Friday, June 29, 2012


Why is it that I am drawn to goalie photos?  It might be because they are a very unique player out on the ice with those bulky pads and killer masks.  It might be because they play a unique position flipping and flopping around as the last line of defence in stopping the puck.  Or it might be because they can be captured at a key point in the play or the game that (while it looks routine) creates an awe-inspiring moment in time.

This Jimmy Howard card would definitely have checks next to all those boxes and more.

2011/12 Upper Deck Series I
UD Canvas
#C34 Jimmy Howard

Before I drool over the photo, let me just say that the Canvas concept Upper Deck has introduced to its flagship product is a huge hit in my eyes.  A great insert set to build and the textured card just works with the constantly stunning photography this release brings.

What I love about the Howard is the framing.  Filling the card but finding the fine line that drifts into cramming.  You can easily see the eyes piercing from within Jimmy's mask as he stares down the puck into his outstretched glove.

I love that the puck is borderline "snow-coned" making the save even more impressive.  It looks as if Howard is reaching behind him in a last ditch effort to keep the piece of rubber out of his net.

If there's one thing I would have liked to have seen different, it would have been Jimmy's jersey.  I wish this shot was taken in Howard's reds.  The contrast of goalie and rink boards would have sent this over the top.

Can you guys take care of that for me this year Upper Deck?  Thanks.

ps.  another one to go in the "for 'so-and-so' box" if you're interested Paul

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

'DID YOU KNOW' - Fast....Like A Jet

There are a number of different ways to see a hockey card.  You can see it as just a photo on a piece of cardboard, you can see it as a memento of your favorite team or player, you can see it as a card number needed for your set.  A card can sometimes offer interesting pieces of information.....(sometimes) and a card can also identify and represent a historic moment in hockey's history.

But there are times when people see certain hockey cards as 'filler', 'junk' and suitable for the garbage.  The next time you take that stance on a card or cards, keep this post in mind.  It'll show you that there are some pretty neat nuggets of goodness in all cards.

When you hear the name Bill Mosienko what do you think?

I'm guessing one of two things.  "Who?" or "He's the guy who scored a hat trick in 21 seconds".

That amazing feat is one of those records that will never be broken - NEVER.  But it got me thinking about something else.  And with a little searching, I came to find a pretty interesting fact.

DID YOU KNOW: Winnipeg Jets defenceman Deron Quint holds the NHL record for the fastest two goals.  An unheard of FOUR SECONDS.

The year was 1995  and Deron was a rookie with the Winnipeg Jets.  That's right.......rookie defenceman.  He scored just 5 goals during his first NHL campaign but on December 14 he made hockey history.

The Jets were playing the Edmonton Oilers and had the powerplay in the second period.  Quint was open at the point and scored what wouldn't be considered the prettiest goal......but it sure looked better than his second tally.

Hoo boy.  Joaquin Gage.  That'll haunt ya.

Quint's unlikely pair tied him with Nels "Old Poison" Stewart with having the fastest pair of goals in history.  Nels turned the trick 64 years earlier in 1931, is a member of the Hockey Hall Of Fame and is considered one of hockey's all-time greats.

Deron Quint played in 463 NHL games spanning 6 teams.  He scored 46 career goals.  Polar opposites holding on to the same record.  Only in the NHL.

Now you know.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MY COLLECTION - A Good Ol' Fashioned Trade

Well, I'm finally getting around to showing off a mailday/trade from way back in the day.  That's old school trade.  You know, when two people swap cards.  Somtimes just because.

Brad over at Cards From The Crease saw a post of mine from months back regarding an Ondrej Pavelec Saving Face card from Panini.  I thought that when I originally obtained the card I could put it into my goalie mask pc.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize at the time that the card was an Expo redemption card (it had a stamp in the bottom corner that was near impossible to catch at the time).

Brad indicated to me that he had a copy of the product release card (among other pieces of cardboard I might be interested in) and thus the beginning of the trade.

I gathered up a few cards I thought he'd like and mailed them off.  Soon after, he did the same.  What was really cool was the fact that I had no idea what the package would consist of.  It was a little bit of a blind trade. Kinda fun.

