Sunday, April 30, 2023

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - He's Finally In Tim's

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing and I am stunned at what I've seen so far in this first round. What drama and excitement. It'll be a fun ride this spring in crowning a champion.

My Linden collection grew by a single new card last week...courtesy of Tim Horton's. I am very excited to see my guy finally crack the lineup in this iconic yearly product release.

2022/23 Upper Deck
#63 Tim Horton's Legends

Tim Horton's has been pushing out a yearly hockey product for quite a while now and have really developed a nice niche collectible set. A smaller checklist, reasonable price point and some good insert sets. This season, however, Upper Deck has upped the game.

UD decided to go with a Legends product this time around and have built a really solid checklist. Players from all eras are a part of the base set. 

But the real eye-catchers are the inserts. Some fantastic photos and really nice designs. Go check 'em out if you have the time.

Back to my Linden card though. This is a real looker. I love the gold shiny base for the card...even has some embossed texture elements. Very sharp. Happy with the photo selection (all of the Tim's card use basic full body poses) but would've loved a skate logo era pic. I mean...who wouldn't??

This is a simple pickup in terms of price (I was gifted this one...but it runs a whole 0.25 cents). But this card really represents that it's not about the price of the card, it's about the look of it and the story that comes with it.

Thrilled to knock this one off the list and finally see Trev in the Timmy's set.

Time for a donut and a double-double.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

OPINION - Trevor Linden Digital Cards (Part 3)

It was a little over a year ago that I shared my thoughts and updates on Trevor Linden digital cards. I still peruse the Topps Skate app (though not as often) and enjoy the free offerings it provides. I maintain that if Topps were ever to physically produce some of the designs they come up with...the hockey card collecting world would really benefit from it. Gorgeous pieces of cardbo....oh wait, they're still just digital images.  :)

I had laid out my disappointment back then about the newest Linden cards released...patch cards that were only available as a bonus for finishing the tough-to-build insert set. Thankfully, these bonus cards can be traded for...and I'm a patient guy.

I said back then that the iconic and legendary cards (tougher to hit "classes" of cards) would likely be hit in the free packs about once a year...if you open packs on a regular basis. Well...I pretty much nailed that prediction.

As a result, I was able to land this rare bird...and am shocked I now "own" it.

2021/22 Topps Skate!
#NN Triple Threads Series 2 Alumni Green Iconic

This is an amazing card...I want a physical copy of it. There are only 34 copies total in the global count on the Topps app and has now become the most rare Linden digital card I own.

A year ago, I NEVER would have thought I'd be able to get my hands on this one without shelling out cash...I'm still gobsmacked that I was able to trade for it.

So how did it happen??

Well, as I said, when you open packs using the free coins you can get from going on the app, every once in a while you'll hit a tougher-to-find card. I hadn't hit one in over a year, until....

2022/23 Topps Skate!
#NN Vintage Vaulted Series 1 Signatures Gold Iconic

As soon as I saw the moniker 'iconic', I knew I had a shot of landing a Linden. I didn't know how many copies of the card would be released, but I started my quest immediately.

I reached out to a couple guys on the app who had a duplicate of the above Linden (yeah....think about that for a moment), but they balked at the trade request. There are currently 119 copies of the Beniers card out there while only 34 of the Linden exist...not a fair trade in some people's eyes. And I can appreciate that. The global card count for an item holds much higher value in the digital card world.

I had a number of people trying to trade with me for the card - many of them making decent offers (multiple 'iconic' cards), but I told them all that I was trying to parlay this into a Linden on my wantlist.

One trader did perk my ears. He had originally offered up three Canucks 'iconic' I decided to take a look at what all he had in his collection. Sure enough, he had the Linden I was looking for. I reached out to him letting him know that the Linden is what I was after - also mentioning that it was a bit of an "unfair" trade on my part - I'd be getting the much more rare card. I asked if he would part with some of his iconic cards that might be able to alnd me the Linden at a later point.

