Sunday, January 29, 2012


Short but sweet post tonight (this morning).

After a grueling 7-hour session Saturday night/Sunday morning, I have completed the most complicated and (in my eyes) stunning custom card I have ever created.

I stepped outside the box and tried some new things.

In the end - I'm thrilled with the outcome.

Sorry, no scans at this time. I promised the owner of the card he will without question get first dibs.

Soon though. He should have it by mid-week.

(time for bed)

Friday, January 27, 2012

1 vs. 100 - "2-1+24+2=2......minus 1"

About a year ago, I came across probably the toughest card to track down for my 1 vs. 100 project.

While some of you might think that it would be the 1/1, you'd be wrong. The oversaturation of cards /1 makes them not only easy to find....but relatively cheap.

Plus, I already had the /1 in my collection even before I started this project.

No, for me it was the card /2 that caused me the most concern.

After all, how many cards out there numbered /2 would have lesser known players on it and/or not cost an arm and a leg.

I did find one such card. For the past year it has become one of my favorite acquisitions for this pc.

Shortly after purchasing this card and showing it off on my blog, I received an e-mail from a collector who focuses on enforcers. He was very interested in the card and asked if I would be willing to trade it. I said no long as it would be replaced for another card /2.

A few months went by and then I received another e-mail from the same person. He indicated that while he tried to track down another card /2, he didn't have any success (too expensive). He also indicated that he was restructuring his collection and was no longer interested in the card. No prob. I'll hang on to it.

Fast forward to about a month ago. I received yet another e-mail regarding this card and I made the same request for a card in return. This time though, there was a much better chance of a trade actually going down.

There have been a number of cards /2 released in this year's Artifacts release. Coming across a suitable card for trade was much more likely - as well as affordable.

Last week, I received an e-mail saying that a card has indeed been bought and was on its way. It showed up today.

2011/12 Upper Deck Artifacts
#32 Kris Versteeg /2

This suits the bill nicely. So I will be packaging up the Orr/Carkner this weekend and shipping it off.

While I'm a little sad to see it go, I am more happy that this card (and this project) has created the opportunity for someone else to land a pretty darn rare card for their collection (really rare since I know the other copy of the card is gobbled up in another person's pc).

Note: If anyone out there wants to trade for the Versteeg, I have no problems doing so.

What was really cool was that in addition to the Versteeg, this card was sitting in the envelope.

2008/09 Upper Deck The Cup
Gold Rookie Auto
#75 Jonas Frogren /24

To be able to gain this card for the project was huge. It was such a kind gesture (as I was just looking to trade one-for-one straight up).

It's another unique card to the collection and a tougher one at that.

Thanks again for the trade Sean. I'll have your card in the mail this weekend.

81 out of 100 (81%)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Custom Creations - Making Progress... FINALLY!

Those of you who have followed my blog for past couple years know that I love creating custom cards. Be it cut autographs, cards to be signed or just simple concepts.

Sadly, the number of actual completions has been much smaller than I would have hoped by now. I just find it hard at times to commit hours on end designing and building these pieces of work.

This past week though has been a bit of a breakthrough.

In addition to finally constructing this Reggie Lewis cut auto (which is slowly turning into one of my favorites), I have hit that 'Eureka' moment when it comes to one of the most important cards I've tackled to date.

A couple of years ago, I showed you a ticket stub card from a Beatles show. It was part of a collective request I received a while back.

In addition to that ticket stub, there were a number of autographs (many of which have been built) and one final item.

This ticket stub comes from the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup run (the last time they hoisted the Cup). Through a little detective work, it was determined that this particular stub came from Game 3, which happened to be a Toronto victory....3-2 in double overtime.

Wow! That is one cool piece of history.

So of course I want to put together a smokin' card to house this stub. And so it began. Draft after draft, revision after revision, I kept coming to the same conclusion. I don't like it.

Just to give you some context...I've been in communication with the owner of this item for over 3 years now. THREE YEARS! For 3 years, he has been patiently waiting for this stub to return home.

Well. This week I was able to jump over that major hurdle.

I have finally come up with a look that I am happy with. And while I still have to add the final touches, I wanted to share it (because I'm just really proud to have crossed that threshold).

With the ticket stub taking up a substantial amount of space on the card, I kept finding it difficult to put any sort of design or information on the front.

I tried doing some simple box shape concepts, but found they were too bland. And every time I tried to add some info, it got too busy.

But this idea just hit me one day and I ran with it. Within a few hours I knew I had it.

