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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, July 31, 2013

2 Packs of Rookie Anthology

Here's a short post.

I grabbed 2 packs of 2012-13 Rookie Anthology. One pack contained an auto. The other pack didn't.

Pack 1: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Dion Phaneuf, Braden Holtby, Max Pacioretty, Nick Foligno


Pack 2: Brandon Sutter, Carey Price, Brandon Dubinsky, Scott Cemmensen, Justin Falk Titanium Auto


I loved pulling an autograph of a player from my current state of residence. Unfortunately, he just got traded to the Rangers.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Damaged Hit Replacement From Panini

When I opened up my first box of 2012-13 Rookie Anthology, I was happy to see a Prime Jersey Crown Royale card numbered 19/25 of Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky. I liked the card, and it turned out to be one of the best hits out of the box, but the problem was, there was a HUGE ding in the bottom right-hand corner of the card. It's not the end of the world, and I've done the same thing to cards myself while trying to place them in penny sleeves. Still, it isn't something you want to see in a card pulled fresh out of a pack. So, I send the card to Panini, asking for a replacement. A couple weeks later, I got a manilla envelope from Irving, TX with the following card:


As it turns out, Panini must have produced me a brand new card. Not only is it the same player, but the same serial number, and if you compare it to the one I pulled from the box, you can see a difference in the jersey swatch. They stood by their product, and when something didn't go right, they made good on it. What more could you ask for?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Trade with Sportscards from the Dollar Store

I don't know if I can really call this a "trade," as much as it is, someone just sent me a bunch of cards in the mail. Either way, Doug, who writes at Sportscards from the Dollar Store, sent me a bag of set-collecting goodies, and in the process, completed TWO sets I have been working on.

Here's what he sent me:


2009-10 Upper Deck - 3 Cards (1 card left!!!)
2010-11 Upper Deck - 6 Cards
2012-13 Upper Deck - 1 Card (COMPLETE!!!)
2011-12 Certified - 1 Card
2012-13 Certified - 1 Card (COMPLETE!!!)
2011-12 Titanium - 14 Cards
2012 Allen & Ginter - 2 Cards

While I like to brag on a lot of these posts on how many great autographs and memorabilia cards I pull, it's just as satisfying to be able to complete a set. Thanks for all the help!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Topps Redemption Redeemed: 2013 Topps Miguel Cabrera Triple Crown Relic

After a few months of waiting, I finally got the card I was owed from a redemption I redeemed back in March. Due to Miguel Cabrera being the first man in 45 years to win the Triple Crown, Topps wanted to recognize the rare feat with a 10-card relic set. My theory is that since the feat happened at the very end of the season, Topps was too far into the production cycle to add the cards into packs, so they just inserted redemptions, which would allow them to acquire the memorabilia and produce the cards, without delaying the release of Series 1. Either way, all 10 cards have finally been produced and are making their way to collectors.


They may have made everyone wait on these, but they definitely made it worth it by how they treated these cards. Topps went all out on these, starting with a foil coating that can grab anyone's attention, with the relic piece proudly displayed in the middle of the baseball diamond. They also die cut all four sides, which helps make the card extra special. After all, if we are to believe that this accomplishment is a big deal, the tribute set to it should treat it as a big deal.


There are 10 of these cards, but when purchasing the redemption, I specifically went after card TCR-10. The way I figured, they would likely do a chronological look at the season, with card number ten either saying something or showing something about Cabrera reaching the accomplishment. As it turns out, I was right. I'm not sure if the photo on the front is from the final game, but the text on the back references the last game of the season, and actually show that even though he ended up on top, there was still a tight race for a few of the categories.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Topps Redemption Redeemed: 2013 Gypsy Queen Billy Williams Auto

About a week ago, I just so happened to check my Topps redemption account, just to see if there were any updates to the three I have out. Unlike Panini, Topps really doesn't give you much information at all, and doesn't send out any information about which autographs have been sent in for redemption fulfillment, so it's up to you to check in on it, or just wait until a manilla envelope shows up in your mailbox. Anyway, I checked my account and found out that two of them would soon be on their way, including this Billy Williams autograph from 2013 Gypsy Queen.


