Thursday, October 20, 2022

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Platinum Puzzler

One of the unexpected joys of my long-time player collecting journey has been the curating of my master checklist.

I know....who'd have thunk it?

For a few years now, I've pulled the foot off the gas in terms of PC pickups. I still check the online auctions numerous times a day, but the maildays are fewer and further between. I do see the master checklist building in size...but instead of getting frustrated by my apparent lack of progress - I actually enjoy seeing a complete list built and looked after.

So it really excites me when I can add a card to the list that I didn't know existed.

That happened recently.

One of the big PC accomplishments in my collection has been the pretty complete rainbow from 2000/01 Be A Players Signature Series.

In addition to the 2 auto cards (regular and gold), I have landed the base, parallels and as many show cards as I've ever seen.

But a new card has been (shockingly) added to the checklist...

2000/01 Be A Player Signature Series
#213 Platinum

Simply put...I've never seen a copy of this card before - and I've never had it on my master checklist until I picked it up.

I've got a couple platinum show cards from this product, but not a base parallel.

This is what the base looks like (on the left)...clearly a different looking card. There's no doubt that this is the platinum variation (vs. some sort of printing anomaly).

There's no numbering on the back to indicate scarcity, but as I mentioned, I've never seen a copy of this nor have heard of its existence in over 20 years of collecting Trev.

Here's the set of 5 with the emerald /5, sapphire /100 and ruby /200. A nice looking group.

I'll be honest, I was shocked to land the emerald a while back - a card that is notoriously difficult. But this platinum add is an even more exciting find.

Here's the whole family...all 19 of them (21 if you count the signature cards). This really is my favourite rainbow in my entire Linden collection.

Could there be other show card parallels? Absolutely. I wouldn't be surprised if there were 4 different cards from each show...but I've never come across any - and I've done my due diligence too.

I plan on reaching out to a couple of my fellow Linden collectors to see what kind of info they have on this new addition. They always have been a fantastic source of information.

Regardless, this new parallel (and even more completed rainbow) looks perfectly in its place in my collection.

Thrilled to add this one.

Have you ever landed a card for your PC that you never knew existed until the moment you bought it? What were your thoughts when that happened?

Saturday, October 15, 2022

PARKIE PROJECT - Two More From The Show

It was a big day today....card show day.

And it's been a big week this week....started a new job.

After 13 1/2 years at my previous workplace, I decided it was time to make a change. The workload had become too much for these shoulders to carry and a wonderful opportunity had presented itself. It's been an amazing week getting to learn new things and feeling like the weight of expectations and tasks just melted away. I'm very excited about what the next chapter of my working life will consist of.

Now, back to the card show. 

It was the city's big show which happens every six months. I always go with little expectation on finding Linden items (but you never know unless you dig), but I approach the day with great enthusiasm as it's a chance to just "be me" in a true hobby environment.

I did dig...but alas, no Lindens. That's ok...I did find a couple pieces of cardboard that cut down a checklist a little more.

My Parkie collection grew by two cards today.

It's been a good last 12 months for my 51/52 Parkhurst collection. I've managed to add a whopping five cards. FIVE! Ok, it's not that impressive...but it's definitely more than I would have guessed a year ago.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#45 Fred Hucul RC

Fred "Stoneface" Hucul holds the distinction of having the longest gap between NHL appearances in the history of the game (not counting goalies). He went 13 seasons without seeing NHL ice...wrapping up his Chicago stint in 1954 and making his St. Louis debut in 1967 after being picked in the expansion draft when the Blues entered the league.

Hucul played a total of 162 games in the NHL and actually spent the bulk of his career in my hometown of Calgary (with the Stampeders of the WHL).

This card fits my collection perfectly. Not terribly off-center, no creases or marks on the front or back, and yes, there are rounded corners...but not in a "wow, that's ugly" kind of way. I've always said that if I'm going to ever complete this set, it's going to be in this type of condition.

A fair price on the card, probably a little more than I've spent on average. But I've not bought a ton of cards this year and I just decided to strike when I had the chance. I also think that cards in general are getting a little more expensive - the past two years have seen a rise in prices. I need to get used to that.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#97 Nick Mickoski RC

I feel like every card from this set is a rookie card..ha ha. 

Nick's career lasted 13 seasons and he played for four of the six Original Six teams over 703 games. He was an All-Star in 1956 and is an honoured member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall Of Fame and was posthumously inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall Of Fame in 2004.

In the 2009 book '100 Ranger Greats', he was ranked #77 all-time of the 901 New York Rangers who played in the team's first 82 seasons of existence.

What I like about this card is that it's a little more centered, the corners are a lot crisper (yes...still rounded) and so it cost me a little more $$$. 

It also cost a little more cash because of this...

Don't hate me because I cracked a 70-year-old card out of it's PSA case...especially when it graded 3.5.

It had to be done. There's just no way I would have wanted this card in my collection in its slab. I'm building an ungraded set...those are my rules.

Did I cringe as I cracked open the slab? Not's not the first time I've done it for this set. 

I'm really pleased with the two that I snagged from the show today. Gets me just a little closer to the end goal.

One day.

Current Collection - 28 cards

Friday, September 16, 2022

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Rare Air...And Some Thoughts

Hockey season is near. 

I can tell because my fantasy league has geared up and the smack talk has already begun. The leaves are also starting to change and I no longer have to blast my AC overnight to get a good night's sleep.

I also find this point in the year as a bit of a restart with my collecting. 

Summertime always used to bring a pause to the hobby - a break from the chase. A reset on what I was looking to go after. These days, the pursuit is a year-round thing (or can be) and the new releases never stop.

I've certainly slowed down over the past few years. Not from the search (I still do dozens of eBay looks a day), but from the purchase. Gone are the days of weekly charges to my credit card and bubble mailers stuffing my mailbox. Now, it might be weeks...or months between maildays.

That makes them all the more sweeter.

