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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

88-89 OPC Tribute: Parenteau, Elias and Johansen

  While Pierre-Alexander Parenteau may seem like part of the young core of the New York Islanders, he has actually been around for the past decade.  A 264th overall draft pick by the Anahiem Ducks in 2001, Parenteau, via Chicago and NY Rangers, has found a home with Isles.  Parenteau is currently 5th in the NHL with 44 assists.  

#88 - P.A. Parenteau

  Patrik Elias reached the 1000 game milestone on January 6th, 2012 and ranks 3rd all time on the New Jersey Devils career games played list.  Elias does ranks first overall for career goals (354) , assists (520) and points (874) for the Devils/Rockies franchise.

#89 - Patrik Elias
  The 4th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Ryan Johansen, made his NHL debut in the 2011-12 season.  In 2011, Johansen played for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship, helping the team win a Silver medal and earning a spot on the tournament's All-Star Team.

#132 - Ryan Johansen

Monday, February 27, 2012

NHL Trade Deadline

The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone with a whimper.  The headlining trade is the Canucks and Sabres trade, which saw former first rounders, Cody Hodgson and Zack Kassian, switch teams.  The bigger news is what didn't happen.  Flames stood pat, the Leafs didn't get a goalie and Rick Nash is still a Columbus Blue Jacket.  


The trade that has already had the biggest impact, was Steve Downie being sent to the Colorado Avalanche on February 21st.  Downie already has 7 points in 4 games while playing on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O'Reilly.


While Rick Nash is determined to chase Dany Heatley's point record for Team Canada at the World Championship, Downie hopes to lead the charging Colorado Avalnche to a play-off spot.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Box Break: 2003-04 Pacific

I received my first ever order from Miraj Trading.  I received three boxes including a box of 2003-04 Pacific.  I ordered hoping to hit a few nice inserts and some cards for two of my projects, TTM and One Star, One Sheet.  Here's how it went.


I like the card design and I certainly like the photography overall.  Some of the photos are very original and full of action, but others are just too full of action.  The cards backs are one of my all-time favourites.  The card back includes a head shot, yearly stats for the player's entire career, some informative tidbits and the teams logo in the background.  The only item missing was the player's birthplace.  I was almost considering to collect this set until I started seeing the same cards over and over again.  A box of 2003-04 Pacific is made up of 2 mini-boxes of 18 pack each and 10 cards to a pack.  Out of my 360 cards, I got 40 inserts.  Out of the 320 base cards, I got 64 doubles and 3 triples.  The unique rate of base in this box was a pathetic 79%.  Good for a B+ in school, but a D- for a card box.  With only 253 cards out of a 400 card set, I don't think I will doing this set and this one will strictly be for projects.


The other reason I won't be collecting this set is that one of my mini-boxes had some issues.  I had to literally snap the cards apart.  The cards were actually making cracking noises as I took them apart.  Most cards came away unharmed but 2-3 in each pack had residue stuck on the card, including this Red Parallel of Mario Lemieux.  The other mini-box had some cards stuck together but nowhere near as many or any damage to them.


2003-04 Pacific has two levels of parallels, Red and Blue.  Red come one every two pack and the Blue come one per box and is numbered to 45.  I ended up with 19 Red Parallels and a Blue Parallel of Mark Bell.


There are 6 insert sets available in the 2003-04 Pacific.  I'll save the suspense and tell you I didn't get any Cramer's Choice Awards, 1:732 packs.  Impact Zone comes in at 1:9 packs and has 10 in the set.  I beat the odds and got 6 Impact Zones; Mario Lemiex, Jarome Iginla, Brendan Shanahan, Teemu Selanne and 2 Joe Sakics.  So even with the inserts I was getting doubles.  


Maximum Impact is a 16 card insert set made up of goalies.  It comes 1:12 packs.  I got 5 in my box, beating the odds by 2.  I got Dominik Hasek, Jose Theodore, Evgeni Nabokov and 2 Curtis Joseph.  Yes, another double.


The most attractive inset set, Main Attractions is a 20 card inset set with odds of 1:12.  Of course the inset set I like the most, the odds are correct.  I got Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick and Jose Theodore.


