Sunday, March 31, 2013

ARTICLES - Leaf CEO Brian Gray

Lately I have been listening to Cardboard Connection Radio on the web.  With 2 episodes a week focusing on all things sportscards, it seems like something that would be right up my alley.

While the majority of the subjects are non-hockey related, there are still some interesting topics, good guests and all in all it's a fun hour and a half show.

Recently, there was a sportscard industry summit in Las Vegas.  This get together of card companies, store owners and influential people in the hobby is a yearly tradition and this year Cardboard Connection Radio was doing some broadcasting from the event.

Subsequently, they posted an hour-long video of Leaf Trading Cards CEO Brian Gray and his presentation to the crowd.  Basically it's a company update, what's going to be coming down the pipe in 2013 and quite a bit of Brian's philosophy towards the industry in general.  There's also a Q&A session where he really lays out his thoughts on where he thinks the industry is at.

Just a heads up, there is the odd bit of profanity (not too much though).

At first I had the video playing while I was doing some work on my computer, but after about 20 minutes I found myself just engrossed in what he was saying. It was a fun watch and if you have the time I'd recommend taking a look at it.

It would be very intersting to hear the same kind of presentation from the big wigs at Upper Deck, Panini and In The Game (yes there are other companies, but I'm listing only those who have a hockey link at this time).

If you do watch it, drop me a comment and tell me what you thought of it.

Friday, March 29, 2013

12 in 12 - March Review

Another month has quickly come and gone and with that another book has been flipped through.

I'm really enjoying this monthly read and have made Tuesday "library nights" with my niece and nephew a staple in my weekly routine (very, very enjoyable).

Both January and February brought stellar reads and I knew the expectation couldn't remain that high through the year.  While that may be the case here, I think for the most part any sports read can be a good read.

March's book was about the world's most famous baseball card.

The Card
Michael O'Keeffe and Teri Thompson
245 pages

Inspired to finally read this book by the recent 30 for 30 short on the infamous "Gretzky" T206 Wagner card, The Card starts with some backstory on the card itself.  It was a little tough to keep track of all the players involved in the incredible trip this piece of 100+ year old cardboard has taken.

The book pops around from subject to subject.  Going from the height of popularity in the early 90's with Gretzky and Bruce McNall's purchase of the card, PSA grading, Honus Wagner himself, memorabilia collecting in general and just the overall theme of "authenticity".

I enjoyed the book and I found it amazing that one item can generate such a boom in a number of industries across the board.

I did feel that there was some stuff missing.  I would have loved to have heard from some of the key players who decided not to participate in being interviewed.  It would have been interesting to hear from all sides.  As well, I would love to be a fly on the wall when the cameras and microphones are gone.

What wasn't in the book?  That's what I'm left thinking about.

3 out of 5

April's book...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Cup Base..... Finally

One of the monthly trade nights normally hits on the third Wednesday of each month.  But with the Industry Summit in Las Vegas last week there was a one week postponement.  And I'm happy I asked before heading down (she's a bit of a drive).

That meant a few extra days to get my ducks in a row, a few extra days before I dropped off that custom Iginla and a few extra days before receiving a nice little gift myself.

Most of the trade night regulars know by now that I collect Linden and are eager to help out when they find a card I might need.  Sometimes it's a copy I already have but on occasion there's one that's eluded me.

2011/12 Upper Deck The Cup
#86 base card  /249

OK....maybe not "eluded me" in the sense that I couldn't find a copy.  But Seeing a few copies pop up on ebay, I refused to pay $8-10 for a copy (and then another $4-7 for shipping) - it just wasn't going to happen.

I decided to play the patience game (I'm learning) and just wait for a copy to poke its head out locally.  It took a little longer than I expected, but the waiting paid off.

A great gift, the person who gave it to me said he picked it up as a throw-in in a trade he made.  Awesome.

I'm really happy to cross this one off the list and it'll be a great story to reminisce about every time I take a look at this card.  One of Trev's big pieces of cardboard.....his first ever Cup base card.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Busy, busy, busy - that's been me at work, at home and everywhere in between.

Quiet, quiet, quiet - that's been hockey cards for me over the month of March (not a single Linden card crossed off the list in a few weeks).