I pulled this redemption is a case break hosted by The Daily Dimwit, and was thrilled with the opportunity, as at that time, I did not have a Williams auto in my collection. I don't have a problem with redemptions, considering that if Topps had not done that, then the auto could have easily been Jeurys Familia or Yasmani Grandal, and I'd MUCH rather wait a couple months for the autograph of a Baseball Hall-of-Famer and Chicago Cubs legend.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Upper Deck Redemption Replacement Requested: It's a Bit of a Risk, But Let's See How It Goes

Two months ago, I opened up a mini box of 2012-13 Fleer Retro Hockey, and was pretty excited to pull this card:


If you can't read the faded type on the card, this is a redemption for a base parallel autograph of Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. I was happy to see this card, even as a redemption, because I'm a fan of Quick's, and it would be a welcome addition to the collection. However, two months later, I came to realize that there are plenty of other Quick autos out there at a reasonable price, so I decided to try out Upper Deck's replacement process.

I put my request in this morning, giving them recommendations of the Pittsburgh Penguins cards, specifically Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux, and Evgeni Malkin, as well as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. It may be a bit of a stretch for some of them, but seeing what Quick's autos fetch on the secondary market, my request isn't that unreasonable. I also told them that if they can't replace it with a hockey card, I'd rather keep the redemption open and wait on it.

I've had a great experience with Panini's redemption department, but this is my first redemption experience of any kind with Upper Deck, so I'm curious to see how it works out.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2012-13 Limited Monikers Evgeni Malkin Redemption

With 2012-13 Panini Limited Monikers being one of my favorite insert sets of the year, it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on all the Penguins included in the set. It wasn't too hard with there being only two, and after getting Marc-Andre Fleury, it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on the Evgeni Malkin.


Well, it isn't here yet. I bought the redemption, but as far as I know, he has sent these cards back to Panini, so it's only a matter of time before I get it in my hands. Unlike some autos, Panini can't go into their archives of stickers, as each of these cards are autographed on a white piece of fabric next to an embroidered team logo. Here's a look at my Fleury, just to show what the crds will kind of look like.


The Malkin is going to be an awesome card. I can't wait!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Redemption Replacement Roulette: 2-For-1 Simon Despres Autographed Jersey Card

It's time for another round of Redemption Replacement Roulette. This time, I called in replacements on two redemptions: a 2012 Certified Football Michael Egnew Freshman Fabric autograph and a 2012-13 Timeless Treasures Basketball Sean Elliott autograph.

Well, apparently, the folks at Panini were unable to find Penguins cards of "equal value" for those cards individually, so instead, they combined the value of those two cards and found me a replacement equal to the combined value of the two. What I ended up with was a 2011-12 Certified Freshmen Fabrics Signature card of Penguins defenseman Simon Despres, numbered 196/299.


This is actually the second version of this card that I have received as a redemption replacement. The first one is a gold parallel, featuring a three-colored prime jersey swatch, numbered to 25, that I received as a damaged hit replacement for a dinged up hit that I pulled from 2012 Rookies & Stars Football. It may not seem like much, but when you compare what I paid for the two redemptions with how much this Despres card is going for on Ebay, I ended up coming out ahead on this one.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

2013-14 Upper Deck Trilogy Box Break and Review (Featuring a 1:1,859 Auto!!!)

The 2012-13 NHL season has barely finished off, but we already have 2013-14 hockey card products in release. Panini came out with Score earlier this week, and Upper Duck put out Trilogy, officially beginning the 2013-14 hockey card collecting season.

The big draw with the 2013-14 products are the "Double Rookie Class," but that doesn't really matter for this release. Since players cannot be featured on an NHL card until they have played in an NHL game, none of the 2013 draft class will make an appearance, which essentially limits the "Double Rookie Class" to a "Single Rookie Class." Either way, collectors can finally find official rookie cards of guys like Jonathan Huberdeau, Nail Yakupov, Vladimir Terasenko, Alex Galchenyuk, and other rookies who made their debut during the 2012-13 season.