The next insert set, Shining Moments, is a 10 card insert set with 1:20 odds.  The set is made up of 2002-03 rookies.  I got 2 of them; Kristan Huselius and Dan Blackburn. 


Lamplighters is a 14 card set showcasing some the NHL's top snipers, circa 2003.  The odds are 1:20 but I got two, Dany Heatley and Mats Sundin.


The box also touted 2 Game Used Jersey cards.  My first pull was Jiri Dopita.  Not a great name but I actually like the design of these.



My second GU was a better name and a Holographic Silver Variation to boot.  Jaromir Jagr, number out of 40.  Books for about the same price I paid for the box, including S/H.  Plus it has a nice shiny box in the middle of the card.  


Overall, I was disappointed with this box.  The damaged cards were a bummer, especially the Red parallel of Lemieux, but the amount of doubles I was getting is unacceptable, especially once I started getting doubles of inserts.  The dispersal of inserts was strange as well.  I got 5 of the Impact zone in one of the 18 pack mini box and all the Main Attractions in the other.  While the set gets high marks for photography and back design of the base cards, I can't justify laying down more $$ to buy another box or to buy singles to complete the set.




Friday, February 24, 2012

Housekeeping

  I have being doing a bit of housekeeping of late.  I have changed the labels on the posts to make them more user friendly.  Instead using player names, I have switched the labels to teams.  I have also included labels such as Goalie, Custom, or Break (for packs and box breaks).   I hope this will make the site easier and more enjoyable to view.  If you have any other suggestions, please post them below.
  The 88-89 OPC Tibute Project is finally nearing the end; only 5 cards remain to complete the base set.  I remember when I first started I was on pace to finish before November.  The pace eventually slowed down and has turned into a weekly entry.  I am also going to do some In Action cards before posting what I believe will be the highlight of the entire project.  I will need to brush up on some HTML skills before the coup de gras.  To see the current progress, there is a link on the right side under Projects that will take you to the checklist, with pictures.
  I've had 50 TTM returns and I am approaching my 100th send out.  After several attempts, I finally got a supply of American Stamps, thanks to Sal at Sal's Hockey Autographs.  Returns have been slow this month with only two in the past three weeks but I have been averaging a TTM sent every two days.  Under Projects on the right side, there is a link to my TTMs showing Succeses, Failures and Pending.
  I also have a few eBay items on the way, fanpack returns and a few more boxes to break and post.  So follow me, bookmark me, or add the Cardboard and Me to your blog listing.  There is more to come.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

88-89 OPC Tribute: Elliott, Couture and Tkachuk

  Brian Elliott could end up as a Vezina finalist, even though he's a back-up on his own team.  Elliott was signed as a free agent to back-up Jaroslav Halak, but Elliot was on his way to stealing the starting gig when Halak woke up and started matching Elliot in excellence and they now split the games.  Elliot currently leads the league in GAA (1.56), second in Save Percentage (.940) and is tied for second in shutouts (6).

#86 - Brian Elliot

  The last overall pick in the 2012 All-Star Fantasy Draft, Logan Couture will be the face of the Sharks franchise for years to come.  A 9th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Logan needs one more goal to become the top goal scoring Couture in NHL History.
#87 - Logan Couture 

  Keith Tkachuk ranks 30th for career goals with 538.  He scored 50 for the Winnipeg Jets in 1996 and then led the league with 52 goals for the Phoenix Coyotes in 1997.  That same year Tkachuk finished in the top 10 in PIM, becoming the only expansion era player to lead the league in goals and finish in the top ten in PIM.  Tkachuk is also one of four player to score 50 goals and get 200+ PIM in the same season.  Tkachuk is also one of 3 players to score 500 goals and get 2000 PIM for their career.  Does Tkachuk make the HHOF?  I think lack of play-off success will keep him out.  The teams Tkachuk played on missed the play-offs 5 times and were 3-13 in play-off series.

#119 - Keith Tkachuk

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Box Break: 96-97 Donruss

Part of my DACardworld order included a box of 1996-97 Donurss.  The box had 48 packs, each with 5 cards.  The set is 240 cards, which matches the number of cards in the box.  I don't know the odds of any inserts so I can't comment on the accuracy of the insert drops.  7 of my 240 cards were inserts.  Out of the 233 base, 3 were doubles (Hull, Roenick and Coffey Checklist), which gives 96-97 Donruss a 98.7 unique rate for base and a 95.8 completion rate. 

