.

For those who don't know the story, Plante had been practicing with the mask but would be told not to wear it in games by coach Toe Blake. In a game against the New York Rangers, center Andy Bathgate came down and fired a shot that nailed Plante square in the face. Just three minutes into the game, play was halted while Plante went off for stitches.

You have to remember, back in those days, there were no backup the teams and fans waited. After getting repairs done to close up the gash on his face, Plante lets coach Blake know that he would not be going back into the game unless he wore his mask.

Eventually succumbing to Jacques' demand, Blake allows him to wear it. And when Plante returned to the ice with his mask, fans in the crowd were confused and even frightened by the crude homemade contraption being worn by the Habs netminder.

That all changed quickly when Plante went on to win the game 3-1.

After the game, Plante refused to get rid of the mask. While coach Blake tried to convince Plante he didn't need it, Plante's play in net eventually ended the discussion. 18 straight wins with the mask.

The mask would become a permanent part of professional hockey.

It took a while for other goalies to follow suit. Many of his peers and opponents called Plante a coward for wearing the mask. But Jacques wouldn't quiver and within a decade, most goalies were wearing the mask on a regular basis.

Today, goalies wouldn't even think of going into the crease without a mask and many of the tenders credit the mask for extending their careers.

It's a great part of hockey history, and this comic book captures it really well. The illustrations are slick and the story is simple in its delivery.

For those who have never seen the 'Heritage Minutes' segment, here it is...

RAISE THE CUP - Getting Caught Up

Another month, another trip to the local card show. I was really looking forward to this one as there have been some product releases with Trevor Linden included in them. It has been a while since I have snagged a Linden card for the PC at a card show.

While I did find a Panini Limited 'Legends' base (which was given to me by the vendor....thank you!), there were some greater successes with some of my other projects. Most notably, my Raise The Cup one.

2007/08 Upper Deck
Lord Stanley's Heroes
#LSH4 Scott Niedermayer

All I have to say is - Scott Niedermayer looks like an old man Muppet with that beard and those possessed eyes. Scary and funny all at the same time.

2007/08 Upper Deck
Lord Stanley's Heroes
#LSH7 Travis Moen

Cool to see a key grinder get some face time in this cool looking insert set. I remember him (and his whole line) really stepping up in the finals. Remember Sammy Pahlsson? And who could forget.......wait.....what? Rob Niedermayer? The consummate floater? Ugh! Well, two outta three ain't bad.

2008/09 Upper Deck
Montreal Canadiens Centennial Set
Coupe Stanley Cup #199 Larry Robinson

A couple of cards from the Habs' Centennial set as well. A great looking bunch of cards coming from this product. Fantastic photos that for the most part I have never seen before.

That said, this card (which celebrates the 1986 Cup victory) has a cool looking photo, but would definitely not be the pic I would use to represent this victory. Remember some guy named Patrick Roy? He definitely deserves some credit and this would have been a fantastic opportunity to include him here.

2008/09 Upper Deck
Montreal Canadiens Centennial Set
Coupe Stanley Cup #194 Henri Richard

On the other hand, this is a great looking photo to have represent this victory (the 1973 championship). It epitomizes the hard work and domination that the Habs had that year. Check out some of the players in the lineup...

Ken Dryden, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, Larry Robinson, Henri Richard, Frank Mahovlich, Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Jacques Lemaire and Yvon Cournoyer. It's almost not fair. That's just insane.

Oh, and to top things off, let's just have Scotty Bowman coach the guys.

Why even play the games.

Current Collection - 29 cards

Saturday, January 15, 2011

TO THE BIKE SPOKES!!! - Craig Johnson

Tonight was Rogie Vachon night in Los Angeles. A tribute to one of the most popular L.A. Kings players of all time. Announced as being "the first superstar in Kings' history", his jersey hangs in the rafters along side the likes of Gretzky, Robitaille, Dionne and Taylor.

One interesting note from the pregame ceremony, they were really pushing - and I mean REALLY PUSHING to get him into the Hall Of Fame. Throwing stats out there, pleading to the powers that be and even having Luc Robitaille come out and vouch for him. It was a little much and I could almost see Rogie starting to become a little uncomfortable with the whole situation.