Over the past day, I've been refining and adding the final touches. I should be able to start the back of the card by Friday. And from past experiences, the back of the card comes together in a fraction of the time.

On top of that, I've got a couple of ideas for how I will assemble it (ideas that I've never tried before, but if they'll work it'll make for a stunning frame). Fingers crossed.

And if you're reading this Greg....thank you VERY MUCH for your patience.

RATE MY MASK - Cory Schneider

I'm a sucker for retro. And I absolutely love the ol' fibreglass goalie masks of the 60's, 70's and 80's.

So this mask should fit right in to my style. Right?

Late last season, Cory Schneider switched from a mask design that paid tribute to a number of past Vancouver goalies and turned his focus to just one retro tender.

For those of you who might not know, this 'X' logo design pays tribute to Canucks goalie Curt Ridley.

He played at a time where the team was just trying to tread water in the NHL. Appearing in about 100 or so games between 1976 and 1980, Ridley was the starting goalie for just 2 seasons. Wins? Well they were quite scarce.

By the time he was just starting to gain strides with the organization, a young upstart named Glen Hanlon wrestled the starting gig away from Curt.

He was traded to Toronto for cash in 1980 and played in only 9 more games (registering just one win). His career would end much like it started - struggling just to make a name for himself.

As for Curt's mask, it consisted of the west coast colors and if you look closely, you can see the gorgeous weave texture in the mask...something that all fibreglass masks had back in the day.

Now take a look at Cory's mask. That texture is included. An amazing attention to detail. The faded and worn white also adds to the vintage look.

Mark Hart of Hart Designs was responsible for the look and feel of Schneider's new lid. In addition to the Ridley tribute, Hart added some of the Canucks logos along the sides - and he wanted them to appear as if they were underneath ice (note the 'skate marks' painted on).

From a distance, Cory's mask really pops out. Something that is sorely missing with a lot of goalie masks these days. They are too detailed or busy and a person sitting in the stands can't really appreciate it for the work it is.

This mask gives the fans the best of both worlds. You can get a strong sense of the theme from far away while appreciating the attention to detail upon closer inspection.

Take a moment to watch this video where Cory explains the inspiration for his mask as well as what his backplate is all about.

A solid looking mask (and better than his older one in my opinion).

3.5 out of 5

Now it's your turn to Rate My Mask!

Monday, January 23, 2012


With ITG's 'Enforcers' product out in full force, I thought I'd take a look at a pretty unique looking card from the 1970's depicting one of the lesser known tough guys of the time..

It's the 1977/78 OPC set specifically and it's got a very basic design which really lends well to photos that are well thought out.

In this case, I feel that it was.

1977/78 O-Pee-Chee
#17 Willi Plett

The Flames were still a couple seasons away from relocating to Calgary and I would have been 5 years old at the time this card was released. Needless to say, it slipped by me the first time around.

But Willi made the city of Calgary take notice that first year in 1980. He notched 38 goals and accumulated 239 penalty minutes. He continued his hot hand in the playoffs tallying 8 goals and 4 assists in 15 games while sitting in the sin bin for 89 minutes.

Speaking of the sin bin, you don't normally see hockey card photos showing this aspect of the game.

There's a lot I really like about this card, so let's break it down.

First, the isolation of being the only person on the bench. These days, there's 8 other guys in suits sitting next to you. Either telling you when you can leave, or asking for a quick interview.

Willi's a big guy (6'3" and 205 lbs) even by today's standards. But when I look at this photo all I see are the small pants, lack of padding above the knee, the non-football-like shoulder pads and of course the lack of helmet.

I don't think any player in the league would dare go out on the ice wearing what Plett is in a game today.

I like the towel in his hands. It has the appearance of movement to it. The waterbottle sitting next to him on his right while his wood stick is propped up to his left.

The bench itself has the wear and weathering of a 30-year-old outdoor rink. The black bumper is just chipped enormously with character and the glass looks as though it's seen better days.

In the background, you can see hundreds of fans in the crowd. Did they just witness a scrap involving Plett? Did Willi get lazy and trip someone up? We'll never know for sure.

What I can say is that the layout of this card fits the photo quite well. And the photo....well, if you got the original, blew it up and framed it - it would make one heck of a hanging in your man cave.

As for Willi, did you know he was a six-time 20-goal scorer? He also cracked the 200 penalty minute mark 7 times.

