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Monday, December 31, 2012

TTM: Pierre Sevigny


  With the World Juniors in full swing, let's post a return from '91 WJC grad, Pierre Sevigny.  Pierre was a fan favourite from the 1992 Team Canada squad.  A gritty player who could put the puck in the net and the man through the boards.  He made the QMJHL All-star team three years in a row, and in the 89/90 season he finished 9th in league scoring while also receiving 207 PIM.  At the 1991 WJC, Pierre scored 6 points in 7 games, including a goal in the pivotal Canada vs USSR match-up.  While he enjoyed a lengthy and successful career in the minor leagues, he was never able to secure a permanent roster spot with a NHL team.  In 4 seasons, he scored 9 points in 78 games.  He would retire from professional hockey in 2008.  Pierre started planning for life after hockey early.  Even before he played a NHL game, he owned, and still owns, a Tim Horton franchise in Quebec City.



Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Lost Cards: Jiri Crha

  O-Pee-Chees sets of the early 80s are known for their poor pictures, especially of the goalies.  In the 1981-82 OPC set, there are 32 goalie cards.  Out of the 32, there are 22 on which the goalie is not even wearing his mask/helmet.  Check out Jiri Crha's rookie card below.

#315 - Jiri Crha
  Crha was a 29 year old rookie when he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs near the end of the 1979-80 season.  He had spent his previous seasons in Czechoslovakia.  The Maple Leafs had actually won a bidding war for Crha's services.  Chra spent the majority of his first season, learning the North American style of hockey, in the AHL and also as a third goalie for the Maple Leafs.  On February 16, 1980, Crha, sporting one of the ugliest masks ever, makes his NHL debut, coming in for the injured Curt Ridley.  Crha would play well the rest of the season and would be the #1 goalie for the Leafs for the 1980-81 season.  While Crha was the Leafs best goalie in the regular season, he bottomed out in the play-offs.  The Leafs would be swept by the eventual Stanley Cup champs, the New York Islanders.  The series wasn't even close.  The Leafs lost 9-2, 5-1 and 6-1.  Crha would never play again for the Leafs.  He would only play 3 more games in North America before going overseas to play in Germany.  He is sometimes mentioned by Leaf fans as one of the worst goalies who ever played for the Leafs.  I think it based more on bitterness that reality.  There were some high hopes for Crha, (think Jonas Gustavsson) but instead he was basically one and done.
  When I came across Crha, I thought he had a really cool mask, his second mask that is.  I thought it was a great injustice that he had such a bland hockey card.  So I set out to change that.

1981-82 OPC Jiri Crha - Remastered

  In the end, I made two alternate versions.  I love the picture on the left.  The colours pop and his mask is on full display, but in terms of pixels, it's a low quality picture.  The card on the right has a much better quantity, in terms of pixels.  The mask is on display, but it's not as exciting as the first card I made.  Which card do you prefer? 


2014 Update since for some reason I was looking up Crha again
First goal scored against Crha was scored by Jordy Douglas.  Gordie Howe got an assist.
Ex-teammate David Shand calls Crha as the worst goalie on the planet.
Nobody can find the game Shand is refering to

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lost Rookies: Frank Caprice - with Q&A


  Frank Caprice played 102 NHL games over six NHL seasons, all with the Vancouver Canucks.  Caprice spent the majority of his career as a back-up, battling incumbent "King" Richard Broduer and injuries during his tenure with the Vancouver Canucks.  While Frank was never able to secure the starting job to himself, he still had a remarkable career and some great achievements.
  Prior to the 1982 World Junior Hockey Championship, Canada had never won a gold medal in that tournament, but Team Canada, led by the goaltending duo of Mike Moffat and Frank Caprice, secured the nation's first ever World Junior Hockey Gold Medal.  Frank was 3-0 with only 7 goals allowed in his starts.  Going into the tournament an underdog, not even expected to medal, Team Canada rolled over the competition, going 6-0-1 in seven games.  It was the first year of Canada's Program of Excellence and it paid immediate dividends. 
  Frank Caprice would also be a underdog in his first career start in the NHL, versus the Edmonton Oilers, shown live on Hockey Night in Canada.  The 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers, who would set a NHL record by scoring 446 goals that season, could only put two pucks past Frank Caprice.  The Canucks would win 3-2 and Caprice would earn the First Star of the Game.  Later in the same season, he would earn his first career shutout in a 5-0 victory against the Hartford Whalers.


     While Caprice would battle Richard Brodeur for starts, he would battle John Garrett for a spot in the OPC card sets.  John Garrett would win out in the 84-85 OPC Set, with one of the better looking cards in the set, and also in 1985-86, with one of the worst looking cards in the set.  Seriously, Garrett went 1-5 with a 6.49 GAA in the season before and then retired to boot.  Although 1988-89 OPC was a low point for Vancouver Canuck goalies, as no Canuck goalies made the set that season.
  The Cauncks would trade Caprice to the Boston Bruins at the 1989 NHL Entry draft.  After one more season, Frank would retire from hockey.  But only for a few seasons, before restarting his career in Europe.  He would play several more seasons in Italy and Britain before retiring from professional hockey for good.  
  When I realized Frank Caprice never had a rookie card, I decided to make a custom rookie card of him.  Below is how Frank Caprice's rookie should have looked.
 
