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Friday, June 22, 2012

Just the Hits, Ma'am - 2 Boxes of 11-12 Contenders

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up 2 boxes of Panini Contenders cards, just to see what was in there. I've always liked the base card design, and with a three-hit guarantee, I figured it was worth a look.

At 100 cards, 2 boxes should get you pretty close to the base set, if not getting you all the way. I was four cards away. There are also a few inserts, all serial numbered, but you don't get overloaded, which is a good thing. The title of most of these hits are either "Calder Contenders" or "cup Contenders." Despite the fact that, let's be honest, a lot of these rookies might not play more than a season in the NHL, much less "contend" for the Calder Trophy their rookie season, I know what they're getting at, so I can forgive it.

Anyway, let's get to the goods!!!

The big hit was an on-card auto of Avs left winger Gabriel Landeskog, who not only "contended" for the Calder, but WON the damn thing! (The Calder, for those of you who are hockey illiterate, is the NHL's rookie of the year award) I pulled this before the award was announced and I love when hits you pull actually get better as time goes on. Usually it goes the other way around.

Each box seemed to have one big hit, which is lucky, because I'm sure not all boxes of Contenders are built that way. Next down the line was a SWEET looking autographed patch card of Roman Horak from the Calgary Flames. He hasn't been making too many waves, but these cards are doing EXTREMELY well on the secondary market. Most seem to go in the $30 range, which is pretty good for a guy who hasn't done  a whole lot quite yet. Plus, the 100/100 ebay-1-of-1-ness should add a couple of bucks, right?

The next four cards are the obligatory "blah" hits. I pulled autos of Calvin De Haan and Slava Voynov from the Calder Contenders set, serial numbered to 800 and Marcus Kruger and Cody Eakin from the NHL Ink set. Not the biggest names you'll find, but I will say this, all six autos I pulled......on-card autos. There has to be something positive to say about that.

Here's what I pulled from the serial numbered insert. From Cup Contenders, I pulled James Neal and two Patrice Bergerons, all /999. From Calder Contenders, there was a super-thick version serial numbered to 100 of David Ullstrom, and the regualar version serial numbered to 999, of which I got Ben Holmstron and Patrick Maroon. Finally, I also found a Contenders Legacies /999 of Bryan Trottier and a foil parallel /100 of Ray Whitney.

Overall, I was very happy with my two boxes. Of course, a big part of it was pulling two pretty awesome hits, but still. The base set looks nice, and by not overloading the inserts (are you listening, Topps?) it makes the few you get pretty special.


  1. Pretty solid hits here if you ask me! Well done.

  2. Would you be willing to trade the David Ullstrom gold /100

    1. I sure would. E-mail me at and we can work something out.