In addition to the Flames, he played for the Minnesota North Stars and Boston Bruins finishing with over 200 goals, 400 points and 2500 PIMs. Not too bad for a 5th round pick.

I think he could have fit into today's game quite well.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


The recently released Panini Limited product has once again thrown Trevor Linden into the checklist. And I'm more than happy about that. But it wasn't revealed to me right away to what capacity he would be included.

Now he has a few insert set additions like 'Game Pucks' and 'Select Signatures'. He also has a 'Back To The Future' dual autograph with Ryan Kesler (where each side features a full photo and autograph)...I'm really looking forward to that one.

It's more the base card.....or should I say cards that made me take a closer look at the overall list of Linden cards.

You've all seen the card of Trev I pulled from my pack of Limited. It's numbered /299 and features a nice photo of him in his Canucks uniform. It's a sharp looking card.

There are also 5 parallels of it. A 'Ruby' /49, a 'Gold' /25, a 'Platinum' /1, a 'Monikers Gold auto' /19 and a 'Monikers Platinum auto' /1.

Seems simple enough. Right?

You with me?

Now take a look at this.....

That's right. It a Trevor Linden base card /299. From the same product.

But he's wearing his Washington Capitals attire.

The addition wouldn't be so bad if there weren't so many parallels. Now, instead of chasing 6 versions from the base set, I have to go after 12. 4 of them being 1/1's.

Overall, Trevor has 18 cards in Panini Limited this year (up from the 13 last year).

I guess it could be worse. I know of a Tim Thomas collector who cringed considerably when he realized that there were 55 different cards produced in the 2011/12 Panini Certified product.

That's right - 55!

Don't get me wrong, ultimately I'm happy that Trev's got more and more cards for me to chase. Keeping me busy for many years to come. I just can't help but feel that at times his popularity in the hockey card world has pushed companies to insert him - heavily at times - into numerous products.

Does he deserve a spot in a set? Absolutely. Does he deserve two spots in a set? Not really.

Another great example would be the quad autograph from Dominion.

Does he deserve to be in the high-end set? Sure. Does he deserve a spot on an autograph card with Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic? I don't know.

My heart says wallet says no.

I remember back in the late 90's when companies like Pacific, Pinnacle and Topps would introduce 'parallel hell' on player collectors. These days, it's seems like a simple splash of water compared to the tidal wave of cards a player can have in any given set.

How much is too much when it comes to a player being put into a product? Should there be limitations on the number of appearances a player can have within a certain product?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

BOX BREAKS: 2011/12 Enforcers

Well, with all the hype and anticipation leading up to the release of In The Game's 'Enforcers' product, I told myself a number of weeks back that I'd give it a shot.

Even though there are no cards that I'm really pursuing for my own collection, I feel that it would be a fun break and it would give me a chance to gain some traders in hopes of landing a Linden or two.

2011/12 In The Game

Before I begin, I should say that I've already traded a couple cards away, so this is not really what I received in my box break. It was just a couple of the base cards as opposed to the auto or memorabilia pieces.

I had a pair of the 'Bloody Battles' cards. You can see an example of one in the piece I wrote back in December. And while I really like the looks of these cards, I had no problem trading them away since I received some nice stuff in return.

So the base cards in my 'box break' might feel a little thinner.

There are 12 cards that come in a box of Enforcers. 5 base cards, 2 game-used memorabilia cards and 5 autographs.

These 'Record Holder' cards might seem like an oversight, but upon closer look can really give you a glimpse of what the tough guys in the league have cemented into hockey's history.

It was the Oilers team of 1990 that hold the distinction of racking up the most penalties in a single game - 44 (26 minors, 7 majors, 6 10-minute misconducts, 4 game misconducts, and a single match penalty).

Immediately, I thought the opponent would be their 'Battle Of Alberta' rival, the Calgary Flames. But not so.

The LA Kings were on the receiving end, but they managed to dish out a bunch too. 41 penalties for the guys in black and silver.

Man that must have been a long game to watch.

Second looks are important when it comes to cards. This Chris Nilan selection is a perfect example of that.

Probably least known as a Bruin (80 games over two seasons late in his career), many of you might be disgusted by seeing 'Knuckles' in Boston colors. I know I was. But then I took a closer look at the card.

Most Penalty Minutes In A Game

It was in 1991 when Boston played Hartford that Nilan would set a record by receiving 10 penalties in a game. And he was kicked out of the game midway through the third period.

I look at this card and am more impressed that In The Game would take the time to track down an obviously tougher-to-find photo of Chris in a Bruins uniform.

