My curiosity got the best of me at my LCS a week or so ago and I decided to go all in with a box of 11-12 Panini Crown Royale. The product is an all-die-cut set featuring current players, retired players, and rookies. Each box contains four packs of five cards, with one of those cards being an autograph or relic.
Pack 1: Tim Thomas, Henrik Lundqvist, Dion Phaneuf, Mattias Ekholm, Joe Vitale Auto
While normally, I'd be happy with an autograph of a Penguins rookie, this is my second time to pull Vitale from this product. Unfortunately, Vitale sells for next to nothing on ebay, so it looks like I'll be holding on to it, unless there are any other Penguins fans out there who are interested.
Pack 2:Mike Richards, Alex Pietrangelo, Kyle Okposo, Sidney Crosby Ice Kings, Luke Adam Calder Collection 98/99
The Ice Kings card is great -looking with a black-and-white painting for the photo and a paper frame around the border. The Luke Adam auto is a sticker, which I really don't have a problem with, and the almost-ebay-1-of-1 serial number is a cool touch.
Pack 3: Logan Couture, Ray Whitney, Kari Lehtonen, Alex Ovechkin All the King's Men Blue Jersey Relic, Marc-Andre Fleury Ruby Parallel
The Fleury Ruby card is nice, but with such a limited run on this product, I'm surprised they didn't stamp a serial number on the back. Despite kind of being a rival to Crosby, I always love pulling a hit from Alex Ovechkin.
Pack 4: Trevor Linden, Steven Stamkos, Taylor Hall, In Harm's Way James Reimer, Mika Zibanejad Rookie Silhouettes Auto/Prime Jersey Redemption
The Rookie Silhouettes set is the big draw of Crown Royale, and was easily the hit of the box. The card features a full-color image of the player on front, with space cut our around him for the jersey swatch. If you can find any photos of these check them out, They are absolutely stunning cards, and this redemption sold on ebay for $15 less than I paid for the entire box.
I also decided a few days later whn picking up some other products, to try my luck with two more packs.
Pack 1: T.J. Oshie, Jimmy Howard, Mike Richards, Mattias Ekholm, Roman Horak Auto
Pack 2: Patrick Kane, Ilya Kovalchuk, Shane Doan, Daniel Sedin Ice Kings, Jeff Carter Scratching the Surface Auto
It's still too early to see if Horak will have any kind of impact on the league, but the Jeff Carter auto is a cool looking card. It is signed on an image of an ice rink and is inset into the card. I seem to be pulling the crap out of Blue Jackets lately, but you could do a whole lot worse than that one.