Sunday, February 26, 2023


Have you ever had that feeling of excitement and enthusiasm for cards of your player that are about to be released into the hobby world? Seeing some prototype images or mock-ups of designs? A taste of the actual card you'll be chasing?

That's been my month...and I am really looking forward to some of the spring chases to come.

If you've been following the blog for years now, you'll know that I am a die-hard Linden collector. He's been the mainstay of my hobby for decades. And while I don't pursue like I used to, there is always an interest and an attempt to keep my finger on the pulse of what is about to be released.

So much so, that I have found real enjoyment in building and maintaining my Linden Master List (which now sits at over 2500 unique cards). I enjoy adding new rows, new products, new cards to chase. I do my best to be thorough and complete - always looking for more information (especially on older products).

This morning, I updated my list and noticed just how much Trev has been in recent products. Since the 2019-20 season, he has had almost 150 unique cards be released (impressive for a non-superstar player who has been retired for almost 15 years). He's been in over two dozen product releases - which I find amazing. Clearly there is still some draw to him in the hobby world.

But there are two specific products that have me really the point where I thought I'd share my excitement.

Note....this is not my card. :)

2020/21 Upper Deck The Cup
MP-TL Monumental Patch/Auto  1/1

Yeah...let's start with a bang. I was absolutely floored when I was texted this image. Never would I have expected Linden to get the Monumental Patch booklet treatment. But here it is - in the most expensive hockey product Upper Deck produces.

I've already been asked what my "number" is on it. I can say with strong certainty that I'm out on this one. The mixture of inflated secondary prices in the hobby, rabid collectors and investors chasing giant cards along with my more relaxed approach to securing the big ticket items (and probable undervaluing of the item itself) has me feeling like this one will never come my way.

But you never know.

It could be pulled locally. I could win the lottery. Somebody could just send it to me in the mail...right?Stranger things have happened.

When I saw this booklet, I immediately thought about the "pinnacle card" in my Linden PC...and how much I paid for it. I can say confidently that this new gem will surpass that in price. I'm betting it'll be the most expensive Linden card ever.

I look forward to seeing where it lands. Hopefully, one day, I get a chance to see it in person. It's an exciting piece to be sure.

Now, on to a product that has me drooling...and with multiple Linden cards that (I hope) land a little more in my price range.

Again...these are not my cards (just mock-ups from the product release sheet).

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
Gold Spectrum Foil Auto

Upper Deck is pumping out a Legends product - and it looks loaded! Linden has 6 unique cards in the release and I am on cloud nine.

He has a base card (part of a 300-card checklist with another 50 SP base cards), a gold parallel, a gold spectrum foil auto (like the example above). Just those three cards would have me happy enough.

But there's more.

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
Decagons Gold Auto

He's in the Decagons insert set (with a regular card and a gold auto - like the example above). Another 100-card set full of icons. 

I love that these are die-cut cards (Linden doesn't have many of those...I should do a post on that). A real throwback feel to the shiny cards of the 90's.

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
All-Time Future Watch Auto  /199

Out of all of the new cards though, this is the one that gives me goosebumps. 

This 101-card Future Watch auto set will undoubtedly be the most sought after auto set - likely of all time. The checklist is nothing short of amazing. Hall Of Famers everywhere. Some cards will be out of 199, some out of 99 and the tough ones out of 49. Set builders...get ready.

I am really taken by the design of these cards. The white really makes that cutout image pop. I hope the Linden photo is one I've never seen before. 

I'm still in awe that Trev is a part of this product. I'm seriously considering opening a couple boxes (if I can find them...looks like the pre-order is crazy popular).

I love that there never seems to be a shortage of new hockey card releases that gets me excited. I feel the same way when I see a fresh card image I've not seen pop up on ebay. It's one of the best parts of having a player PC...uncovering new treasures.

Let's keep the momentum going and have a great collecting year.

Saturday, February 4, 2023


Still a number of items from my COMC purchase that I've yet to properly organize. And that's OK...I'm not in a rush these days. Picking up Linden cards is not the weekly (or sometimes monthly) accomplishment that once was. Although he is in a few new products (Artifacts, SP Game Used, Ultimate Collection), I've been reluctant to snap up the cards. The price is just a little higher than I'd like when these "first waves" hit. I've learned how to bide my time.