One of the cool things associated with tonight's theme - retro jerseys for the Kings. Quite possible the single best jersey ever seen in NHL history.

To top off the gorgeous purple and gold look, backup goalie Jonathan Quick was donning his retro crown mask and the decked out brown pads and gloves for the occasion.

Fantastic! If only they would keep this look through the entire season. Think of the cards, the memorabilia cuts and so on that could come of it. And still could I guess.

Anyways, tonight's game got me thinking about some other jerseys the Kings have worn in years past. As it happens, I have a card that depicts the complete opposite of what was seen tonight.

1996/97 Upper Deck
#80 Craig Johnson

Man alive! Those are some ugly looking jerseys.

Now, I understand that in the mid-90's, there was a real push for these third jerseys throughout the league. Every team seemed to have some sort of crazy looking alternate look. I saw it as more of a cash grab as it probably upped jersey sales considerably.

Looking into the history of this atrocious looking jersey (which only appeared in the 1995/96 season), I came across this info on the Kings' website...

After the 1994-95 season, Philip F. Anschutz and Edward P. Roski, Jr. purchased the Kings and began a rebuilding phase. One of their initiatives included the Kings first-ever third jersey, part of an NHL-wide initiative. Five teams introduced alternate jerseys on Jan. 27, 1996, the Kings wearing theirs in a 5-4 win against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at the Great Western Forum.

The sweater design included arcing gradient stripes transitioning from black on the upper right front to light gray on the bottom left. Shoulder patches of the Kings primary logo made their first appearance, while on the upper left front there was the only human image ever featured on a Kings jersey. The angular features of the new King logo and sharply defined colors contrasted the blended color scheme of the stripes.

Very few of these jerseys still exist as they were only worn one season, and they are considered a collectors item by fans of the Los Angeles Kings.

Collector's item.......uh-huh. Right!

I still can't believe that the NHL, in their infinite wisdom, had the audacity to put their face of the league - Wayne Gretzky - into one of these embarrassments.

I can't say I miss them in the least. It's not your fault Craig Johnson, you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Burger King jersey card...



As a little bonus, here's some cool Rogie Vachon footage. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

ONE SHEET, ONE SET - 2009/10 SPGU Authentic Materials

Well, I finally am getting around to showing off some of my $1 jersey cards from last month's card show. The thought of $1 jersey cards is still a mind boggler for me. Just a few years ago, you'd never see a memorabilia card go for less than $5 bucks. Before that, one would hardly dip below $10. The saturation of the market has made these cards virtually undesirable for most collectors. Sad, because I see a lot of value in them.

This selection was easily my favorite in the lot I picked up and I was really happy to snag a full eight cards to complete the most recent 'One Sheet, One Set' contribution.

2009/10 SPGU Authentic Materials

Right off the bat, these jersey cards are an eye catcher. To me, they are a solid step up from the jerseys in Upper Deck's signature release. There are 84 cards in the set which makes for a fun adventure to snag all of them.

What makes a solid jersey card to me is a good sized jersey swatch (with a non-white jersey piece), bold colors and a solid design concept. I'll let the cat out of the bag....this one has all three.

A closer look at the front of the card reveals a very detailed design. The various patterns and lines really give the card a unique (and as mentioned earlier - eye catching) look. The team colors are really bold and give the card a solid punch.

The framing around the jersey piece highlights the fabric nicely. The simple inclusion of the player name, card title and product logo on the left are very well balanced. The player photo cutout is solid although I would have preferred a little better photo selection. I never understood why some sets have superior photos to others. If it's the same company, wouldn't they have the same access to the photos? Do the more exciting photos cost more? Just curious.

The other fine details to the card like the gradient shading, the complex borders and the team name (which is nicely blended into the right side of the card) all add up to a very appealing card front.

Did I mention that it's very eye catching?

The back of the card showcases themes from the front of the card and utilizes a lot of the same elements. While it works very nicely, it is almost too simple in its delivery.

The textured jersey look is something that I'm a sucker for. I've always liked it and this card utilizes it just right. The font style used for the name, team, card number etc. is something that should be a no not too many bonus points there. It should be expected.

The headshot isn't the most fantastic but I can forgive the color overlay on it, and using a different photo from the front shows an attention to detail. And I'll even say that the logos and such at the bottom of the card aren't too bad. That's because I think there's other junk on the card back that should go first.