That attention to detail is something that as a consumer I appreciate.

I gained a couple of these 'Tale Of The Tape' card in the trade I mentioned earlier. A nice concept that has a brief writeup on the back of the card as well as the boxing-style stats.

While not overwhelming, these are a nice subset in the base card product.

Of course, the real draw to this product are the memorabilia and autograph cards.

This two-color Terry O'Reilly card continues the run of Boston guys in my box break. It's a fair sized piece and I'm happy that I got someone from the 70's/80's era as opposed to today's game.

When I think of tough guys in the league, it's not long before the name Bob Probert comes to mind. He's probably one of the most sought after players in this release so seeing him on a dual jersey card (along with Tony Twist) is a welcomed sight.

Not the biggest fan of the design layout here, but I've seen worse.

Now on to the signature cards. I can definitely see this set being actively pursued by a number of collectors.

86 different autograph cards are included in this product - and not a single one of them a redemption (something In The Game demands of all its releases). A tremendous checklist.

Well, maybe not too tremendous to someone who isn't really well versed on his tough guys.

I know who Craig Berube is (he had a cup of tea with the Flames in the 90's), Paul Laus...the name kind of rings a bell and Jay Miller - another Boston guy.

I will say that I really like the design of these cards. Anyone who builds this set will have some really cool binder pages. Not only that, but the range of players included is pretty diverse.

You gotta give ITG points for that.

Garth Butcher. I was happy to see some Canucks love in my purchase. And even though In The Game don't have the authority to show team logos (which really restricts their photo usage), I really like the pic they chose of Garth.

Only Canucks fans love the yellow.

Speaking of yellow....did I get a Bruins 'hot pack' or something?

Actually, in addition to the Bruins, John played for the Blues, Nordiques (which I'm guessing this photo is of), and Rockies/Devils franchises. Although I do wish John would have been pictured in his infamous Boston garb.

The moment I saw this signature in my box break, I immediately reminisced about my encounter with Mr. Wensink when I was in high school.

I worked at a skate sharpening shop in town (actually owned by tough guy Tim Hunter) which gave me the chance to talk sports on an almost daily basis.

One day, out of the blue, this hulk of a guy walks in. I can't remember if he was travelling with a team that happened to be playing at the rink or if he was visiting someone or what, but I soon found out who he was from others in the shop.

When I heard the name John Wensink, I knew who he was. He played in that late-70's era for the Boston team coached by the legendary Don Cherry.

And believe it or not, he had a 28-goal campaign in 78/79....not too shabby.

I had the chance to introduce myself to him and stuck out my hand for him to shake. Never.....NEVER in my life have I ever received a handshake from someone with such a stone-like grip. It actually hurt.

All I could think about was how those huge mitts would have felt scrapping it out on the ice. To this day it still makes me shake my head.

In my moment of amazement, I forgot to ask him for his autograph. Well, 20-odd years later, I finally got it.

Overall, the box break didn't have the huge 'wow' factor (it hasn't been my week for box breaks) but that doesn't always happen. I'm glad I broke this box but with no cards or sets that I'm going to go after, it's unlikely I'll open any more.

But if you like your tough guys....give it a shot. There's some stunning cards in the product.

And for you John Wensink fans...

The end of the video made me chuckle. I have no doubt he wanted it to happen (and he'd have given them more than they'd want).

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - One More Down, One To Go

I got home Friday night to see a single mailer poking out from the mailbox. Looking at the return address, I knew immediately what lay inside.

For almost a year now I have been hunting down cards from In The Game's 'Decades' product. Autographs, Jerseys, Numbers, Emblems and combinations of the sort. And while I do have most of them now....the remaining few are going to be the big challenge.

Thankfully, there are a bunch of great people out there that know who I collect and keep their eye out for me.

I received a message from one such person stating simply....'Do you need this one? It's available. Throw me an offer.'

2010/11 In The Game Decades 1980s
#M-62 Game Used Emblem Silver
(limited to 3 copies)

Do I need it? I don't care. I'm going to try and get it regardless.

Actually, I did need it......all the better.

I knew that from past purchases and seeing what other cards of the sort have gone for the type of ballpark I should be in when making an offer. The last thing I'm trying to do is lowball or squeeze out the cheapest price.

I wanted to make a fair offer that we could both be happy with.

And it was as simple as that. I paid a little more in order to have the card shipped express (with tracking and all that jazz).

