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Group Break entries are now closed, the boxes have been ordered and secondary teams have been randomized. Follow THIS LINK for final team assignments.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mike McCarron Artifacts Redemption

Well, close to 8 months after the set's original release date, Upper Deck is finally sending out their rookie redemptions for 2015-16 Artifacts. As the set was released early in October, rookies from this season hadn't made their debut when production began, so Upper Deck included redemption cards, so that they could produce cards of this year's rookies after they made their debut.


The redemption I got from a box I opened last fall was a "Wild Card" that ended up being of Montreal Canadiens right wing Mike McCarron, numbered 444/899. McCarron made it up to the NHL for 20 games this past season, scoring just one goal and one assist. Might not be the best rookie available, but at least I finally have the card in hand, after quite a long wait. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2015-16 Fleer Showcase Box Break

I think I got this box almost two months ago, but really just never got around to posting it, despite scanning the cards and basically doing everything but typing it up. Anyway, 2015-16 Fleer Showcase is a product in its third year, and is Upper Deck's way of paying tribute to (or maybe just capitalizing on) past products of the Fleer brand, which Upper Deck owns.

Base
The base cards are actually a unique design, as all of the Fleer "tributes" are inserts, and are very similar to what you would see from one of their SP lines, but with a colored background instead of white. 


Trios Hot Prospects 64/599: Alex Biega/Alexandre Grenier/Andrey Pedan
The trios cards are just a way to put in some of the season's late-comers, and as such, it's rare to find a whole lot of players with a whole lot of superstar potential, as they most likely made their debut earlier in the season, and are part of the main rookie line.


Then, there are the insert sets that pay tribute to past Fleer issues. In previous sets, they were able to to a more precise replication of these, but as they run out of former sets, they instead have to go with more of a "tribute" thing, which gives a more modern take on what those sets could have looked like. 
 
Flair Showcase: Tuukka Rask, Jordan Eberle


Flair Showcase Rookies: Jake Virtanen


Metal Universe: Noah Hanifin, Jake Virtanen, Radek Faksa


Skybox Premium Prospects: Mike Condon


Fleer Ultra Rookies: Jack Eichel 587/699


Then, there were the hits:

Jonathan Quick Showcase Jersey Red Glow Parallel 88/99
This is a jersey card, but witht he smooth fabric of silver, I almost thought it might be a one-colored patch. Nope, just a jersey swatch, but still a good card of a great player


Guy Lafleur Showcase Jersey Red Glow Parallel 14/25
Some of the jersey cards have an extra-low serial number for some reason, but I'm not sure why. There's only 25 of these, and the fact that it's a hockey legend makes it extra cool, as well. 


Hot Prospects Nikolay Goldobin 233/499
This is my guaranteed Rookie Auto Patch card, of San Jose Sharks forward Nikolay Goldobin. There are three colors on the patch, which is great, even if it's only a slight bit of teal in the upper right. He spent most of this past season with the AHL's San Jose Barracuda, but was with the NHL team for nine games, scoring one goal and one assist. 


I didn't strike gold with this one, but there were some respectable pulls, not only with the hits, but with a Jack Eichel rookie card. I know it's a bit of a gamble, as any box of cards can be, but with a guarantees Rookie Auto Patch, you'll always walk away with something pretty nice.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Some Trade Bait Additions

Nothing much to write about in detail, but here's a few Additions to my traders that I have come across recently. If anyone is interested in any of these, let me know at matt-pederson@hotmail.com.

2012-13 Limited Jason Spezza Patch 20/25


2011-12 Prime Cody Eakin Prime Rookies 185/199


2008-09 Trilogy David Clarkson Young Star Scripts


2012-13 Limited Jordan Nolan Phenoms 318/499


2013-14 Trilogy Bobby Ryan Signature Pucks


2013-14 SP Authentic Emerson Etem Future Watch Limited Auto Patch 1/100


2014-15 Trilogy Tomas Tatar Signature Pucks


2014-15 SP Game Used Jonathan Drouin Rookies Patch 96/99


2014-15 SPX Corban Knight Rookie Inaugural Materials 11/99


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Some Zach Parise Cards All the Way from Austria

Being a hockey fan, I have grown accustomed to having to wait longer to receive my items due to international shipping. Usually, the cards in question are on their way from Canada, but every now and then, they come from even further, like this three-card Ebay purchase that came all the way from Austria.

2014-15 Upper Deck Premier Rinks of Honor Autographed Booklet






2014-15 Upper Deck Black Lustrous Signatures 23/49


13-14 National Treasures Dual Auto Gold #34 Charlie Coyle/Zach Parise 10/25

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Zach Parise Collection Additions

The nice thing with starting out a new player collection, is that there are plenty of cards to choose from that you don't already have. Here's a quick look at some of my newest Parise cards:

2015-16 Fleer Showcase White Hot Glove 12/15


2015-16 Fleer Showcase Flair Showcase Jersey


2009-10 O-Pee-Chee Premier Remnants Patch 17/25


2011-12 Certified Mirror Gold Prime Jersey 22/25


2012-13 Certified Fabric of the Game 13/299


Friday, April 29, 2016

Zach Parise Team Trade Marks from 2011-12 Limited

Back when I first got back into the hockey card game, the very first box of new product that I opened was 2011-12 Panini Limited. It was also the first mid-to-high-end product that I ever opened, and it introduced me to the idea of a low base/high hit product.