1984-85 OPC #399 - Frank Caprice

  So what did Frank Caprice think of his new rookie card?

Frank Caprice: Thank you for your kind letter and for the card, I actually don't have any cards and its great to now have one as a keep sake.

The Cardboard & Me:  You were part of the first team under Canada’s Program of Excellence to compete at the WJC.  What were the expectations for the team? 

Frank Caprice:  We did not have any expectations as it was a new program.  We all wanted to prove ourselves but did not know what to expect or what the level of competition would be,

C&M:  Today, the selection camp for the WJC team is heavily covered by the media.  TSN will even show the highlights of practice scrimmages on sportscenter.  What kind of media coverage was there on the team before the tournament in 1982? 

Frank Caprice:  We had almost no media coverage, in fact there is almost no footage of any of our games.  The gold medal game was played in a small arena far from the city center and I think we had just one reporter following us the entire time, including the gold medal game.


C&M:  Today, by the time players make it to the WJC, they are already familiar with a lot of the other teams through previous international experience or playing as opponents or teammates in junior.  How much did you know about your opponents leading into the tournament?

Frank Caprice:  Me personally, not one thing, just that the Russians were to be feared along with the Swedes the Czechs and the Fins.  We were very much underdogs.

C&M:  With a gold medal on the line, and the game being played in Rochester, Minnesota, (a 7 hour drive from Canada) can you describe the atmosphere in the building? 

Frank Caprice:  The games was played in a small dim lighted arena, the atmosphere was not much of a factor, not really different than any other game in fact. We were so pumped as a team and just really focused on the job at hand, the Gold medal, which was passed around the room before the game.  We all had a chance to see it and touch it, from that point on, that's all we could think of, just win or tie this game and it was ours. The Czechs were the best team we faced and it was a huge task. In the end, we won the Gold and when I look back, we had a extremely talented and great team, with a great coach. I only have very happy and wonderful memories.

C&M:  What is your strongest memory from the Gold medal game?

Frank Caprice:  The last 5 minutes the Czechs were all over us and the end when we won and all sang the national anthem because they did not even have the anthem to play over the sound system.

C&M:  Is there a game in particular from your NHL career that stands out the most, and why that game?

Frank Caprice:  My first ever game against the Edmonton Oilers, the Gretzky, Messier, Fuhr era.  We won 3 - 2 and I got first star.

C&M:  The “Flying V” jersey of the Canucks is on almost every internet list of 10 worst NHL jerseys.  Was it the worst jersey you ever had to wear in your professional career? 

Frank Caprice:  Tough question, I would say the most boring jersey was the Maine Mariners.

C&M:  You played several years overseas in Italy and Britain.  Can you compare the experience of playing in Italy as opposed to playing in the NHL.

Frank Caprice:  I loved my time in Europe, it was a wonderful experience, I have nothing but the fondest of memories. I was treated so very well in Italy. It was more about the lifestyle than it was about the game. Dont get me wrong, the people were very passionate about their teams, but it was the culture that I fell in love with.

C&M:  Did you have a favourite teammate? 

Frank Caprice:  Favorite teammate was Cam Neely, we lived together and roomed together on the road.  We became close friends.

C&M:  Who was your favourite team and player while growing up? 

Frank Caprice:  Did not have one, just loved all the goalies.

C&M:  Did you collect hockey cards?  Do you have a favourite set or card? 

Frank Caprice:  Nope never did.

C&M:  You never had a hockey card during your playing days.  Would you check each year to see if you had a card?


Frank Caprice:  Nope, the only one I had was the shell gas station card


C&M:  Do you have a favourite piece of hockey memorabilia? 

Frank Caprice:  My gold medal and my Italian all star jersey.

C&M:  Do you get many autograph requests through the mail? 

Frank Caprice:  Yes, still do, and its humbling and flattering.  I get about 5 or 6 a year


C&M:  What have you been doing since you retired from hockey? 

Frank Caprice:  I have worked with the provincial government of Ontario, for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming as a senior manager of corporate compliance, I am in my 13th year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Chirstmas!

  There's no NHL hockey, but the World Junior Championship starts tonight, or tomorrow morning, depending on where you live.  Santa's ready for some hockey.  Are you?


Sunday, December 23, 2012

TTM Success: Ryane Clowe

Ryane Clowe, that's Ryane with an "e".  I didn't get a response to my first letter to Ryane.  It's possible that me spelling his name "Ryan" might have had something to do with that.  On the positive side, I got a response on my 2nd attempt.  Ryane is spending the lock out getting coaching experience with the San Fransisco Bulls of the ECHL.  He has been pretty active in responding to TTMs.  In 2012, Ryane became the third Newfoundland born player to eclipse 100 career NHL goals.  He is actually in the top 5 for each of the following categories; GP, G, A, PTS, +/- and PIM.  Clowe made some news late in the 2011-12 by being involved in a questionable play.  I love the use of the telestrator by the play-by-play guy.  That is how you do it.  Clowe signed 3 of 3 care of the San Fransico Bulls.