Each full box of Trilogy contains three "mini boxes," and each mini box contains three packs, and each pack contains a few base cards and one "hit." So, in total, each full box will contain nine hits. Of those nine hits, there will be three autographed rookie cards, two triple jersey cards, one Signature Pucks card, one plexiglass UD Crystal Card, one plexiglass Ice Scripts or Clear Cut Combos card, and one additional autographed card.

Here's a look at every card pulled out of the box. I separated these by mini-box, which contains three packs each, so just in case you don't want to fork over the cash for a full box, you can at least see what just one mini-box will get you, should you decide to go that route.

Mini-Box 1
Base Cards: Ryan Miller, Paul Coffey, Nicklas Lidstrom, Trevor Linden, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Eric Lindros


Teemu Selanne, Patrice Bergeron, Anze Kopitar, Phil Kessel, Jaroslav Halak


Ryan Spooner Rookie Premieres Level 1 347/699
Each rookie actually has three rookie cards in this set, at levels 1-3. Each card is serial-numbered differently, as Level 1 is /699, Level 2 is /399, and Level 3 is /49. All are autographed, and instead of a different colored foil, each variation features a different photo and card design. This card is of Ryan Spooner, Boston's second round pick in the 2010 draft. He just made it up to the NHL for four games during the 2012-13 season, but failed to register a point.


Star Spotlight National Trios: Jaromir Jagr, Tomas Plekanec, Patrik Elias
Each box contains two triple jersey cards, one of which is National Trios. This insert set puts together three players from the same country, and in this case, the Czech Republic is featured. It does contain a Jaromir Jagr swatch, which is good, but unfortunately, it has a Bruins picture and a Rangers swatch. No Penguins gear to be seen.


Signature Pucks Ron Hextall
These cards feature a "manufactured relic" of a rubber hockey puck, autographed in gold ink by the featured player. This one is of Ron Hextall, and is from Group B. With Trilogy, Upper Deck not only released the insertion odds for their inserts, but they also released which cards in those sets were the rarest. For example, Group A would be most rare, Group B would be next, and so on. Specifically here, the Group B cards are inserted at 1:92 packs, or every nine boxes.


Mini-Box 2
Base Cards: Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash, Jaromir Jagr, Dominik Hasek, Tuukka Rask


Jari Kurri, John Tavares, Dave Schultz, Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty, Ryan Kesler


Crystal Greats Mats Sundin
These cards are sort of new to the Upper Deck line. The name is new, but they are very similar to their Frozen in Time inserts that came in earlier versions of Trilogy. Each of these cards come on a thick plexiglass material and have kind of a shadowbox effect, with the player photo and name printed on the front, and the background printed on the back. The Sundin is from Tier 1, which is 1:66 packs.


Trilogy Rookie Premieres Level 2 Mikhail Grigorenko 129/399
If you compare this card to the Spooner, you can see the differences not only in what type of picture was used, but also in the overall card design. After being selected in the first round (12th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Grigorenko made a quick jump to the NHL. He played in 25 games for the Sabres during the 2012-13 season, scoring one goal and four assists.


Eric Lindros Base Card Parallel Auto
Here's the big one. It may not look like much, as all they really did was take the base card, fade out the bottom of the photo and slap a sticker on it, and really, it didn't look like much to me at first. Now don't get me wrong, I was very happy to pull a Lindros auto, and have been wanting to get my hands on for some time, so this was a fantastic pull for me already. I didn't know how great of a pull this was until I looked it up
on Ebay to see the going rate, just out of curiosity, and found nothing.

Well, it's a new product, so I figured maybe no one had the chance to list theirs quite yet. The next thing I did was look up the odds of pulling these cards. Now I didn't think it would be that rare, since it is just a base card variation, but imagine my surprise when I discovered that Lindros is in Group A, which is inserted at a rate of 1:1859 packs!!!!!

That's 1:206 boxes!

Or 1:26 cases!

I was in shock.

Needless to say, I immediately threw it on Ebay at a ridiculous BIN/OBO price, just to see what it would go for. The only players featured as Group A autographed base card parallels are Joe Sakic, Ilya Kovalchuk, Eric Lindros, Mario Lemieux, and Sidney Crosby.