The combination of the two is probably the biggest reason why I haven't posted in a week and a half.  But here I am.....ready to show off a new custom card I finally finished.

My past custom creations caught the eye of a fellow collector here in town.  During a trade night (oh about a year ago) he asked if I would be interested in taking on a ticket stub project.  And a pretty important ticket stub at that.

I said "Sure!"  I was up for trying something new.

And by the end of the design and assembly process, I definitely brought something original to the table (in my world anyways).

Jarome Iginla.  Probably the most popular, successful and endearing player ever to play for the Calgary Flames.  A lock to have his #12 jersey retired once his playing days are over (and an outside shot at the HOF), he hit the magical 1000 point mark a couple years back.

And wouldn't you know it, the guy asking me to put together a custom card has a ticket stub from the game - in St. Louis - where he hit the century mark.

So right off the bat I needed to come up with an oversized design template.  Having never done it before, I decided that I wouldn't be a slave to a certain size.  Rather, I would make the jumbo card whatever size suited the ticket properly.

It ended up being 6 5/8 x 9 7/8 (yup.....very traditional size).

The back of the card shows a photo of Iggy from the game itself, a quick write-up from the evening and the boxscore.  I really liked the way the front and back work together.  Nothing too elaborate.  I wanted to let the text be the focus.

But there's something else that might have caught your eye.

This little cutout....right by Jarome's skate.

Whatever could this be?

This is where my creativity and "outside the box" thinking took over.

When I was asked to design a card for this ticket, I decided that I wanted to do something where the ticket would not be "destroyed".  By that I mean something where the stub wouldn't be permanently attached to the card.

It took a little while (and some trial & error) but I was pretty happy with the end result.

Yup, the ticket is made to be slid out of the side of the card.  It's not the prettiest removal and reinsertion, but it can be done every once in a while.

More importantly, if ever this card becomes a little undesired down the road for whatever reason, the ticket can come out as if it never was a part of the jumbo card.

And with that, here's the game ticket from April 1, 2011.  The night Jarome Iginla scored his 1000th point.

Curious to see how many more he gets in a Calgary uniform.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

RATE MY MASK - Thomas Greiss

I was doing a little interwebs surfing yesterday and came across a great album of pics on Fox Sports showcasing masks worn in the 2013 season.  That, plus a subsequent discussion on the hobby boards I belong to, inspired me to whip up another Rate My Mask card.

I wanted to get some thoughts from you guys about the masks you've been seeing this year so far.  Designs, innovations, themes.... likes and dislikes.

For me, the masks this year are more diverse than ever.  Some really cool intricate designs (much like the work of the past decade or so) but also a bit of a throwback to some simpler looks.

Guys like Anders Lindback, Carey Price, Chris Mason, James Reimer, Ben Scrivens and Al Montoya are coming out with masks that have a bolder and in some ways simpler design.  And I like that.

But then a mask like the one below comes along and really switches things up.

This Thomas Greiss mask is scary - for real!  If you don't believe me, find a high-res pic of one on the internet, open it up and zoom into it.  Wow.

The detail in this Yeti's face and hair is really impressive and the eyes and teeth are truly menacing.

I also like the silver scripting of Greiss' name on the chin.  Not too bold and eye catching, but crisp and impressive.

Greiss has been wearing this mask for 3 seasons now and while he's solidified the backup role in San Jose, we are limited to the amount we get to see the great lid.

For those who were curious, the left side of the mask isn't as exciting.

There's not much in terms of info (or pics other than of the Yeti's face).  But I can only imagine what somebody might think when they get a close up look of this mask.

This photo popped up recently and it ramps the scariness up even more.  I can't say for sure if Thomas has worn it in a game (or if the NHL would even allow it) but man is this thing impressive.

3.5 out of 5

Now it's your turn to Rate My Mask!
(and also give me your thoughts on the 2013 crop of masks in general)

RAISE THE CUP - Justin Williams

Trade night always brings a sense of the unknown.  And that can quickly intensify when new collectors decide to pop into the store to participate.

Fresh cardboard to check out is always fun (same holds true at card shows).

