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.


  1. Nice find. I'm a big fan of the Pinnacle Masks sets from the 90's as well. Best of luck tracking down the Hextall. That'll be quite the awesome set completion.

    1. Thanks! There’s always a little jolt of energy and excitement when a set is finished…especially older ones that have been in the works for a while. Cheers!