 

The base cards have a nice basic design and consists of mainly full or upper body shots; no head shots.  The photography is good and it's great to see some of the old gang, even if there are unfamiliar places.  The rookie subset is made up of 25 cards with very few being actual rookies.  The top rookie card is Steve Sullivan.
The back includes another body shot.  Stats are provided for there entire NHL career, not just one year, and if space provides, there is a brief blurb on the players exceptional abilities.


  The parallel set is Press Proof, with each card boasting to be one of the first 2000 printed.  There is no actually numbering but the card is blinged out with gold foil and the star is punched out on each card.  Felix Potvin and Scott Mellanby were the two I pulled.


There are several other insert sets.  I pulled a Doug Weight Hit List and a Patrick Roy Donruss Elite.  Both cards are serial numbered out of 10,000.  The Roy insert is actually one the top cards I could have pulled from the box with a high BV of $15.  It is a sharp, and shiny, looking card.


  The worst insert set is the Rated Rookies.  I got three of them.  Eric Daze, Petr Sykora and Todd Bertuzzi.  The Hit List inserts have less BV than the Rated Rookies but the Hit List card looks so much cooler.


  Overall a decent box for a cheap price.  It was a nice journey down memory lane.  One so nice, I am going to do the set instead of using the cards for TTM or other projects, as originally planned.  The box had good value and was great for a pack ripping fix.

  Since opening the box, I have snagged a few more cards and I am done to 3 needed for the set.  I am looking to trade for #15 Todd Gill, #51 Denis Savard and #56 Dimitri Khristich.

Monday, February 20, 2012

TTM: Brian Gionta

  Brian Gionta marks a milestone in my TTM collection.  Gionta is my 50th TTM return.  The 5'7" Gionta was a player that benefited greatly from the brief offensive boom resulting from rule changes during the 2004-05 lockout.  Gionta had a career high 48 goals in 2005-06.  His next best season was 29 goals in 2010-11.  Gionta has missed most of 2011-12 with an injury.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

88-89 OPC Tribute: Cole, Jokinen and Hagelin

  A free agent signee by the Montreal Canadiens in the offseason, Erik Cole, is on pace to challenge his career highs in goals, 30, and points 61.  Cole scored his 200th career on New Years Eve, 2011.  Olli Jokinen, a former 3rd overall draft pick, has played in 1017 career regular season games, but only 6 career play-off games.  Jokinen is a key part of the Flames push for the play-offs in 2012.

#84 - Erik Cole #85 - Olli Jokinen

  The winner of the fastest skater competition at the 2012 All-Star game, Carl Hagelin, is tied for the rookie lead in +/-, with +15.  Hagelin, who played in the 2012 Winter Classic, is no stranger to outdoor games, previously playing in two outdoor games with the University of Michigan.

#131 - Carl Hagelin

Saturday, February 11, 2012

TTM: Thomas Steen

  Thomas Steen spent his entire 14 year career as a Winnipge Jet.  He scored 817 points over 950 career games.  In 1984-85, he won one of six Jets to score 30 or more goals, the most for any team in a single season.  The Jets retired Steen's number 25 in 1995, just before the team moved to Phoenix.  Today, Thomas Steen serves on the Winnipeg City Council.  


Friday, February 10, 2012

That's a lot of Bull!

I like checking the clearance pages when I shop D&A. and I don't exclusively buy hockey cards.  At the very bottom, there were boxes of cards from the Professional Bull Riders.  I have been to a PBR event before and it part rock show, part rodeo, but very entertaining.  I wouldn't hesitate to go again.  So for under $10, before shipping, I added it to the cart.  

When it arrived, the box, it was shrink wrapped but had a shelf label stuck to the box.  24 packs and 5 cards per pack.  $1.99 per pack.  Do Not Sell As Full Box.  It was a retail box and I must assume it is a repack and not factory sealed.  I don't remember the item details and the item is no longer listed on D&A.