I really like how the major elements of the card are highlighted. Base cards will give you full-color images that really take you into the game. These, on the other hand, sacrifice a little bit of the background in favor of the "hit." The player image is important, but room is always left for things like an autograph or a piece of memorabilia.

I recently got my hands on two fantastic cards of Zach Parise from the 2011-12 Limited Team Trademarks insert set. The first is an autographed jersey card, numbered 20/49, and the second of an autographed card, numbered 19/99.





Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2015-16 SPX Box Break

It's already April, and I finally got my hands on some cardboard. As I have now split my collecting interests between cards and autographed memorabilia, I haven't quite been buying as much cardboard as I used to. Still, I do like to open up a brand new box of cards, and picked up some 2015-16 SPX.

Each box contains 10 packs of four cards, and is guaranteed to contain one rookie autographed jersey card and two additional hits. Here's what my box gave me:

Base: Top four cards for my team/player interests were Evgeni Malkin, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Zach Parise, & Tyler Seguin.
I like the design of the base cards. you have a slight design on the right side of the card that corresponds to the team color, with a little bit of gray on the top. There isn't much of the actual background visible in the photos, but they way they have these laid out, it really makes the player image jump off of the cardboard.


SPX Rookies: Tommy Cross, Joonas Kemppainen, Tanner Kero
Two ok Bruins, but for me, Kero is the real winner here. It's not that I'm a Blackhawks fan, but Kero played in the USHL for my local team, the Fargo Force, and is the fourth Force alumnus to make it to the NHL.


Name on the Front: Nicklas Lidstrom
The title of the insert, I believe, makes reference to the Herb Brooks line in "Miracle," "The name on the front of your jersey is a hell of a lot important than the name on the back." However, there isn't any reference made to the "name on the front," in the text on the back of the card, so maybe someone just thought it would be a cool name for an insert set. 


Stick Wizards: Johnny Gaudreau
I guess this makes reference to a player who is a good stickhandler? Like the Lidstrom card, the test on the back of the card makes no reference to anything about the name of the insert set. Still a nice-looking card, though. 


Shift Change: Aleksander Barkov, Viktor Arvidsson
Again, I'm not sure what the name of the insert set has to do with anything, but I will say this: as a TTM collector, these would look amazing to be signed, especially right on that chunk of blank space on the bottom right of the card. 


The Hits
Monochromatics: Daniel Sedin
OK, so these are really cool. Basically, It's a black and white image of the player, with one color. That color, of course, is for his jersey, and not only that, but the jersey swatch is of that same color. While some of their ideas with the insert sets seem kind of random, this is one that actually works, and looks fantastic. 


 X-Jersey Dual: Ryan Getzlaf/Ryan Kesler
There really isn't much to this, other than it's a two-player, four-jersey-swatch card, and with the two Ryans, we have a couple of pretty decent players. 


Connor Hellebuyck
Lastly, is the big draw, the guaranteed Autographed jersey rookie card. This one is of Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, and features an autograph and two pieces of his jersey. I actually pulled a decent one, as Hellebuyck seems to be one of the brightest young stars in the Jets' system, and there will be an opportunity in the future for him to take things over. 


I kind of like this set. The hits are decent, and the base set looks really cool. I'm not sure if I will be investing any more money into this in the future, but it was still a fun break.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Zach Parise Emerald Autograph /5 from 2011-12 Certified

This may be just one card, but it could have been more. From 2011-12 Certified, is an autographed emerald parallel of Zach Parise's base card, numbered 3/5.




I say that this could have been more, because the Ebay seller actually had THREE of these (3/5, 4/5, & 5/5), and they were all ending at around the same time. I had to work when they were set to end, so I was left with the unenviable task of posting a maximum bid and hoping for the best. As luck would have it, I ended up with only one, but really, that's all that I think I need. Plus, I had a few other collecting items to save up for, so I'm better off this way.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Zach Parise Brilliance Autograph from 2013-14 The Cup

Next in line for my Zach Parise Collection additions, is this gem from 2013-14 The Cup's Brilliance insert set.


I've seen these cards for quite a while, and have been waiting to get my hands on one. It's essentially a shadowbox card. The centerpiece is a logo of The Cup, embedded to the background with a rainbowy silver foil. On the overlay, you have a clear acetate surface to let you see into the background, with gives the signature a really cool raised look. The most striking thing about the card, however, is simply the mass of it. I wouldn't imagine that a card with no piece of rare memorabilia could be this thick, but it is done that way to give the logo a good amount of depth beneath the signature. In fact, the card is so thick, that I was able to measure it with a tape measure (3/8"). That may not seem like a big number right off the bat, but for a hockey card, trust me, it is.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Zach Parise Limited Patch /35 from 2011-12 SP Authentic

Another addition to the Zach Parise collection is this one from 2011-12 SP Authentic's Limited Patch insert set.


The card is serial numbered to a rare 9/25, and features what appears to be a piece of the Devils logo from the front of the jersey. Even though I mostly collect Parise for his ongoing time with the Minnesota Wild, I am always happy to add a card from early in his career with New Jersey.