1/1 Prime Ties card out of a box of 2012-13 Panini Prime, I'd be foolish to try another one, right? I mean, there's no way my luck could possibly continue, so the only way left to go is down, right? Well, against my better judgement (and by "better judgement," I mean "superstition") I decided to try one more box.
I wasn't expecting another epic hit like the Prime Ties card, but truthfully, I think this is a strong enough product, that it's worth giving another shot.
Of course, there are the Prime pack guarantees. You get a base card, an autographed quad jersey rookie card, a memorabilia card, an autographed card, and one additional hit from any of those categories. This year also, you get a two-card Dominion pack, which contains one base card and one Dominion hit, most of which are either autographed patch cards or Engravatures cards. Even though my chances of matching Box #1 are pretty slim, no matter what, I'm sure I'll find some really cool and unique cards to add to my collection. On the other hand, I may just get lucky enough to have lightning strike twice with Panini Prime.
Anyway, let's see how I did.
Ondrej Pavelec Emerald Base Parallel 5/5
Right off the bat, I hit big with an extremely rare card of the Winnipeg Jets' goaltender. Like most parallels, these are just like the base cards, but contain a different colored foil. What I REALLY like about this card, is that the way the picture is positioned, the emerald serial number ended up falling right on the white stick tape, which really makes the low numbering stand out.
Matt Duchene Autographed Patch Card 14/60
This is actually my second autographed patch card of the Colorado Avalanche center. Earlier this year, I picked up a Peerless Patches card of his from 2011-12 Dominion, and I must say, both of them look fantastic. The Avalanche are good for providing great-looking multi-colored patches, and the blue ink used for the signature fits right along with the team's color scheme.
Erik Karlsson Holo Silver Base Parallel 7/10
I got pretty lucky here in that both of my base cards are super-rare parallels. Not only that, but I got a good one here, with the 2011-12 Norris Trophy winner. Here you see what difference the right colored foil can make on a certain background. On my scanner, the holo-foil of the player's name, team, and product logo really stand out, while the plain silver serial number blends in way too much with that black background.
Jussi Rynnas Prime Rookies Quad Jersey Auto 19/249
Even though these cards contain four memorabilia swatches, it seems as though a lot, but not all, of these cards contain four swatches of the same color, which kind of defeats the purpose, especially when all four are solid white. Rynnas played a total of three NHL games over two seasons, with a 0-1 record and 3.84 GAA. After the 2012-13 season, he left the Maple Leafs organization and signed a two-year contract with Oulun Kärpät of the SM-liiga (Finland).
Carey Price/Robert Mayer Quad Prime Jersey 1/50
If this card looks familiar, it's because I pulled the base (single-colored swatches) version in my first box, but this version is MUCH cooler. Also, I really appreciate how Panini took the time to make sure that each swatch piece was represented with two different colors, instead of a dreaded one-colored patch.
John Tavares/Casey Cizikas Quad Prime Jersey 8/25
Like the previous card, all four swatches here are represented with two different colors. Also like the previous card, we have a team's current star sharing the spotlight with a rookie teammate. There is definitely some potential here with this one, as Tavares was a Hart Trophy finalist last season and was recently named team captain, and Cizikas garnered some attention in the playoffs by scoring two goals and two assists in the six-game first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Gordie Howe/Mark Howe Dual Auto 7/10
Here's the big one. Among all these other fantastic cards is an autograph of Gordie Howe, one of the greatest hockey players of all-time, along with his son and fellow Hall-of-Famer, Mark Howe. Both autographs are on-card and both father and son are pictured in Detroit Red Wings uniforms. They played together with the Houston Aeros of the WHA and the New England/Hartford Whalers of the WHA/NHL, but they never suited up in the red and white together, with Gordie playing in Detroit from 1946-1971 and Mark from 1992-1995. Still, I like that attention to detail.
It's rare to find any hit of a sport's legend, especially an autographed one, and I was absolutely stunned when I pulled this one out of the pack. There's a lot of other sports that just don't have their biggest legends around anymore, so as a hockey fan, I feel very fortunate that Mr. Hockey is still able to be involved, not only with the hobby content, but with the sport itself. Not only that, but two be able to share it with his son, is something pretty special.
I wanted to pick up this second box of Prime, just to find something unique and different. I didn't expect to find something legendary.
Now I just have to figure out where this fits in with my Top Pulls of 2013. It's definitely either 1 or 2, right next to the Chay Genoway Prime Ties I pulled from my first box of Prime. On one hand, the Genoway is a 1/1 and a unique card in itself, with it being so substantial in thickness, that it couldn't even be inserted in packs, being substituted with a redemption for the actual card. Plus, the simple monetary value, I think, is higher.
On the other hand, we're dealing with one of an on-card auto, numbered to 10, of one of the greatest players who has ever, and will ever, play the game of hockey. Genoway has one NHL game under his belt, and is on his second team. "Mr. Hockey" played professional hockey in SIX different decades, ending his career with 801 goals and 1,049 assists in the NHL (plus an additional 174 goals and 334 assists in the WHA), is a 23-time NHL All-Star, six-time Hart Trophy winner, six-time Art Ross Trophy winner, four-time Stanley Cup Champion, and still holds the NHL records for most regular-season games played (1,767), most regular-season games played with a single team (1,687), most NHL seasons played (26, tied with Chris Chelios), most consecutive 20-goal seasons (22), most All-Star Game appearances (23), and oldest player to play in the NHL (52 years, 11 days). He also had a lot more records before some guy named Gretzky came along.
So, yeah, I didn't think it would happen so quickly, but I have a new No. 1 for 2013.