And I'll be honest, I don't switch my trade box up too much so I am guilty of this, flipping through a box full of traders that you've seen month in, month out is a little boring.  I think that's why I'm trying to make a more conscious decision to bring different things (be it a binder of cheap inserts, some slabbed cards, etc), even going so far as putting things in a different box.

Switching it up can be a good thing sometimes.

Anyways, one of the boxes I sifted through had a few cards that I traded for.  One of which fits perfectly into the Cup raising pc.

2012/13 Panini Certified
Path To The Cup
#PSCW-10 Justin Williams  /99

This card is a fantastic example of why I enjoy this project.  Playoff beard, overjoyed expression, Cup over the head, a backdrop of fans going crazy.  What's not to like?  (I guess Devils fans need not answer)

This insert set feels like a direct response to the very popular (and extremely difficult to build) Day With The Cup set that Upper Deck started producing last year.

And why not.  I think creating cards to celebrate a team winning the Cup is a no-brainer.  In fact, I'd like to take credit for the concept really taking off.

Consider it.  Check out the number of cards and the number of insert sets developed surrounding the Stanley Cup winners since I made my first Raise The Cup post years ago.


Nonetheless, a great card that fits nicely in the project.

Current Collection - 108 cards

Friday, March 15, 2013


What's that saying?  The eyes have it?  That definitely the case for this latest card to be praised for its solid photo selection.

There have been a number of memorable cards that have a certain glare, glance, look or even twinkle when it comes to a player's eyes.  To me, it instantly elevates the card to another level.

I took a photography course years ago and one of the things that was really focused on was a person's eyes.  Can you see them clearly?  Can you see what they are looking at?  Can you see both of them? (amazingly, it does make a difference)

It's almost as if you can hear what a person is thinking when you can see their eyes.

2009/10 Fleer Ultra
#28 Cam Ward

Most definitely a unique photo.  Very different cropping for a horizontal pic.  I love that they were able to get both the team logo on the jersey AND the puck in the shot.  Losing even one of them would have made this card much less interesting.

You can really see the concentration (or is that desperation) in Cam's eyes.  I wonder if that puck was tipped, bobbled or a knuckler from the point?

Even the Thrasher in the background looks mesmerized.

The eyes definitely have it.

Oh.......and by the way, I'd like to point this out to the card companies out there.

This great looking photo was utilized in a LOW END product.  This is not your UD Awesome or Panini Excellent.  This is Fleer Cheap.....and some great photos in the release.

If you like good hockey photos and can find a few packs cheap - grab 'em.

BEHIND THE MASKS - French Connection

Last weekend brought with it another trip to the local card show.  It was a quick (and early) trip as I had other plans in the afternoon but I'm glad I made the trek down to check out the tables.  There were a few cards that I was able to cross off the wantlist - and not the Linden list.

My goalie mask card collection has been a definite side project of late.  Something that I don't actively pursue (especially on ebay) and unless I find the card staring me in the face....and for the right price, I just walk right on by.

But this show brought four new card to the collection.  That's very rare considering there's no new mask releases lately.

2010/11 Pinnacle
Saving Face
#10 Jose Theodore

Once again, I would like to state that these cards do not scan well.  They look better in person but still miss the boat slightly due to the foil/dufex/whatever you want to call it finish on them.  You really never get a good clear look at the mask.

Shame, since Theodore's always got some interesting lids.  This Minnesota Wild card is one of the few from this team that Jose has.

2010/11 Pinnacle
Saving Face
#14 Marc Andre Fleury

Another card from the Saving Face insert set.  I wasn't going to chase these cards when they first came out because the photo wasn't close enough to really give focus to the mask.  But I soon found that I have built some sets with similar photo-type cards.

Again, because of my uber-passive chasing of this set, I decided to add it to the list.

Another one crossed off.

2010/11 Pinnacle
Saving Face
#12 Martin Brodeur

This was the surprise card of the bunch.  I'd never seen a copy of the Brodeur and was pleasantly surprised to see it staring me in the face. Better yet, I was able to trade for it.

Trading is so much more fun.

Marty's mask has become so iconic - even with the MB30 alteration he made to the crown a few years back.  I like this card, but it's not quite as nice as the last card on the list.