Anyways, here are the goods....

2010/11 Upper Deck Series I
Ultimate Team
#EA15 Jonathan Quick

Can't go wrong with this guy now that he's a Stanley Cup (and Conn Smythe) winner.  I haven't seen much of this insert set from UD, but a very nice card indeed.

2011/12 Panini Pinnacle
Team Pinnacle
#8 Henrik Zetterberg (w/ Milan Lucic)

This is an interesting card.  First, it's double-sided.  Those cards are a bit of a 'hit or miss' for me.  But slap the word Pinnacle on it and I'm immediately vaulted back 20 years ago when card collecting was a lot more about fun.  Second, this card is part shiny.....part not.  Don't normally see that.  Kinda neat.

2011/12 Panini Pinnacle
Saving Face
#2 Ondrej Pavelec

Here's the card mentioned earlier.  Cool concept.....but a terrible scanning card.  I've found that you can see the card better when it's in a bit of a shadow.  Nice.

2011/12 Panini Certified
Masked Marvels
#14 Ondrej Pavelec

Another mask set I'm building......and another mask set that fall a little short.  Too small a window for the closeup shot.  Still, a nice card to add to the pc.

2009/10 Upper Deck Series I
#NET11 Jonathan Quick & NET10 Kari Lehtonen

More masks!  This is a set that I'm slowly (very slowly) building.  This set would be so much better if the photos were a little closer and the masks were the primary focus (as opposed to the jersey emblem).

Wake up Mr. Quick!!!!  He's been working hard.

4 'Raise The Cup' cards

Thanks for thinking of my projects Brad.  These cards are going to be a cool addition.  I really like the Daneyko as it's one I've never seen before. Probably never would have found that one either since it's in a pretty obscure set.

Love the photo of Konstantinov.  Magical!  It's what I love about this project - capturing the moment.

1997/98 Upper Deck Collector's Choice
World Domination
#W10 Trevor Linden

Nice!  Any Linden card is a very welcome addition.  Although I already have this one, I will continue the tradition of swapping out the current one in the collection and replacing it with this copy.  Much appreciated.

2011/12 Panini Certified
Mirror Blue Jersey
#26 Drew Doughty /99

This was a sweet surprise.  I wasn't expecting any memorabilia cards.  Certified really improved on their product from year one (but still have a little way to go) and again.....another King.  Really like this addition.

2011/12 Panini Certified
Mirror Gold Jersey Prime
#170 Joe Nieuwendyk /25

And while I like the last card......I love this one.  Wow!  What a great jersey piece, what print run and what a player.  This is a fantastic card.  Knowing that this piece comes from one of his Flames jerseys really puts this over the top.

I remember being at the Dome the night Joe hit the 50-goal plateau for the  first time.  The place was electric and Nieuwendyk showed us all a glimpse of what he would become during his career.

Thanks very much again Brad.  These cards were much more than I had expected and I really appreciate your generosity and enjoyment of the hobby.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

RAISE THE CUP - New Legacies

Well hello.  It's been a while.  It's my first day off in 3 weeks and I must say it came at a much needed time.  I was running on fumes Friday.  So much so that I had zero interest in the NHL Draft (actually, I normally have zero interest in the draft).

It was so nice to sleep in, not have to rush to go anywhere and catch up with my niece and nephew.  And tonight I can take a moment to fix up a blog post (albeit a small one......I'll have more tomorrow).

Amidst the craziness at work, I was able to pull away and take in the monthly traders night here in town.  There were a couple guys there who mentioned just how tired I looked......but that couldn't stop my enjoyment of the proceedings.

I tried my hand at pack wars again (and ended up with another victory.....not quite as profitable as last month's, but still), made a couple trades and didn't even cave buying a box full of regret.

So I'll start off my weekend posts with a couple quick adds to my Raise The Cup project.  It's been pretty slow lately when it comes to that pc.  That said, I do have a few nice adds that Brad sent my way (which I promise I will get to on Sunday).  These two come from the most recent Contenders release.

