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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.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Marc-Andre Fleury Autographed Patch Card from 2015-16 The Cup

I have, so far, opened up two tins of Upper Deck's super high-end product, The Cup. The first one was the 2012-13 release, and then again for 2014-15. It is a very pricey product, with some major hits in it, and the most valuable rookie cards you will find all year. I might have to sit this year out, though, as Connor McDavid's rookie year has jumped the price up to $700 for a six-card tin. Yikes!

Still, you can pick up some singles for a pretty decent price, and I was able to grab my first one with this Marc-Andre Fleury autographed patch card


This card comes from the Limited Logos set and it serial numbered 16/50. It is signed right on the card, and features a large piece of the patch from the front of the sweater. I suppose the idea of "Limited Logos" is to be sure that the patch is from the actual team logo, instead of a number. Once I saw this card, I just had to have it, especially considering the patch. It comes from the skate of the penguin, and there is a great amount of detail shown here. Some patches are better than others, but as far as this team goes, it doesn't get too much better than this.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Target Hockey Autograph Repack

I picked up one of those autographed card repacks from target. Basically, you get four retail packs of cards, and one autographed card is inserted seperate from the packs. I'm sure a lot of what you'll find is rookies from a few years ago who didn't quite reach hockey stardom, but it's still a fun box to open with low lost and almost no risk


The four retail packs were 2013-14 Upper Deck Series 1&2, 2012-13 Upper Deck Series 1, and 2012-13 Score. I got a couple of inserts, but my favorite, by far, is the Shane Doan Canvas card.






My autographed card is of Ben Holmstrom from 2013-14 Select. Holmstrom played a total of 7 NHL games in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, and has been in the AHL ever since. He is now with the New York Islanders organization, and is captain of their AHL team, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Secret Santa

I always love Secret Santa exchanges in general, and got a great chance to participate in a hobby-related one this year, as Matt from Bob Walk the Plank put one together that featured, I think, somewhere around 30 participants. My package came from Brian of Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary, and included a good mixture of what I collect.

First of all, there were two packs of hockey cards, a 4-card retail pack of 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 1 and a 34-card jumbo pack of 1991-92 Topps. I only scanned the highlights of the Topps pack, which included one of my favorite cards from the set, Joe Mullen. I always love cards of players hoisting the Stanley Cup, especially when that player is a Pittsburgh Penguin.





There were also a few cards of players from the Minnesota Wild (and one former Minnesota North Star).


I was also happy to find some of my set needs for my Allen & Ginter sets. Going through these made me realize that it has been FOREVER since I have updated that page, I really need to whittle down what I am going after, as I still have some up that I haven't thought of in years and abandoned long ago. Still, I will always be going for the Allen & Ginter cards, so receiving these was just perfect.





Lastly are three cards for my Baseball Hall of Fame Relic Project. Basically, I am going after a memorabilia card of every player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I'm also doing an autographed version of this, too, but the memorabilia will be easier (and MUCH cheaper) to collect. Also, even though Molitor went in as a Brewer, as a Minnesota resident, I really appreciate that this card is of him as a Twin.

Paul Molitor - 2004


Carlton Fisk - 2000


Reggie Jackson - 1993


These cards were all amazing. Thank you to Brian for the thoughtful gifts, and here's to an awesome 2017!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

My Favorite Card of 2016

I always like end-of-the-year contests, especially this year, when my content hasn't quite been what it used to be. With my collection taking a direction toward in-person and TTM autographs and memorabilia, my card buying has dwindled a little bit. I still love the hobby, though, and with Eamus Catuli! asking for everyone's favorite card of 2016, it gives me a great chance to show off a card that means relatively little to most people, but is really cool to me.

While my card-buying has decreased this year, I still have had some great pulls, like my Connor McDavid Future Watch autographed card and my Evgeni Malkin autographed dual jersey card, but this isn't about my best card of 2016, it's about my favorite.

For me, it has to be my Tanner Kero Young Guns rookie card from 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 2.


As far as I'm concerned, this is such a great card, because Kero is one of a very small list of alumni from our local USHL team, the Fargo Force, to make it to the NHL. Kero played just one year in the USHL before attending Michigan Tech for four years of college hockey, After his college days were up, the Chicago Blackhawks signed him to a contract, and he would eventually make his NHL debut on October 29, 2015. He would play 17 games in the NHL during the 2015-16 season, scoring one goal and two assists, He has spent the 2016-17 season with Chicago's AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.

