Oil Change

This card arrived in the mail earlier this week - It's the Upper Deck 20th Anniversary parallel of the Young Guns checklist card from 2010-11. It has been up there on my want list for some time now but I just never liked the going price for it. But with a little patience, I was able to score it for less than half the running listing price. THAT NEVER HAPPENS.

Hall and Eberle were expected to be two major components in the rebuilding of the Edmonton Oilers. A rebuild that didn't go exactly as planned and thus it was 1st overall pick after another. The Oilers loaded their team with THE best young player from across the world entering into the NHL for three years in a row. Despite how talented the team looked on paper, they just couldn't execute while on the ice.

Over the six seasons in which Hall and Eberle played together, the Oilers missed the post-season in all six of those years - finishing 30th, 29th, 24th, 28th, 28th and 29th in the 30-team NHL. They became the joke of the NHL.

Although they lost a ton of games over those years, I'll wholeheartedly admit that I really enjoyed following the Oilers over their disastrous run - the team played fast, they were youthful and the media hype, I’m sure came into play as well.

Hall, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov heck even Magnus Paajarvi; there was a lot of young blood flowing through the veins of the Edmonton Oilers.

Much of the teams lack of success was shifted onto the shoulders of Taylor Hall albeit it was out of his control. A poorly constructed roster and constant organizational changes (I think they had 4-5 coaches over six seasons) undoubtedly played a big part in leading the franchise into consistent losing territory.

Hall was traded to New Jersey two years ago and enjoyed the best year of his NHL career just this past season; doing what he was expected to do in Edmonton, carrying the New Jersey Devils on his back and into the post season sunset. He has also been nominated for the Hart Trophy. They do say the best revenge is living well.

Eberle was moved to the New York Islanders last year in exchange for Ryan Strome and has remained offensively consistent. The trade free'd up cap space for the Oilers, who had big-money signings coming up with Draisaitl and McDavid entering their final year of their entry-level contract.


The Rat King

Here are a few Brad Marchand cards since he has found himself a topic of conversation over the past weekend. He is so hard to like; the guy has shown that he has the skill - but he can’t help himself on the ice. From the slew-footing, suspensions, the consistent hits with intent to injure - there’s a lot about the way he polices himself during the game that is to be frowned upon.

And that will be his legacy. ‘The Rat’. Fans will always remember the bad stuff, and because of that, just how offensively talented he is will be nothing more than a footnote. He has been an elite winger for awhile now but it has been only over the past few seasons where he has had the numbers to back it up. Multiple All-Star worthy performances, crippled by a bad reputation.

I had this Brad Marchand 12-13 Score card signed towards my autographed set through a private signing. Marchand doesn’t sign autographs much.

If I remember correctly, this is the last card that I've added to my project. Just 17 left to go! Which reminds me, I got a really big addition through the mail recently that I can’t wait to share.

I actually don’t have many Marchand cards in my collection. I never did actively collected him. After this whole debacle, I’ve kind of had a hankering to pick up a few more. So what does that have to say about my opinion on Brad Marchand? Well, I appreciate his play, I just wish he would tone it down a little. Maybe go a season without trying to knock someone’s head off. I did feel like his licking antics crossed the line.

All the same time, I do enjoy that villain character that he has created for himself in the league. He is certainly a player who you can love to hate.


Threads From Friends

Last night I was pulling some cardboard to scan and I came across a few cards from Brian who writes for Just A Bit Offside that I never got around to posting. Even worse, I still hadn’t sent out my end of the cards - this exchange happened months ago! You’re cards will be in the mail within the next day or so.

Brian sent a very generous fabric friendly package featuring a duo of my all-time favourite players.

Kariya and Tkachuk actually played parts of 3 seasons together with the Blues from 2007-10.

Tkachuk's stay in Atlanta is often forgettable, suiting up for just 22 games with the Trashers before being traded back to the St. Louis Blues.

Here's a fantastic looking manufactured patch card from 2007-08 O-Pee-Chee Premier commemorating the 4th overall selection from the 1993 NHl Entry Draft, Paul Kariya.

I want to say thanks to Brian for sending these beautiful cards my way. Appreciate the extra thought that went into this blind trade.


Big Buff

I just watched a clip of the Jets/Predators game from a couple of nights ago featuring “Big Buff” Dustin Byfuglien ragdoll-ing two players from Nashville during a scrum after the whistle. The confrontation was two nose honks and an eye poke away from treating Roman Josi and Austin Watson like Larry and Curly - a la the Three Stooges.

Byfuglien is one of the few I would consider monster players in the league. One that is dominanted by smaller, faster players. He is a big guy, he is a 6’5” giant on skates (according The the jost mass index he is the biggest player in the league) who delivers hard physically and sticks up for his teammates. He plays a solid play in his own zone but isn’t one to shy away from joining in on the offensive rush and it works. Not only that, he is considered to own one of the hardest shots in the NHL.

I pulled this 2011-12 Panini Certifed several years back from a box during the time of its release. It’s probably the only card that I ended up keeping in my collection over the past 6 years.

While we’re on the Big Buff trainn.

Great to see the Jets win again last night, I think the entire country of Canada is behind them during this post season run. The atmosphere at Bell MTS Place looks and sounds incredible.


Blog Bat Around: All-Autograph Team Hockey Edition

I really like the idea for the most recent Blog Bat Around that has been circulating around the sports card blogosphere courtesy of Torren' Up Cards - construct a starting nine/10 lineup with their best baseball autographs at each position. Simple enough.

I'm not a baseball card collector but I certainly am an autograph collector. Collating completely hand-signed hockey card sets have been my main hobby focus since returning to the game a little over 6 years ago. At the moment, I am working on three sets - 2012-13 Score, 2011 Panini Stickers and 1990 Panini Stickers. I'm only 18 cards away from finishing the entire 548 card Score set and have made significant progress on the other two.

So here is my starting lineup of my best/favorite autographs by position - Centre, Left Wing, Right Wing, 2 Defensemen and a Goalie.


Sidney Crosby / Centre - He's my current favorite player so few other could trump Sid as the centre selection in my starting lineup. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time.

This card was signed by Crosby after the Pittsburgh Penguins' 2017 Stanley Cup Parade.

Jaromir Jagr / Right Wing - This was probably the most difficult position that I hadto select but in the end Calgary Flame's legend, Jaromir Jagr, takes the throne. Honorable mention goes to Brett Hull.

Jagr signed two cards from this set at a signing.

Bobby Hull / Left Wing - The Golden Jet.

Nicklas Lidstrom / Defence - One of the most reliable defensemen to ever play the game. Oozes leadership both on and off the ice.

Through the mail.

Paul Coffey / Defence - Embodied everything an offensive defenseman could be.

Received Coffey through the mail a few years back.

Patrick Roy / Goaltender - Unarguably one of the greatest to man the pipes.

Roy signed his ‘90 Panini through a private signing.

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