Singing The Blues

I've been really into the IIHF World Juniors; because of my brief venture in collecting 2017 NHL Draft autographs a while back, I'm familiar with a lot of the names participating in this years tournament which has made it extra exciting to watch.

I picked up this card a couple of weeks back. It's been on my radar as it features one of the rare pieces of cardboard with both Brett Hull and Wayne Gretzky as teammates on the St. Louis Blues.

Wayne Gretzky’s time wearing the blue note is likely the least talked about juncture over his career but personally one of my favorite moments just because of the sheer fleeting-ness to it. It's almost like it never did happen.

Hull and Gretzky - what a deadly tandem eh. The whole thing felt very WWF tag team-esqe. Gretzky was Hogan and Hull was Randy Savage, combined they formed The Mega Powers! St├ęphane Matteau can play the part of Miss Elizabeth. Fans of 1980s WWF will know what I'm talking about.

It seemed like a match made in hockey heaven. The best playmaker in NHL history feeding the puck to one of the most prestigious goal scorers in the game - it made complete sense.

The Blues obtained Gretzky for almost nothing. Craig Johnson, Roman Vopat, and Patrice Tardif were sent packing to the Los Angeles Kings along with a 1st and 5th round draft pick who which neither played an NHL game.

In 18 regular season games with the Blues Gretz assisted on 3 Hull goals, and in 13 playoff games he assisted on 3 more Hull goals. Gretzky also led the Blues in playoff scoring that year. St. Louis forced the 130-point juggernaut Detroit Red Wings to Game 7 OT in the second-round. Had Grant Fuhr not been injured, who knows what would have happened.

The stats were far from terrible but maybe a little disappointing given how high expectations were set.

Due to public criticism from Keenan, Gretzky left for the New York Rangers as an unrestricted free agent following the season, in spite of a more lucrative contract offer from the Blues.

As I mentioned previously, It was such a brief stretch of time that it's almost like it never occurred. And I'm sure for some freshman hockey fans, they probably haven't become aware of it yet.


The Lights and Buzz

I hope that everyone reading this post had a wonderful Christmas. Santa didn't deliver any gifts under the tree in the 2.5"x3.5"cardboard variety for me again this year. Although I'm not surprised - I'm pretty sure nobody (not even my wife) realizes that I still enjoy hockey cards as much as I do. Nonetheless I appreciate everything that I did receive!

So without further ado, here are 10 completely random cards that I've picked up over the last little while.

I've been watching a lot of International hockey from days of yore lately and have gotten on a little Joe Sakic high. His MVP performance during the 2002 Winter Olympics is something I'll never forget; especially the impact that he had during the Gold Medal game against the United States. He terrorized the American team with two goals and two helpers, sealing the deal for the Canadians late in the 3rd period.

Bob Cole's call on Sakic's 2nd goal of that game will forever give me goosebumps every time I hear it; "JEEEYOE....SAKIC....SCORES!!!!"

Brett Lindros had the potential to be a serviceable NHLer in his era for quite a while just because of his size. Big players were coveted game pieces. We all know the unfortunate story of Brett Lindros and although his hockey career was cut short due to concussions, I did enjoy him as a host on 'NHL Cool Shots'!

I absolutely love the 92-93 and 93-94 Fleer Ultra sets. Bought a ton of the product as a kid but I don't believe I ever owned a copy of this Ron Hextall card.

1993 Leaf backs capture the hearts of many collectors and rightfully so.

There aren't enough cards depicting players in their All-Star Game gear in recently released sets. Whatever happened to throwing everything into a 600 card base set.

I can not remember for the life of me Mike Ramsey ever suiting up for the Penguins but that he did apparently, for nearly 100 games to boot. After looking over this card, I'm feeling a little nostalgic for those 1993-1998 road jerseys.

There isn’t a whole lot of love for Full Force, \I mean you can pick up a hobby box for quite less than the typical price of any other recent hobby box hiding out at the card shop.

I personally really like the look of the cards - the design looks basic but it's also fun, fresh and the inserts are different for lack of a better word and good lawd it's a cheap product that features Connor McDavid rookie swag. 