The set is 100 cards and is basically made up for 5 subsets; Riders, Bulls, Luck of the Draw, Bullfighters and The Short Go.  I got 92 cards for the set and 21 doubles, for a 81% unique ration among the base cards, which I consider to be pretty poor.  Within the subsets, it becomes hard to tell the cards apart since the photography composition is so similar.  I also wish they had more action shots of the riders getting bucked.  A subset called Airtime would have been cool.  The highlight of the base cards is reading the bulls names.  Names that strike fear into cowboy's hearts everywhere.  Names such as Booger Butt and Little Yellow Jacket.  The Bulls even have thier career stats on the back.  Booger Butt has been successfully ridden 35.9 percent of the time.


  There are two insert sets; Spur Crazy and Belt Buckle.  In a 24 pack box, the odds are I'll get 4 Spur Crazy and 2 Belt Buckles.  I got 5 Spur Crazy and no Belt Buckles.  Spur Crazy looks like the Luck of the Draw cards except shiner and with a cropped shot of the rider.


  Surprisingly, I got a hit in the box.  Signatures drop a 1 for every 2 boxes.  I got a signature of JB Mauney. It appears I got a decent card.  From what I read JB is still fairly young and seems to be always knocking on the door to win his first championship.  Not sure of the value but other 8 Second Signature cards are going from $2-$7 on eBay.


This has to hurt....


Overall I was happy with this box.  It was cheap and a bit of a novelty.  I like watching the PBR but I don't schedule time for it.  I do wish I could have got the complete set.  I still need cards #3, 12, 22, 29, 33 41, 50 and 78.  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

88-89 OPC Tribute: Smith, Backstrom and Gilmour

  In 2006-07, Mike Smith was named to the All-Rookie Team.  In 2007-08, Mike Smith, played his rookie season.  Having only played 23 games in 06-07, Smith was still eligible as a rookie the next season.  Another spot on the All-Rookie team looked like a possibility until he was traded to Tampa Bay and his season took a turn for the worse.  Smith has found his way out of Tampa and things are now looking sunny in Phoenix for Mr. Smith.  Niklas Backstrom's first NHL season was also in 2006-07, a year in which he led the NHL in GAA and save percentage.  Why didn't Backstrom make the All-Rookie team instead of Smith?  The answer: Sergei Makarov.

#82 - Mike Smith  #83 - Niklas Backstrom

  Behold Leaf Nation! Your savoir has commeth!  Oh, the good old days.  Back when it looked like the Leafs had a shot at Lord Stanley and before Darcy Tucker & company made the Leafs the biggest whiners in the league.  Doug "Killer" Gilmour was the face of the Leafs in the early-mid 1990s and Don Cherry's man crush.  A HHOF inductee in 2011, Gilmour is best remember as a Maple Leaf, but won his only Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989.  In 1986, Gilmour, then with the St. Louis Blues, led the NHL in Play-off scoring, despite being eliminated in the semi-finals.  

#118 - Doug Gilmour

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Box Break: 2003-04 Pacific Exhibit

  I finally received my DACardWorld order.  On Christmas Eve I got a message on the answering machine saying that I had to call some guy about my card order.  I called it and it turns out D&A put my cards and invoice in the wrong box and had sent it off.  The guy who got my cards was pretty pissed.  I think he was hoping that I had his package and we could switch them in time for Christmas morning.  Or perhaps he thought since I was so close to the North Pole that I could get Santa Claus to drop them off.  I didn't have his cards.  I had only order the previous week and didn't expect to see them in another 2-3 weeks at least.  In the end, I did get his cards.  D&A told me to keep them.  The other guy sent my cards back to D&A and they reshipped them.  I can see why he was so mad.  He got a bunch of sportscards when he had order Lord of the Rings game cards.  Everything worked out in the end for me.  I had to pay customs on both boxes, but I assume I can get that back if I sell the Lord of the Rings cards.  I sure don't have any use for them.

  First box to be broken, or should I say posted, is the 2003-04 Pacific Exhibit.