Thrilled! Absolutely thrilled to strike this off the wantlist.

For those of you who have labored through my numerous Decades post might like to know that there are 9 of these types of cards (3 jersey, 3 number and 3 emblem). One is a 'black' level, one 'silver' and the final one (and rarest) is the 'gold'.

I now own 8 of the 9 cards. All I am missing is the toughest one - the gold emblem. And of course, there is only one card of that type in the product.

For those of you who are interested, here are some of the others...

3 different ones

Number Gold

Number Silver

Baby steps. Sometimes big purchases.... but baby steps.

Friday, January 20, 2012

PACK WARS: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Pack wars. It's an opportunity to snag a lot of cards for a little cash. There's just one small catch - you have to win.


I like participating in a few rounds of pack wars at the monthly trade night and last week I was in the mix for some 2011/12 Upper Deck Series 1 and Black Diamond as well as a couple goes of 2010/11 ITG Between The Pipes.

And this time around, lady luck was with me. Well......most of the time.

I'll start with the Between The Pipes. There were about 6 or 7 people participating and the winner just needed to have a card in their pack with the shortest last name.

Olivier Roy.....thank you very much.

2010/11 ITG
Between The Pipes
Game Used Jersey Gold
#M-03 Calvin Pickard (limited to 10 copies)

While I was hoping for some of the Masked Men III inserts, I was pretty happy to land the big hit of the box.

This jersey piece has a real thick bulging seam in it. Almost patch-like. Which is what one would expect with the gold versions of these cards.

I don't know much about Pickard (I think he has a brother, Chet) but I now own a piece of his Subway Super Series jersey.


Now I was also very much in the running when it came to the Upper Deck Series 1 breaks. I ended winning one round and my big hit was a Matt Frattin Young Guns card. He's no Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but still not a terrible card.

Speaking of RNH, this takes us to our 'you lose some' segment.

It was the last round of 2010/11 Black Diamond and all I needed was a card depicting the player with the highest career plus/minus. Halfway through my cards I notice some shlub named Gretzky.

Winner, winner, chicke.......

Not so fast.

"Bobby Orr!" someone shouts out.

Wouldn't you know it. The one, single card that would trump mine. And to make matters worse....... you guessed it....... part of the winnings included a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins rookie card.

Ouch. So close.

In the end though, pack wars was a lot of fun, and that's what it's all about.

BOX BREAKS: 2011/12 Panini Limited

With Trevor Linden making it into yet another 2011/12 product, I thought I'd roll the dice on a box of Panini Limited hoping to land one of the coveted pieces of cardboard.

And if I didn't get any Linden goodies....maybe I could land some solid tradebait.

I don't think I got anything of the sort.

2011/12 Panini Limited

This is a mid-range product hovering around $100 a box. In it, you get one pack of seven cards. There's a guarantee of 3 autographs or memorabilia cards.

Fingers crossed.

The base cards are a definite improvement from last year. I like the simple design and the photos are nice. The regular base cards are numbered /299.

Nothing fantastic, but that was a 'known' going in.

By the way.....I'm leaving the third base card for the end - HINT.

The jersey card too is a nice upgrade from last year. The window for the material is better shaped and has a border. Simple, but way more effective.

This Subban card is /99. Not bad, but the white swatch all but throws this into the cheap trade box.

Pronger! This is the second nice Chris Pronger card I've landed in a month.

In December, I won a round of Panini Certified pack wars and got a great looking patch card /5. Great card.....not so great player.

This Limited 'Prime' patch is /25 and has a nice thick seam down the middle.

Now I just need to find a Pronger collector.

There are a lot of different insert sets in Limited. Some are nice, some are niche (that sounds rare).

And some have Linden in them. Awesome and not awesome at the same time.

The Retired Numbers set doesn't look as nice to me as last year, and I don't see this Bucyk being an overly-desirable catch (even if it is /199).

Pronger! Again!

At least he's on one of my favorite insert sets - The Stanley Cup.

Numbered /199, these cards have a shiny look to the front, almost like one of those cards where you peel off the top protective layer.

They don't scan well at all but are a very sharp looking card.

Now, there are these manufactured patch autograph cards of this season's rookie crop. Guys like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog and Mark Sheifele are the big grabs.

Anyone know who Jonathon Blum is?

Well, I got his auto /299.

Maybe I'll disassemble this one to see how they are made. That's more interesting to me that the actual player card itself.

So.....not such a great box break so far.