Friday, December 21, 2012

TTM Success: Matt Calvert


  Matt Calvert helped me set a new record.  It's a dubious one.  A 432 day return, my longest so far. What I find most interesting is that I sent this to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the start of the 2011-12 season.  According to the postmark, he sent it from Springfield, where Columbus's AHL team plays.  I was considering resending this since I was seeing quicker returns for other senders.  I guess this one must have got misplaced.  It was a real surprise when it came back.  What made me want to send to Matt was this picture.  I just felt like it was an amazing picture.  Even cooler is that there is a reverse angle of this pic here.  I was tempted to make a double sided card.  It really does look like the pictures were taken at the exact same time.  Or maybe you want to see it in moving pictures.  He doesn't score often, but when it does, they tend to be highlight material.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

TTM Success: Vincent Riendeau


  Vincent Riendeau played in 184 games over the course of a eight year career.  Riendeau's career was looking up after the 1990-91 season.  He was 29-9-6 while playing in 44 games with the St. Louis Blues.  In the play-offs he helped the Blues come back from a 3-1 deficit in the first round against the Detroit Red Wings.  In the second round, he had two bad games on the road in Minnesota and even though he allowed two goals in each of the final two games, the North Stars sent the Blues, along with 86 goal scorer Brett Hull, packing. 
  The following season, the Blues found itself with a glut of young goalies, along with Riendeau, the Blues also had Pat Jablonski, Guy Hebert and Curtis Joseph.  Jabonski and Hebert shared the James Norris Trophy the previous year, the IHL version, which is for the Lowest GAA.  Six games into the 91-92 season, Riendeau was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Rick Zombo.  27 minutes into his first game as Red Wings, and while pitching a shutout, Riendeau suffered a knee injury that would force him to miss the next 70+ games.  Riendeau played a few more seasons as a back-up and would eventually finish his NHL career with the Boston Bruins in 1995. 
  He had a diverse career after the NHL, playing in Manitoba, Germany, Switzerland, Britan, Russia and Alaska.  As a rookie, Riendeau only played 1 game for the Montreal Canadiens.  I had to be a bit creative with making him a 88-89 OPC card.  The only decent picture of him I found in a Canadiens jersey had a plain white background.  I had to layer two pics together.  Riendeau is currently the goalies coach with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL.



Monday, December 17, 2012

2012-13 Panini Classics Box Break

  There are times when the buyer remorse sets in immediately after you click that Buy It Now button, and this was one of those times.  I was really drawn in by the base cards.  An odd assortment of retired superstars, stars, veterans and forgottens.  I fought off the first urge to buys a box at $180 plus s/h, but then I saw a box at $170 with free shipping, and I did dumb. 


   The fronts of the base cards didn't disappoint.  I love the design and the fonts used.  I can see myself trying to fill out a set and then getting extras for TTM.  After one box, I had the set 9% complete.  That's right, I got 18 base cards out of the box.  It did register at some point before I bought the box that I would only get a very small portion of the set but it didn't hit home until I finished opening my packs.  As for the photos, the set seems hit and miss.  In the three above, I really like the Nicholls picture.  The picture is really clear and he jumps out from the background.  On the other hand, when did Brent Sutter play?  Was it the 80s or 90s, or was it the 40s or 50s.  Seriously, a black and white photo??  Totally unacceptable for a player who wasn't Original Six.


   At first glance I like the backs of the cards.  I'll take the brief bio of the player as opposed to complete stats.  I can get season-by-season stats for any of these players on Hockey Reference.  I actually found the bios to be interesting.  Milt Schmidt's first paycheque, the runner-up to Bobby Orr for the Calder, Marty McSorley building up his credits for his IMDB page by making appearances in Bad Boys and Con Air.  No, there isn't a hyperlink on the card itself.  I wonder if IMDB paid for that ad?  The only thing I'd like to have added is the first and last year of the players career.  It' be nice to have, especially for the obscure players.  I am looking at you Bruce Shoebottom.

Dear Mr. Shoebottom.  
            Please don't punch me in the face.  I loved you in Zamboni Rodeo.


  In each pack there is a Retired Numbers Banner card.  I didn't realize they came one per pack.  They suck.  I am not even going to scan one.  "Hey, I got a banner card in this case of beer"  "Awesome!"  "Hey, I got this banner card in a $30 pack of cards"  "You're a sucker!" 



   Speaking of being a sucker, let's look at my auto haul.  Craig Hartsburg, a three time all-star, as in all-star game, not 1st or 2nd team.  Geoff Courtnall, a one-time 40 goal scorer.  Brent Sutter, one time 100 points and one all-star game.  I actually passed up on the Geoff Courtnall auto on eBay, it went unsold at 97 cents + s/h.  I have nothing against these three players, they are just not $30 a pack material.  But that must mean something good is still on its way..



  Errrr..... no.  Anton Stastny, one all star game.  Darren Pang, perhaps the worst player out of the six autos but the most famous due to his tv appearances.  John Ogrodnick, a 50 goal scorer and a 1st team All-Star in 1984-85.  (Goulet was injuried, Messier moved to center, and also got injured)  Again, a trio of players I like, but nothing that justifies paying $170 for the box.  Hell, I couldn't see myself paying $30 combined for all six autographs.  I would have preferred a Bruce Shoebottom autograph.  Although, I do think Pang has a sweet signature.

  So in the end I regret getting this box.  I wish it had 24 packs instead of 6, but kept the 6 autographs and 6, or preferably less, banner cards.  I have a feeling this set will follow the path of last year's Donruss Elite, which was originally around $120, but in a little over 6 months, is now a $60 box.  Once this hits $90, or less, I might be tempted to try my luck again.  It can't be much worse. 