Anyway, on with the break.

Mini-Box 3
Base Cards: Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla, Marc-Andre Fleury, Gabriel Landeskog, Zdeno Chara, Pavel Datsyuk, Bryan Trottier


Claude Giroux, Jonas Hiller, Jason Spezza, Markus Naslund, David Backes, Braden Holtby


Star Spotlight Past, Present & Future Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf, Rickard Rakell
I would explain what the idea behind this particular insert is, but it's pretty self-explanatory. Featured here are two Stanley Cup winners with the Ducks, both of whom have served as team captain, along with Rakell, who doesn't even get his name spelled correctly on this card.


Rookie Premieres Level 2 Ryan Murphy 145/399
Even though Level 2 is more rare than Level 1, I actually pulled two Level 2s. This one is of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ryan Murphy. Like Spooner and Rackell, Murphy played in four NHL games during the 2012-13 season, but failed to register a point. Still, it's too early to tell where some of these players will end up. Let's hope they are able to make it back up to the NHL and continue their development.


Ice Scripts Bill Barber
Like the Crystal cards, Ice Scripts are printed on a clear plexiglass material. There's less of a shadowbox effect on these, but they all feature an on-card autograph on the clear surface in the middle. It is kind of funny, though, that the big hits out of each of these three mini-boxes are former Philadelphia Flyers players, which is not usually what a Penguins fan wants to see when breaking open a box. Still, at least they are all of players that I kind of like, even though I loathe the team they played for. The only drawback with this one is that the ink came out pretty faded, as you can see. I'm going to try and contact Upper Deck this week and see if they do any kind of replacement for something like this. The Barber comes from Group D, which is inserted at 1:13 packs, so I'm sure they have plenty of extras laying around.


I must say, judging from this particular break, that this product has GREAT value for your money, even at the mini-box level. For me, at least, each one contained one autographed rookie, one veteran/retired player autograph, and either a triple jersey card or Crystal card. In my opinion, getting a good mix of rookies and veterans, along with some cool, unique hits makes this product a must-have. I've got a feeling I'll be spending a lot more money on Trilogy this year.

Topps Redemptions Finally On the Way

I just so happened to check my Topps redemption account this weekend, and sure enough, here's what I was pleasantly surprised to discover:

 

Sure enough, both my Miguel Cabrera Series 1 Triple Crown Relic Card and Billy Williams Gypsy Queen Autograph have been shipped. I'm not sure when they got sent out or even if they got sent out together, but as soon as they show up in my mailbox, I'll be sure to get them posted.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Looks like I'll be heading to Minneapolis April 5

Well, the NHL schedule was released, along with the divisions and their names. While people pretend to be outraged over the newly-named "Metropolitan Division," what I was looking forward to was the release of the Minnesota Wild's 2013-14 schedule.


Last year, when I moved up to Fargo, ND (and now just over the Red River in Moorhead, MN), one thing I was looking forward to was being able to catch an NHL game in Minneapolis. Granted, it would take almost a four-hour drive to get to the Twin Cities, but my cousin lives there, and he's just as big a Penguins fan as I am, so it was certain to be a fun time. Unfortunately, because of the lockout, that didn't happen.

This time, though, we are guaranteed a full season, and I knew that each team would make at least one appearance, so I was ready to find out when the Pens would be coming to town. It's pretty late in the season, but on April 5, 2014, it's going down!


GAME ON!!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

1993-94 Leaf Mario Lemieux Collection

After seeing a post a couple of months ago on the Shoebox Legends blog about the 1993-94 Leaf Mario Lemieux Collection insert set, I decided I had to have them for myself. I have no idea what the insertion rate of these cards in the Leaf set were, but I do know that they split them up, with cards 1-5 in Series 1 and 6-10 in Series 2. Either way, the best way to do it is to save yourself the frustration and hard work, and just to purchase the set off of Ebay.

The set pays tribute to Lemieux, who was the poster-boy for the Leaf set that year. The cards all spotlight Lemieux at different points in his career up to that point, but there was still much more for him to accomplish. Anyway, here's a look at the cards that pay tribute to the first half of Lemieux's legendary career.