2011/12 Panini Contenders
Contenders Legacies
#155 Joe Sakic

I'm just going to come out and say it.  I think that my project has now influenced three 'Cup raising' insert sets.  I've never seen more Cup raised over heads in a long time.  The only beef with this newest design is that the photo of the Cup is cropped off.  I would think that the Cup is the key aspect of the card.  But no.

Now the Sakic wasn't the only card from this set I tracked down.  And it took every inch of willpower not to tear it up upon trading for it.

You guessed it....

2011/12 Panini Contenders
Contenders Legacies
#154 Mark Messier

Ugh.  Why did they have to include this guy?  Why did they have to once again remind me of the pain and agony of 1994?  Why Mark Messier........why?

But alas, he's got that trophy in the air.  I'm powerless to the project.  So I traded for it.  Yuck.

I'm just going to shove it in the binder and try to forget the whole thing ever happened.

Two to store.......looking for more.

Current collection - 80 cards

Monday, June 11, 2012


Well, with the Kings finally capping off one heck of a great playoff run, we can finally put to bed the 2011/12 hockey season.  I'll admit, ever since my pools went down the crapper, I've been less than excited about the hockey.  It's just too nice outside and the breaks between games are too much.

Add to that, the end of the season for hockey card shows.  Last weekend was the final time tables will be set up until September.......and I missed it (work....and lots of it).  I'll admit, I'm ok with a little less hockey cards this time of year.  When I'm not knee deep in work, I actually try to do some golfing and spending time with my niece and nephew as they take progress in their various sports adventures.

Lulls......they are a good thing.  I've picked up only a couple items on ebay over the past month or so (the last one actually made me think about 'lulls'....I feel like I bought the cards because I was bored!  They're good cards...don't get me wrong...but I don't think I would have bought them if it were the middle of winter and I was knee deep in Linden findings).

Lulls also give me a chance to do a 'reset' of sorts when it comes to my collecting.  Cleaning the slate so I can start fresh when the time comes to shift things into gear.

Cleaning the slate for me means getting my wantlists up to date, boxing up my cards into their appropriate boxes (traders, sets, pc, etc.) and most importantly, get some of my customs work finished.  That's been the one area that has been lacking in the time department completely.

But lulls don't mean a complete stop for me.  I still continue to do my daily searches for cards and it will most definitely include posting to my blog (something that has become a solid part of my organization).  One thing I have been pondering during this lull is sort of a 'bucket list' for my collecting. 

I know there are people out there that have lifelong dreams of things they would like to do or places they would like to go.  I have a few things from a collecting standpoint that I would like to accomplish in my lifetime.  I was thinking of writing them down (maybe even sharing them) and maybe taking the first steps to accomplishing them.  Who knows....this lull could be the perfect kick in the rear I need.

Do you enjoy the summertime lull?  Is there ever a time where collecting or the hobby just seem to get pushed even further down the priority list?  Does it bother you when there is such a lull?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

ARTICLES: Panini Just Made Me Drool

Just a quick post as I get home from a long day of work (the first of a few).

Came across a cool post from Panini's blog site that made me grin, drool and ask "Why isn't there more 'stuff like this' about the card making industry?"

Now I have to determine which would be the 'ultimate swatch' to hit and which one would be the 'dud of the bunch' (early favorite would be lower right-hand corner piece from the Devils jersey).

It would be a bit of a downer (purely from a comparative standpoint) to land that slice.

Which jersey piece is your fave?  Which one would get immediately returned to Panini with a scathing note screaming of utter disappointment?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK: Franchise Captains Expo 1/1

It's the calm before the storm.....actually, right now it's a massive downpour in the city (she be rainin' real good).  The storm in my eyes is at work.  We start our five weeks of Summer events here and that means a lot of long hours (and some weekend time too).

When it's nice out, it's actually quite enjoyable.  Talking with people I haven't seen for a while, being out in the sun and enjoying the atmosphere and the overall vibe of the workplace.  But when it's raining.....hard, it can become a bit of a chore.  Long days and just a little bit slower, well....everything.