To my shock, he just straight up traded me the Linden. I was blown away. He asked that I keep him in mind the next time I land a rare bird. Absolutely.

It was a fantastic trading experience and reinforced to me how much I enjoy chasing Linden cards on the Topps Skate app. Trev hasn't had many new cards come out over the past year, so I'm not making much headway (I now have 17 of the 21 Linden cards on the app), but this new patch card addition has me motivated to keep going.

I still have yet to invest a single penny into any of my digital cards. Talk to me in a year to see if that changes.  :)

Digital cards....yay or nay for you?

Sunday, April 16, 2023

RAISE THE CUP - A Pair Of Recent Adds

Had to scroll for a while to see when the last time I shared some Cup Raisers was. Five and a half years! Time truly does fly by.

As you can see recently, I've been a big fan of the SP Signature Editions Legends product released by Upper Deck. Some great names from the past, eye-catching photos, tasty hard-signed autographs and highly desirable insert sets makes this one to keep track of.

I shared some of the great cards from my box break - including the Canvas Legends. Amazing photos. I'll continue this along as I've gained a pair of great looking Cup Raisers.

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
#C-28 Ken Daneyko

Went to the local monthly trade night a couple weeks back and was gifted this beauty of a shot of Daneyko. This is exactly the kind of photo and card I love adding to the Cup Raisers collection - it encapsulates that pinnacle moment in a player's career...getting to hoist the Stanley Cup.

It's tight framing...but I think it adds to the intimacy of the moment.

Love it.  Thanks Brian.

As I was admiring that card in the shop, another person zipped back to his trade box and returned with this...

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
#C-97 Rod Brind'Amour

Another stunner. Get a load of that release of emotion from Rod the Bod. That's gotta be a goosebump moment.

A quick trade and this card, along with the Daneyko were coming home with me.

These two new additions now makes me want to go and properly sort and store my Raise The Cup cards. I think some are in a binder, some are still in toploaders...I need to get organized.

Totally what I'm going to do with some of my Sunday morning.

Do you have a card with a smokin' good photo on it?...One that captures an iconic moment?

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Closer Look At The SP Signature Legends Offerings

It's been a long time since a new product release has excited me as much as Upper Deck's SP Signature Legends. The cards look great, some of the insert sets will be very highly sought after and my guy has lots of cardboard sprinkled throughout.

A total of seven new Trevor Linden cards for me to add to my master checklist from this one product. Now, it's not the first time a new release has seen a multitude of Linden fact, there have been some products that have flooded the Linden quotient (Leaf...I'm looking at you), but these new cards really tap into a number of things I love about fresh Linden cardboard.

We've already seen the base card from my box break. It's a standard card in the set and doesn't really offer any additional flair. That said, I love when a new Linden photo emerges in a product. Always appreciated.

This is the only card I currently own. The remaining photos are from cards that are (or have been) available through an online portal.

The gold foil version really compliments the photo. I love the look. And the gold background and border works beautifully for cards that have contrasting colours too. Very sharp.

The facsimile autograph is a nice's like a teaser for what's to come.

A nice hard-signed signature is something I'll always enjoy and appreciate. Someone made mention that Linden has a unique auto in the sense that it is two lines (first name on top, last name underneath). I'd never noticed it that way before. I had always just seen his signature as what it is.

Still...pretty cool.

The Decagons die-cut is a nice little insert for Trev to be included in. It's nothing to write home about but I like that he is added in more than just the base set.

I'd have to check, but there aren't too many die-cut Lindens in my collection. So that's something.

Of course, the real appeal to these Decagons are the signed variations - hard-signed at that.

This signature is not numbered (neither is the gold auto above) so I'm optimistic that I'll be able to land one at a reasonable price...though that time is most definitely not right now. Prices are a little crazy to say the least.

Here is the Ace of Spades. This All-Time Future Watch auto is pretty much everything I was hoping it would be. A nice card design with plenty of white space for a nice, full signature, and that photo is fantastic (the flying V shoulder and pant accents really take me back to the late 80's).