1. Header Card
This card basically summarizes the tribute set, pointing out that, at least at that point, Lemieux had already won four scoring titles, played in six All-Star Games, and led the Penguins to two Stanley Cups.


2. Quebec Major Junior Player of the Year
3. First Overall Pick in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft
4. 1984-85 Calder Trophy Winner


5. 1987-88 Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy Winner
6. Two-Time Conn Smythe Trophy Winner
7. Six-Time NHL All-Star


8. Penguins Capture First Stanley Cup
9. 1992-93: Mario Lemieux's Best Season Ever!
10. Mario's Magnificent Career

Also, as the header card pointed out, Lemieux would be turning 28 at the beginning of the 1993-94 season. TWENTY-EIGHT!!! There's nothing like seeing what pro athletes are able to accomplish so early on to make me think I haven't done much at all with my life at 32.

Anyway, still on the horizon for Lemieux was a battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which he announced in Jan. 2003. He had years to go in his battle with the disease but on the same day that he had his last radiation treatment of the initial round in early 1993, he traveled to Philadelphia for a game against the Flyers, and scored a goal and an assist, and helped the Penguins win an NHL-record 17 consecutive games, on their way to a franchise-record 119 points. Oh, and that same season, he scored an average of 2.67 points per game, on the way to his fourth scoring title, the Art Ross Trophy, Hart Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award, NHL Plus/Minus Award, Bill Masterton Trophy, First Team NHL All-Star, and ESPY NHL Player of the Year Award. This was all despite missing almost two months in the middle of the season for his radiation treatment.

Damn.

Since then, Lemieux won an Olympic Gold Medal (2002), Hart Trophy (1996), Lester B. Pearson Award (1996), Lester Patrick Trophy (2000), and ESPN Hockey Player of the Decade (2000). He also won his third Stanley Cup, this time as a part-owner of the Penguins, in 2009. He retired in 1997, and was inducted into the Hall-of-Fame that year, becoming the ninth player to have his three-year waiting period waived. He returned to the NHL late in 2000, and despite missing three seasons of hockey  finished the 2000-01 campaign with 35 goals and 41 assists in just 43 games!


Lemieux also holds what I think is the most INSANE sports accomplishment of any sport. On December 31, 1988 in a game against the New Jersey Devils, Lemieux managed to score five goals, five different ways, going even-strength, power play, short-handed, penalty shot, and empty net.

To break it down, Lemieux scoring goals is not that uncommon. He had a total of 690 in his NHL career, including 236 on the power play, and 49 short-handed. He scored a total of 40 hat tricks during his career, but those goals could have been scored in any manner, so if he were to do so by scoring one goal each of those three ways, that would have been pretty cool. But with multiple penalties being called on both sides during a given game, there are opportunities every game to score goals in that way, and as prolific of a scorer as Lemieux was, he would certainly be on both the penalty kill and power play squads.

The other two ways, though, are not quite as common. A penalty shot occurs when a player on a team has a clear breakaway opportunity at the net, but interference from an opposing player prevents the opportunity. I'm not sure how often this happens during the regular season, but to give some perspective, during the Stanley Cup Finals, only 46 penalty shots have occurred, with just 10 becoming goals. So not only do they rarely occur, but only 20 percent of the time, does it actually result in a goal.

So now we're at four goals, but the funny thing with this circumstance, is that goal #5, the empty-netter, actually depends on the performance of the opposition. For one thing, Lemieux has already scored four goals, so at the very least, New Jersey would have needed three to put them at a close enough reach to pull their goaltender. The problem is, in addition to scoring four goals, up to this point, he also recorded three assists on teammates' goals, giving the Penguins seven. As fortune would have it, New Jersey had six goals. High scoring games in hockey aren't uncommon, but they don't occur every day. Plus, it's a little rare, that when one team scores that many goals in a game for them to be on the losing end. But there they were, the Penguins are up 7-6 in the final minutes of the game, when the Devils pull their goaltender for an extra attacker, and Lemieux finds the back of the net at 19:59, with just one second left to go. Now, had the Devils not found a way to score six goals in a losing effort this accomplishment never could have happened.