The big beef I have with jersey cards (and have had for a while) is the 'disclaimer' on the back. While it may say congratulations, what it really says is "Look, we're not trying to rip you off, so we are putting in detail the type of card you have in your hands." Thank you Captain Obvious.

Yes, it's a piece of jersey used in an nhl game. Yes, it's not bogus. Yes, it's not a photoshoot. Yes, it's not from a legends game. Yes, it's not from whatever. I really don't think that there needs to be a huge explanation on the back of the card for this. I'd much rather be given some different information. Anything!

Is the 'Congratulations' supposed to make me feel special? I guess it must not be working if the card can be had for a paltry $1. Not a fan of this at all.

Last beef on the card back is the hideous 'AF' abbreviation behind the team logo at the top of the card. Where did that come from? Why? A great design concept on the front and this is how it is detailed on to the back. It seems like this element was a last minute decision and it just does not work.

A couple hiccups in what overall is a very.........eye catching card.

At the end of the day this jersey set is a great looking build, and with the game used/auto ratio being 1 per pack, it would be a very feasible project to go after. not too many long odds there.

As mentioned, it's an 84 card set and while some of the names aren't the big guns, there are still the strong list of solids. The most expensive cards are Crosby, Ovechkin, Partick Roy and Gordie Howe all sitting at $12low/$40hi for bv (which I am not a believer in at all) and Gretzky sitting at the top ($20/$50).

I think for the most part though, a lot of singles could be had for less than $5 a piece (and a lot less if you can find a good lot of them all at once). A patient person would easily be able to snag cards for a buck a piece on ebay.

A really nice looking set with some well thought out design elements.

4 out of 5

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Panini Limited Retired Numbers

This most recent release from Panini brings with it some good, some bad and some ugly.

The good - more Linden cards to track down. The bad - there's a lot of them and some are pretty rare. The ugly - redemption cards.

Today was a day where all three components came into play. Here are the goods.

2010/11 Panini Limited
Retired Numbers /199

This is a nice looking insert set. Some great names are included as well. Patrick Roy, Marcel Dionne, Ray Bourque, Denis Savard, Mario Lemieux and Lanny McDonald just to name a few.

What a great idea for a set as well. Some of these players haven't (or might not ever) find their names in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but their accomplishments to their team can be celebrated in this set.

2010/11 Panini Limited
Retired Numbers /49

The parallel has a 'mirrored' look to it that really punches the card out nice. Low numbered, it pinched the pocketbook a little bit more.

And there is even a lower numbered parallel to complete the trifecta (/24 copies). That'll leave a mark I'm sure.

Regardless, they are a nice looking card.

2010/11 Panini Limited
Retired Numbers Signature Redemption /49

This on the other hand is not a nice looking card. How can Panini insert live autograph card into some releases and then pop some redemptions into others.

I'm pretty sure I remember some nice signature cards from the Certified release back in November. I even recall an autograph in this very release. Remember.....Monikers.

Did they just not anticipate the number of Linden autograph cards they would have....two months into their agreement with him? Whoops.....we ran out.

I've heard way too many horror stories when it has come to redemptions. People waiting years for their card. Their cards never being made. Crappy replacement cards. It's a bit of a risk to buy truly a chunk of cardboard.

My experiences (albeit limited) have been positive ones and hopefully the trend continues. While I will knock this off the wantlist, it won't officially count towards the collection until I receive the card.

Looking forward to it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

3 PACK BREAK: 2010/11 Donruss

This past weekend I needed to go to the local hobby store to pick up some toploaders for my nephew who is creating some more Star Wars custom sketch cards. Be on the lookout for those....I know I am.

My niece Shauna came along for the trip as we had to run a few errands. Now, I think the rule is 'You're not allowed to go into a store with your niece unless you buy a couple packs of cards.' So I did. Three in fact.

She got to pick them and I think she did a pretty good job.

2010/11 Donruss

Now, I'm sorry to say, but if you happen to be under the age of nine, you can't view this blog post.....the wrapper says so.

Ever since seeing scans of the base cards pop up here and there, I've been drawn to the look and design of these. A bit of the retro feel and the team colors work nice with the white.