  Collation was very good.  I hit all the stated odds plus a little extra.  For base, I got 105, including 8 doubles, for a 92% unique rate.  There is 150 regular sized cards in the base set.  For the yellow-back parallels I got 25, including one double.  I like the yellow backs, cause they are easier to read, better but what a stupid way to make a parallel set. At least the blue-back versions are numbered so it makes them slightly more interesting.
  Other than the stupidity of the parallels, I really like the base set.  The design is simple and attractive.  The backs have the career stats and  some info on each player.  The pictures themselves tend to lack action but every one is a full body shot of the player.  One issue I have is that this set must have been an early season release since there are many cards of players in their former teams jersey but with their current teams logo.   I love the feel of the cards.  It's a thicker cardboard stock and the backs remind me of the vintage style.  As a collector and a TTMer, I am a big fan of the base.

  The three blue back variations I got, each numbered out of 275, were Brendan Morrow, Ales Hemsky and Keith Tkachuk.  The card front is the exact same as the base and yellow back version.  Other than the numbering, it's a very underwhelming parallel set, but then again, aren't most parallels underwhelming.


  The rest of the inserts are simple and once again, underwhelming.  I like my base cards to be simple, but I like by inserts to wow.  They feel more like subsets rather than inserts.  The Standing on Tradition design, which is exclusively goalies, is the only one that makes me look twice.



  For the oversized 3.5"x5", collation was perfect and then some.  I got a jersey card, time warp, 3 blue backs, #'d out of 425, and 24 base.  The base have a different design on the front but has the same back.  Just the regular base, I really like these.  The player stands out against the sepia tone background.  The stock and the design gives a real vintage feel to it.  There are 50 over-sized cards in the base set.  Player selection for the regular sized cards vs the oversize is mutually exclusive.  My three blue backs were Patrick Roy, Vincent Lecavalier and Olaf Kolzig.



 One of the two hits is the box is a over-sized jersey card.  There is one jersey card per box.  The design is decent.  Although with such a big card, you'd think the jersey piece would be bigger.  There are 20 jersey cards in the set but the player selection is fairly mediocre.  Most of them wouldn't make the the all-star game.  Considering the options, I am happy with the card I pulled, Sean Burke.  


  Now it's the moment you have been waiting for, coming in at one per box, the Time Warp card


  WTF?  Are you kidding me?  Get out of town!  I fart in your general direction.

  There are 10 Time Warp cards and one of them is a redemption.  Of course, I pulled the redemption.  Expiration date, December 31st, 2004.

  Overall, even with the expired redemption, I am quit pleased with the box.  After shipping costs, it came out to around $1.50 per pack.  I am on the fence about collecting the set.  If I went for the set, I'd buy another box, with hopes of pulling a non-redemption Time Warp.

All inserts and parallels are for trade.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TTM: Al MacInnis

Al MacInnis was inducted into the HHOF in 2007.  Renowned for his blistering slapshot, MacInnis is one of 5 defenceman to ever score 100 points in a single season.  For his career, MacInnis scored 1274 points, 3rd best amongst defencemen.  His numbers could have been even better if an eye injury didn't cut his career short at 23 seasons.  In his final full season, he was a Norris finalist and a 1st Team All-Star.
Mr. MacInnis signed 4 of 4 and kept a copy of each picture as offered.  Cards were sent to the St. Louis Blues.


Monday, February 6, 2012

TTM: Dave Reid

Dave Reid was a defensive specialist in the 1990s.  He lead the league in shorthanded goals in 1990-91 and is 24th all-time in career short-handed goals.  Mr. Reid won two Stanley Cups; in 1999 as a member of the Dallas Stars, and in his final season, 2001, with the Colorado Avalanche.  Dave Reid is currently the General Manager of the Peterborough Petes.  He also has one of the nicer signatures that I have collected so far.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

TTM: Blake Comeau

  Blake Comeau, scored 24 goals in 2010-11.  After starting the season pointless in 16 games, the New York Islanders placed Comeau on waivers.  The Calgary Flames claimed him but Comeau has yet to find his scoring touch, netting 3 goals in 32 games. The Flames hope Blake can regain his scoring touch and provide some secondary scoring for the team.
  Blake signed 3 of 3 and returned the copy of my picture unsigned.  It's only the second time that a player has returned a copy of the picture unsigned, the other was Peter Stastny.