Well, there's hope. For I was lucky enough to see the name Trevor Linden inside my box of Limited.

And even though it's his regular base card /299, it was an exciting pull.

Sad how this simple base card becomes the 'bit hit' in the box.

So if you counted right....that's eight cards. Bonus! (sarcasm)

In all fairness, I saw some pretty nice cards come out of this product and I was doing everything possible not to feed the urge to buy a second box. I'm using that money to buy Linden singles from the set.

But there is some silver lining to this Limited cloud.

One of the other box breakers pulled a Daniel Sedin jersey card. And since he is a rabid Canucks hater and I'm 'the Canucks guy' he passed it over not expecting anything in return.

A much appreciated gesture.

In addition, another box breaker pulled the same Daniel Sedin...but the autograph card version. He really had no use for it and so we pulled off a nice quick trade (and I was actually able to add a much coveted Cup Raiser as well).

Here are the pair of Sedin cards.

The two-colored jersey is /25 and the auto is /49.

That pulled my poor box break into the world of average. was a lot of fun. And I'm looking forward to even more fun tracking down my Linden wants.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1 vs. 100 - Big Trade

This slow and steady project got a big boost at the monthly trade night on Wednesday.

Whenever I look through other people's trade boxes, I keep an eye out for cards that would fit into this project. In fact, the majority of cards in this collection came via trade or pickup locally as opposed to buying on ebay. It has saved me a lot of dough....and it's been more fun to build quite frankly.

When I came across this card, I really put a big effort in trying to trade for it. It's one of the tough ones I have remaining on the list.

2011/12 Upper Deck Artifacts
Auto Emerald Jersey/Patch
#44 Jay Bouwmeester /8

Wow. That set name is a mouthful. But it's not about the set name, the product, the player, the auto, the patch.....nothing except the serial number. 5/8.

These auto/jersey/patch cards are all numbered /8. Why? I have no clue. Why not /10 or /5....something more 'rounded'?

At the end of the day, this confusing parallel only benefits me as I needed it for the pc.

With it being Jay-Bo (even though he's in a Flames uniform, and I live in Calgary) the desirability factor is very small. A bonus for me.

After asking if we could trade, the owner of the card took a look through my stuff. He came across a couple cards and we quickly worked something out.

One of the cards (and my niece might be a little sad) is the infamous '$1 Taylor Hall RC'. This is a perfect example of how a book value really doesn't impact a trade for me. I saw that Hall as a $1 out-of-pocket purchase as opposed to whatever it books for - and I still don't know.

It was a no-brainer for me and I am thrilled to scratch this number off the list. It leaves me with just a pair of cards numbered to less than 10 remaining on the wantlist.

Slowly but surely.

80 out of 100 (80%)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The only time I pick up Trevor Linden cards already in my collection are when

1. They are an upgrade
2. They are super cheap (and rare)
3. They are for someone else

This Linden card really doesn't fit into any of those categories specifically (although I guess you could consider it an 'upgrade').

2007/08 Upper Deck Artifacts
Tundra Tandems
#TT-ML Trevor Linden/Brendan Morrison /125

The reason I picked this card up off ebay during the Christmas break was pretty simple - the red jersey piece.

It's pretty rare to find a solid red jersey piece on a Linden card. In fact, I think in my entire collection, there's only one other instance of it.

And while it's nice to get away from the boring ol' white jersey pieces normally adorned in these cards, I don't really go out of my way that often to track down cards like the one above.

But when the price is right.....I'll snag it.

I'm not sure what to do with this card though. There are examples in my collection where I have multiple cards, each with a different colored jersey piece. Other examples have me caring less and going with just whatever is there.

Especially with multi-player cards.

But then I do a quick check of my card box and I can find a couple examples of it. Clearly I'm not focused with my own rules on the matter.

Maybe that's something I can figure out this year. Or maybe I just could care less and instead go after the cards I like.

I like the Linden card with the red jersey. It'll stay in the collection for now.

Do different color jersey pieces matter to you? Do you go after multiples because of it?

Monday, January 16, 2012

RAISE THE CUP - Yzerman Defined

This single Stanley Cup-raising card might just go down as the steal of the weekend card show for me.

I saw on it the table and was immediately drawn to it......even though it had a pretty hefty price tag associated to it.

Normally with this project, I'm looking for cards that are relatively inexpensive, but this was not just an ordinary base card.

1997/98 Upper Deck Diamond Vision
Defining Moments
#DM3 Steve Yzerman

Remember Diamond Vision. These were some high-end cards back 15 years ago. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, it was the first 'single card pack' ever released.