So far, the Fargo Force have had five alumni make it to the NHL: Nate Schmidt (Washington), Luke Witkowski (Tampa Bay), Christian Folin (Minnesota), Kero, and most recently, Zane McIntyre (Boston). It's always great to see a guy from the local team make it to the NHL, especially since so few of them ever do.

Oh, and if you noticed the blue ink on this card, it was signed by Kero through the mail toward the end of the 2015-16 season. He was also nice enough to sign a puck for me, as well.


Well, there you have it. A card that might not mean a whole lot to some people, but means a whole lot to me.

Friday, November 18, 2016

2013-14 Dominion Zach Parise Stickside Signatures

I just added another really cool card to my Zach Parise collection with this autographed stick card. It comes from 2013-14 Dominion's Stickside Signature insert set, and is numbered 13/25.


The autograph is in gold and is directly on a piece of Parise's game-used stick. The gold ink actually works best for the piece it is used for, as black, blue, or silver would blend in severely to the colors of the stick. Not only is this a great-looking card, but stick pieces aren't as readily available as jersey or patch cards, which are all over the place. I also really like the novelty of having the autograph directly on the piece of memorabilia itself.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

2013-14 National Treasures Tyler Seguin Frozen Treasures Jersey /35

It's been two years, and I still miss Panini. Upper Deck has stepped up its game and done their part to try and replicate some of the different things Panini did that now are no longer on the market, but I still miss a lot of what Panini did, including their high-end product, National Treasures which was only around for one season, right before Upper Deck was sold exclusive rights by the NHL & NHLPA.

I still do like to pick up some cards from that set, and with Upper Deck having the exclusive rights now, the prices have relaxed. My most recent acquisition is this fantastic Tyler Seguin card.


The card comes from the Frozen Treasures insert set, and is numbered 33/35. Like most high-end products, especially National Treasures, there is a heavy amount of white used for the background, which I like. They also went easy on the foil, just using the silver foil for the window border and set name. The window itself is the really cool part of this card. It is done like a normal memorabilia card, in this case, with a black jersey swatch. On top of that swatch is a clear acetate surface, which is signed in silver. It works really well, as it gives the impression of signed fabric, without having to worry about the ink bleeding into the material.

This is the second Frozen Treasures card in my collection, the first being the Henrik Lundqvist prime jersey parallel that I pulled from the box I purchased when it was released. Looking at this card, I may have to really revisit National Treasures, and see what sorts of cardboard greatness are still out there.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Shane Doan 2008-09 The Cup limited Logos /50

One of the newer additions to my Shane Doan Collection is this beauty, from 2008-09 Upper Deck The Cup.


It is from the Limited Logos insert set, and is numbered 34/50. Like everything high-end, it has an on-card autographs next to an amazing patch piece. This particular patch comes from the "PHX" logo that they wore as a shoulder patch. They still have the same shoulder patch now, but changed the "PHX" to "AZ" when their name switched from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Arizona Coyotes. Either way, it's a great little accessory to an already great-looking jersey, and even better when you get a clean swatch of it embedded into your cardboard.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Gabriel Dumont 2012-13 The Cup RPA

This one is kind of a repurchase, but mostly just upgrading a patch. A couple years ago, I bought my very first box of Upper Deck The Cup with their 2012-13 release. In addition to an amazing Pavel Bure autographed dual patch card, my RPA was of Gabriel Dumont. Now, I wasn't expecting a big name rookie, as the lockout would prevent most of the big-name rookies that year from making their card debut until 2013-14 products, but I was very disappointed to discover that despite the high price point, my card only had a solid one-colored patch.

Now for anyone who knows me well enough based on what I have written in the past, I HATE solid patches. The whole point of a premium swatch like a patch it to be able to show different colors and some threading, so to just have the one-colored piece really defeats the purpose. Anyway, I had no use for it, so I traded it away for some Penguins cards.

Recently, I was thinking back on that, and decided to try and get my hands on another one of those, but with a much better swatch. I found one for a decent price, and here it is:

2012-13 The Cup 64/249


The patch on this one is MUCH better than the one I pulled. Instead on most likely being from the middle of one of the numbers, this one comes from the nameplate on the back of the jersey. I don't really need a whole lot, just a couple colors and a seam or two, and I'm happy.