The photos though are a real 'hit or miss'. Some are boring shots, some are pretty good. Some are a little grainy or blown out while others have guys in their new uniforms (like Mike Modano - Red Wings, Simon Gagne - Lightning).

Still, a nice looking card.

My niece uncovered one Rated Rookie card. Sadly, not the one I was hoping to get, but for three packs of cards, not bad.

Again, I like the design. The 'Rated Rookie' graphic gets lost at the bottom of the card and could have been a little more predominant.

Now we're talkin'! What a great hit! My niece was pretty excited to pull this card and I was equally as thrilled to see the names and faces on the front (say for Mike Knuble.....why couldn't Alexander Semin have been on that line - just for one shift).

Three packs of Donruss cards, a fun moment or two of 'busting packs' with my niece and an overall great afternoon out and about.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Over the holidays I've had the opportunity to land some great additions to my Linden collection. A lot of new releases, a lot of parallels, a lot of low numbered cards.

Some I bought on ebay, some I bought on hobby trade boards. In all instances, they have been smooth transactions.

Say for one.

I had the chance last week to land one of the more rare Linden cards out there. An ITG Ultimate Memorabilia Fight Strap card /3. I was thrilled to see it and was anxious to get some info on it.

Immediately, I contacted the seller asking if the card was available and if so - how much. I received a prompt response saying he was looking for $150.

Now, I knew that one other copy of the card has already landed in the hands of a Linden collector - so that leaves two cards available. I felt that $150 was a good price and so we struck a deal.

I fired off the funds to him immediately and he said he would have the card off to me after the holiday rush. We both confirmed the deal on the trade boards and it was just a matter of time before I added yet another gem.


Wait.....not so fast.

A couple days later, I received a full refund from the seller. He contacted me to let me know that he had cut a deal earlier on another trade board for the card and he had forgotten about it. He said that while I was the first to pay, the other guy was the first to strike the deal. Coincidentally, we both bought the card for the exact same price. He said that he was torn as to whom to sell the card to - so he decided to just hang onto the card and refund us both.

Disappointed, I understood and asked to be given the heads up when he was looking to move the card again. He appreciated my understanding and said he would.

I was a little surprised then to find said card up for grabs on ebay tonight....with a rather healthy $500 'Buy It Now' price attached to it. While there is the chance to throw a 'Best Offer' his way, I started to wonder what the scoop was.

I confirmed with the seller that it was indeed the same card and asked what was up? He said that he's putting it out there for a ridiculously high amount not expecting to sell the card.

He's already received an offer of $250 for it. An offer he plans on turning down.

I told him that if I had known he was going to put the card up on ebay and was looking for that high a price, I'd have preferred him sell it to the other original buyer. No point in having neither one of us not get the card.

I wonder what the other original buyer of the card feels about the auction and the whole situation in general? If you're out there, drop me a comment and let me know.

I for one can't compete with at least a $250 bid - knowing that I had a done deal for $150 just a few days earlier.

In all honesty, it makes me feel like the seller had second thoughts at selling the card for what he considered to be a low price and is just looking to maximize his return. I hope I'm wrong...but that's what my gut says.

I think the point of all this is: If one makes a mistake and 'double sells' a card - at very least, one of the two buyers should get the opportunity at the card.

I smell something fishy when not only the seller neglects to contact the refunded buyers, but is looking to get probably double what he had sold the card for originally.

It's sad, because it would have been a great addition to the collection. I just see no rational way that I will be able to get my hands on it now. I refuse to pay twice what I originally had an agreement upon.

A note to all sellers - keep track of your ongoing sales. I understand mistakes do happen, but a lot of times, these situations can be avoided.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


DISCLAIMER: I am going to have a hard time spitting this one out...let alone type it.

I chose this card for one main reason.

Chris Osgood recently became just the 10th goalie in the history of the NHL to reach 400 wins. I am still coming to grips with the fact that he will be a serious candidate for the Hall Of Fame.


1994/95 Topps Stadium Club
#138 Chris Osgood

This is how I still remember Ozzy....doing a few stretches, taking a few laps and then taking off his helmet and plunking down on the end of the bench to watch an exciting game of hockey.

Before I dissect his career, let's take a closer look at the photo.

At first glance, the card might not seem very interesting. True....what is so exciting about a goalie warming up? What I like about this card is that is shows me stuff that I don't normally get to see.

