Seeing Red

Now that’s a nice hockey card. Patrick Roy holding both the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smyth back in 1986. I was nearly two years old at the time.

Then just a few years later, the Canadiens would win yet again in ‘93. To put it this way, the Montreal Canadiens were already a popular team by 1993 but I remember the fandom was heavily prevalent during my childhood. So were the Blue Jays! And the Talkboy!

My Grandfather was a big Habs fan, growing up I remember he was really into them; like he was a Hockey Night In Canada at night Sports Desk in the morning  - Big fan. And because of that, my 17 aunts and uncles were raised as Canadiens fans and so on.

I remember him really liking this 1997 Donruss Studio Saku Koivu card that I owned. My sister had bought me a pack of Studio at a pharmacy earlier that evening and I ended up pulling the Koivu 8x10. I wanted to show him because I knew he would like it. As I had hoped, he did and so I gave it to him. That’s my only hockey card memory I have involving my Pop.

You know, the Koivu Studio is a card with a personal memory attached to it. One of the many cards that holds that effect for me. Every time I look at that card I’m instantly taken back to my grandparents house with a pack of 1997 Donruss Studio that my sister bought for me earlier that day at a drug store.

And that’s one of the things that I love about cards. That they have all these specific memories and stories to tell; it’s kind of like those songs that you hear and they take you back to a moment in your life like a bookmark. How simple yet so appreciative, that ability a Saku Koivu Donruss Studio can have.

The above eight Montreal Canadiens Memorable Moments cards were a promotional set released through Upper Deck at the 2017 L’Anti Expo which took place in Montreal. The design is a continuation of the 'Memorable Moments' short prints found in the popular 2008-09 Upper Deck Montreal Canadiens Centennial set.

In order to have received the full set of cards that look back at the best moments that took place between 2008-09 and 2016-17, collectors attending L’Anti Expo would have to break 10 sealed packs that were purchased from a Certified Diamond Dealer on the floor.

I'm missing just one card from the release, #MC-0 Jonathan Drouin. It's considered a 'special card' and getting one was a bit of a challenge since they were randomly inserted into packs.

Any cards in your collection have that sort of effect on you as the Koivu Donruss?


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.


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.
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