But before we get to that, let's see what else came out of the box.
My Contenders inserts were a Contenders Legacies card of Eric Lindros numbered 773/999, a Daniel Sedin Hart Contenders card numbered 695/999, and a Jonathan Quick Cup Contenders card numbered 254/999.
My Contenders and Elite inserts evened out, as I pulled three cards from Elite, a Michael Stone rookie card numbered 119/999, a Ryan Garbutt rookie card numbered 206/999, and a Pavel Datsyuk Great Outdoors card numbered 305/500.
So far, I was 2-far-2 on pulling autos out of my Prizm box-topper packs, but I struck out on this one, getting just a Stephen Weiss refractor to go with my Andrew Ladd base card and Shawn Hunwick rookie card.
My first hit is a Titanium Game-Worn Gear jersey card of Brad Richards. Richards came to new York as the top free-agent signing of 2011, with a nine-year, $58.5 mil. contract. He struggled during the 2013 playoffs, scoring just one goal in 10 games, causing then-coach John Tortorella to healthy scratch the pricy center. He was believed to be a compliance buy-out this off-season, but GM Glen Sather is sticking with him, believing he just had a bad year.
My first (of three) autographs from this box is a Titanium Bronze Metallic Marks card of Brett Connolly. The 2010 sixth-overall draft pick played in 68 games during the 2011-12 season, but spent most of 2012-13 with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. He made it up to the pro club for five games, scoring one goal.
While this card may seem familiar, it's just slightly different. Box #2 gave me a great-looking Scott Hartnell patch card from Titanium Game-Worn Gear. This one is the "prime jersey" version, numbered 22/50.
The hits just keep getting better, with this Rookie Treasures Philippe Cornet autographed dual patch card numbered 53/99. Both patched appear to be from the team logo on the front of the jersey. Cornet played in just two NHL games during the 2011-12 season, getting an assist on a Jordan Eberle goal in a game against the Colorado Avalanche.
Now for the big hit. Every year, one of Panini's most sought-after inserts is the Rookie Silhouettes cards out of Crown Royale. These cards feature a gigantic square cut-out in the middle of the card, going around the player's image, to create a silhouette. Some have single-colored swatches, some have prime jerseys, some have patches, and some have autographs.
Well, this card is a redemption good for a Martin St. Louis Silhouette...autographed...with a patch...numbered to FIVE!!!!!
Since there isn't a physical card, here are a few others from this set that I pulled from Ebay, to give you all an idea of how awesome this card will be.
And here's a "pre-ink" image of one of the St. Louis cards from Panini's blog on a Rookie Anthology preview post back in April.
Of course, it would have been great to pull the actual card, but I know St. Louis doesn't usually have redemptions, so I imagine these will be returned to Panini soon, if they have not been already. The insane thing to me is what these cards go for on the secondary market. The Hull & Brown were listed at $449.99 and $469.99, both with "best offers" accepted, and a Steve Yzerman redemption was listed for $856.24 with a "best offer" accepted. Unfortunately, due to recent Ebay changes, I can't see what those accepted offers were, or even if they were anywhere near the vicinity of those listed prices, but even those that go to auction rake in some serious coin, with an Antii Niemi bringing in $125.30.
Still, I'm a little bit conflicted on what to do with the card. I haven't redeemed it yet, so my options are up in the air.
First off, I like St. Louis quite a lot, and love his story. He went undrafted, and got his first chance with an NHL team, when the Ottawa Senators offered him a try-out before the 1997-98 season. When that didn't work out, he signed a contract with the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL, with a clause that allowed him to leave if an NHL team offered him a deal. After scoring 56 points in 50 games for Cleveland, the Calgary Flames came calling, and after signing the contract, assigned him to their AHL Affiliate, the St. Johns Flames. He began the next season with St. Johns, but after scoring 26 points in 17 games, he was called up to the main roster, where he scored 3 goals and 15 assists in 56 games. Al Coates, who was the Flames GM at the time, was pleased with his progress and picked up St. Louis's contract option for the following season, but after Coates was fired, the new management team was not interested in retaining his services, so he was bought out of his contract. A few teams expressed interest in St. Louis, but he decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning, mostly because they gave him the biggest opportunity to give him playing time in the NHL. Since then, St. Louis has played in six All Star Games (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), and has won the Art Ross Trophy twice (2004, 2013), the Lady Byng Trophy three times (2010, 2011, 2013), and in 2004 won the Hart Trophy as the MVP voted on by the hockey writers and Lester B. Pearson Trophy as MVP voted on by the NHLPA. Oh yeah, he also won the Stanley Cup in 2004, and did so against the Calgary Flames, the team that rejected him just four years earlier.
So here's the way I look at it. If I decide not to keep it, similar to when I sold my Dominik Hasek patch card from 2012-13 SP Game Used Edition and used the funds to purchase a Mario Lemieux stick card from the same set, I would want to use the funds from the St. Louis to purchase a card I like more from the same set. Looking at the checklist, I'd be ok parting with St. Louis for Silhouette cards of Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, Joe Sakic, Brett Hull, Jonathan Toews, and Jarome Iginla (if he resigns with the Pens, which is unlikely). But really, based on what St. Louis's cards go for on the secondary market, I'm not sure if he'd even pull in Hull or Toews money, much less Lemieux or Howe.
What do you all think?
UPDATE: I just checked Panini's redemption reports for the past month or so, and as of June 14th, the St. Louis Silhouettes have been returned to Panini, so the card is ready to be shipped out by whoever redeems the card.