  Did you know; Panini has produced more Bruce Shoebottom NHL licensed cards that all other card companies combined?    Panini 5 - Pro Set 1

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Lost Rookies: Perry Berezan

  Perry Berezan played 242 games through 6 seasons before getting a rookie card. When Berezan made it into the league, OPC had just went from a 396 card set to a 264 cards, making the set line-up harder to crack.  Even though he "scored" one of the most goals in NHL history, he still couldn't crack the OPC line-up.  Injuries, and the Flames depth, also played a role. After playing 55 games in 85-86, he only played 24 and 29 games in the following seasons.  It would take a trade to the Minnesota North Stars and the 1990 hockey card boom before Berezan would get a rookie card.  Below is what a 1985-86 Perry Berezan's rookie card might have looked like.

1985-86 OPC #265 Perry Berezan RC
1985-86 OPC #265 Perry Berezan RC Back

 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sportlots Oddball Buys

  I love using Sportlots for my base card needs.  Whether for set building, TTM needs, or for finidng cards needed in various projects.  One of the drawbacks cited for this website is that shipping is calculated for each seller, as opposed to one charge, like Check Out My Cards.  So to minimize shipping and handling charges, you need to find a single seller who has enough cards to make the S/H worth your while.  Personally, I never find this to be an issue.  I usually pick a seller who has good s/h rates to Canada and a half decent amount of cards.  I start an order and it usually takes me 3-7 days to finish it filling it.  Sometimes when I start nearing the end of the order, I pick out an oddball item or two.  Here three oddball items I snagged at 27 cents each, including the S/H.

1994 Hockey Wit #91 Alexandre Daigle

   1994 Hockey Wit is a set of 108 cards.  Each card has trivia question on the back.  I never heard of this set as a kid, so I am not sure of where it was sold.  The set was made up mostly of active players, but also had a number of retired HHOFers. 


1983 Vachon - #83 Dan Daoust
  In 1983 Vachon put out a 140 card set made up exclusively of player from Canadian teams.  They came in panels of 2 cards.  In case you were wondering, Wayne Gretzky was teamed up with Alan Jere.  Don't remember Alan Jere?  For some reason, Vachon used Jere Gillis'  first and middle name, reversed them and then used it for the card.   
1984 Kellogg's Accordian Hockey Disc - Rick Kehoe
This Rick Kehoe is the first of the truly oddball items.  The other two card were both standard size.  This Kellog Accordian Disc from 1982, measures approx 2 inches in diameter.  This card originally came attached with 5 other cards.  The cards folded on top of each other in a accordian like manner and came in plastic puck.

The Largest Online Trading Card Marketplace

Baseball Football Basketball Hockey Racing

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

TTM Success: Chris Nilan

  Chris "Knuckles" Nilan  was only the second NHL player to reach 3000 PIM.  He retired with 3043 PIM, which is currently good for 9th spot all-time.  Nilan is best remembered as a Montreal Canadien, a team for which he started and ended his career with.  During his career with the Canadiens, he won a Stanley Cup, led the league in PIM twice, and is only one of six players to have ever recorded 20 goals and 300+ PIM in a single season.  Nilan scored 21 goals to go along with 358 PIM in the 84-85 season.  Today, Nilan is still fighting  While during his hockey days he would fight bullies on the ice, now he fights bullies by using his words.  Nilan tours schools spreading the message of stopping bullying. Nilan has also his own website, Knuckles Nilan.


Monday, December 10, 2012

TTM Success: Sean Burke

  Sean Burke played 820 NHL over 18 NHL seasons.  He also played in two Olympics,earning a Silver medal in 1992.  Burke bursted onto the scene in 1988.  After helping Team Canada win a Silver medal at the Olympics, Burke would create a major buzz in the NHL while playing for the New Jersey Devils.  At the time, the Devils had only made the play-offs once in the franchise's existence.  An existence that included 2 seasons as the Kansas City Scouts and six as the Colorado Rockies.  As  Wayne Gretzky once said, they are "running a Mickey-Mouse operation on the ice." But things were looking up for the New Jersey Devils in 1987-88.  They had just come off a franchise record of 64 points the season before, and they were still in the play-off race in March.  Cue Sean Burke.  Burke went 10-1-1 in 13 games for the Devils.  Burke would win his final 7 starts, including two against the Pittsburgh Penguins and one against the New York Rangers, teams they were chasing in the standings.  On April 3rd, 1988, the Rangers beat the Quebec Nordiques, forcing the Devils to either win or watch the playoffs on tv.  The Devils played the Chicago Black Hawks and the regular season ended in a dramatic fashion.  John MacLean nets the winner in over time and the Devils were going to the play-offs.  A playoff run that would bring the Devils all the way to the Stanley Cup semi-finals before being bowing out to the Boston Bruins.  While Burke would go onto a lengthy career, he never did live up to the expectation set as a rookie. 



  Mr. Burke signed 5 of 4.  He signed and returned the extra copy of the Team Canada picture.  He personalized every card, but he did it with care.  Sometimes personalizations push the actually auto off of prime real estate, but in each of these cards, they share the limelight, with the personaliztion, never overpowering the auto.  I really liked how the Ice card turned out.  I was worried it wouldn't hold the auto, but it looks killer in person.