I've been saving this one to share for a few weeks as I wanted to make sure it got some special props. After all, it's not every day you land a card that's been on the wantlist for over two decades.

1999/00 Pacific Crown Royale
#14 Ice Elite Die Cut  /10

Straight up...I've never seen this card - ever. I didn't think I'd ever see one nor own a copy.  When I look at it now, it brings a huge smile to my face...but also a lot of thoughts. Let's enjoy the card first.

This was a time in my Linden collecting when he was in his prime in terms of being in products. Even though he had been shipped from Vancouver to the New York Islanders, and then Montreal, he was getting a ton of hobby love. And the parallels in those years were off the chart. It's the big reason why he's got over 2500 unique cards to his name.

This Ice Elite Die Cut is just a cool crown concept. A standard with the product, it just juts out as so unique for its time.

But it's that little stamped serial number that really puts it over the top. A card that would have been highly desired 20 years ago, still holds demand in my eyes all these years later. It was an instant thought of "I need to have this one" when I saw it. That doesn't happen much anymore.

That brings me to my thoughts on cards like this...and the hobby world for me at this point in time.

Why did I put extra emphasis on this card over say a card /10 from the past couple of years? Why is this one so overly desirable? What are the intangibles to the decision-making when it comes to cardboard?

I chased this card hard because it felt like it was a one-time moment. This could very well be the last time I ever see this card - ever. I don't feel that way when it comes to newer, rarer cards. I feel like they'd eventually pop up again (and in a lot of instances...they do).

My push to obtain this card I think came from the fact that I hadn't made a serious card purchase in a while. A quick eBay search shows me that this is just the sixth Linden card I've picked up this year off of the online platform. 


To be a little more liberal and open my wallet up a bit more didn't make me feel like I was upsetting the apple cart. Would my mindset be different if I had just binged on a bunch of cards a few weeks earlier? With this one...likely not, but paying attention to how much I've spent recently did come into mind.

I had also just sold a card at a recent trade night. A cool profit that essentially paid for this card. It is the main reason why I paid what I paid (which I feel was a little more than the card is worth). I was in the mindset of "playing with house money". This card at the end of the day...cost me about $20 out of pocket. Can't beat that at all.

The situations that revolve around the moment of a purchase can absolutely affect the mindset towards a purchase.

How much have you spent recently? Did you sell a card or two in the past week? Have you picked up a lot of cards this year? It all matters.

And in that sense, I have zero regrets for the price I paid and how I went about landing this piece for the PC. Justifying a pickup is just as important as having the card in your hand. If you feel uncomfortable once you are holding the cardboard...ask yourself why.

Monday, August 15, 2022

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Sigh.... I Had To Add A Messier

Oh boy...I can't believe I did it. But it was for the greater good of the Linden collection.

There are a few, fleeting moments in the career of Trevor Linden where his world collided with that of one Mark Messier.

Now, I'm not going to go on a long diatribe about how much I detest "The Moose", but let's just say that I think he is absolutely the most overrated player the league has ever seen. He does NOT epitomize leadership nor does he exude a winning mindset.

Yes, he has trophies...but he is no champion.

ANYWAYS...a card popped up on eBay a few weeks back that had me cringe as I bid on it. It showcases the epic Stanley Cup Finals between the Canucks and Rangers from the 93/94 season. It still goes down as one of the best finals I have ever seen.

So, me being a completist, I bid on said card...and won.

2013/14 In The Game Decades 90's
#CC-05 Cup Clashes Silver (w/ Richter, Messier & Bure)

With only 30 copies of this silver parallel printed, it's a card that has eluded me for a decade. Or maybe I was just avoiding it. Regardless, when I saw it surface, I thought that if I could land it cheap...I'd allow it into my collection.

They even had to use a smug photo of Messier...didn't they?

It's a great card to add to the PC and it's one less of "that guy" I've got to keep track of.

OK....enough of that. I've given him enough of the limelight.  Ha ha.

Sunday, August 14, 2022


Sweet Goalie Sigs...yes, this is a project I have in my collecting world. You might not have heard of it because I've only posted about it once - to show the only two cards in my small PC.

But after 8+ years...I have finally added another piece to the puzzle.

So what is it about this project that has me excited? Well, I love the photography in it. Full-frame head-to-toe goalie pics are very cool. And I think highly of superior penmanship...and these goalies have it in spades.

I was at trade night  (yes, they're back) a week ago and pulled the trigger on this new add.

2013/14 Upper Deck Game Used
#78 Tony Esposito

A quick aside before I start gushing over the card. This September is the 50th Anniversary of the Summit Series and Team Canada's breathtaking win over the Soviets. There is a 4-part documentary series celebrating this historic time period in hockey and I absolutely can't wait for it. Many remember Ken Dryden in net, but Tony-O was a key piece of the roster that helped secure the stunning victory.

Now, to the card. This time period with Esposito (later in his career, when he adopted the partial cage on his mask) is what I remember when I think of Tony. It was the early 80's and he was an All-Star tender. This photo has it all - the slick leather pads, glove and blocker, that Northland stick, Original Six team, and of course...the mask. It's a beautiful pic.

Now, the autograph had me on the fence for a while. The other two cards in my small PC are hard-signed (and I am a sucker for on-card signatures). But this didn't feel like I was making an exception. Tony's script is legendary - easily recognizable. And with the recent passing of this goaltending great, I felt that this might be the best card of his to be a part of my collection.

It was an easy, confident purchase. I couldn't be happier.

Now, let's see if I can find a fourth card before the end of this decade.  :)

Saturday, August 13, 2022

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Show Me Some Silvers

A little over a year ago, I tracked down a number of older show cards that have been on my Linden wantlist for decades. It really was one of the most enjoyable finds I've made in a long time. To secure these (and I hate to use the term) 'white whales' after all these years epitomized the long-game mindset I have placed on my collecting.

I don't chase cards like I did 10-15 years ago. My wallet has different priorities these days. But I don't go a day without searching online for Linden cards - most days it's a good dozen or so times, easily.