I thought they were so cool, but too expensive for my collecting dollar at the time (I was more into quantity than quality). I think the retail on them at the time was $20 or so. I only ever bought one pack.....sure enough, it had the Gretzky base. Traded it soon after and pretty much dropped 'Diamond Vision' from my vocabulary.

Good thing...much like the junk wax era has turned hundreds of thousands of pieces of cardboard into just that - cardboard, the Diamond Vision set has dropped steadily in price.

Lack of demand kills the almighty dollar.

These Defining Moments card were an insert. 1 in every 40 packs. So they were even more desirable at the time, and I think even more so today vs. their base card counterparts.

It's a 6 card set that celebrate some of the best names in hockey at the pinnacle of their career. That one moment - their Defining Moment.

Sounds like a great idea for a set.

For Yzerman, it's his Stanley Cup win in 1997. And you have to remember, back in '97, the Red Wings were in a 42-year Stanley Cup drought. Crazy to imagine that.

Of course, Diamond Vision utilized 'amazing technology to create fluid action sequences on their cards'. I just move the card back and forth and the player inside it moves. Neat.

That's why the scan is so bad. There are actually 5 photos used in the sequence. It really doesn't look too impressive until the tilting commences.

When I saw the card on the table, I was happy to find another card that would fit into my 'Raise The Cup' project, but bummed by the $100 price tag. There was no way I was going to spend that much for it.

I have dealt with the dealer numerous times before, which is the only reason I asked about the card. Maybe he could drop his price.

He mentioned that he'd had the card for some time and grabbed the price guide to confirm it still booked that high.

He couldn't find the page with the set listing....which benefited me as he dropped his price considerably - $30.

I still thought that was a bit more than I wanted to spend for a card going into this project. I offered him $20 and he took it.

When I got home I tried to track down the book value in one of my guides. It only took me a few seconds.

bv $40 lo $100 hi

So he was correct with his book value. And I was happy with my purchase price. Was it a steal? Maybe not. But at 80% off, I'll take it.

It's definitely the most unique card in my 'Raise The Cup' binder.

Current Collection - 68 cards

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MY COLLECTION: The Rest Of The Mish Mash

Saturday's trip to the card show was beneficial on many fronts. Normally when that happens, I tend to pick up a few more cards either to knock down the cost in a bundle or because I'm just a sucker for a good deal.

These were more in the "I'm a sucker" category.

2011/12 Panini Certified
Throwback Threads
#10 Gary Simmons

Gary Simmons' mask is awesome. Nicknamed 'The Cobra' because of his quickness, the moniker soon translated to the design on his lid.

Forget the team colors.....just paint it black and put a snake on it. Love it.

While the photo used is average at best, it sure beats the maskless, blue-wall background shots heavily used in the 70's.

I snagged it the moment I saw it. For a buck - it was worth it.

2011/12 Panini Certified
Masked Marvels
#11 Roberto Luongo & #17 Miikka Kiprusoff

Also in the stack with the Simmons was this pair of 'goalie mask' cards. I'm planning on building the set, so I grabbed these at a buck a piece as well.

2011/12 Panini Score
NHL Shield Die-Cuts
#7 Alex Ovechkin

Hey Paul! I found this one. Trade ya' straight up for the Crosby?

It was a buck.

2008/09 In The Game
1972: The Year In Cards
Bob Leiter & Jacques Lemaire

These too were a buck a piece (I see a trend).

Sounds like a lot eh? Well, not so fast. The reason I didn't put the numbers of the cards down is because...

they're blank backs.

I'm happy to pay a loonie each for them when they're lacking this much information.

2008/09 Upper Deck Artifacts
#44 J.P. Dumont /10

Now I didn't pay a buck for this one.....I paid two.

And I don't know if this is the silver, shiny, foil, gray, holo or exclusive version. I could care less to be honest. It's the serial number on the front that caught my eye.

A card /10 for $2. Every time.

2006/07 Upper Deck Trilogy
Ice Scripts
#IS-BB Brad Boyes

I picked up a trio of these cards for $2 a piece. Man are they thick. It's like they printed the cards on a sheet of fibreglass. Absolutely no bend to them.

And hard signed. I thought they were a solid pickup.

See how I did that.

They're not rare by any means as far as I can tell, so they might go towards my 'One Sheet, One Set' project. But for mow, they'll head to the trade box.