Thursday, December 6, 2012

Let's Trade Some Junk... err... I mean good stuff

  We all have a bunch of base cards laying around.  Cards that will likely never see the light of day.  Holed up in a cardboard box below the bottom shelf, just gathering dust.  I am proposing a trade.  Your under-appreciated junk for my under-appreciated junk.  I live in the Arctic, so I can't even visit my local dollar store for a cheap fix.  So perhaps you can help me.


  10-50 card lots, low-value.  A mixture of stars and commons, from the 80s, (mostly) 90s, and the 21st century.  Shipping methods and protection can be discussed. PWE or Bubble.  Top loaders, sleeves or a piece of cardboard.  I am all for keeping the s/h down on this endeavour. Themes can be suggested, but it will be mostly a mixture.   Post below if you'd be interested.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

TTM Success: Bernie Federko


  Bernie Federko was a star center with the St. Louis Blues from 1976 to 1989, before finishing his career with a final season as a Detroit Red Wing.  He is also generally known as the whiping boy for the HHOF lack of standards.  While Federko scored 1130 points in 1000 games, he was never considered a dominant player in his era, never won any post season awards and only once led the Blues past the second round of the play-offs.  In his 14 year career, he only played in the mid-season all-star game twice.  I am not sure if he was injured every year at that time but Brian Sutter or Rob Ramage would represent the Blues instead of Federko.


  So does Federko belong in the HHOF?  Many people say he is vastly underrated.  He played on a small market team who never achieved any post season success.  If you look at Federko's teammates, he never had a 1A type player.  In New York, there was Bossy-Trottier.  In Edmonton, Gretzky-Kurri.  In Montreal, Lafleur-Shutt.  In Quebec, Stastny-Goulet.  In St.Louis, Federko linemates were the like of Brian Sutter and Wayne Babych.  With Federko's help, Babych was a 50 goal scorer in 1981 and Sutter consistently put 30 goal seasons.  It wasn't until the mid 1980 when, fellow future HHOFers, Joey Mullen and Doug Gilmour proved the skill level to help Federko put together three straight 100 point seasons.  Unfortunately, both Gilmour and Mullen would suffer similar fates, being traded to the Flames, albeit in different seasons.  While the Blues didn't have any play-off success, Federko consistently found the scoresheet in the postseason.  Federko scored 101 points in 91 post season games.  Federko would eventually be traded to the Detroit Red Wings in a deal that gave the Blues Adam Oates.  Federko would play a single season in Detroit before retiring.
  What do you think?  Is Federko the poster boy for the HHOF low standards?  Or is he the poster boy for the under-rated small market superstar?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

TTM Success: Garth Butcher

  Garth Butcher played 897 career NHL games in 14 seasons. A tough, stay at home defenceman, Butcher accumulated 2302 PIM in his career, good for 31st all-time. Garth was selected 10th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1981 draft. That winter, he helped Team Canada win its first ever Gold Medal at the World Junior Hockey Championship. After the tournament, Butcher would make his NHL debut, playing 5 regular season games and a single game in the Stanley Cup finals. Butcher would lead the Canucks in PIM for five consecutive seasons from 1984-85 to 1988-89. Butcher would spend a few seasons in St Louis before finishing his career after brief stops in Quebec and Toronto. Garth signed 4 of 4 and kept the extra copy of 1982 custom card, as offered.
  The custom was a 82-83 OPC design.  You can see the front and back of it on this post.

Monday, December 3, 2012

TTM Success: Peter Stastny


  I have covered Peter Stastny a few times before on this blog.  First time I posted his legends card from the 88-89 OPC tribute set, briefly covered his defection to Canada, and the second time was my first ttm return from Peter.  This time, let's look at the numbers.  From the 1980-81 to the 89-90 season, only Wayne Gretzky scored more points than Peter Stastny.  Stastny scored 100 points or more in his first six seasons and was the first NHL "rookie" to score 100+ points.  His 70 assists is still a record, which he now shares with Joe Juneau.  In his rookie season, Stastny set a rokie by scoring a combined 14 points in consecutive games, including a rookie record of 8, 4 goals and 4 assists, versus the Washington Capitals.  When he retired, he was tanked 11th in career points, 1239.  As of the end of the 2011-12 season, he ranks 36th all-time.  He was inducted into the HHOF in 1988.  Stastny is a strict one-per-request signer and I am passively pursuing the 2006 Parkhurst set.  This is the 26th card I have signed form the set.



Friday, November 30, 2012

The Lost Rookies: Mike Moffat

    Can you name the goalie who backstopped Team Canada to it's first ever World Junior Hockey Championship (WJC) Gold medal?  If you said Mike Moffat, you are either know your hockey, or you guessed it from the title of the post. 
  Mike Moffat, a 8th round draft pick by the Boston Bruins in 1980, played his junior hockey with the Kingston Candians.  He played good enough, a 4.14 career OHL GAA which was actually good in those days, to get himself on Team Canada for the 1981 WJC.  Team Canada had never won a Gold medal in the WJC before.  With the exception of 1978, the Memorial Cup winners would represent Canada.  After a dismal 7th place finish in 1981, the Canada's Program of Excellence was created and the best under age nineteen players would represent Canada the following year and every year since.  Team Canada, not favoured to medal, exceeded all expectations.  They went 6-0-1 in the tournament, including a shocking 7-0 trouncing of the favorites, Soviet Union.  Mike Moffat recorded the shutout and he was between the pipes during the final game versus Czechoslovakia.  Team Canada, once again the underdog, needed a tie to clinch the Gold medal, while the Czechs needed a win.  Moffat would turn aside a late barrage by the Czechs to preserve a 3-3 tie and Canada's first WJC Gold medal.


