Hershey Bears vs. Syracuse Crunch – 4/6/13

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Last night I went to see the Hershey Bears play the Syracuse Crunch.  The Bears are associated with the Washington Capitals and the Crunch are with the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The Bears lost 2-1 in this action packed game.  I’ve only attended a handful of hockey games but this one has to have been the most entertaining as it was filled with fights.  I like how the refs just let them go at it for a while and then jump in when it gets too serious.  Sometimes I believe the players just do it for the entertainment factor.  The crowd really cheered whenever a fight would break out.  Just like gladiators.

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Dany Sabourin – has a handful of cards ranging from UD SP Authentic, Between the Pipes, and Heroes & Prospects.

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Pat Nagle

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FIGHT!!!

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Coco the Bear

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The stadium giveaway was a Hershey Bears Pinnacle logo golf ball sponsored by Fairview Golf Course.

Retro Spreads To Hockey

I guess when you have a hit on your hands, you just don’t let it go.  With the shortened 2012-2013 hockey season, and having the NHLPA announce that no rookie cards shall be produced, manufacturers have been forced to cancel several products.  Upper Deck said yesterday that they plan to cancel 12/13 NHL SPx, 12/13 NHL Upper Deck Series Two, and 12/13 Ultimate Collection.  Despite these cancellations, some of those products were already in production.  Upper Deck plans to include many of those big “hits” into the remaining products they intend to release.

Within the last year, there is no argument that one of Upper Deck’s most successful products is their Retro brand.  Bringing back all those classic insert designs from the 90’s was very popular with collectors.  It all started with basketball, and football won’t be far behind.  Hockey collectors can now look forward to Retro.  Retro Hockey will most likely be a high-end product selling for $300.00 to $500.00 a box.  Its scheduled to be released in April, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that changed.

Upper Deck truly listened to collectors when it came to Retro.  Collectors have been wanting these inserts and parallels to make a return for years.  I wish they could do Retro Baseball.  Its a big deal when a manufacturer can make a product where people are willing to spend thousands on a non-autographed, non-relic, insert or parallel in today’s hobby.  I think Retro Hockey will be more successful than Retro Football.  Hockey has more of an international appeal than American football.  The only thing that sticks out to me on these preview images is that some of the names are slightly difficult to read.  Light text and light colored backgrounds don’t mix well.  Its probably not a big deal, and the cards look different in person.

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2012-2013 Classics Signatures Hockey Box Break & Review

Design: Photobucket

Your’re not going to believe it!!!  I just opened a Panini product that spit out (6) on-card autographs, no white boxes, and no redemptions.  I had no idea that was possible.  It was like witnessing a real life Christmas miracle right in front of my eyes.

This design reminds me of Pro Set cards from the late 80’s early 90’s.  That’s the first thing that went through my head.  Its not overly designed or covered in foil.  There are also a lot of great old photos.

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Social Signatures include the signer’s “Twitter handle”.  I enjoy seeing these types of things thrown onto cards.  Twitter lets you follow your favorite athletes, teams, and organizations so you can keep up on all their latest news.  Panini uses it a lot to when it comes to company news and customer service.  So does Topps.

Price: Photobucket

Boxes are currently selling for $180.00.

“Hit” Quality: Photobucket

The Classics brand hasn’t always been associated with high-end products.  Its usually set within the mid-level range.  Every box has (6) packs with an autograph inside each pack.

I pulled the following:

Autos

  • Cliff Ronning
  • Brian Mullen
  • Norm Ullman
  • Ed Van Impe
  • Geoff Sanderson
  • Chris Chelios The Originals #’ed/100

Banner Numbers

  • Scott Niedermayer #46
  • Jeremy Roenick #60
  • Mike Richter #56
  • Andy Bathgate #51
  • Ray Bourque #25
  • Dale Hawerchuk #70

Overall: Photobucket

Overall, I give 2012-2013 Classics Signatures 4 ice cubes out of 5 (1=poor & 5=perfect).  Its a bit expensive and just like most products you probably won’t get close to $180.00 worth of cards, but Panini did a great job designing this set.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I opened a Panini product and pulled (6) on-card autographs without the dreaded white box and/or finding a redemption.  If you don’t have the cash for a box, go for some singles.  They look nice and are cheap.  I sure wouldn’t mind seeing a football version perhaps at a lower price.

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2012-2013 Certified Hockey Box Break & Review

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We have a foil fest here folks!  You can’t open up a pack without wearing a pair of sunglasses.  That’s how shiny these cards are.  Foil does have its rightful place in the hobby when it comes to design, but this is a total overload. Having too much foil can make it difficult to see the card.  A foil background, with foil text, and a silver serial number will lead to twisting and turning each card just to see who it is actually of.  The cards with darker backgrounds look the best.

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This year the parallels remind me of 1996 Select.  I think they look cleaner despite being covered in foil from head to toe.

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 I’m sorry to say that the dreaded white box haunts a bunch of the autographs too.  Not all, but a large chunk.

Price: Photobucket

Boxes are currently selling for $100.00.

“Hit” Quality: Photobucket

Just like in previous years, each box contains (4) “hits”.  You should pull at least (1) autograph.