I find some cards I need...usually overpriced, some cards I'd like to have...but too steep for the bank account, and on rare occasions I find some cards that I pull the trigger on immediately. A couple weeks back I had one of those moments.

As I mentioned, show cards are a rare bird these days. They were never on my radar back in the late-90's. I was just discovering the online world of collecting and it opened my eyes to what my master checklist would become. 

But, better late than never to track these down.  A pair of fantastic cards that I have never seen in my 25+ years of collecting Trev.

1998/99 Be A Player
#234 Spring Expo  /25

I don't know what to say...I'm still stunned to see this card in my hands. It popped up on eBay early one morning (weekday) and for a fair price. I actually saw three show cards in succession. Having just woken up, my still tired eyes quickly searched my master list to see which ones I needed. Two out of the three were soon purchased. The third one I had already snagged a year ago.

1998/99 Be A Player
#234 Montreal Expo  /10

These are the cards that have me searching constantly. Heck, I've done 3 eBay searches in the time it has taken me to write this post. I absolutely love finding these cards that continue to fill out my collection.

And after the show card hauls I've had the past couple of years, I am very much looking forward to tracking down and picking up more of these pieces.

What was once only thought of as a longshot has now turned into an attainable chase.

I love player collecting.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

PARKIE PROJECT - Pulled The Trigger

My Parkie Project has been expected. But I feel as though the past couple of years might have slowed me down too much.

Card prices have gone up...especially the vintage variety, and I was always hoping to build this collection on a budget.

Still, for an iconic set, there really is no downside to what these cards can bring.

The last time I added to my PC, it was a trip to BC late last year. I decided that the opportunity was there to snag a couple items and even though the price was a little higher than I had hoped, it was a good time to buy.

Same holds true for my most recent purchase.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#36 Clare "Rags" Raglan

Once again, this is his rookie card (most of the cards from this set are) and has a nice action shot of Raglan in his Chicago uni.  Take a moment to enjoy those gloves...skates...straight stick...empty boards...sweater.

Clare Raglan played just 100 games in the National Hockey League over 3 seasons (two with Chicago and one with Detroit). He was a depth defenceman and earned the nickname "Rags" when he found himself monitoring the same blueline as another teammate named Clarence. I guess it was a more common name back then. He also is the father of NHLer Herb Raglan (who played in the late-80s/early-90s).

The first thing you might notice (I know I did) was the off-centering that this card has. This set build isn't a high-ender...but I want aesthetically pleasing cards. Rounded problem. Clean backs are a must (no rips, tears or pen marks). Creases at a minimum (would prefer none). And a nicely centred card.


So why did I snag this one?

I don't see these cards at shows or stores as often as I used to. The store I bought this from is one that I trust and want to support.

But honestly...I just wanted to buy a card.  Ha ha.

Maybe if I had purchased a few cards recently, or picked up a couple other Parkies in the past few months, I would have passed. But the excitement and enthusiasm for adding to the PC was strong.

So do I regret the pickup?

No...not a chance. These are hard cards to find and at the rate I'm going, I may never finish this set. To put me one closer to completion is always a good thing. Would I have liked to have picked up the card for slightly less (this is one of the top 3 most expensive cards in my Parkie collection to date)? Absolutely...who wouldn't. But again, to support my LCS made it worth it. If this card was on a table at a show...I'd have likely passed on it.

This card now proudly sits in my collection...and has story. Nothing wrong with that.

Current Collection - 26 cards

Sunday, July 24, 2022

WALLET CARD - Oddball Concert

Continuing my "cardboard cleanup" this weekend by showcasing some really fun 'Wallet Card' pickups.

I've had my eye one these for years and finally decided they needed to be a part of my collection.

For those who don't know, my Oscar Gamble collection is without a doubt my most fun PC. It's inexpensive (in relation to my other endeavours), the cards are right in that perfect balance of vintage vs. current, there's tough chases and always enjoyable photography. What's not to like.

These items fire on all cylinders.

1999 Phish Concert Backstage Passes x3

I mean, c'mon...these are absolutely must-haves in any Oscar Gamble

Slightly oversized, these are printed on cloth and appear unused (that said, I don't know my backstage passes that well).

I've had them on my ebay watchlist for years...the seller has hundreds of backstage passes for sale (I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing). But the time was now to strike.

1999 Phish Backstage Pass
#NN Green

I don't know what more to say...other than "look at it".  Ha ha.

Obviously, the iconic 1976 Topps Traded baseball card makes an ideal backstage pass image. I love that they didn't take too many liberties with the design (really, just the wording on the newspaper headline).

These look to be in perfect condition. No heavy use or creases.

And for them to be unpeeled is an added bonus. Actually, it was a must-have in my eyes. I don't think I would have snagged them if they were "used".

1999 Phish Backstage Pass
#NN Orange

I'm not sure why the three colours. Maybe they were thinking "Hey, I bet there's a guy who loves our band and would like to collect these passes". Close...I like the baseball player.

But to have the three of these, all from the same seller and having like identifiers, that's appealing to me.

How do you say....oddly satisfying.

1999 Phish Backstage Pass
#NN Blue

Now I mentioned that I have had these on my radar for years. While I didn't always have them in my ebay watchlist, I knew they existed. When I finally decided that now was the time, I could have sworn that I had seen a red copy at one time. I couldn't find a copy of one when scouring the internets - so now I'm unsure.

But that will have me keeping a lookout...maybe it's a shortprint. :)

Regardless, I love the fact that I have added some quality items to the 'Wallet Card' collection...once again.

Never a dull moment.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Select Emerald... and a Gift

Greetings! It's been a busy couple of months but I have finally landed an actual weekend off (two full days with no work on the plate). I wanted to ease into my Saturday so I decided to sort through some cards...always relaxing and fun.