  Moffat would make a splash in the NHL before the season was over.  Mike started the last two games for the Boston Bruins and was then anointed the starter for the play-offs, over incumbents Marco Baron and Rogie Vachon.  Although as shocked as anyone, Moffat played brilliantly through the first round and carried the Bruins into the second round.  Still only a teenager, the pressure started to get to Moffat as the Bruins fought the Quebec Nordiques in a grueling seven game series.  The fans and press were comparing Mike Moffat to a  young Ken Dryden.  As the series went on, Moffat allowed a few weak goals and the Bruins would eventually fall to the Nordiques in game seven, by a score of 2 to 1.  As the last few seconds ticked off the clock (and as Terry O'Reilly takes a swing at referee Andy Van Hellamond) Bruin coach, Gerry Cheevers attempted to console his young goalie.
 


  Mike Moffat would never again reach the level of play he had achieve in the 1981-82 season.  He would only play 17 more NHL games and by age 22, Moffat would officially retired from professional hockey.  The pressure of the Stanley Cup play-offs was too much for a 19 year old who previously had a total of 2 career professional hockey games under his belt.  Here's a quote from a Boston.com interview

“My mental game needed massive rebuilding,’’ he says. “I should have dealt
with that in the offseason, but I just kind of denied it, put my head down. I was 
fighting the demons and it was nobody’s fault but my own.’’

  I find Mike Moffat's story tragic.  A young player who is living the dream at age 19.  Winning a Gold medal for Team Canada and earning top goalie honours.  Starting and staring for the Boston Bruins in the playoffs.  Except by the time the 1982-83 season had started, Moffat was already on the downside of his career.  He was mentally worn out.  The Bruins must have had wind of this, as they traded for Pete Peeters in the offseason and to further Moffat's decline, Peeters went on to win 40 games and the Vezina  trophy.  What I also find tragic is that, based on the few interviews I have read, Moffat does not appear to cherish his time in the NHL.  In regards to the press clippings of his playing days, Moffat claims to never look at them since "“I guess it would make me cry."  I really do hope that's not the way he truly feels about his hockey days.  He just had too much pressure too soon. His career may have been totally different if had a few seasons in the AHL instead of being thrown directly into the spotlight.

  Mike Moffat never had a NHL card.  For the 1982 set, OPC went with Rogie Vachon, the Bruins #2 goalie during most of the 81-82 season, and newly acquired, and airbrushed, Pete Peeters.  Leaving rookie Mike Moffat and the teams #1 goalie Marco Baron without cards.  Coincidentally, Marco Baron never has never had a rookie card either.  So below is Mike Moffat's lost rookie card.

82-83 OPC -Lost Rookie - Mike Moffat


82-83 OPC -Lost Rookie - Mike Moffat - back
   

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

TTM Success: Jean Beliveau


  It took 405 days to get this return back, but I am extremely happy with it.  Jean Beliveau is one of hockey's greatest players.  He won 10 Stanley Cups as a player and another 7 as an executive with the Montreal Canadiens.  Beliveau was the first ever winner of the Conn Smythe trophy, back in 1964-65.  At age 39, in his 20th season, Believeau scored 76pts in 70 games, good enough for 9th spot in the league scoring race.  Beliveau finished his career with 507 goals and 1219 points.  He was a first ballot HHOFer in 1972.  I sent this request back in October of 2011.  This is my longest return and first to make the round trip of a calendar year.  Definitely worth the wait.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The 90's Goalie Project

  A new project I am going to be working on is getting the rookie year card of every goalie who played in the 1990s.  To be technical, from the 1989-90 season to the 1999-2000 season.  There are 195 goalies who played at least a single game during those season, but 22 of them never had a NHL card produced of them.  So that leaves 173 cards to collect.
 
A Sample of 90s Goalie Goodness

  I have decided to put a few rules into place.
  1) Player must be in a NHL uniform.  So that mean no World Junior Championship cards or Canada Cup cards.
  2) No draft picture cards.  This rules outs Martin Brodeur's true rookie and instead leaves me with one of this 1992-93 cards.
  3) Preference given to horizontal pictures.
  4) Reprints will be acceptable for the most expensive cards (ie Patrick Roy) which I already own.  This is meant to be a cheap project.  I won't have one card with a greater cost than the other 172 combined.

   Below is the complete list of goalies who played in the 1990s and had a card produced.  Included is the year their "rookie" card was produced.  Some of these goalies only had a single card of them made.  I already have a bunch, have some incoming, and I am sure I have more that are still hiding in boxes.  I think this will make for a fairly interesting set once I get them all into a binder.