So it'll come as no surprise that a couple of these latest pickups are from older sets. I feel like there are times when I set a price on a card and am stubborn in patience to get it at that price...or hopefully lower.

2004/05 Upper Deck
#172 High Gloss Silver  /10

Starting off with a bang...this card was a real catch off of COMC. It actually showed up for me as an ebay auction, but I then noticed that it was connected to COMC (so the shipping costs would be far more favourable). 

For a card that has been almost a 20 year search for me, the price I was willing to pay was a little more than what it would've been a decade or so ago. These copies just don't show up hardly ever. As you can guess, it's really nice to knock this one off the list.

Side note on this one...I really like the photograph. A great looking faceoff shot certainly beats the "I'm cruising the neutral zone waiting for a line change". This card always sticks out when I sift through my mid-2000s Linden cards.

2020/21 Upper Deck Black Diamond
#SB-TL Silver On Black Signatures Spectrum  /25

Another nice, rare offering from COMC. If a card can't be hard signed, these cut autos are the next best thing (vs. stickers). I really like the way they sit in the card - most times. This one is a little off-center, but I'll take it. It was a good price for a card numbered to just 25.

Linden has had his fair share of cards over the past few years. I love that he is still included in products as I really enjoy seeing him on new designs. He recently cracked the 2500+ point on my master checklist. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought he'd have so many cards.

2014/15 O-Pee-Chee
#563 Marquee Legends Rainbow

If there was one card that exemplified patience, it would be this one. Almost a decade old, this piece of cardboard finally finds its slot in my collection. Why so long? You guessed it, I refused to pay a high price for it.

Now, that said, I'm a little bummed that I was never able to track a copy down locally. These rainbow cards weren't super rare and I did see a bundle at the shows over the years, but never the Linden. If I had, I knew it would be a dollar card at most.

I never considered purchasing it off ebay...the shipping alone would end up being more than I'd be willing to pay. A copy finally showed up on COMC with a fair price (still more than I'd pay if I found a copy in-person) so I can live with it.

I'll laugh every single time I look at this card. It is engrained in my brain that some items are just a no go at a certain price. I'm ok with that.

Do you have price limits set for certain cards on your wantlist? How do you justify where your "top price" lands?

Sunday, January 29, 2023


I'm on a roll this month. I can't remember the last time I blogged this much. Not sure if this will be a sign of things to come...but I'm just going to enjoy it while it feels right.

More from my start-of-the-year COMC mailday. This time, we focus on my "other" player collection - Oscar Gamble.

I'll state it yet again...this is one of the most fun PC's I have. Not a burden on my wallet at all, not many cards to chase overall and I can't help but smile when I see his mug on a card.

Simple reasons...that's what I love about this hobby.

These pickups are mostly of the O-Pee-Chee variety - a real callback to my youth when I did actually rip open baseball packs during the summer. Those were the days.

1983 O-Pee-Chee
#19 Oscar Gamble

If there was a year that really epitomized my card collecting hobby as a kid, it might be 1983. I probably opened more hockey packs that year than ever (I only started collecting in 1980), The 83 set was my first complete set build (I still remember the wooden box I kept my cards in) and I was opening a lot more baseball cards in the summer too. I was even buying non-sports like Gremlins, E.T. and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. I couldn't get enough cardboard.

This 83 set was my favourite of all the baseball sets produced that decade. I loved the dual photos and was completely enamoured by all the stats on the backs of the cards. They also had those cool "Then and Now" Super Veteran cards which I thought were pretty sweet (I can still see the Kent Tekulve with the pillbox cap and shades).

I probably had a copy or two of this Oscar Gamble card back in the day, but had no idea of the level of coolness he exuded at the time. I think Gary Carter was my guy back then. Nice to add this to the PC. Brought back great memories.

1974 O-Pee-Chee
#152 Oscar Gamble

This might look like just a regular baseball card. Simple pose...not much there. But take a closer look.

I see some pretty cool uniform details, love the logo on the cap, a precursor to the iconic afro photo to come the next season, blue sky and look at that field in the background. Love it.