While my pickups this year have been few and far between, I'm still very active in hunting and collecting information on my various PCs. I've learned of some exciting new autograph Linden cards in SP Authentic and have some exciting new additions to my 'Wallet Card' collection - so stay tuned.

Today, I'll share a pair of Trevor Linden cards from a fellow Linden collector. 

I've seen him post a few Trev's on ebay over the years...most of them I already have, and I've also reached out to him previously to ask about any opportunities. He's always been top-notch in helping me out. A couple times I've held off on buying a card...deciding to reach out to him to ask about a bundle, only to have the card get snagged by an opportunistic collector.

I've learned my lesson...ha ha.

So when this card showed up, I didn't hesitate. I hit the Buy It Now.

2013/14 Panini Select
#178 Emerald  /25

This is an exciting card to land. Make no mistake, the photo does not do this piece justice. It's a card that has eluded me for almost a decade. Cards numbered to 25 from back then don't pop up often.

This is an item that finishes off the Select rainbow from that year (minus the 1/1...though I know where it lives). I really pay attention to card from 7-12 years ago that I do not yet have. They are rare birds in my eyes and I find that they have a lot more desirability in the current landscape of the hobby - especially shiny, coloured cards.

After I pulled the trigger, I e-mailed him, excited about what I had purchased, but also to see if he had any other items that I could add to my shipment. He asked for an updated wantlist and shared his with me. I always enjoy getting some knowledge on what others are seeking. Makes me go eagle-eye when I go to card shows.

He let me know that there was another card he had that I needed and tossed it (gently...and with protection) into the bubble envelope with the Emerald.

2020/21 Upper Deck Black Diamond
#SB-TL Silver On Black Signatures  /100

This is a sah-weet looking card. I love the way Black Diamond cards just provide so much in aesthetics, yet present a clean, polished look.

I've had a couple copies of this one on my radar, but the price wasn't quite right. To have this as a gift in addition to my purchase was just very much appreciated.

Thanks very much, Elliot for your kind gesture and continued friendship in this hobby. It's people like you that make hockey card collecting fun and an enjoyable passion for me.


Saturday, June 25, 2022

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - A Meaningful Addition To The List

Happy Summer everyone.

It's been a while as I've been working hard - on a number of fronts, but I've been steadily keeping tabs on what is out there in my collecting world and...on occasion, picking up a piece for the PC.

I thought I'd share this specific card as it has some unique meaning to me.

1992/93 Bowman
#210 All-Star

This is not the card...but I need to set things up first.

We are going way back to probably the first year or so of my Linden collecting chase. I had started my quest through a spur-of-the-moment base card dig and quickly had 50-75 cards in my PC. I had done some homework and realized that there were a few hundred Lindens out there. So, I did what any ambitious hobbyist would do - I made a list.

My Trevor Linden Master List was born. At first, it was nothing more than pulling the player checklist out of the Beckett Annual (and using the Charlton guide to assist), creating a word document and printing it out.

I won't lie, it was pretty fun to build on the list - and then highlight the cards once I picked them up for my collection. There's something about having that makes my player collection feel more in check. 

Over the years, I have modified the list, created new columns as I've layered in new details, transferred it over to excel (and now the silly 'numbers' app that Mac uses) and looking at it even today, feel proud of what I've built.

I've pulled from a number of resources over the years to build as complete a list as possible. The aforementioned Beckett and Charlton guides, other Linden collector checklists (thank you Kevin for really helping me expand the list), Sport Card Forum, tradingcarddb, Beckett online, even going to card company websites (like ITG and Leaf). I would also use the hobby news and discussions to help forge the tougher pieces of information (like promo cards, serial numbering and if cards were ever released).

Lastly, I'd use my own two eyes and some common sense. If I see it, it exists...and then I decide if it goes on my list.

That takes me to my recent pickup.

When I first started my Linden PC, it was simple pickups. Base cards, inserts, parallels. Nothing out of the ordinary. But I vividly remember the time I checked ebay and saw an error card that had me intrigued. The piece of cardboard wasn't on my master naturally, I was trying to figure out what I was seeing.

Before I could even start my quest for information, the card was gone.

For a few years, I had this error card on my wantlist. I was sure I'd see another copy pop up. And then after a couple years I decided to pull it off the list - not enough information ( just looked weird seeing an oddball card like that not highlighted on my list).

Fast forward to a couple months ago...

The card popped up. First time in all these years I've seen it.

And I jumped on it.

1992/93 Bowman
#210 All-Star ERROR no foil

I honestly couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. All the memories of this card and how it was on my wantlist for so long just came flooding back. I knew I had to have this card.

I still know nothing of this card...ifit was a genuine printing error, if it was a test print, or if someone just has a spiffy printer and made it at home (I don't believe does not look homemade).

Regardless, I had a smile on my face as I inserted a new row on the master checklist and added this one in - especially when I highlighted it as one I have in my PC.

As I put the card in its appropriate card box, I couldn't help but sift through some of the other early Linden offerings, flipping through some of the cards that were the first ones I bought for my Linden collection all those years ago.

It really reinforced to me how much I enjoy the collecting journey, seeing the list evolve and grow, chasing the elusive cards that I need and crossing them off when I finally get my hands on them.

It might not happen as much as it did a decade ago, but the thrill is 1000% there. I think it will always be.

Saturday, April 2, 2022


Big card show day in the city today and I was excited to find some time in my hectic schedule to head on down to see if I could find any treasures. 

I absolutely love card shows. There's something special about seeing the cards in person, talking shop with the vendors and other collectors and scouring through monster boxes looking to unearth that one card that'll make your day. I've been supporting the shows here in town for over 25 years and will continue to do so. It's an important part of the hobby for me.

While I didn't track down any new Linden cards, I did have a great conversation with another player collector who mentioned a card I've not thought about in a long time.

He said he had seen a post on Instagram about a set of caricature cards that had stumped him for info. I knew the exact card he was talking about. When he showed me the photo, I told him that I had indeed found myself a copy of the card years ago.