PlayerRCOwnPlayerRCOwnPlayerRCOwn
Tom Askey1998Brian Hayward1986Steve Passmore1999
Jean-Sebastien Aubin1998Glenn Healy1990Pete Peeters1980
Scott Bailey1995yGuy Hebert1992Jean-Marc Pelletier1999y
Mike Bales1995Ron Hextall1987Frank Pietrangelo1990
Tom Barrasso1984Corey Hirsch1992yFelix Potvin1991
Don Beaupre1981Milan Hnilicka2001Daren Puppa1989i
Stephane Beauregard1990Kevin Hodson1996Andre Racicot1991i
Ed Belfour*1990yBruce Hoffort1990Jamie Ram1996i
Jean-Claude Bergeron1990Jim Hrivnak1990Bill Ranford1987
Daniel Berthiaume1987Kelly Hrudey1985Daryl Reaugh1990y
Allan Bester1984Jani Hurme2000Pokey Reddick1990
Zac Bierk1998Peter Ing1990Jeff Reese1990i
Craig Billington1991Arturs Irbe1991Damian Rhodes1993i
Martin Biron1996Pat Jablonski1991Mike Richter1990
John Blue1992Pauli Jaks1994iVincent Riendeau1990i
Brian Boucher1999Brent Johnson1998iDwayne Roloson1996
Fred Brathwaite1993Curtis Joseph1990yRoberto Romano1986
Martin Brochu2000Nikolai Khabibulin1994Dominic Roussel1991
Martin Brodeur1990yTrevor Kidd1991Patrick Roy*1986
Sean Burke1988Scott King1992Tommy Salo1995y
Jim Carey1994Rick Knickle1993Geoff Sarjeant1994y
Jon Casey1989Dieter Kochan2000Paxton Schafer1997i
Frederic Chabot1997Olaf Kolzig1990Corey Schwab1995i
Tim Cheveldae1990Les Kuntar1994Steve Shields1997
Alain Chevrier1986Jean-Francois Labbe2000Mikhail Shtalenkov1994
Dan Cloutier1997Patrick Labrecque1995iPeter Sidorkiewicz1989
Jacques Cloutier1990yBlaine Lacher1994Peter Skudra1997
Marcel Cousineau1996Mark LaForest1990yGarth Snow1993y
Byron Dafoe1994Patrick Lalime1996Tommy Soderstrom1992
Matt DelGuidice1991Marc Lamothe1999Christian Soucy1994y
Marc Denis1996Scott Langkow1999Robb Stauber1990y
Philippe DeRouville1995Ray LeBlanc1992Greg Stefan1984
Tom Draper1991Manny Legace1998Jamie Storr1994
Parris Duffus1997Reggie Lemelin1981Rick Tabaracci1990y
Mike Dunham1996Mike Lenarduzzi1993Kari Takko1990y
Robert Esche1999David Littman1993Robbie Tallas1997
Bob Essensa1990Mike Liut1980John Tanner1990i
Scott Fankhouser1999Danny Lorenz1992Chris Terreri1990
Manny Fernandez1995yRoberto Luongo1997Jose Theodore1996
Eric Fichaud1994Darrin Madeley1993yJocelyn Thibault1993
Stephane Fiset1990yClint Malarchuk1986Mike Torchia1995y
Mark Fitzpatrick1990Norm Maracle1998Andrei Trefilov1992
Wade Flaherty1995Chris Mason2000Ron Tugnutt1989y
Norm Foster1991Kirk McLean1989yRoman Turek1996
Mike Fountain1996Jamie McLennan1993Steve Valiquette2000y
Bob Froese1983Roland Melanson1983John Vanbiesbrouck1986
Grant Fuhr*1982Alfie Michaud1999Mike Vernon1987
Joaquin Gage1995Greg Millen1979Tomas Vokoun1997
Dave Gagnon1991 iMike Minard2000Jimmy Waite1990
Troy Gamble1990Andy Moog1981Darcy Wakaluk1991
Tyrone Garner1999Tyler Moss1997Rick Wamsley1982
Jean-Sebastien Giguere1997Jason Muzzatti1993yKevin Weekes1997
Scott Gordon1990Jarmo Myllys1990iSteve Weeks1982
Mario Gosselin1985Sergei Mylnikov1990iKay Whitmore1990
John Grahame1999Evgeni Nabokov1999Derek Wilkinson1997
Jeff Hackett1990Mike O'Neill1992iKen Wregget1987
Glen Hanlon1979Chris Osgood1993Wendell Young1990
Dominik Hasek1991Rich Parent2000

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

TTM Success: R.J Umberger


  R.J. Umberger has been an all-star in terms of responding to ttms, and now with Rick Nash out of Columbus, the Blue Jackets hope he can be an All-Star for them.  Umberger has been second on team in goals in three out of the past four seasons.  Umberger is also the franchise's all time leading goal scorer in post season play.  He scored 3 goals in 2008-09, the only time the Blue Jackets have ever made the play-offs.  They were swept in four games, and outscored 17-7 by the Detroit Red Wings. 