One of the final tables I hit up at the show was a new guy with a small sample of his personal collection.  I think it was somebody who was looking to get rid of some dead weight and make a few bucks in the process.

The card I saw was one I hadn't seen at a local show in over a decade.

1996/97 Pinnacle
#4 Martin Brodeur

Old school Pinnacle Masks!  These were the cards that made me fall in love with the goalie mask card concept.  And the 96/97 edition was one of the nicest (and still remains one of the most sought after).

Nothing fancy, just a mask, a background and a title.

I probably paid a little more than I would have if I'd have just waited and picked up a copy on ebay, but to track down a card locally (.....alright, it literally popped itself right in front of my face), to pick it up and examine it before buying it, and to know it won't have to be shipped in a bubble envelope made this deal an easy one.

Love crossing this one off the list.

By the way, bringing a list does come in handy (I'm learning, I'm learning).

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

'DID YOU KNOW' - Sylvester Flis

In my recent "cheap wax breaks" at the local trade night I came across a card that had me asking more questions than I had answers.

So much so that I decided to do a little research.....and thus another installment of 'Did You Know'.

On the weekend of December 6, 2003, In The Game set a first in the NHL trading card industry.  In their 2003/04 Be A Player Memorabilia Series product, they released a card that would truly be a barrier breaker.  A first of its kind.

I thought it was kind of cool and felt the need to share.

'DID YOU KNOW' - Sylvester Flis is the first sled hockey player to be featured in an NHL trading card set.  He is also the first athlete with a disability to be featured on a card.

According to the NCHPAD (National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability), Flis, a defenseman for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's (RIC) Blackhawks, has been playing sled hockey for 8 years (up to that point).  He was born in Poland and moved to Chicago in 1994 for rehabilitation purposes.

In the fall of 1999, Flis was instrumental in the introduction of sled hockey to the RIC Sports Program.  The RIC Blackhawks hold the title of the #1 ranked sled hockey club in the world ( that time).  Some of his accolades include...

Led the Hawks at the 2002 Malmo Open in Sweden where they became tournament champions.

Has had the honor of meeting President Bush.

Has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2003 for the most goals and points in a single Paralympic Games.

Has been recognized in a proclamation by Mayor Richard Daley by the City of Chicago in May 2002.

On the back of his card it reads...

"Considered the world's foremost sled hockey player [his card is numbered 99 in the set because of his dominance like Gretzky was to the NHL], Sylvester's contributions both on and off the ice are immeasurable.  Strong and swift with terrific anticipation, he is an offensive force despite the fact he patrols defense."

The RIC Blackhawks Sled Hockey program is supported in part by the Chicago Blackhawk Charities (and the NHL team continues to support them to this day).

Now You Know.

BOX BREAK - 2003/04 Be A Player Memorabilia

There was a different vibe at trade night last week.  Earlier in the afternoon there was a simple post stating that some older wax product was being brought in from the warehouse to be blown out.  And there was some juicy mid-90's product to be had.  From Topps Finest to Parkhust 'Parkies' to Pacific galore.

It was a blast watching guys crack open old, crusty products.  Laughing at the silly inserts, crazy jerseys and "remember me?" names.  It's hard not to get caught up in the event.

And there was one product that caught my eye early on, but I waited until later in the evening before taking a stab at it.

2003/04 In The Game
Be A Player Memorabilia
24 packs per box

At $20 per box, I thought this would be a really fun break.  Long odds on pulling an Emerald parallel /10, but a great chance of hitting some sort of parallel.

And to top it off, how about the Mask III cards.....nice.

It really was a no-brainer and even nicer was the small crowd surrounding to watch the cracking.

He Shoots He Scores!!!  Points that is.

Decoy cards that serve a purpose for those who want more than just mice type on them (or worse......blank).

Remember when Dany Heatley was good?

This product was heavy on the goalies (over half the checklist I think) and the horizontal card orientation makes some of these pieces look really slick.

Some decent photos (although some are a little dark) and some good vintage jerseys (if you can call the early 2000's "vintage").

I hit one parallel.  A Sapphire Dan Cloutier /100.