So here it is....

1991/92 Front Row
#5 Promo

I can still remember seeing this card on the shelf at Collector's Paradise and thinking to myself "What in the world is this card?". By this point in my Linden collecting, I had a pretty good bead on what was out there - or so I thought. I had never seen this card, heard about this brand or noticed it on any checklists or catalogs.

I've learned since that this is a prototype card that was developed with the plans to build an entire set. For some reason, that never came to fruition. But these promo cards did find their way into the market.

Again, I had never seen one before...yet this shop had two of them - and graded at that.

I snagged the one without hesitation. In hindsight, I should have grabbed them both (I've never seen another copy of one since).

When I checked out the IG post this afternoon, it showed the backs of all 7 cards that were made (Gretzky, Lemieux, Hull, Yzerman, Linden, Belfour and Lindros). Pretty good company for my guy if I do say so. The interesting thing is that the Lindros card has his caricature in a Nordiques jersey. In the comments, people were asking to see the here it is...

There's nothing radically amazing about the card. I like the action shot photo that was used and think it was a clean design for the time (remember, this was when sets like Score, Pro Set, etc. were the were booming).

What I really do like about this card is that it takes me back to a very vivid place and time in my collecting - even now. That's a special card in my opinion.

One neat thing I learned about this promo set...apparently the drawings were done by Todd MacFarlane (yes...THAT Todd MacFarlane). I couldn't find any info to confirm it, but if true, would be yet another cool aspect of this card.

So while I didn't pick up any new Linden pieces at the show today, I did end up with a fun post and a great memory.

Monday, March 7, 2022

OPINION - Trevor Linden Digital Cards (Part 2)

It's been three years since I posted my thoughts on Trevor Linden digital cards. At the time, my investment into the Topps Skate! app was minimal. A lot has changed over the three years.

I am now checking the app almost daily. Ripping my complimentary virtual pack, collecting my coins and using those coins to open packs from all sorts of products, and yes...hunting down Linden cards.

To date, he has 18 unique digital cards and I have landed 12 of them. And what can I say...I've loved the chase. Finding a Linden in a pack I open, trading with others on the's pretty much all there.

But his most recent cards have me slightly bummed.

2021/22 Topps Skate!
Triple Threads Series 2 Alumni Relic

Let's just start by saying that this is a BEAUTIFUL card. I've said it before, but what I wouldn't give to hold a physical copy of this one. Dynamite.

But this card is pretty much impossible to land if you are only enjoying the app for free.

This was the "award" card if you managed to complete the alumni relic set (10 cards)...and they were super rare to come by - literally.

Cards on the Topps Skate app are ranked into various classes.  There's base (and their various tiers), common, uncommon, rare, super rare, iconic and legendary. The latter on the list are cards you might come across once a year if you open packs regularly for free on the app.

This Linden card is in the super rare category. I opened dozens of packs and didn't hit a single one of these alumni cards. To land all 10 needed to acquire the Linden wasn't going to happen.

Unfortunate, but it's not the first time I've found a Linden card that I'll never own.

2021/22 Topps Skate!
Triple Threads Series 2 Alumni Relic Green

Here's the green parallel...found in the iconic category. I wish they'd have used a different design on the patch - but maybe I'm just picky.

If the super rare was next to impossible, now multiply that by about 100. 

Interesting thing about this one though is that in the packs that I did open, I hit an iconic alumni patch. Martin St. Louis. I thought maybe there was a sliver of hope in trading for the Linden.

Nope. Because the Linden is an award card, you can't trade for them.

Unfortunate (again), but did I mention that there are cards out there that I'll never own.  :)

2021/22 Topps Skate!
Triple Threads Series 2 Alumni Relic Red

Oh, and just to kick a guy when he's's the legendary red version. 

It's an undeniably awesome card. I almost said "piece of cardboard"...but therein lays the catch that I have to remind myself of - these are just digital images. They don't tangibly exist.

I've seen some digital Linden cards sell for a fair penny on eBay of late. I am not there at all right now.

But talk to me in another three years.  Who knows.

Saturday, March 5, 2022


Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. It's been a busy last few weeks and haven't had much time to devote to my hockey cards, but some recent activity on my eBay timeline had me add some spring to my step.

While I might not be picking up cards at the pace I used to a decade ago, I still check eBay multiple times a day. Often, I find cards that are either overpriced (in my opinion) or new items that are still in that initial wave of frenzy. Recently, there hasn't been much excitement in the new listings at all (same old stuff showing up). That is until about a week and a half ago.

Trev has found his way into the new OPC product with a manufactured patch trophy card - I was very surprised to see it...and am looking forward to picking that one up soon (hopefully at a local show this spring). But the card that really had me going was this one...

2022 Upper Deck
#CAN-13 National Hockey Card Day
Hockey Heroes

I was legitimately confused when I first saw all the postings selling NHCD sets. Never in a million years did I expect him to make it on the checklist...but here we are.

And I am THRILLED. I couldn't wait to pick up a copy. I would've loved to have opened it up in a pack...but that wasn't to be. Thankfully, my local shop kept a copy aside for me and I picked it up a couple days ago.

This card has me just as excited as any other card I have picked up in the past 6 months...maybe even more excited. It really reinforces just how much I love collecting Linden cards.

It's a cool card design, inserted into a product that thousands of people (a lot of kids) opened last weekend. Most probably were happy to see it only to finish their set, but I hope there were a few that actually took a moment to look into who he was as a player.

Very, very pumped to add this one to the collection.

Friday, January 14, 2022

BEHIND THE MASKS - The Ups & Downs Of Intimidation Nation

Heads up everyone…I’m on a roll. 

Heads up again…likely won’t last. Ha ha.

Goalie mask sets have been pretty much off the production plate for about the past 5 years. The most recent set to be released (that was on my radar) was 2017-18 Leaf Masked Men....and it was quite underwhelming. Not the greatest checklist and some of the masks were altered in order to align with proper copyright and usage agreements.