Here's hoping for some sun to break out tomorrow (if just for a little while).  As a result, here's my last post for a few days (unless I get mega-inspired) and a great mailday to show off.

For those of you who have followed my Trevor Linden collecting adventures, you will know that I am a completist.  To me, if there is a Linden card out there, I want it (or I'm at least putting it on my master list).

That includes 'show cards' or 'expo cards'.  And the current batch of offerings from card companies makes my desire for aspect of product even more great.

While it might seem like the companies just take an existing Linden card, slap a foil stamp on it and call it rare (which in all actuality........they are), what I see from some of these offerings is an opportunity to get some stunning cards often at a lower price than their pack inserted counterparts.

Case in point, this triple jersey card from the Captain C release.  The Toronto Spring Expo is where redemption cards from this product were made available and I've got a bead on a couple of them.

2011/12 In The Game
Captain C - Toronto Spring Expo
#FC-23 Franchise Captains Gold (w/ Luongo & H. Sedin) 1/1

First of all, I love that the Linden piece is two-colored (and from the 'glory days' skate logo jersey.  Any time I see red or yellow in a Linden jersey piece, I get just a little more excited.

The Luongo piece is a real nice two-colored swatch with a nice bulging seam.  Can't go wrong there.  The Sedin could be a little better, but I guess it could be a little worse too (at least it's not plain white).

Now normally, this gold version card is numbered to just 10 copies (and I still need one by the way).  The going price has been around or above $60.  But I managed to pick up this card (which is a 1/1) for just over $40.

I think that's a great find if I do say so myself.  The lower price obviously is the fact that fewer collectors go after these show/expo cards.  Some don't even acknowledge their existence.  To me, I'm the opposite.  I not only want to track them and catalog them, but I want to obtain them.

And I'm happy I did in this instance.

What's your take on show cards or expo redemption cards?  Do you go after them when you see them?  What's the price range you look for when going after them?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

ONE SHEET, ONE SET - 2002/03 BTP Home & Away

It's been a while since I've dipped into the binder to show off one of my 'One Sheet, One Set' offerings.  With the summer work season about to start (and hockey card collecting about to go a bit more to the sidelines......for a a few weeks anyways) it just might be another little bit before I do another one of these.

Better late than never though.

For this offering, I'm sticking with the Between The Pipes theme that has dominated my posts for the past few days.  But this time I'm going way back to one of the earlier incarnations and a subset that I had never seen before (and have never seen since).

Now remember, this was a time when In The Game had an NHL license.  So don't be surprised when you see team logos and such.

2002/03 In The Game
Between The Pipes
Home & Away subset

The name says it all.  Home & Away.  The cards are one of the few offerings to show two primary photos on the front of the card.  In this instance, one with the goalie wearing his home jersey and the other in his away jersey. 

Now in the 02/03 season, the home jerseys were still the white and the away offerings were the dark colors.  It wasn't until the following season that the NHL made the change (and I'm still getting used to it).

This 30-card set is a part of the 150-card base set that Between The Pipes put out that year.  The cards were thicker than usual and had a foil-type front.  A pretty nice look and feel for base cards at the time (and would still be seen as impressive today).

The front of the card shows both photos in cutout form.  Not a terrible idea in this instance as it allows for some consistency in card design and simplicity in the background.

Speaking of, the background has small squares (4 rows worth) along the top and a thick bar along the bottom (which acts as a separator between the home and away photo).  Faintly within the lower bar is the team logo, team color and net mesh (you'll have to trust me.....the foil did not scan well).

What I like about the photos is that they work together.  The size difference plays well with the home and away theme and the consistency from card to card is nice.  It makes the 9-page sheet pop a little more.

The text on the front is minimal with the product and subset name in the top left and the player name along the bottom right.  It's not too bad, but the player's name is a little messy sitting on top of a few more of those small silver squares.

The back of the card utilizes some of the elements from the front (like the small squares up top).  But there are too many misses that just slap me in the face.