I've always believed that great opportunities come to players all the time, but what separates the greats from the legends is that when presented with those opportunities, the legends just simply find a way to make it happen.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Trade with The Chronicles of Fuji

Fuji over at The Chronicles of Fuji is putting together the set of Fan Favorites autographed cards from 2013 Topps Archives, and since he needed to Mookie Wilson I pulled from the one hobby box I opened a couple of months ago, I sent it over in exchange for a couple really good cards for my collection.

-1998 Donruss Signature Series Kerry Wood Auto
After the Sweet Spot Signatures card of Wood that I traded for in May of last year, this is only my second autograph of his, and it almost is a rookie card. Even though he made his major league debut in 1998, his rookies were actually from 1997. Wood rose to fame during his rookie season when he struck out 20 batters in a single game against the Houston Astros, and it was only fitting in 2012, when he faced his final batter before his retirement, he struck him out.


-2005-06 SPX Winning Combos Zigmund Palffy/Mark Recchi Dual Jersey 47/350


Both of these players are featured as Penguins, but contain jersey swatches from other team. The Palffy swatch comes from a Los Angeles Kings jersey and the Recchi from a Philadelphia Flyers jersey. I know this, because Upper Deck actually went through the effort of identifying those teams on the back of the card. They both have swatches from other teams, because they were just signed to the Penguins before the 2005-06 season. Palffy would play just 42 games of the 2005-06 season before retiring, but Recchi still had another six seasons left, and won two more Stanley Cups, but with different teams. He won with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 after a mid-season trade, and with the Boston Bruins in 2011, his last NHL season.

A simple trade, but some REALLY cool additions. Thanks!

end

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Panini Redemption Redeemed: 2012-13 Limited Monikers Cody Goloubef /499

Two months and two days after opening up Box #3 of 2012-13 Panini Limited Hockey, I finally got my hands on my guaranteed autograph. The one-pack box revealed a redemption good for an autographed Phenoms card of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Cody Goloubef. The card, numbered 322/499, arrived in my mailbox and despite not being a huge Blue Jackets fan, I was happy to finally get my hands on it.


Goloubef played in just one NHL game during the 2011-12 season to earn him this card, but the defenseman picked it up this year, making to 11 games with the pro club. He scored his first, and so far only, NHL goal February 11th. The second round draft pick of the Blue Jackets in 2008, Goloubef's three-year entry-level contract expired at the end of the 2012-13 season, and he is now listed as a restricted free agent.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Likely Players for My 2012-13 Panini Limited Rookie Redemptions

Upper Deck recently announced the players who will be produced as redemptions for the rookie redemption cards inserted into 2012-13 Artifacts. Due to restrictions from the NHLPA due to the lockout, only rookies debuting in 2011-12 would be able to be included in packs, and newer players would not be able to be printed until the season is over, essentially pushing them back exclusively to 2013-14 releases.

Anyway, while I don't have any Artifacts redemptions, I do have a few from it's Panini counterpart, the rookie redemption cards from 2012-13 Limited. I have four in total from the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and New Jersey Devils. Even though things may be different, I decided to take a look at who the Artifacts rookies are for those four teams, as a way to predict which players I would be likely to get for my Limited Rookies.






Pittsburgh Penguins - Beau Bennett
On a team loaded with defensive prospects, Bennett is Pittsburgh's top forward of the future. In 26 games with the Penguins, the 2010 first-round draft pick scored three goals and 11 assists in his debut season.


New York Rangers - J.T. Miller
A 2011 first-round pick, Miller played most of the 2012-13 season with the AHL's Hartford Wolfpack. He did, however, make it up to the pro club for 26 games, scoring two goals and two assists.

 Toronto Maple Leafs - Mike Kostka
Although currently a Maple Leaf, Kostka was originally signed by the Buffalo Sabres, and when he couldn't latch onto that team, signed with the Florida Panthers. Then, six months later, he was traded by Florida to the Tampa Bay Lightning. After that contract ran out, he signed with the Maple Leafs, where he finally made it to the NHL, scoring eight assists in 35 games during the 2012-13 season.