2009/10 Upper Deck The Cup
#67 Dale Hawerchuk /25

I have seen this card sitting on this guy's table for months. It's got a boring white jersey piece and a rather uninspired design. Always with a price tag that turns me off of a card that I really didn't need in the first place.

But when I saw it in the $5 box, I bit.

I figure that a Hawerchuk jersey card from The Cup numbered /25 (even with a white swatch) was worth the fiver.

Love the ol' Jets uniform.

2011/12 In The Game
Canada vs. The World
Triple Gold Jersey
#TG-05 Niklas Lidstrom
Silver Version (print run of 50)

When I came across this card, I was trying to remember how 'rare' these were. I couldn't figure out if they were more or less than 10 copies.

I think part of the confusion also came in the name Triple Gold. I thought gold version (which would be the most rare).

I picked it up hoping it would be.

If I had only read the back of the card where it clearly indicated Silver Version. Still, I thought it would be rare than the 50 copies it claims to be.

Not a disappointing pickup, but I probably wouldn't have grabbed it if I had my info correct.

2009/10 In The Game
Heroes and Prospects
Jumbo Number
#JM-15 Jared Staal
Silver Version (print run of 3)

Now I had a much better idea of the rarity of this card.

Even though Jared sits fourth on the depth his own family, I couldn't resist picking this card up.

What a nice beefy piece of number we have here and, as mentioned, only 3 copies exist. I thought the $10 I laid down worked nicely.

In addition to the card above, I picked up a few other bit here and there. Some you'll see over the next few posts or the next few months, some will forever sit in my psudo-organized collection, maybe never to see the light of day again.

Nah.....shouldn't be that bad.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

REVIEW - 2010/11 Panini All Goalies

It was the first card show of 2012 and I had been looking forward to it all week. I was gung-ho for heading down there when the doors opened at 10:00 am.

Yeah......that plan didn't work out so good.

So about 12:30, I trot in looking for a few deals (and hopefully a Linden or two). Hockey Night In Canada was down there so it was a little more packed than usual. That just added to the excitement.

I picked up a bit of a mish-mash of cards. A few masks, a couple Cup Raisers, some cards for my One Sheet, One Set project and even a Linden (although I already had it).

Overall, it was a fun afternoon.

While scanning in some of my goods, I decided to throw this set in that I picked up during my time off from work. It's not really a 'box break' so I'm calling it a review.

2010/11 Panini All Goalies

This product is essentially a factory set. No packs were released.

I had heard about this all goalie release and was immediately intrigued, but the lack of mask shots left me holding off on picking it up.

When I saw that it was marked down almost half price, I bit.

The set consists of 100 cards (89 of them current NHLers or those in the system). If you ever wanted a snapshot of the NHL goaltending depth chart at the time....this is your set.

The cards are a basic design and the photos aren't overly exciting, but they're not too bad. Consistent at least.

The player selection could have better. While some teams (like Calgary) are represented by only a pair of cards, other teams....

C'mon......really? FIVE CARDS? You couldn't drop one and add Leland Irving or something?

That's a little bit weak, especially when one of the players isn't even in game action.

I mentioned that the first 89 cards consist of current players. That leaves the remaining 11 for past stars.

Can't beat that. Some solid names in the abbreviated 'legends' portion of the product. Fuhr, Cheevers, Esposito, Roy, Barrasso, Potvin just to name a few.

This one's my favorite though. Can't beat a nice Richard Brodeur card. Especially when it contains a photo that I've never seen before.

Now in addition to your 100 card set, you also get 5 'randomly inserted' Up Close cards.

As you can see, Panini has added a black & white close up of the player on the right hand side of the card. Kind of a nice bonus and adds some excitement to the break as opposed to just having a predetermined factory set.

I use the words 'randomly inserted' loosely. Here are my other 4 cards...


I guess it could have been worse. Did you see the Sharks fab five?

Lastly, if these 105 cards aren't enough for you, there's one more piece of cardboard in the box.

And it's got a piece of jersey attached to it.

I've seen a nice jersey piece of Pekka Rinne's come from this product, so getting just a shlub jersey isn't always what you can expect.

And Kipper isn't the worst pick out of the bag.

Overall, this is a nice product, nothing fantastic or mind-blowing. It retails for about $20-25. I picked mine up for $15 (and that's the max I would pay for the product). If you can find a box out there for $10 or less - snag it. It beats a lot of the blaster boxes out there and you are guaranteed a complete set.

3.5 out of 5