1.17.2017

2013-14 Score Jumbo Box

Over this past weekend, I picked up a 34-pack jumbo box of 2013-14 Score Hockey at a discounted price. I've liked this set since it's initial release; the checklist is solid and the photography gave Upper Deck's flagship a run for its money that year. Besides, you can't really go wrong with picking up a product that contains the Double Rookie Class.

#105 Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks
From the jumbo box I collated 267/650 of the massive base set + Hot Rookies SPs, no doubles. I'll throw up a wantlist in the near future and maybe reel in a few trades.

#TF-6 Patrick Kane The Franchise, Chicago Blackhawks
Score's 'The Franchise' insert set dates back to its sophomore release in 1991. Ever since Panini reintroduced Score into the market, the insert set didn't see much change in it's design which lead to a loss of interest in acquiring these cards for the most part. It would have been cool to see Panini throw it back to the original 'The Franchise' design featuring current players - I think it would have really worked.

#FG-1 Nail Yakupov First Goal, Edmonton Oilers
Sure, go ahead and call him the next 1st overall Draft bust but you have to admit he was a fun player to watch during his rookie campaign. He brought a ton of  enthusiasm and his goal against the Kings is probably one of the most thrilling Oilers moments in the last decade. It didn't work out for him in Edmonton so he was sent to the St. Louis Blues where he has been a healthy scratch for much of the season.

#556 Toews/Kane/Crawford/Bollig Team Leaders Gold Rush, Chicago Blackhawks
I pulled a small stack of these Gold Rush parallel cards - they're suppose to be a 1 per pack insert but there were a few packs in the box that contained up to three of them. I'm not a fan of parallels so the entire lot is up for trade if anyone is interested in putting it together.

#NC-12 Carey Price Net Cam, Montreal Canadiens
The 'Net Cam' insert set was introduced into the Score brand during the 2010-11 release of the product and Panini kept running with it year-after-year. With a lack of creativity in the theme and little change in the design of the card, it got kind of stale. When you compare the Price 'Net Cam' card from the first year of release to the card shown above, there isn't much of a difference.

#NC-12 Carey Price Net Cam, Montreal Canadiens (Reverse)
Despite the lack of uniqueness in the insert set, you couldn't do any better player-wise with pulling a Carey Price. I really liked the photo of Price on the reverse so I decided to give it a scan and post that as well.

#646 Dougie Hamilton Hot Rookies RC, Boston Bruins
If Hamilton isn't actually considered a number one defensemen right now, he will be soon. He has all the tools, and he's only getting better. He is leading the Flames in everything but minutes-played which will probably change much sooner rather than later, especially if his play from the first half of the season can keep up.

#647 Vladimir Tarasenko Hot Rookies RC, St. Louis Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko has been nothing short of a star in the NHL since his arrival. He has been a consistent contributor on the St. Louis Blues and an entertainment goldmine.

#SS-DO Dmitry Orlov Score Signatures, Washington Capitals
You receive one auto per jumbo box. I received Dmitry Orlov; undoubtedly the results could have been much worse given the weak checklist of the Score Signatures. Jeremy Duchesne, Linus Klasen, Mark Olver? Orlov has a nice looking graph at least and has been a mainstay on the Washington Capitals roster over the past two seasons.

 It wasn't a bad box for a low-tier product, I was pleased with the results. If I run into another one of these discounted jumbo boxes in the future I'll most likely pick it up and do some damage to the remainder of the checklist.

1.15.2017

Wickenheiser

Remarkable job by the Edmonton Oilers organization in honoring the career of undeniably, one of the best female hockey players in the world, Hayley Wickenheiser last night.

Wickenheiser is a true ambassador of the game of hockey. A member of  the Canada women's national ice hockey team for 23 years from 1994 until her recent retirement in 2017, Hayley lead the team to 4 Olympic gold medals and countless other medals at the IIHF World Women's Championships. She kicked the doors open for women's hockey and paved the way for young girls all around the world.