Still, I chased the set. Built it with ease as many of the cards weren't overly desirable. What's the saying..."One man's trash is another man's treasure." OK, the cards aren't trash...but you get my drift.

This year, Upper Deck returned to the mask inserts table by pushing out a 32-card release in the Skybox Metal Universe product. Upon first hearing of this, I was quite excited. I was still pumped to build the set when I saw the first couple of cards, but slowly, the rollercoaster ride of this set started to reveal itself.

2020/21 Upper Deck Skybox Metal Universe
Intimidation Nation
#IN-22 Elvis Merzlikins

I really appreciate that UD put actual player shots on these Intimidation Nation cards. A lot of the photos are very crisp (unlike some of the past mask sets where the image was pushed just a little too much...creating some blurriness). There have been too many products that have come out where the image is just a floating mask. To me, there's no reason why you shouldn't show an actual player wearing the actual mask these days. If you can't....don't make the set.

I like the 'sheen' that the card gives off in the light. It's not a full-on glossy vibe, but I like how the background catches when you tilt the card.

It's a great checklist with most of the 'A' goalies in the league featured.


2020/21 Upper Deck Skybox Metal Universe
Intimidation Nation
#IN-17 Tuukka Rask

BUT...I can't stand how Upper Deck slapped the 'Intimidation Nation' title smack dab on the crown of the mask. It completely destroys the design appreciation of the goalie's lid. I really was disappointed by this.

For years, magazine covers have been able to fit the title of the magazine and the photo into place so both marry aesthetically. Heck, sometimes, the title of the magazine takes a backseat to the image and is tucked in the background.

Not here though.

2020/21 Upper Deck Skybox Metal Universe
Intimidation Nation
#IN-16 Jacob Markstrom

Yeah....I can't get past it.

But...these cards were pretty reasonably priced on the secondary market. Normally, new mask cards would be on my radar once they dipped below five bucks apiece. I was surprised to see them go for a buck or two at a local card show a couple months back. I snatched up all that I could.

I somewhat regret that decision now.

2020/21 Upper Deck Skybox Metal Universe
Intimidation Nation
#IN-13 Martin Jones

I went on COMC before the end of the year and picked up a handful to continue my chase to build the set. At $2-3 per card, I thought I was doing pretty good.

Until recently.

I was made aware that Skybox Metal Universe was placed on Upper Deck's ePack platform (digital cards) and apparently that has created a massive influx on these inserts on COMC. To the point that the cards have plummeted in price.

2020/21 Upper Deck Skybox Metal Universe
Intimidation Nation
#IN-9 Pekka Rinne

Cards that were $2-$5 before Christmas are now sitting for as low as 0.35 cents - and there are dozens of copies available.

As soon as I found out, I hopped on the site and picked up the remaining cards to finish my set (I'll never see them for that price at the local shows). I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.

I'm still not sure how exactly the bottom fell out of these cards - I think it has to do with the ease that these digital cards on ePack can be moved over to COMC...and so everyone is doing it.

Regardless, if you are looking for a good, fun goalie mask set build that's cheap (knowing that the masks are covered by words), then head on over to COMC and build away. You could probably build the 32-card set for under ten bucks.

Ouch. Ha ha.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

WALLET CARD - Some Of My Oscar Pickups In 2021

I've said this many times, but it is worth repeating...

Finding a project to build that revolves around simple fun in the chase and the acquisition of cards has been an absolute blessing for me. Collecting Oscar Gamble cards for the past seven years has been awesome. A very manageable checklist of fewer than 200 cards, most of them ringing in under a buck, but also having some tough-to-find gems in's the perfect mix. Not to mention some of the fantastic era-driven photos - it has it all.

Much like my goalie mask cards, I've been patient in how I purchase my #WalletCards. I strike when I see a deal too good to pass up or when a rare bird is in sight. These are some of the pieces I've added this past year.

2019 Topps Heritage
#654 50th Anniversary Buyback 1970 RC

I really keep a close eye on the buyback cards that surface. It feels like that's been the bulk of Oscar Gamble offerings the past 5 years. To be honest, I don't really mind the chase. Most of the time, these cards don't command much of a price. 

This rookie card offering was a little more than the average buyback, but I still snagged it for well below what I thought I'd have to pay for it. It's his first RC buyback that I've seen.

Would've been nice to see the stamp on the right-hand side instead of covering up Oscar's name. But...I'll survive.

2020 Topps Heritage
#23 50th Anniversary Buyback 1971
(stamp in the lower right corner)

Speaking of selectivity with the placement of the stamp, this is my second 50th Anniversary buyback copy of this card. Why? Well, the other copy has the stamp in the upper left corner. That was a variation worth the purchase.

I know...I know...but I'm a completist, and I'll find ways to justify adding one more card to the mix.

1974 Topps
#166 Stamps

This is a great item. It's super-tiny. It's about an inch wide and an inch-and-a-half tall. My niece would say it's the cutest item in my collection.

It's a little more off-centered than I'd like, but I can always upgrade when the time comes. It was a good price, is clean on the back (never licked) and the image is iconic Oscar.

Couldn't pass it up.

2016 Topps Archives Snapshots
#AS-OG Autograph  /300

Finally able to cross this one off the list. I definitely went about this chase backwards (or maybe I did it the right way). I crossed off the rare black&white auto /10 and the negative signature /5 before pulling the trigger on this hard-signed offering /300.

It's a great image. Certainly reflective of the era, but has a crispness to it that feels current (it's the same photo used in his 1974 card...but you can tell the quality of what can be done with images on cards these days). And side note...I've really grown to enjoy Oscar's signature. 

The Archives Snapshot rainbow is complete.

2016 Topps Archives
#106 Printing Plate Black  1/1

Last, but certainly not least, This printing plate was an absolute no-brainer when I saw it pop up on COMC. For ten bucks, I couldn't hit the 'buy' button fast enough. 