Sunday, November 18, 2012

TTM Success: Ken Morrow

  In 1980, Ken Morrow was the first ever player to win an Olympic Gold medal and a Stanley Cup in the same season.  With the addition of professional players in 1998, it a feat that was bound to be repeated, but it wasn't until 2010 until Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook would win gold with Canada and a cup with the Black Hawks.  Morrow won his gold medal as part of USA's "Miracle on Ice" and his Stanley Cup, first of four straight, was with the New York Islanders.  Morrow, a stay at home defenceman, would score 105 points in 550 carer NHL games, all with the New York Islanders.  Ken Morrow currently works with the New York Islanders scouting department.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TTM Success: Ron Ellis


  Ron Ellis played 16 NHL seasons, all with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Ellis was part of the 1967 Stnaley Cup winning team.  Another career highlight was being a member of Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series.  Ellis played all eight games and collected three assists.  After the 1974-75 season, Ellis abruptly retired, stating that he no longer had the passion for the game.  The passion would return, as Ellis joined Team Canada in the 1977 World Hockey Championship and then return to play four more seasons as a Toronto Maple Leaf.  Ellis ranks in the top 5 in career goals, 332, and games played, 1034, for the Toronto franchise. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

TTM Success: Brent Gilchrist


  Brent Gilchrist  played 792 games during 15 seasons in the NHL.  Gilchrist was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens and was traded away to the Edmonton Oilers just before the 1992-93 season, as part of the deal that brought Vincent Damphousse to Montreal.  While the Habs went on to win the Cup that season, Gilchrist would eventually get to sip from Lord Stanley's Cup in 1998, as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Injuries would hamper Gilchrist for the rest of his career, playing in only 29 games the following two seasons.  Brent would eventually suffer a career ending back injury while playing for the Nashville Predators, in a game against one of his former teams, the Edmonton Oilers.
  I once read in a TTM forum, a collector complaining about Gilchrist's auto.  How that is it just a big B and G.  I think he has a cool signature.  Some players you can't make out a single letter of their auto.  His auto has some panache to it, while still being legible.


Did You Know...  
Brent Gilchrist is the NHL's all-time career leader in games played, 
goals, assists and points for player who wore #41. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TTM Success: Rich Pilon


  Rich Pilon was a key member of the 1993 New York Islanders play-off run.  He's best remembered for the Kevin Stevens incident in the first period of game 7 of the Patrick Division final.  Stevens has knocked unconscious while attempting to lay a big hit on Pilon.  Stevens' face hit against Pilon's visor, and he was unconscious before he slammed to the ice, face first.  Stevens would need extensive facial surgery.  The Islanders would go on to win the game in overtime, ending the Penguins' chance at a third straight cup.  Before getting all Don Cherry on Pilon, please know that Pilon's career was almost ended in 1989, after getting hit in the eye with a puck, that shattered his orbital bone.  Pilon's entire career was mired by injuries and eventually ended with a wrist injury eight games into the 2001-02 season.  Pilon now lives in Saskatchewan.  He teaches youth the benefits of hockey and the dangers of substance abuse.


Monday, November 5, 2012

The Lost Rookies: Garth Butcher


  It took Garth Butcher 6 seasons and 383 NHL games before OPC would give Garth a rookie card in the 1988-89 set. All it took was Garth leading the Canucks in PIM for four straight seasons.  Although it could have been worse, Butcher made Pro Set before he ever made it into Topps.  Here's what his rookie might have looked like.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Suspicious eBay Listing

  I was always a bit concerned that my 88-89 OPC Tribute would be copied and reproduced.  I thought people might print them off for themselves.  In the end, I decided "whatever".  As long as they aren't passing them off as their own or trying to sell them.  When I think about it, all I am doing is reproducing someone else work anyways and then adding in someone else's picture I found on the internet.  Although I do put a lot of work into the templates.  I don't scan a card, erase the picture and then put in a new one.  Every template started as a blank file.  I guess you can call them original duplicates, but I do consider the templates my own.
  Today I was on eBay looking to see if a certain player had any cards listed.  The cards he had listed was a custom card.  I have seen this seller before and I decided to see what else he had.  What I saw looked too familiar.  He had several 88-89 OPC cards.  The pictures on them were not the ones I used but the card design just looked way too familiar.  Upon further checking, I am pretty sure he copied my file.



  Compare the two sets of cards above.  My version is on the left and his is on the right.  Notice how similar the borders, fonts and positioning of the logo are.  When I did the tribute set, the hardest part was the Pin and the shadow.  Let's put my picture on top of his and set mine to 50% opacity and compare.


  Upon comparison, every lines up exactly with the exception of the pin marks that cover the player picture.  My picture has the shadow on top of the player picture, but his doesn't.  The first reason that jumps to mind is because when he removed the picture from my version, he also had to remove the shadow.  Compare side by side and the with mine over top at 50% opacity. 


  The shadow lines up perfectly.  Even where the shadow dots met the upper border of the picture.  To do the shadow I used the pencil tool, did a bunch of dots and then used the copy and paste.  I had to adjust the size of the shadow dots as I got to the bottom of the shadow as well.   Even the marks on the Pin are exactly the same.  I had a hell of a time with the pin originally since using the paint dump tool would results in more and more of the black marks inside the pin to be colored over.  The pin marks were made with the pencil tool set at 1 pixel. 
  Also, of interest is the use of trademark on the team logo.  On some team logos, I erased the trademark and on others I left it.  The original 88-89 set had trademarks on all the logos.  For both mine and his cards, there is a trademark for the Penguins and Canadiens.  For the Oilers card, there is not a trademark for either.
  Here the link for the one of his auctions. His user ID is norm202020.

 Part of me feels pissed about this.  Part of me feels flattered.  Part of me thinks it's the pot calling the kettle black.  Do you think he has copied my cards and put in his own player picture?  Or just a coincidence?  What do you think of custom cards and selling them?  How would you feel in this situation?