New Jersey Devils - Stefan Matteau
The Son of former NHLer Stephane Matteau, Stefan made his NHL debut during the 2012-13 season, scoring one goal and two assists in 17 games. He caused quite a bit of controversy while with his QMJHL team, when he left the team during the playoffs, due to the coach benching him. Matteau was released by his junior team soon after. He still is a member of the New Jersey Devils and will be competing for a roster spot when training camp opens.

So, that's how it's looking right now, but who knows? As long as I get Bennett for the Penguins redemption I'll be a happy camper.

Here's the question though. Both card companies are going to be making the "Dual Rookie Class" a MAJOR selling point for their 2013-14 releases, but what does that mean for these cards? Are the 2013-14 rookie cards meaningless if they have a rookie card in two 2012-13 sets, even if they are redemptions? Or, do these cards basically serve as an "XRC" and only the 2013-14 rookie cards will be considered their "true" rookie cards?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

2013 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees

Earlier today, the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees were announced. Three NHL legends, one former NHL coach, and one of Canada's most decorated female hockey players will officially be inducted on November 11, 2013, but for now, here's a look at the players receiving the honor.

Chris Chelios
Stanley Cup (1986, 2002, 2008)
Norris Trophy (1989, 1993, 1996)
  Messier Leadership Award (2007)
NHL First All-Star Team (1989, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002)

Brendan Shanahan
Stanley Cup (1997, 1998, 2002)
King Clancy Trophy (2003)
NHL First-Team All-Star (1994, 2000)

Scott Niedermayer
Stanley Cup (1995, 2000, 2003, 2007)
Norris Trophy (2004)
Conn Smythe Trophy (2007)
NHL First-Team All-Star (2004, 2006, 2007)

Fred Shero (Coach)
Stanley Cup (1974, 1975)
Jack Adams Award (1974)
Lester Patrick Award (1980)

Geraldine Heaney
Third woman elected to Hockey Hall of Fame
IIHF World Championship Gold Medal (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001)
Winter Olympics Gold Medal (2002)
Winter Olympics Silver Medal (1998)
IIHF World Championship Best Defenseman (1992, 1994)

Congratulations to these five inductees. Now, time to update my Hockey HOF Relic Project.

2012-13 Panini Limited Penguins Rookie Redemption

While I pulled rookie redemptions cards from 2012-13 Panini Limited of the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs (twice), I had to go to the secondary market to get one for the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Like what Upper Deck did with Artifacts, these cards are good for rookies who made their NHL debut during the 2012-13 season, but due to the CBA restrictions, their rookie cards would not be able to be printed at the time of the product's release. The redemptions are good for cards that will be printed of these rookies at a later date, when the companies are allowed to begin production on these rookies.


Upper Deck just released the names of the players that will be utilized for their Artifacts rookies, and if Panini follows along with the same players, this card will be good for a Beau Bennett Limited rookie card. Bennett was drafted in the first round (20th overall) by the Penguins in the 2010 NHL Entry draft and spent the next two seasons with the University of Denver before turning pro. He began the 2012-13 season with the AHL's Wilkes -Barre Scranton Penguins, and soon after, was called up to the Penguins. His first NHL goal came on February 24th against former Penguins goaltender Mathieu Garon.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Few Cool Cards from Ebay

Here's what happens when you have just a little bit of money in your Paypal account, and find a few good $1 auctions.

- 2012-13 Limited Ron Francis Jumbo Prime Jersey 35/49
Okay, so in the interest of full disclosure, this one actually ran me a bit more than a buck. I had to fork over a whole $4.51, but the rest were each a dollar. Anyway, despite that fact, how could I resist picking up a jumbo two-colored jersey card of an NHL Hall-of-Famer, and a man who was a big reason that the Penguins won their first two Stanley Cups?


-2012-13 Titanium Chris Chelios Game-Worn Gear
I'll always see Chelios as a Blackhawk, mostly because that's where he was when I first started following hockey, but considering that he won two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings, as opposed to his zero with the Hawks, I'm ok with him in the red and white. Chelios is currently in his first year of eligibility for the Hockey Hall of Fame, and that vote will be taken on July 9th. I'm pretty sure I'll be adding this card to my Hockey HOF Relic Project on November 11th, when Chelios (as long as he gets voted in) is inducted to the HOF.