Another OPC offering that I'm glad to cross off.

1973 O-Pee-Chee
#372 Oscar Gamble

This is a fun year for baseball card photography. A lot of wider shots that show more of the play (is that a curse or a paradise for the cameo cards?). 

I love the dust flying up from what looks like second base as Oscar slides in - surely safe. Love that the batting helmet is nowhere close to be seen - showing off Oscar epic 'fro.

The card might be a little off-centre, so maybe an upgrade is in order down the road. But for now, I'm really pleased with this addition.

1974 Topps Stamps
connected block of 12

This sheet of stamps has been sitting on COMC for a while. I already have the single stamp of Oscar, so I was debating whether or not to pick this sheet up. I decided to go for it since the centering on the Gamble stamp is really good. 

Might be a selection that gets separated from his brothers down the road. We'll see.

Again, check out that's so iconic.

But my appreciation for Oscar Gamble goes far beyond his hairdo. He was a really good ballplayer and seemed to have a real positive approach to the game. I don't ever remember him playing (I was 12 by the time he was out of the game) but enjoy checking out highlights anytime his name is mentioned in the description.

As I was putting these cards into their appropriate box in my closet, I was checking out the full Oscar collection. I now have over 100 Oscar Gamble cards (closer to 125 with the oversized and oddball stuff) but 100 legit 2.5x3.5 cards. I thought that was pretty cool. There are still less than 200 cards on my master I'm doing well. 

Maybe I'll pick up a few more cards on my next COMC pass.

Thursday, January 26, 2023


More from my start-of-the-year COMC pickups. This time, I feature a card for a PC that has never seen a COMC addition. First time for everything.

I've been passively building my 51/52 Parkhurst set for a good decade or so. I tend to pick up cards when the spark to go hunting occurs - happens only a few times a year. This time, it was when I was on a buying binge at COMC during their Black Friday event.

I'd never picked up a vintage card like this via COMC, but felt quite comfortable in the quest. I've enjoyed my time on COMC and have never had any issues. The only real question would be...could I find a Parkie for a decent enough price?

Needless to say...I did.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#102 Ed Slowinski

For forward Ed Slowinski, the New York Rangers would be the only NHL sweater he would don. Playing nearly 300 games over 7 years, Slowinski was a solid player, but never found the same level of success as he had in the AHL. He was a first-team All-Star there and was nearly a point-a-game player over another 300 games in the junior circuit.

He played in one Stanley Cup final with the Rangers, losing to the Detroit Red Wings in 7 games in 1950 (he led all scorers in assists that postseason). The Rangers were awarded the O'Brien Cup for being the runners-up. The trophy had originally been the National Hockey Association's championship cup, but was being used as the 2nd place award in the NHL. The O'Brien Cup was retired from presentation after the 1950 season.

Slowinski retired from the game after the 57/58 season and  was selected to be an Honoured Member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985. Ed "Eddie" Slowinski passed away in 1999.

This card is in really nice shape. As with most of my Parkies, it has no residue or creases. The centering is decent and I'm more than happy with the quality of the corners. The only hiccup was the price paid. I normally have been chasing cards when they are sub-$20cdn. This one ended up being $33 after the currency conversion. Not the end of the world - I'm more happy to add to the collection.

Current Collection - 29 cards

Saturday, January 21, 2023

BEHIND THE MASKS - Some "Finally" Cards

Very exciting week in terms of COMC order arrived.

I've unexpectedly started the habit of leaving my purchases until their Black Friday special to ship. A couple years took the better part of 7 months to ship. This time, about 45 days. Makes for a nice new year gift.

I managed to pick up a number of cards for various PCs. I also caved. I pulled the trigger on a few cards that have been on my watchlist for years...finally deciding to cross these cards off the list for the prices they were set at. Wasn't terribly overpriced, but would've liked to land a couple a little cheaper.

But let's check out what I snagged in terms of mask cards...

2010/11 In The Game Between The Pipes
Inspired Masks
#IM-04 Antero Niittymaki

This one was probably the longest on the COMC wantlist. I've seen it dangle for years. But the price never dropped below $19us. I finally bit.