I love that this card is numbered to 199...a very reasonable number to chase. No rare birds here.

I've seen a live copy of one and know it'll be in my collection one day. Again, the biggest challenge will be finding one for the right price. This is a popular insert set.

Even more fun (possibly) is the unannounced acetate parallel of the Future Watch. Trev doesn't have many acetate cards either and the photo on this one just pops. It really rounds out the overall Linden chase that this product provides.

I'm not in any rush to knock these off the list, but these cards will be at a higher sense of awareness for me for quite a while. It's been a while since a new product has excited me this much.

Has there ever been a product release to really ignite your player collecting passion? What was it about that release to make you feel that way?

Saturday, April 8, 2023


The first weekend of April saw me venture off to a card show for the first time in months.

I love my local monthly show - something I've supported for decades, but the enthusiasm when perusing tables has dropped a bit over the past couple years. Many of the same vendors...often with the same cards just leaves me doing a quick lap before I exit.

Every once in a while there is a new face setting up...and that's what I get excited about.

So how about a show where there are many new faces.

The semi-annual card show that has become a staple in this city is one that I am certain to circle on the calendar. This spring, I was really looking forward to it with the new Linden cards out there.

I was a bit surprised to see fewer singles and inserts from the product than anticipated. In fact, only one measly Linden from SP Signature Legends was to be found - but it was the Ace of Spades for me.

The Linden Future Watch auto /199 was on the show floor and it was a fellow collector that pulled me over to the table that had it. It's as stunning as I'd hope it to be. But my jaw hit the floor for a different reason.

The price tag was more than double what I have spent on any top-end Linden auto in my collection, and a solid $100 more than what the card is currently going for on the open market. I did ask if I could hold it, take a closer look at it, but had absolutely no intention on buying it.

It's a desirable card no doubt. Any Linden collector would certainly be looking to add it to their collection, and I know there are set collectors for this dynamite insert. But there are 199 copies of this...I can wait.

A couple minutes later, I found another Linden auto that I needed...with an even more outlandish price tag slapped on it. The card was price almost 5 times what I've seen it go for on the open market. 

I told a number of people there that I'm still trying to adjust to the "new pricings" that have come with this recent pandemic boom of sportscards. I'm not used to seeing my guy command such a premium.

But I'm a patient guy. And even more importantly, I'm one who can pass by a Linden and have no problems not snagging it - I've done it many, many times over the past few years.

Still, it was a little disappointing to not hit a single card at the show.

Until late in the afternoon.

2021/22 Upper Deck SP Game Used
#52 Embroidered In History

This card was deep in the back of a monster box of inserts - almost begging me not to be found. But that's why we dig. I had a huge smile on my face when I saw the giant "Captain Canuck" manufactured patch.

The smile continued when I saw the reasonable price attached to it. I managed to get him to come down a bit on it and I feel we were both happy with the transaction. I paid a little more than the going rate (which I am happy to do when I can gain a card in person) and he made another sale on the day (the fact that this card was sitting deep in a box tells me it wasn't a big card for him). Win-win.

This card is a great reminder that there are always gems to be found and that patience and persistence are key. And like a great shot in golf...will always make me return for more.

I've already got the fall show marked on my calendar.

Friday, April 7, 2023

BOX BREAK - 2022/23 Upper Deck SP Signature Edition Legends

I can't believe I went the whole month of March without posting. that I think of it, maybe not. There was little hobby action from me over the past 30 days. No big pickups, no Lindens.

Scratch that...there was one.

After getting a glimpse of what the new Upper Deck SP Signature Legends product had to offer, I decided that I would bust open a box (a rare bird for me these days). My guy has no less than six cards on the checklist...and an unannounced seventh card in the mix. That makes for an exciting product rip.

Sadly, I didn't get to unwrap a Linden myself, but did trade for his base card. The chase continues.

Box breaks feel different than they used to. Fewer cards in a pack...fewer packs in a box. But this isn't a low-end product, so I guess that's the reason why.