I pulled the following:

Auto/Relic

  • Tyler Seguin Fabric of the Game Mirror Blue Auto/Jersey #’ed/50

Auto

  • Maxime Sauve Freshman Signatures Auto #’ed/999

Relics

  • T.J. Oshie / Jonathan Quick Path To The Cup Jersey #’ed/99 – for being just a plain colored dual jersey #’ed/99, these seem to be very popular with collectors.
  • Steve Mason Fabric of the Game Jersey #’ed/199

Parallels

  • Zach Parise Mirror Gold #’ed/25
  • Marc-Andre Fleury Masked Marvels #’ed/999

Inserts

  • Johnny Bucyk Certified Icons Mirror Red #’ed/250
  • Ilya Kovalchuck / Dmitry Kulikov Path To The Cup #’ed/399
  • John Tavares Certified Stars #’ed/999

Overall: Photobucket

Overall, I give 2012-2013 Certified 3 toothless hockey dudes out of 5 (1=poor & 5=perfect).  It is a generous 3, but there is just way too much foil on these cards.  The Face Off jumbo stick relics are really good looking.

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What do you think Ovechkin is doing in this picture?  It looks like the face of someone that needs more fiber in their diet 🙂

Hockey Refs & Baseball Umps Come To Lil’ Teammates

Like a lot of collectors I received this Halloween flyer in my e-mail yesterday from Lil’ Teammates.  It looks like the NFL, NCAA, NHL, and MLB Collectible Team Sets sold exclusively at Kohl’s contain referees and umpires.  Lil’ Teammates has had NFL referees widely available for a while, but this is the first time they’ve issued hockey referees and baseball umpires.  Currently the hockey refs and baseball umpires aren’t sold separately, but they are thinking about possibly doing that for the holiday shopping season.

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2012-2013 Score Hockey Box Break & Review

I hope you all enjoy me attempting to pronounce some of these names 🙂

Design: Photobucket

This design is far superior to its football counterpart.  What I’m aiming at here is that I don’t see any large blank spots on the base cards like I did with Score Football.  I’m a big fan of the Net Cam inserts.  Amazing photography!

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Price: Photobucket

Boxes are currently selling for $30.00.  Very cheap.

“Hit” Quality: Photobucket

The Score brand is not known for its big “hits”.  This is why boxes only sell for $30.00.  If you pull any autograph, consider yourself lucky.  There are only (4) autographs per (20) box case.

I pulled the following:

Auto

  • Tyson Sexsmith Hot Rookies Auto

The Franchise

  • Gordie Howe #2
  • Jean Beliveau #4
  • Johnny Bucyk #1
  • Ed Giacomin #5

First Goal

  • Carl Hagelin #7
  • Matt Frattin #18
  • Brayden Schenn #16

Net Cam

  • Corey Crawford #3
  • Roberto Luongo #12
  • Brian Elliott #5

Team Score

  • Keith Yandle #11
  • Zdeno Chara #5

The Franchise

  • Matt Duchenne #7

Check It

  • Wendel Clark #19

Gold Rush

  • Michael Stone Hot Rookies #512
  • Simon Despres #384
  • Ilya Bryzgalov #349
  • Jonathan Toews #116
  • James Van Riemsdyk #438
  • Johan Franzen #182
  • Joe Vitale #383
  • Shawn Thornton #65
  • Eric Wellwood #355
  • Marian Gaborik #314
  • Valtteri Filppula #181
  • Rich Peverley #63
  • Gustav Nyquist #190
  • Henrik Zetterberg #178
  • Brad Richards #313
  • Brent Seabrook #125
  • Brad Marchand #62
  • James Neal #376
  • Nicklas Lidstrom #177
  • Brandon Saad #124
  • Nathan Horton #66
  • Derek Stepan #315
  • Kris Letang #375
  • Tuukka Rask #64
  • Chris Pronger #348
  • Niklas Kronwall #179
  • Tyler Bozak #437
  • Nick Leddy #126
  • Matt Cooke #382
  • Brooks Orpik #377
  • Max Talbot #354
  • Dion Phaneuf #432
  • Sean Couturier #350
  • James Reimer #439
  • Justin Abdelkader #189
  • Ryan Callahan #312

Hot Rookies

  • Jaden Schwartz #521
  • Sven Baertschi #518
  • Akim Aliu #535
  • Colby Robak #509
  • Jakob Silfverberg #504
  • Chay Genoway #540
  • Reilly Smith #526
  • Dalton Prout #530
  • Mark Stone #548
  • Jake Allen #544
  • Ryan Garbutt #511
  • Jeremy Welsh #539
  • Shawn Hunwick #525
  • Travis Turnbull #522
  • Casey Cizikas #514
  • Tyler Cuma #536
  • Kristopher Foucault #510
  • Tyson Barrie #505

Overall: Photobucket

Overall, I give 2012-2013 Score Hockey 2.5 ice cubes out of 5 (1=poor & 5=perfect).  Once again, don’t buy any Score product looking for that huge “hit”.  Hockey collectors on a tight budget should enjoy it.