This is a tough insert set from the 10/11 season. Artist renderings of some pretty sweet masks. This pickup leaves me with just one to go to complete the 13-card set. I need one of the Carey Price cards. 

Haven't seen one surface in a number of years. Now, that said, I don't do daily searches for these cards like I do my Linden collection. But I've always's not a race. I'll track it down eventually.

I really like Nitty's gangster-inspired mask. A very worthy addition to the set.

1998/99 Pacific Dynagon Ice
Ice Watchmen
#2 Patrick Roy

From one of the oldest mask sets I'm still working on (well.....not anymore), this 25-year-old offering finally hits the PC. 

This 10-card set boasted some of the best goalies of the era. This Patrick Roy piece was likely the most coveted - and most expensive. Again, I finally caved and hit the 'buy' button.

As for the mask design, I'm partial to his Habs design...a little more iconic in my eyes. But his Avs creation is one that holds some high stature for the time.

Pumped to finish off this set.

2008/09 In The Game Between The Pipes
Masked Men
#MM-03 Carey Price

Another mask card from a set that has been lingering for a very long time. Interesting note one this one...I already own a copy of the card. I guess I picked it up at some point but never update my checklist.

Sadly, Carey Price cards don't get the kind of hobby love they once did. But that's ok. Not the first time I've made a duplicate purchase (see my Linden pickups during the holidays) and it won't be the last.

Price has had so many iterations of his his lid through the years that I barely remember this one from early in his career.

Three mask cards that were a definite highlight from my most recent COMC shipment. Did you have any COMC cards come in during the last few weeks? How long do you hold off before pulling the trigger on having cards sent?

Sunday, January 15, 2023


Wrapped up my first week back at work and I'm more sure than ever - this year will be one of opportunity for me. I'm excited to be at a place that celebrates professional growth and quality collaboration. In just a few short months, I feel like I'm a contributor to the team dynamic and am quickly finding comfort and confidence in my role.

We've been learning a lot about AI generated text and imagery. It's a rapidly evolving world with regards to technology - and it is both mesmerizing and at times...intimidating.

I really enjoy the fact that I have this great card collecting hobby to pull me back into a room of familiarity. Yes, the sportscard world has certainly evolved too - especially over the past couple of years - but it still brings me to a level of calm and relaxation that I absolutely welcome.

A fairly quiet last couple weeks. I've got a COMC order on its that's exciting. I'm looking forward to adding to some of my side projects that have been quiet for the past while. I've also been working on a set-build that has been one of the more fun chases of the past few years. More on that over the next month.

Today, it's a single card that has come in - and finally gets crossed of the master list.

2021-22 O-Pee-Chee
#P-4 Trophy Winners  
Manufactured Patch

This is a card that has stymied me on more than one occasion. Super-happy to get this one finally in.

I had first won this card via ebay auction last summer. To my dismay, it was the rare bird that got lost in the mail. Unfortunate, but I was able to recoup my money. Another attempt came a couple months later but I managed to lose the auction at the last second...I should've bid my maximum. Instead, I got cheeky and bid just above the going rate. Bad strategy.

Patience did pay off as this one came up at the right price, ended with no disruptions and was mailed out promptly - and with good protection (I like well placed painters tape). Was exciting to open up the bubble envelope.

This card is one of the few manufactured patch cards that Linden has. I love the fact that it celebrates his 1997 King Clancy Memorial trophy win (awarded to the player who best shows leadership on the ice and humanitarian contributions off the ice). I've always admired Trevor's work in the community and his selfless approach to charity and giving back. 

I've always said, I loved watching him play during his career, but I feel he will have a bigger impact after his retirement.

I'm one who likes the manufactured patch...when it is for good reason. A solid concept can be elevated with manufactured patches. These trophy cards are a perfect example. Recently, SP Game Used came out with some manufactured patch cards (and yes, there is one of Trev) and while it's a nice looking piece of cardboard, it doesn't resonate quite as much. What I'd love to see is a set of manufactured patches that celebrates some of the special patches teams have worn over the years. 

Imagine a card celebrating the life of the great Johnny Bower - by having a manufactured patch similar to the ones that the players wore on their jerseys.