It's the second printing plate from this release that I now have and the fourth 1/1 in my Oscar Gamble collection. I'm really enjoying how much progress I've made over the years.

Just sifting through the cards I have of his in my PC box (I keep my cards in toploaders), I'm at about 120ish (there are a few oversized offerings and such in the closet) and I can say I'm really proud of how the collection looks. I'd love to add a few more tougher-to-find cards of his over the next year...maybe I'll jump on more baseball-centric sites to see what can happen.

Regardless, and as I said off the top, this is a really fun project and I am enjoying every minute of it.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

PARKIE PROJECT - A Pair Of Pickups From My B.C. Trip

It's been 8 years since I pulled the trigger on this Parkie Project. This past year saw me add a couple more cards to the collection and has me near the 25% completion mark.

So at this rate...I might just finish this project in my lifetime.  :)

Seriously though, this has been a passive pursuit at best. I've been very hesitant to pick anything up ungraded online and am finding that graded copies are a little more money than I'd like to spend (especially for common players). So when the opportunity was staring me in the face a couple months back, I decided to throw a bit of caution to the wind and just have some fun.

I was out in British Columbia at the end of October and was thrilled to find out that there was a monthly show happening on the same weekend I was there. It was a beautiful day, sun shining, and I had a nice car I decided to make the 45-minute trek to check it out.

I was so excited to go to a show that would have new tables, vendors, boxes and showcases for me to explore that I made the trip out there on the Saturday...and the show was on Sunday. Undeterred, I enjoyed the car ride back and made the trip again the following day.

I was hoping to pick up some Linden cards primarily but was surprised to find that he was not a prevalent player on the tables. The new crop of Canucks were reigning supreme. I did find one auto card of his...but forgot that I already owned a copy of it. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.

But I did come across a few 51/52 Parkhurst cards that were in the condition range that I was looking for. Unfortunately, the prices on the toploaders weren't what I was hoping they'd be.

I had gone to the show with a budget in mind...and I was well under that I decided to splurge a bit.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#27 George "Red" Sullivan RC

This is the kind of card I like to see when chasing my Parkies. The centering is nice, the colours seem decent, clean back, no creases. Sure, the corners are not great, but there's a feeling of consistency and symmetry that I find appealing.

When I place it alongside the other cards in my PC, it fits in perfectly.

So when I say that I decided to splurge, this card had a pricetag north of $40. I've only paid more than that once in my Parkie pursuit...and that was for a very nice Turk Broda copy. No way was I going to spend $40. 

Let's see if I can get a bundle price.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#51 Pete Joseph Babando RC

I think pretty much all the cards from this set are rookie cards.  :)

Second verse same as the first. A nice aesthetic to the card, had everything I want...except the price.

The seller had a few others, but they weren't as nice (had creases and such) so I finally asked what he would do for the pair.

"$70...$35 a piece."

I wasn't interested in them at that price. So I did a few laps around the show, checking out other tables, other cards for my collections. Near the end of the day, I went back and offered $60 for the two. I wasn't thrilled with the price...but I didn't think I could get them for any less than that.

He accepted.

By no means do I have 'buyer's remorse'. I am really happy to add a couple more cards to the Parkie Project and in looking at what these cards sell for these days...I think I did ok. Not a steal of a deal by any means, but progress on a project.

And a couple nice pieces of cardboard that will remind me of my time in BC...when I drove out early to a card show.

Can't put a price on that.

Current Collection - 25 cards

Friday, January 7, 2022

BEHIND THE MASKS - 96-97 Pinnacle Masks

 It has been OVER FOUR YEARS since I have posted anything goalie mask related.

Wow!...just letting that sink in for a second.

Goalie mask cards have been a main pillar in my collecting world for 25+ years. I loved what Pinnacle did with their Masks sets in the 90's and appreciated what ITG did with the mask theme throughout the 2000's. I am a real sucker for goalie mask design and history in general and slapping those images on hockey cards is a true no-brainer.

The excitement for new goalie mask-themed cards has been slim to none over the past 5-6 years. Airbrushed lids and lack of robust checklists have really put a damper on things. But that doesn't mean I don't have an active wantlist...and I do make occasional searches online.

But the card I picked up a couple months back at a local shop might just be my favourite piece of cardboard acquired in 2021...and it cost me just five bucks.

1996/97 Pinnacle Masks
#5 Jocelyn Thibault

This might seem like a pretty unassuming card...but it has been on my wantlist for decades.

Let me explain.

There are many collecting projects that I'm pursuing at a pretty pedantic pace. It's less about obtaining the cards and more about finding them when the time is right. I could have very easily picked up a copy of this card years ago (and probably for a half-decent price) but I wasn't in the mindset to be aggressive to grab a copy.

Patience and opportunity are a huge part of my collecting foundation.

I love finding cards that I need locally. There's just something about sifting through boxes and showcases trying to find something to cross off of one of my wantlists. To find a card - and then to see it for a great price - nothing beats that. I'm very happy to hold off on making purchases online in the hopes of finding some of these inexpensive gems in person.

This T-Bo mask card was wavering in and out of that realm for years. The 96/97 Pinnacle Masks offerings aren't the easiest to track down (nor are they the cheapest) so I needed to employ good patience. Sure, there have been a few times when I've jumped on COMC and stared at this copy...but I wasn't about to spend $25 for the card (nor was I interested in the copy with a chipped corner). I'm in no rush.

So to stroll into my local hobby shop a couple months back and see this card staring at me from the showcase...I was gobsmacked. And the $5 price tag made me absolutely gleam. I couldn't pay for the card fast enough, nor could I brag enough about how happy I was to land it. I was subsequently ridiculed for not having a copy in my collection already...but that's what makes collecting so much fun.

It felt like this piece was found at the right time, in the right place and for the right price. There's no better way to land a card than that. find the Ron Hextall to finish the set.  :)

I've got plenty of time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Year-End Pickups

Raise your hand if you are glad to see the calendar turn over to 2022? too.