Oh how one simple little goal just ruined his career.

Good tradebait nonetheless.  Still some guys collecting his stuff.

One mask card as well.  This Luongo was from way back when he was with Florida.  I liked his Pink Panther mask (the old school pretzel design on the crown of the mask looks sweet).

I was a little bummed that I only had two hits through most of the box...

..until I hit this.....
Game Used Gloves
#GUG-20 Eddie Shore

Yup.......that'll do.

Limited to just 30 copies, this glove piece might be tiny, but boy does it pack an impressive punch.  Within moments of pulling this card, the remaining boxes of this stuff were sold - off the shelves and being ripped open by the other guys in the store.

I have no doubt that this card will let me recoup my box price (and then a little more).  But I'm contemplating just hanging onto it myself.  It looks really cool...and I've never had a vintage piece like this before.

Cheap wax.....I love it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Fantastic Four

A bit of a mail rush this week.  Four new Linden cards were added to the collection and they are definitely a solid four in my eyes.

I've found over the years that if one doesn't strike when a certain product is released, cards from said product (especially the parallels) can be tough to come by.

There have been a few cards that I have patiently waited a decade to see surface (and in some instances and still waiting).  But if you don't have patience in this game,the hobby will just eat you up and spit you out.

Plus, it's way more fun when you finally do find the card.  And then to top it off...get it at a price you didn't expect (in a good way).  It's pretty exhilarating to see the finals seconds tick away on an auction you are winning....for a card you weren't sure if you'd ever see....and snag it for a beauty of a price.

Alright, enough talk.  Let's look at some cards.

2012/13 Upper Deck Artifacts
#93 Emerald  /99

And after all of that build up, this card came in a 7 card Emerald lot.  Nothing too exciting.

I sometimes gamble on card lots that include a Linden I need.  Sometimes the end price is good enough where I get the pc item and push the rest off to somehow get my money back.

Not sure if that'll happen in this instance, but I've got a few more traders nonetheless.

2004/05 Upper Deck
#172 Canadian Exclusives  /50

Here's a perfect example of a card that has eluded me for almost a decade.  And it's numbered out of 50 (that's a lot these days).

But when the product doesn't get opened much anymore, I'm left to relying on people who find these gems in somebody's trade box, and then put it up on ebay.

Or in this case deciding to move some of his collection (as he had a few of these Canadian Exclusives up for bids).

At 50 copies, it's the second most common parallel on my "long term" wantlist (older than 3 years).  To cross it off the list puts this card high on the list of faves this year.

2011/12 Panini Limited
#28 Legends Spotlight Gold (Capitals)  /25

From 50 to 25.  This card was a huge relief to me when I hit the Buy It Now a couple weeks ago.

I hadn't seen many copies of this card pop up for sale since the product release and was another one of those "Where are they all?" items.  Then a few months back I saw one pop up.  Middle of the day, on a weekday to boot.  Staring me in the face with a Buy It Now of $25 and a Best Offer option.

I was stunned to see the card there for the taking.  So what did I do?  I figured I would get it for a cheaper price by offering $20.  I was smacking myself when someone else scooped up the card for the full price (a price I was more than happy to pay).  Greed cost me that card on that day.  A lesson I haven't forgotten.

I was even more stunned to see a carbon copy of the situation come about a couple weeks ago.  Middle of the day, on a weekday.....and by the same seller even.  Same price.  I was grinning from ear to ear as I happily hit the BIN.

Best $25 I spent.  And a big exhale.

Lesson learned.  If there's an item out there that you've been searching for and it shows its's sometimes best not to poke it with a stick.

Words to live by.

2010/11 Panini Dominion
#150 Legends Sapphire  /10

Lastly, from 25 to 10.  This card caps off the Dominion parallels I have been slowly tracking down.  With a high-end product like this (and one of the most volatile products at that), it was another big success to land this.

By volatile I mean "all over the place" when it comes to pricing.  I got this card /10 for less than some of the cards /50 go for.  The Emerald copy /5 even went for less than some of the /50's.  There was no consistency in price from copy to copy and the abundance of cards up for bids came in waves it seemed.