Or when Detroit honoured their beloved owner, Mike Ilitch after he had passed away.

The Leafs also donned a very special crown-capped maple leaf with the name Borje on it to show respect to the great Borje Salming.

I think a small card set inserted into the flagship product featuring beautiful, embroidered, manufactured patches of memorial or special patches worn by players would be pretty sweet. Heck, it could span across multiple products - or even build year after year. The possibilities are plentiful. 

I, for one, enjoy cards that have meaning behind them - stories. All great cards have a story. That's why I really like the latest add to my Linden collection.

Monday, January 2, 2023

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - New Year, More Cards

Happy New Year everyone. As we ring in 2023, I am more optimistic than ever. I'm excited to get back to work next week - learning, building, shaping, and hopefully inspiring. I feel as though my work/life balance is the best it's been in a very long time. I'm getting closer to having a home that feels like everything is "in its place" (it's been purge city during this holiday break). Lastly, I'm just thankful and grateful for being in this positive space.

A year ago, I made a promise to myself that 2022 would be a year of change. I look back and feel I have done a very good job of that. Some new personal habits, a change in jobs and a more focused mindset on what really is important to me. Today, I look ahead and think to myself that 2023 will be a year of opportunity for me. It's time to take the bull by the horns.

Sportscards have been a smaller part of my world in many ways this past year...but not a day goes by where I don't put some time into it. I may have not picked up as many items, gone to as many shows or made any headway with longterm goals...but I've still got the passion and enjoyment that the hobby has provided - I don't think that'll ever go away. I still get excited when I do an ebay search and find some Lindens that are on my wantlist...even if I decide not to bid on them.

I'm excited to start the new year with a mailday...some recent ebay pickups. I should also have a COMC order delivered to me before the end of the month. Always a nice springboard to a new calendar turn.

Three cards to share today - all from the same product and from the same seller.

2014/15 Leaf In The Game Used
#GU4P-02 Game Used Patch Quad Silver Prismatic  /3
featuring Brett Hull, Mats Naslund and Jeremy Roenick

When Leaf took over the In The Game products from Dr. Brian Price back in the early 2010's, I was very curious to see what kind of designs and releases would come forth. This ITGU offering was one of the first - and they packed in the Linden cards. Thirty-eight different cards added to the checklist.


It really was the start of a shifting mindset for me. I went from having my foot on the gas week-in, week-out to really paying attention to my pocketbook. I knew that if I was really going to enjoy this hobby, I would need to focus more on how much I could truly chase at any one time.

The beauty of that is it really reinforced the mindset of "this is not a race". These pickups show that. Almost a decade later and I'm happy to add them to the PC.

2014/15 Leaf In The Game Used
#GU3P-15 Game Used Patch Triple Silver  /15
featuring Brett Hull and Mike Modano

To see a handful of cards with low print runs show up all at once on ebay definitely perks the ears. Sadly, my first thought is still to the stolen Trevor Linden collection that (while progress is being made) still sees a number of rare birds not at their proper home. It's always a first check for me.

The second thought is "how much to I push down on that gas pedal?" as opportunities like these don't pop up near as often. Maybe it was the end of the year/holiday spending mindset, maybe it was the lack of Linden pickups this year...but I decided that I'd go for it.

It's always reassuring when you reach out to a seller and he responds quickly, and with a good, positive voice. Made the purchase even easier.

2014/15 Leaf In The Game Used
#GU3J-15 Game Used Jersey Triple Prismatic  /5
featuring Brett Hull and Mike Modano

The final card out of the three was a bit of a brain fart. Although clearly noted on my master checklist, my brain mistook this triple for the other triple Linden has with Lindros and Sakic on it. So I bought this one while already having a copy /5. Ouch. Darn massive checklist.

I've no clue what the connection is between any of the players depicted on the cards (some make sense, like Modano and even Roenick...but Hull??). Oh well, c'est la vie.

Minus the 1/1s, these pickups leave me with just 4 cards from this product to chase. That's pretty good. It may be another decade before I add any, but it's always nice when I do.

Making purchases that feel right in the moment and don't pinch the bank book too tightly really makes the journey a fun one.

I'm looking forward to the year and what will come for my collections.

All the best everyone.