#58 Hayley Wickenheiser, Canada
1997-98 Esso Olympic Hockey Heroes

What can I say, I'll miss watching her play. She was the Wayne Gretzky of female hockey; a competitive, hard working player who owned a natural hockey sense. She is a pioneer and a legend of the game.

I remember watching Canada overcome terrible reffing at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City to capture the gold medal. Who can forget Hayley's post game rant: "The Americans had our flag on the floor of their dressing room. Now I want to know if they want us to sign it."

The Americans denied it happened, but the emotion, combined with Canada winning their first women's hockey gold was indelible.

She is a no-brainer for the HHoF. I wouldn't be surprised if they go ahead and waive the waiting period for her.

1.13.2017

Wake Up To The Sun

I've come to the realization that I'm getting old. I see it in my face and I feel it in my body. Having a child will do that to you apparently.

Did I always wake up in the morning feeling like I had just been run over by a truck; constantly tight and sluggish? I can't recall, maybe I'm loosing my memory as well in the process.

I've been contemplating picking up a stretch routine to do in the morning. Rather than hit the snooze button, I'd take 10 minutes to stretch myself out before I take on the day. Who knows, maybe it will do me some good. Maybe I won't feel like a bag of dirt for the first 2 hours post wake up.

#92 Dominik Hasek, Chicago Blackhawks
I'd like to incorporate more fitness into my life in general- get back into playing ball hockey on a weekly basis and cut a few things out. I just want to feel better overall, about myself.

Although I personally find it difficult to adapt to new habits and routines unless it is forced upon me. At the moment it's just a thought that I'd like to put into motion. I like to think that if I do some actual preparation and plan a schedule, it could work.

#115 Peter Bondra, Washington Capitals
There's a handful or more cards from the 1992-93 Upper Deck flagship set that contain a photo of the player stretching it out before the start of a game on the reverse side.

I hated those Capitals jersey when I was a kid but now I love them.

#532 Ron Hextall, Quebec Nordiques
There was once an an opinion that white goalie gear looked bigger and blended in with the ice surface. Quite a few netminders in the league jumped on the bandwagon and sported the all-white equipment.

Patrick Roy is credited with starting the trend when he had a white triangle implemented on his pads. The idea was to make the area between his legs look larger and more open than it was, encouraging skaters to shoot there.

Hockey equipment manufacturers hated the idea because it made all the companies look the same.”

Hextall was part of the trade which brought Eric Lindros to the Philadelphia Flyers. He would help the Nordiques reach the playoffs for the first time since 1987. Quebec would be eliminated by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round, during which Hextall was praised as being at the top of his game.

#269 Dave Andreychuk, Buffalo Sabres
I think I could pull-off all of these stretches featured on the cards without pulling something in the process. Minus the equipment, there's nothing too dramatic going on here I suppose. I still have it in me, I'm still limber enough to flex my leg out to full length and hold it for a few seconds. Andreychuk's pose here actually looks like it feels extremely good.

#203 Ed Belfour, Chicago Blackhawks
I loved Belfour during his tenure with the Hawks. Despite being at odds with coach Mike Keenan, and some teammates, he always produced on the ice.

Do you stretch? Do you also usually feel like a bag of dirt for the first couple of hours in the morning? How do you wake yourself up?

1.11.2017

The Great 8 Joins Elite Company

Alex Ovechkin joins the  'legendary' 1000 point club, passing Maurice Richard for sole possession of 29th on the all time goals list with his 545th. Ovechkin becomes the 4th Russian-born player to reach the 1000th point milestone in NHL history.

#310 Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

1.10.2017

1995-96 Upper Deck Post Cereal Great Expectations

Lisa Marie Presley marries Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain commits suicide, The Lion King, Tonya Harding attacks Nancy Kerrigan, OJ - It was 1994.