Kharlamov was drafted 15th overall by the Capitals at the '94 Entry Draft but never saw the light of the NHL.

There we have it - now go enjoy this festive holiday season!


Honeycomb and Hockey

It's rare that I walk into a flea market and come across something that falls into a set or pc that I'm actively collecting. The card tables at my flea market seem to focus more on the newest products and Tim Hortons cards.

One of the sets from my childhood that I’ve always wanted to complete has been the 1997 Pinnacle Post All-World All-Stars. I had an early addiction to sugary breakfast cereals as evident by the amount of these cards I owned in my hockey card collection. I actually still have the 'original’ cards from ‘97 and have picked up another few since I began collecting again several years ago.

They’re a tough card to cross paths with in the wild so I was really excited to find 3 additions to the set at the most recent flea market that I attended.

Finishing off this set will be high on my collecting priority list heading into the New Year.


Thank You For Being A Frenemy

It's been a busy week to say the least. Since the beginning of summer, I've been creating and promoting my own brand of trading cards - totally unrelated to hockey, think Garbage Pail Kids meet Newfoundland & Labrador culture and notable people. I've been spending most of my spare time over the past several months focusing on it and just yesterday I had my second public exhibit so things were a little crazy attempting to get everything together for the showing. Maybe I'll throw it up in a blog post in the future.

But for now it's hockey - Back again to present the contents of the second and final mega box of 2018-19 Upper Deck Series 1 that I snatched up over the Black Friday madness. I promise that I'll get to something more - thought provoking content after I clear the plate.

Going to kick it off with Connor and follow through with favorite players and photos from the break.

I've really taken a liking to Jamie Benn. He is a strong all-around player - able to score, lead, hit and willing to drop the gloves when he bell rings. I've always had a soft spot for the power forward role and Benn fits the bill.

I wasn't familiar with any of the three Young Guns that this blaster yielded but Minnesota Wild forward Jordan Greenway is the only player currently 'lacing them up' in the show at the moment.

This is the first game used Rangers card of Shattenkirk in my collection.

And there we have it folks - two mega boxes of 2018-19 Upper Deck Series 1 from Black Friday past.


Hi-ho, Silver! Away!

The annual Upper Deck flagship was released earlier this month and I gotta say, the set is pretty easy on the eyes! I've been hankering over busting something 'retro' lately but I couldn't resist swiping a couple of mega boxes containing the new stuff while it was on sale over Black Friday.

I'm actually beginning to think that somebody over at Upper Deck has been listening! Those dreadful cards featuring players kicking a soccer ball in the back of the arena seem to have vanished from this years product.

A really nice base design this year as well, I'm super impressed with the vibe of these cards. In my opinion, I would go as far as saying that this is one of the nicest looking Upper Deck flagship sets to come out in recent history!

I'm going to run down through the base by showcasing some my favorite players.

A nice card featuring a cool shot of Madison Square Garden won't go astray in my collection. How about two!?

My brother has got me really into following the Islanders lately. The trio of Young Guns that I pulled from the blaster box have all yet to prove themselves in the NHL - Michael Dal Colle being the name that I'm most familiar with.

 The Upper Deck Canvas continues to rock. Here's Subban donning a cowboy hat that reads "Smashville" during warmups before their Hockey Fights Cancer game against the Washington Capitals at Bridgestone Arena.

The Hockey Fights Cancer hats were distributed to fans who helped to "Smash Cancer" by giving a $5 donation.

"Shining Stars" are now "Shooting Stars" but this isn't just any Shooting Star insert, it's Crosby and it's a black parallel which undoubtedly makes for the raddest card from the blaster. According to the odds marked on the back of the box; these Black Parallels fall 1:192 packs!

I also pulled two Upper Deck Portraits but I'm not even going to waste our time and scan those. They are extremely disappointing this season - I mean, it's an insert set that we could have done without two years ago but this year it's like they never even tried to make it worthy to collect. I'm really just not into it.

I still have another one of these 'mega boxes' to go through so I figure I will be able to put most of the 200 card base set together.
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