For SP Signature Legends, it's 5 cards per pack and there were 18 packs in the box. No chance of building the base set with just one box. In fact, you'd need at least four boxes to complete the 300-card base set (not including the 50 short print cards that beef this up to 350). 

But I'm guessing a lot of the breakers are more interested in the hits.

Here's a look at the base cards. I was fortunate enough to have a friend gift me the Linden. I love the fact that it's a card in the iconic skate logo uniform.

Solid design and slightly thicker design stock makes this feel like a higher-end product - which it is.

The checklist is all over the place. True legends of the game are included (and the short prints are a who's who of the game), but there are some names in this product that just have me scratching my head.

No offense to the Ben Lovejoy collectors or the Mike Weaver chasers...but those are long name pulls. Still, when names like Plante, Sawchuk, Mikita, Trottier are included, one tends to look the other way.

As I mentioned, it's the inserts that are the real star of this product. Let's start with the canvas cards - a staple in big Upper Deck releases. Here, the UD Canvas Legends really shine.

A Steve Yzerman decked out in the oh-so-tasty mid-80's All Star uniforms...exceptional. I was hoping the photo would've been from the 1985 tilt that was held in Calgary (a game I went to), but it appears to be from the year before as I believe it is Denis Potvin's hand that he is shaking.

Still, a real nice photo. And I'd learn that this would be a theme of the canvas cards.

OK...hold the phone. Where was this photography on cards in the 70's and 80's??!! This single piece of cardboard gave me a huge jolt when I unwrapped it. What a snapshot.

The angle, the action, the leather, and of course...the mask. This is a photo worth framing.

I was grinning wide when looking at this card.

So you can only imagine my beaming when I pulled this Davidson. Again, where was this 40 years ago??

As a kid, I would've drooled over a card that had a closeup of a mask on it. And Davidson had some pretty memorable lids.

One more canvas to share...and it's a signed one. 

Michel Goulet was certainly a player I remember collecting when I was a kid. In fact, I remember taking his 1980 rookie card and cutting out the player and name bar (thinking it would look cool). I love when cards weren't seen dollar signs...but just pieces of cardboard.

Thrilled to see him in his vintage Nordiques I remember him best.

On to some of the other inserts. These are the gold parallels of the base cards (and were 1:7 packs). The Patrick Roy was a nice find...and is one of the SP chases (so 1:42 packs).

I really like the way the players pop off the gold background. Gives it a crisp, higher-end feel. The facsimile auto is a nice touch too. 

While the etched autos are nice, a hard-signed offering looks even better. Here's the big man Kjell Samuelsson giving fans his auto.

I remember him from the Pens-Flyers rivalries (and probably getting lit up by Mario Lemieux) before joining Pittsburgh and helping them to their second Cup win.

The signatures are really the staple of this product...and from what I've seen, are highly desirable (if you have the right name).

More inserts. These ProFiles cards look sharp. That rainbow foil tint makes those players jump out of the card.

Another Stevie Y and a rookie year Patrick Roy. No complaint with those guys following me on this break.

The Evolve cards are a nice idea. I hit a couple of them, but of course this Gretzky is tops. Shocked to not see him in his memorable St. Louis Blues kit. Ha ha.

Again, the real appeal of these cards are the signed versions. They look quite sharp with the auto in the sweet spot at the bottom.

Alright...time to share the dud of the box. Sorry Stu.

These Life After Hockey cards really just do not need to be in the product. A very loud, schtick-y card design with some uninspired photography. Do I really need to know that Stu is a lawyer these days?

Not for me.

On the flip side...I was beaming ear to ear when I pulled a Future Watch. No, it's not the auto, but a unannounced acetate parallel. What a great photo of Bobby as a rookie. Those gloves!

It really was the highlight of the box. My hope is to parlay it into a Linden (as he too has the unannounced acetate Future Watch parallel).

This was a really enjoyable break, even more because I opened my box at the same time as my friend opened his. Lots of fun comparing base card names and jaw dropping insert hits. It really reminded me of what the essence of the hobby is all about.

Go rip some packs!