Now, if only Dumont could pick up his game a little bit and get called up to the NHL, maybe this card could be even better. He is currently playing with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch, after signing a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning this past off-season.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2016-17 Artifacts Box Break #2

Well, just one week after buying my first box of this year's Artifacts, I found myself at the West Acres Mall getting a few things for my daughters, so of course, I had to stop by my LCS, which is right there. I really just wanted to get some toploaders and puck cases, which weren't in stock, at least in the sizes I needed. Not wanting to leave empty-handed, I decided to try my hand at another box of 2016-17 Artifacts.

I did pretty well on my first one, getting an autographed Evgeni Malkin dual jersey card. I know my luck won't always be so favorable, but I figured I'd give it another shot anyway.

Here's the inserts and hits:

I did ok on the SPs and parallels. I didn't get any rookies, which is ok, since most of these rookies are the lower-level ones who debuted last year. I did, however, get a base SP of Dylan Larkin (493/499), an emerald parallel of Nick Foligno (1/99), and ruby parallels of Teemu Selanne (197/299) and Bob Bourne (273/299)


My Rookie Redemption is for the Chicago Blackhawks, which isn't a bad one to pull. It might be too early to tell, as there has been only one regular season game so far, but potential rookies could be Nick Schmaltz, Gustav Forsling, Tyler Motte, Michael Kempny, or maybe someone who hasn't debuted yet. As a UND Hockey fan, I'm hoping for Schmaltz, but we will have to see.


My first relic is a  Piece de Resistance jersey card of Jason Spezza. The cards look really nice, and the design it simple, which I really like. It's always nice, too, when a player whop changed teams recently has fabric from his new team on the card.


Next, is a Tundra Teammates Quads jersey card of current and former Vancouver Canucks players Trevor Linden, Pavel Bure, Henrik Sedin, and Daniel Sedin, numbered 78/99. It's nice to have a mix of current and old stars, especially when the swatches of the former Canucks contain swatches from those awesome black, red, and yellow jerseys.


Lastly, is the big hit of the break, which is still a mystery. I pulled a Rookie Relic Redemption for rookie number 5. It is the emerald parallel, which I think contains the look of the regular rookie card, but with a jersey swatch and a patch swatch inserted. I'm not sure yet who this will be, although Ebay listings have predicted it as Matthew Tkaczuk, although I'm not sure how they came to that prediction. Anyway, there are five rookies who get this treatment this year, and even though it is number five, it can still be a great player. The most recent #5s include Artemi Panarin, Bo Horvat, Valeri Nichushkin, Cory Conacher,and Brett Connolly. Some have been busts, while last year's won the Calder Trophy, so we'll have to see how this one turns out.


Not quite as good as the first one, but there's still an element of mystery here with the two redemptions. Only time will tell with that Rookie Relic Redemption.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Redemption Replacement that Got Me a Sidney Crosby Autograph

Well, I had always wondered what kind of a redemption replacement I would get for a valuable high-end card, and I got my wish.

Last year, I pulled a redemption from 2013-14 Panini Prime for a card autographed by Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman.

 
I redeemed it immediately with no return, and saw plenty of those cards live on Ebay, so I finally decided to contact Panini and see if they had any to send. They didn't, and offered a replacement. I made the request over the phone, and after being on hold for a few minutes, they came back with an offer, which is something I had yet to experience in the year past of requesting replacements. In exchange for the Howe/Yzerman, which they had "valued" at $150, they offered a Sidney Crosby card "valued" at $200. Well, since mot only am I a Crosby fan, but apparently will never see the Howe/Yzerman, I decided to take it, and here's what I got:

From 2013-14 National Treasures, a hard-signed Sidney Crosby card from the Treasured Trophies insert set. This particular insert set focuses on the awards that are presented to the players, and in the case of Crosby and the Art Ross, the test on the back goes into past Penguins who have won the award, from Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in the '90s, to Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the present day.


The card itself looks amazing. There is a lot of white surface, which I really like for a high-end card. The blue of the autograph really stand out, which is good, because that should be the star of the card. The foil is done with what they refer to as "Holo-Foil," which basically changes color, depending on the angle of light. It came in a thick, magnetic, one-touch case, and I scanned it in that, because my scanner doesn't really do well with these wen they are placed directly on the surface.

Maybe I'm biased, but I am happy with this return. Of course, I would have really liked to have gotten the original card pulled, but all things considered, I think it all worked out well in my favor.