I had seen a couple Sapphire copies come and go (can't be the first to get them all) and then these dried up big time.  When this copy hit ebay, I think I held my breath all week.  Once again I was pleasantly surprised at the ending price.

And with that, I am all caught up when it comes to Linden cards coming in to the collection.  With Upper Deck and Panini both limiting their product releases for the rest of the year, it's a welcomed break from the insanity of "what to go after and what to wait for".

A nice little lull.  I'm sure it's only temporary though.

PACK RIPPING - 2012 Panini Golden Age

Last night was one of the trade nights that I attend on a monthly basis.  And while for the first couple of months this year I've been really good about not splurging.......tonight I caved.

And boy did it pay off!!!

There were some cheap wax boxes abound and it was so much fun watching some mid-90's packs get ripped.  I knew I had to get in on it.  Stay tuned as I've got a couple nice hits out of the quest.

But this post will be to show off one of the single best cards I have ever pulled from a pack.



It's not everyday that I'm lucky enough to get a pack hit - but it does happen on occasion.

I think the only time I get a box hit is when I actually buy the whole box.

I've never really bought any cases of stuff....but I don't recall getting any case hits.

But I have never.....ever, ever, ever had a full on product hit.  And by that I mean "this is the card that they plug on the front of the box as something you might pull if you're lucky".

Yeah....that was me tonight.

Now don't scroll down to the end and ruin it.  Patience.

It wasn't a hockey product, but rather a really nice multi-sport product called Panini Golden Age.  It caught my eye when a couple packs were ripped and I took a look at the cards.

I decided that they looked so nice I needed to buy 5 packs.
2012 Panini Golden Age
5 packs

At $3.50 a pack, this had some good ripping fun for a low/mid-range product.  With 6 cards coming in a pack, I was completely blind as to what I might pull.

That made it even more fun.

The base cards are stunning.  Just a fantastic design.  It's got that cardboard feel like Gypsy Queen or other vintage/retro products.  The layout is clean and classy.  The photos are manipulated a bit to give it a more vintage feel.

I'm an absolute sucker for these.

The backs.....they look just as gorgeous.  Two-toned and just the right mix of crispness and vintage.  The write-ups are nice too.

It was something where I was taking my time going through the base cards.  Each one just as eye-catching as the last.

And if you don't believe me, just take a look for yourself.

Fantastic photo selection.  The only setback is that Panini doesn't have a baseball license.  So they have to be creative with how they avoid logos.  In some instances, it means the top is cut off so the cap is hidden.  Other times, it's simple positioning of the player.  The odd occasion there seems to be a little photoshop work.

Still, a really nice job done on these.

And then there are the minis.  These are one per pack and are equally as impressive.

There are parallels with are indicated by different backs.  I don't know the rarity but I did get one - a Tom Seaver.

But it's the next card that had me jaw dropped.

As part of the promotion of the product, there was a card showing off a nice triple signature card.  It's an autographed card of the only three living Triple Crown winners.

Guess who pulled the card?

I'll give you just one guess.


Are you kidding me!

When I first saw the card I thought "This is no ordinary insert".  And believe it or not, I didn't even notice the third signature in the middle at first - of Secretariat rider Ron Turcotte (it's kind of hidden in the body of the horse).

All three signatures are hard signed in gold pen.  It's really a gorgeous looking card.  And I'm not even a horse fan (although I might have to become one now).

I flipped over the card and saw that it was a low numbered piece.

Twenty!  So what did that mean?  How rare is that?

Then one of the guys there pointed out that on the front of the box it says to look for a triple auto card of the Triple Crown winners.

That's when I hit ebay.  I wanted to see what this card has gone for.

One just sold......Buy It Now.......$300.

That's cause for a "Thank you very much."

A spur of the moment pack rip.....finally pays off.  And no, it's not the start of a trend.  I'll be the first to admit that this is likely a once in a lifetime thing.

But boy was it ever exciting.

Monday, March 4, 2013

'DID YOU KNOW' - A Quick Start

When we think of first goals there is probably none more popular than that of Mario Lemieux.  First shift in the NHL, first shot on goal, big hype, big celebration....what more can you ask for.