-2012-13 Limited Brenden Dillon Phenoms 391/499
Unlike a lot of rookies from the 2012-13 sets, Dillon actually spent the entire NHL season with his pro club, playing in all 48 games of the lockout-shortened season.  During his pro season, he scored 3 goals and 5 assists, with 65 penalty minutes. He also earned his first Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, and fight in same game) on Feb. 1, 2013 in a game against the Phoenix Coyotes.


-2012-13 Limited Colby Robak Phenoms 256/499
The Panthers' 2008 second-round draft pick played in just three NHL games during the 2011-12 season, but made it up for 16 during 2012-13. In those games, he scored just one assist, with 17 penalty minutes.


-2012-13 Limited J.T. Brown Phenoms 257/499
I'm always biased toward USHL alumni, even though  my hometown Fargo Force have yet to have a player make it to the NHL. Brown, who played for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL, went undrafted, but signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning in March 2012, Brown played five games for the Lightning during the 2011-12 season, scoring one assist. His 2012-13 season was spent with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.


There ya go. Five great cards for $12.22 shipped. Not bad, eh?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

2012-13 Rookie Anthology Box Break #4

So, out of the four boxes of 2012-13 Rookie Anthology, Box #3 was definitely the best of the lot, and I'd have to say that if you have to classify this one as the worst. That being said, it's the "worst" by default, as it really wasn't that bad of a box. It's more like a 6, next to two 8s and a 10.

Like most boxes, but not all, three of my inserts were trophy contenders, as I pulled a Jordan Staal Cup Contenders 689/999, Shea Weber Hart Contenders 612/999, and a Niklas Backstrom Vezina Contenders 948/999.


I got a fourth Contenders insert, a Mario Lemieux Contenders Legacies 958/999, as well as two from Elite, an Aaron Ness Die-Cut Rookie Refractor 45/100 and a Carl Hagelin Great Outdoors 462/500.


So after, Box #3, I'm 2-for-3 on pulling autos out of my Prizm box-topper packs, but I am happy to say that my average has increase to 3-for-4 with a Michael Stone refractor auto. The other two cards were of Minnesota wild players, with a Zach Parise base card and Jason Zucker rookie.


Like with box #3, I pulled another Titanium Game-Worn Gear jersey card of Brad Richards. It's kind of the same card, but at least this one has a black swatch, while the other has white, so at least they're somewhat different.


Next up, I got a Towering Defenders card of Jared Cowen of the Ottawa Senators. I don't know much about Cowen, but man, this is a cool-looking card. Actually, most of the Crown Royale inserts really go over the top with their card designs, whether hockey or football, so I always love pulling one of them out.


My other Titanium Game-Worn Gear jersey card was of Andrei Markov.A sixth-round pick (162nd overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and has been playing with the Montreal Canadiens ever since. He was elected as a starter for the 2008 All-Star Game.


My Rookie Treasures autographed dual jersey card was of New York Islanders defenseman Aaron Ness, numbered 112/699. The 2008 second round draft pick has been spending most of the past three years with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL, but made it up to the pro club in 2011-12 for nine games.


Lastly, I pulled a Luxury Suite autographed jersey card of Dallas Stars rookie Lane MacDermid, numbered 96/99. MacDermid was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the 4th round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, and made it up to Boston for five games in the 2011-12 season. At the 2013 trade deadline, he was dealt to the Stars along with Cody Payne and a second round draft pick for Jaromir Jagr.


Well, that's it for Rookie Anthology. I may pick up some singles here and there, but I think my box-buying is done. It's been a good run, but with 2013-14 Score coming out later on this month, I may have to move forward with other releases. Still, if you're on the fence about Rookie Anthology, just look at this box and realize that this is the worst of four boxes, and realize that you'll be in good hands.

(By the way, I decided to redeem the Martin St. Louis Silhouette Signature card, so as soon as that gets here, I'll be sure to post it!)