As you may recall, '94 was also the year in which the NHL held their first lockout, which in turn caused the 1994–95 season to be shortened to 48 games instead of 84. Due to the unpredictability of when or even if the season would go ahead, the players wanted to keep their legs fresh. Some guys decided to play in various European leagues, others decided to remain in North America. As the work stoppage dragged into its second month, the NHLPA organized the  "4-on-4 Challenge" (four players and a goalie on the ice) - a tournament played over  the course of three days from the 10th to the 12th of November 1994;  all the games were played in Hamilton, Ontario's Copps Coliseum.

The tournament consisted of 4 teams; Team Ontario (white jerseys), Team USA (red jerseys), Team Western Canada  (yellow jerseys) and Team Quebec (blue jerseys). Team Ontario would reign  as champions of the tourney, which raised more than half a million dollars to support the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities of Canada and minor hockey associations throughout North America

#10 Patrick Roy Montreal Canadiens
Upper Deck and Post cereals in Canada released a 24-card set titled, 1995-96 Upper Deck Post 'Great Expectations' showcasing a selection of players who participated in the NHLPA 4-on-4 Challenge. The cards featured color action photos with the player's name in a black bar at the top. The backs carry a color player portrait and stats.

These cards were inserted one per specially marked boxes of Post cereals. You could also receive a complete set of cards by mailing in proofs of purchases along with some coin. These factory sets included the NNO header and checklist cards.

There were also 500 Wayne Gretzky autographed cards randomly inserted into the cereal boxes. Lucky collectors who pulled the greatest cereal box prize of their lives had the opportunity to call a toll-free number and have their find certified by Upper Deck.

There are cards featuring Wayne Gretzky, Kelly Hrudey and Felix Potvin included in the set but to my knowledge they did not participate in the NHLPA 4-on-4 Challenge. Their photos were most likely taken for promotional purposes or as part of a instructional video.You can differentiate between the NHLPA jerseys used in the 4-on-4 Challenge and those used in promotional shoots by the "Ronald McDonald Children's Charities of Canada" patch sewn to the 4-on-4 jerseys. The NHLPA sweater that Hrudey and Potvin are sporting also contain a visible Reebok patch on the arm which the 4-on-4 Challenge jerseys did not have.

#1 Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins

#2 Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils

#3 Steve Duchesne, St. Louis Blues

#4 Vincent Damphousse, Montreal Canadiens

#5 Eric Desjardins, Philadelphia Flyers

#6 Eric Lindros, Philadelphia Flyers

#7 Joe Juneau, Washington Capitals

#8 Luc Robitaille, Pittsburgh Penguins

#9 Mark Recchi, Montreal Canadiens

#10 Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens

#11 Brendan Shanahan, St. Louis Blues

#12 Scott Stevens, New Jersey Devils

#13 Jason Arnott, Edmonton Oilers

#14 Trevor Linden, Vancouver Canucks

#15 Chris Chelios, Chicago Blackhawks

#16 Paul Coffey, Detroit Red Wings

#17 Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings

#18 Doug Gilmour, Toronto Maple Leafs

#19 Kelly Hrudey, Los Angeles Kings

#20 Paul Kariya, Anaheim Mighty Ducks

#21 Larry Murphy, Pittsburgh Penguins

#22 Felix Potvin, Toronto Maple Leafs

#23 Keith Tkachuk, Winnipeg Jets

#24 Rob Blake, Los Angeles Kings
Surprisingly, there isn't much information on the web in regards to the NHLPA 4-on-4 Challenge. There hasn't been any rosters shared online but after some research I've found that the following players also attended the charity event: Brett Hull, Joe Sakic, Mike Modano, Pat Lafontaine, John Vanbiesbrouck, Donald Audette, Dave Elllett, Glenn Healy, Pat Verbeek, Curtis Joseph, Russ Courtnall, Geoff Courtnall, Craig Janney, Dave Andreychuk, Sylvain Lefebvre, Jeff Norton, Darryl Sydor, Phil Housley, James Patrick, Tony Granato, Norm Maciver, Gary Suter, Doug Bodger and Ray Ferraro. I'm definitely missing a few names here but as I mentioned previously, information on the tournament is difficult to come by.