Well, there is one player who can say he's done something that even Mario didn't do.  Something that nobody else has ever done in the NHL.  Something that would make your first game absolutely the most memorable event it could be.

And that player had a pretty amazing year leading into his first NHL game in 1980.  He was just a 20-year-old kid when he won an Olympic gold medal as part of that 'Miracle On Ice' team from the United States.  He was drafted 40th overall by the Winnipeg Jets and had 18 points in 15 games during his first year in the big leagues.

But it was his first goal in the NHL that has remained one for the record books.

'DID YOU KNOW': Dave Christian holds the record for scoring the fastest goal to start a career.

Now Mario's goal was fast.....but nowhere close to that of Dave Christian.  Imagine being on the ice to start the game, jitters and nerves.  The puck drops and history is about to happen.

So just how fast did it take for Dave to pot goal number one?

How about 7 seconds.  SEVEN.  In the amount of time it will take you to read this sentence, Dave Christian will have started his NHL career and scored his first NHL goal.

He could retire right then and there and have a pretty solid hockey resume.  But he quietly had himself a very solid 15-year career playing for the Jets, Capitals, Bruins, Blues and Blackhawks.

He only scored 40 goals in the NHL once but over his 1009 career games, Christian would amass 773 points (340 goals, 433 assists).  He played in the 1991 All-Star Game and donned the USA team colors in 3 Canada Cups.

But the Christian name doesn't end there.  Back in the 1970's, Dave father (Bill) along with his uncle (Roger) founded the Christian Brothers Hockey Company.  Their primary product - hockey sticks.

Christian hockey sticks were a staple for Dave, his USA teammates in Lake Placid and for thousands of hockey players around North America.  They were one of the most popular brands throughout the 80's.  In 2002, the brothers sold their business because they could no longer compete with the larger Canadian hockey companies.

A great article on the Christian hockey stick venture.

It'll take you more than 7 seconds to read it though.

Now You Know.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

RAISE THE CUP - Some Pittsburgh Generosity

I've finally gotten around to some clean up/scanning of some of my pickups over the last month.  That short February really messed me up (at least that's the excuse I'm going with).

I mentioned that I had been the fortunate recipient of some generous gifts of late.  This post will show off some of the great cards to be added to my 'Raise The Cup' project.

Brian (Captain Canuck) from Waxaholic and Just A Bit Offside fame handed these to me at the last local card show.  I was thinking that I had most of them, but the parallel world of the 90's showed fine form and all but one of these cards would be added to the binder.

This Score Lemieux is one that I already had.  But I've replaced the one in the binder with this new gift.

This card pretty much epitomizes what the concept of the pc is all about.  Capturing that 'once in a lifetime' moment.  It's an awesome looking card.

Jim!  Jim Paek!  Take you elbow pads off already!

These locker room shots are so-so.  I'd much rather see him with the Cup as he's doing his lap in front of the fans.  This seems a bit 'after-the-fact'.  Still happy nonetheless.

This is the OPC version which will go nicely with the Topps version using the exact same photo.  Cha-ching.

Joey!  This guy is one heck of an underrated player.  And even though Pittsburgh had some pretty massive firepower, it was the vets like Mullen that really cemented the Cup win.

Another OPC version.

Second verse, same as the first.

This was Trottier's swan song and it's amazing to see him a part of such a team considering that he was a huge part of the New York Islanders dynasty of the early 80's.

I have no clue who the guy is holding the Cup, but I like to think it's Bryan's personal assistant.

Tom Barrasso looks absolutely thrilled.  Or shocked that he backstopped the Pens to a Cup.

Thanks for coming out Tom.

Ronnie Franchise!  This guy is THE MOST underrated player of all time.


This French Upper Deck card is a nice addition to the collection.

Phil lucky son of a gun.  I wonder if he realized at the time just how stacked a lineup he was playing with?

Nice photo.  Again, I would have preferred an on ice shot.

Speaking of......this simple Pro Set shot captures the moment a little better.

The front of the card looks identical to one I already have.  But's the French text on the back that makes it a definite add to the binder.

Thanks again Brian.  I really appreciate the cards.

Current Collection - 107 cards