The big one is the amount of white space.  There is way too much.  The card number looks like it's stranded on its own little island and the logos along the bottom (which are minimal) are what my eye is drawn to immediately.....not a good thing.

Simple lines separate some minimal stats along the left (boooooooo) and a tidbit about the player.  While I appreciate the information presented on the back, I feel like there is so much more that could have been done.

Taking a closer look at the stats, I will give ITG credit for offering up home and away stats from the previous year.  An interesting and unique presentation that goes perfectly with the theme of the card.  That said, I still think more could have been done.

What I'm surprised to see missing is the player's name, team and vitals.  Most of the time, these are norms for card backs.  And it's not like there wasn't room for it.

At the end of the day, this is an eye-catching set that would be a fun build for any goalie lover.  Because it's part of the base card set, I would expect singles (if you can find them.....most people don't lug around base cards from a decade ago) to be pretty cheap (a quarter a piece.....and that's on the high end).

What this subset also offers is a glimpse at the top goalies in the league back a decade ago (Potvin, Richter, Giguere) and some of the great masks they wore (the away shot of Steve Shields shows off his cool Cheevers tribute lid).

A fun, inexpensive build......and a good hunt too (if you don't go the ebay route).

3 out of 5

Saturday, June 2, 2012


The last chunk of cards I'll show off from my Between The Pipes pickups at trader night come from my favorite insert set concept of all time.

Goalie mask cards have been of huge interest to me for years, and if you throw some vintage lids my way....the 'wow factor' goes up even more.  This year, BTP's insert offering is called Masked Men 4 and this 50-card set is one of the nicest yet.

I've already raved about the fact that the base version of the cards are die-cut in the shape of a '10' (to commemorate the 10th year that Between The Pipes has been produced) and that the silver and gold parallels are non-die-cuts.  The red background color is a great choice (the cool colors....blues and greens and the reflective silvers were just starting to feel a little stale).

But what makes or breaks a mask set for me is player selection and photo quality.  And from what I've seen so far, this year tops them all.

The vintage Parent above comes from one of my all-time favorite photos of him when he played for the Philadelphia Blazers of the WHA.  There are a few vintage masks present in the set, but the bulk of the release caters to goalies currently in the game.

But since I'm a vintage freak, I'll start with the oldtimers pickups first.  This Gerry Cheevers is nice in the fact that it's an earlier version of his stitches mask.  In later years, the fibreglass mask would cover more of his cranium.  Still nice, but I like it when you can just physically see more of the goalie's head.

Love this photo of Eddie Giacomin.  Unfortunately, it's been used a few other times in ITG cards and the repetition is starting to make the card a little less impressive.

But, what can you do.  It's probably the best offering from Eddie.  So why not.

On to the current guys.  And while Ray Emery has ventured to 2 or 3 teams since the time he wore this lid for the Senators, this mask really stands out as one of his best.  This incarnation shows Muhammed Ali painted on the side, a much better representation of the tough battler Emery wanted to evoke than the controversial Mike Tyson mask the year before.

It's seeing the individual personalities of the goalies represented on their masks that makes this set really appealing to me.

Here are the remainder of the pickups from trade night.  A couple of the photos are a little too head-on and unfortunately you don't really get a solid feel for what is depicted on the mask.  As well, there's no write up about the mask on the back of the card (that's the biggest miss for me with the set).

Overall though, this has the chance to be the most fun set to build.

Along the lines of masks, I thought I'd end this Between The Pipes lovefest by commenting on the redemption decoy cards that are inserted into the packs that don't contain memorabilia cards.

Looks like your standard practice.  Collect enough of these bad boys, send them in and get in return a really cool 'He Shoots, He Saves' memorabilia card.

But ITG did something unique this year that has turned these potential throwaway cards into pieces of cardboard with a little extra value.

Puzzles.  Another nice chase.  Find 9 cards that fit together and have yet another goalie.

That's just smart in my books.  There are about 10 different goalies to build.  I'll admit, I didn't decide to chase any and instead traded away whatever others needed.  I've got a couple dozen cards left but most of them are Tony Esposito tufts of hair.

That's the least exciting part of the product.