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2011-2012 Rookie Anthology Hockey Box Break & Review

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Anthology has its own design, but it also has cards from previous sets thrown in.  The 100-card Anthology base set is simply designed and not much to talk about.  The Anthology Rookie Treasures cards that contain two pieces of memorabilia and an autograph look amazing.  Most of the cards are white, but then you are hit with a blast of color from the player photo and relics.  They do contain sticker autographs, but its not that big of a deal considering the color white is used so much.

If your a fan of other products such as Playoff Contenders, Limited, Crown Royale, and Luxury Suite, you’ll be happy to know that Panini threw in some of these cards.  The Crown Royale Rookie Royalty autographs are riddled with white boxes smacked right in the middle of the photo.

Price: Photobucket

Boxes are currently selling for $100.00.

“Hit” Quality: Photobucket

Boxes have (4) “hits” – (2) autographs and (2) memorabilia cards.  There is also a box topper inside that has an additional “hit”.

I pulled the following:

Auto/Relic

  • Zac Rinaldo Rookie Treasures Auto/Jersey #’ed/499
Auto
  • Gustav Nyquist Limited Phenoms Manufactured Patch Auto #’ed/299
  • Dmitry Orlov Rookie Royalty Auto
Relic
  • Tim Erixon/Calvin De Haan Rookie Rivalry Dual Jersey
  • Derek Stepan Luxury Suite Jersey/4-Color Stick
Rookies
  • Stu Bickel Rookie Royalty #198
  • Anton Lander Calder Contenders #’ed/999
  • Keith Kinkaid Pinnacle #309
  • Lennart Petrell Pinnacle #346
  • Stefan Elliott Pinnacle #315
  • Carl Hagelin Pinnacle #339

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Overall, I give 2011-2012 Rookie Anthology 3.5 ice cubes out of 5 (1=poor & 5=perfect).  The Rookie Treasures cards look the best.  Lots of cards from previous products, but I guess that’s why they call it Anthology.

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2011-12 Panini Contenders Hockey Box Break & Review

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Its not often when you can say that you’ve just opened a Panini product, and all the autographs were on-card.  That’s exactly what happened with 11-12 Contenders Hockey.  Panini also utilized the color white, and gave the player plenty of room to sign.  Their patch autographs are printed on black card stock and contain silver signatures which look really good.  Some cards still contain the famous “white box”, but I’ve seen a lot of those signatures totally go outside of the designated area.

Price: Photobucket

Boxes are currently selling for $108.00.

“Hit” Quality: Photobucket

The box states that you should find (3) autographs.  I ended up getting (5).  I pulled the following:

Autos

  •  Zack Kassian Calder Contenders Auto #’ed/800
  • Roman Horak Calder Contenders Auto #’ed/800
  • Curtis Glencross NHL Ink Auto
  • Paul Postma NHL Ink Auto
  • Dion Phaneuf NHL Ink Auto Redemption
SPs
  • Shane Sims Calder Contenders #’ed/999
  • Roberto Luongo Cup Contenders #’ed/999
  • Mark Messier Contenders Legacies #’ed/999

Overall: Photobucket

Overall, I give 2011-12 Panini Contenders Hockey 3 zambonis out of 5 (1=poor & 5=perfect).  Contenders Hockey looks way better that the football version.  Plus, there are a ton of hard-signed cards.

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2011-2012 Elite Hockey Box Break & Review

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Panini decided to bring back the clean cut design from the 1998 Donruss Elite set.  Just taking one look at them takes me back to my early collecting days.  The on-card autographs look fantastic, and the stickers ones, well we all know how they look.  The coolest looking cards from this product have to be the Prime Numbers autographs and relics.  The die-cut design makes it look as if they were freshly carved from a block of ice.  I also like the way the box is designed.  It looks like a slanted cube.

Price: Photobucket

Boxes are currently selling for $120.00.  I think its a little high.

“Hit” Quality: Photobucket

Every (20) pack box of 11-12 Elite should contain (4) “hits”.  I pulled the following:

Autos

  • David Savard Rookie on-card Auto
  • Luke Adam Elite Signings Auto
Relics
  • Harri Sateri New Breed Jersey
  • Bernie Nicholls Prime Numbers Jersey #’ed/475
Parallels
  • Keith Yandle Aspirations #5
  • P.K. Subban Aspirations #107
  • Ryan Miller Aspirations #28
  • Matt Duchene Aspirations #174
  • Marc-Andre Fleury Aspirations #85
  • Rene Bourque Status #165 #’ed/99
  • Clarke MacArthur Status #91 #’ed/99
Inserts
  • Steven Stamkos Elite Series #3
  • Mark Messier Elite Series #1
  • Tim Thomas Elite Stars #4
  • Craig Smith Rookie Stars #5
Rookies
  • Brendon Nash RC #249 #’ed/999
  • T.J. Brennan RC #204 #’ed/999

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Overall, I give 2011-2012 Elite Hockey 3.5 ice cubes out of 5 (1=poor & 5=perfect).  I’m glad that they brought back the old ’98 Elite design, plus the Prime Numbers die-cuts look amazing.

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