For example...I like seeing the way the back of the pad wraps around and protects the back of the leg. I like how the straps feed through the skate. I like the simple detail of the snow built up on the skate blade. I like seeing the underside of the blocker.

The camera angle and the way Osgood is using the boards makes for a bit of an illusion photo. It took me a couple moments to realize he is at the players bench and that his right leg is up and he is stretching around to his right.

I also really like the focus on his face. If only the bar on his cage wasn't righ in front of his eye. That would have made for a much better photo.

The stream of banners in the background looks cool, but an empty arena isn't as great as it could have been.

I like photos like this (when done right) as opposed to just a 'skate around' shot or the infamous 'backup-goalie-holding-his-mask-and-skating-with-a-towel-around-his-neck-during-warmup' shot. Those are lame.

Now onto Chris' career.


First off, let's take a look at the exclusive list he just joined.

1. Martin Brodeur 607
2. Patrick Roy 551
3. Ed Belfour 484
4. Curtis Joseph 454
5. Terry Sawchuk 447
6. Jacques Plante 437
7. Tony Esposito 423
8. Glenn Hall 407
9. Grant Fuhr 403
10. Chris Osgood 401

Out of the other 9 goalies, only Brodeur (still playing), Belfour (eligible in 2011) and Joseph (eligible in 2012) are not in the Hall Of Fame. That's extremely impressive company.

What impressed me the most about Osgood's accomplishment is that he has had a winning record in every single one of his NHL seasons up until last year when he went 7-9-4-1. To have a winning record as a New York Islander and to have a winning record as a St. Louis Blue (when they were really not good) is very impressive.

He cracked the 30-win mark only 6 times (that's 30 wins....not 40) so it's his consistency and longevity that has taken him to the magical 400 mark.

While his career has had a lot of ups and downs, his numbers don't lie. To me, he still comes across as an underrated, often backup-ish type goalie. Never the one to take the reigns for an extended period of time.

In an era where the evolution of goalies was pretty dramatic, Osgood found a way to remain an important component to his team. recently posted a really good article on Chris Osgood and how he had to re-invent himself in order to stay relevant in the ever changing league.

I'll admit, I have a little more respect for the guy.


The one final aspect of Osgood's career that should be taken into serious consideration when determining if he is HHOF worthy...(forgive the poor quality)

Yup.. He's one of 8 goalies to have ever scored a goal in the NHL.

Or how about gotta wait for it. :)

I miss the good ol' days.

Anyways.....Chris Osgood.....HHOF?
Your thoughts?

1 vs. 100 - Still More AutoDrafts

It seems like Christmas just keeps on giving here early in the new year.

For the third day in a row I have had a nice little mailday that has resulted in some great cards for the PC. This time, it's a trio of cards for the 1 vs. 100 project.

And once again, it's the SPGU AutoDraft set that gets some face time.

2005/06 SPGU AutoDraft
#AD-CD Chris Drury /72

Chris looks like he's just played a practical joke on his Junior High School classmates, but that didn't stop him from being drafted 72nd overall in 1994.

I don't believe he ever donned the Nordiques jersey for actual game play as the Quebec franchise moved to Colorado probably right after this photo was taken.

Those were some good ol' days for the Avs.

2005/06 SPGU AutoDraft
#AD-TP Tom Poti /59

Wow. Poti was drafted 15 years ago. He's put together a fairly decent NHL career. Decent enough for a guy taken 59th overall in 1996? Tough to say.

2005/06 SPGU AutoDraft
#AD-TG Tim Gleason /23

I wouldn't have guessed that it's Gleason who's the highest drafted player of the three listed here.

Interesting of note, he never played for the Senators as he was dealt to the LA Kings in 2003 for Bryan Smolinski.

After a couple seasons in Los Angeles, he was traded along with Eric Belanger to the Carolina Hurricanes for Oleg Tverdovsky and Jack Johnson (didn't know he was originally a Cane).

Sadly, Gleason arrived in Carolina just after the Canes won the Stanley Cup in 2006. That's too bad.

A gritty defenceman, maybe it's not that surprising he went so high.

Regardless, it's a great trifecta for the project and pushes me over the 70% mark!

71 out of 100 (71%)