It's been a challenging year on many fronts, but I am grateful to have what I have, know who I know and have the chance to step away from work (among other things) during this holiday season. These past couple weeks have been ones I've patiently waited for and am doing my best to make the most of it.

Speaking of patiently waiting....I finally received my COMC order that I was hoping to see about a month ago. Better late than never I guess.'s a 'show & tell' post showcasing some of the Linden cards that have crept into the collection over the past few months.

2010/11 In The Game
Ultimate Memorabilia 10th Edition
Stick Rack  1/1

I'm just gonna start with the number one pickup of the year...I couldn't believe it when I saw it surface on COMC. A little higher priced than I wanted to pay...but I finally caved when I thought about just how few cards I've bought this year. I knew I'd regret it if I let it slip by.

I've had this card on my master checklist since its release in 2010...but I questioned its existence as it was the only card of Linden's not to surface in all these years. Sure, it's a one-of-a-kind card...but this was a fairly limited product release...and a lot of it was cracked open. All of the other Linden 1/1s in UM10 were spoken for (I've got two of them myself...including what I consider to be the pinnacle piece in my Linden collection) so to add this one was huge.

I've looked at the card a number of times this's fun to find a piece of cardboard that really gets the excitement going.

I love the simple (almost obvious) design and ITG had always done a bang-up job of incorporating the memorabilia piece (or sticker auto) into the design of the card - it just made sense. 

This is my second nameplate (I also own a Cup 'Property Of' card) and I'm on cloud nine to have this one in the collection.

2007/08 Upper Deck Victory
#136 Black

Another card on the list for far too many years...never seen a copy of it surface until recently (now this year wasn't serial I don't know how many copies exist). But when a fellow Linden collector reached out to me to let me know one was up for grabs on a selling site, I grabbed it without much thought. I figured I had landed a fantastic deal.

I was shocked to find out over the next few weeks that a number of these Victory Black cards have magically appeared. Certainly odd. To not see one for well over a decade...then see 5 or 6 in a matter of weeks.

Sadly, the price I paid for mine was more than all of the other copies...but I can't be too down on it. You just make the best decisions with the information you have at the time. I thought I was in the company of a rare bird, but discovered a flock.

I do know that there are more than 5 copies of this card (which is what other year's Victory Blacks are numbered to).

2020/21 Leaf In The Game Used
The Captain's Log
#TCL-23 Relics Silver w/ Messier, Naslund, H. Sedin  /2

Oh man....let's get this one over quick.

It's a slick looking Linden patch. It's numbered to just 2 copies. It was a really good price. I bought it.

Yes, it has Messier. Yes, it's from a release that has 11 parallels all numbered to 12 or less. But I'm a into the collection it goes.  :)

2015/16 Leaf In The Game Superlative
#SE-20 Signatures Gold Etched  /10

This one surprised me a bit. I had always thought I owned a copy of it...but am glad I checked when it hit eBay a number of weeks back. I probably checked a half-dozen times to be sure...and then placed my bid. Right place, right time...and it was mine.

Love the hard-signed aspect, low numbered (for a product with just a couple parallels, it was nice. Another one that was nice to capture this past year.

2000/01 Be A Player Signature
#213 SHOW Sportsfest Platinum  /10

Out of all the cards I landed, this one might have put the biggest smile on my face. Yes, it's a simple show card...but it finished off an ultimate rainbow - 18 cards...14 of them show cards. I'm actually in awe that they're all accounted for in my collection. 

For some reason, the past year has seen a huge resurgence of early 2000s show cards...and I've been able to land a number of them for my PC. Of course, I'm doing it with an eye on the price tags, and have been able to pick many of them up for prices I'd have jumped on 15+ years ago...let alone today.

These are still tough to come by in my opinion...I'm chalking it up to being patient and keeping my eyes open.

2019/20 Upper Deck Chronology Vol. II
#CA-TL 18-19 Canvas Auto

Gold pen autos are really nice. I'll just put that out there. These Chronology signed cards are fantastic. I scooped up the red version early on and was waiting for the blue copy to hit a price I was happy with. 

This one comes via COMC...but because I had been building up my inventory before having it shipped, I forgot I bought it. I saw a copy at a card show in Burnaby when I was there at the end of October and snagged it.  Oops.

Oh well, I've got some Linden tradebait (which is never a bad thing). 

And again, it's a great looking card. Hard signed and with that canvas-type card feel. Gorgeous.

2020/21 Upper Deck Synergy
#67 Auto Purple  /35

I didn't go to many card shows this past year. In fact, I can count on one hand how many shows I hit up. But the biggest one of the season for me landed this great Linden copy. 

I was excited to see the checklist for Linden cards in this product. A number of sutos, some parallels, tough chases and simple finds. While I haven't been as aggressive with the pickups, I think it's a great mix of cards to chase for the PC.

I probably paid a little more than if I had picked up the card online, but there are times when finding the card in person, holding it before handing over the money, makes it worth it. Really happy to add this one.

2016/17 Upper Deck Premier
#PS-TL Signature Booklets

Last card to show off here in this post...and it's a first.

I've had my eye on this card since it first was released and I'm happy to now say I own a copy. To some, it might seem like "what's the big deal?" but to me, unique items on the collection are always very welcome.

That's right...booklet card. His first one (and I believe only physical booklet card...he has a digital booklet card on Topps Skate, but it's just not quite the same).

Once again, absolutely love the gold pen auto. Crisp signature and hard-signed to boot. It's a simple card, not serial numbered or anything, but I love the looks of it.

This card reinforces to me just how much I love honing in on what it is I want to collect...and then pacing myself to chase and purchase the cards I want to add to my collection. I'm very fortunate that I've found that in this hobby.

I hope everyone finds that in this great hobby.

Stay tuned...I actually got cards for some of my other PC projects as well and will share those in some upcoming posts.

All the best to everyone in 2022.