I still picked up some cards here and there during my absence from blogging, including a stack of cards to get me closer to completing 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee hockey's retro parallel set. This monster 600 card set (800 if you count the update/high number series) is a tough one to complete. Because it mimics one of the greatest hockey card designs of all time, the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee/Topps set, the cards are still in relatively high demand, especially given that they've been around a couple of years now. A decent lot of these will still attract plenty of bidding action on eBay and even no name singles are tough to find under 50 cents or so.
I had an auction saved in my watch list for quite some time that consisted of 150 of them. The seller wanted $99.99 via Buy It Now but the option to make an offer was available. I only needed 37 of the 150 that the seller was offering, so I contacted the seller and offered $17 for the 37 I needed. She agreed and for less than the price of a blaster I picked up close to 40 more cards for my set. Most of them were common no-name players but nonetheless it's nice to get that much closer. Here are a couple of my favorites:
#109 - Paul Stastny - Colorado Avalanche - Peter's son is having another solid year for the Avs. He's just shy of point-per-game pace, with 40 points in 45 games so far. Actually he seems to go at about this pace just about every season. His rookie season in 2006-07 he tallied 78 points in 82 games. The next year, 71 points in 66 games. After limited action in 2008-09 (36 points in 45 games), he scored 79 points in 81 games last year. For his career, he's sitting at 304 points in 319 games.
#123 - Olli Jokinen - Phoenix Coyotes - Olli's now with the Flames. He's a -14 so far this season, which sounds about right given the team's sub-.500 record. In fact the only team below them in the Western Conference standings at this point is the Edmonton Oilers. Ouch!
#397 - Peter Mueller - Phoenix Coyotes - Phoenix's number 1 pick in the 2006 entry draft has had a tough go of it lately. Now a member of the Colorado Avalanche, Mueller is dealing with a concussion and has not suited up so far this season. The good news is he's only 22 so he has plenty of years left ahead of him.
#471 - Cristobal Huet - Chicago Blackhawks - Huet is playing in the Swiss National League A this year rather than the NHL. I included his card because it illustrates one of my gripes with this parallel set. If you're trying to mimic the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee design, and the photo you use depicts the player with a team other than his current one, why would you not use the "NOW WITH..." text on the card as was done with the original set?!?! One of my few gripes, if not only gripe, with these parallels.
#451 - Ondrej Pavelec - Atlanta Thrashers - Pavelec is turning in a great season so far. He's just outside the top 10 in the league in GAA, and is currently 4th in save percentage. If he keeps it up this will easily be the best year of his career so far.
#495 - Ryan Getzlaf - Anaheim Ducks - We finish off with a couple of Anaheim Ducks. Getzlaf suffered a pretty nasty injury back at the end of December when he caught a puck in the forehead that causes several nasal sinus fractures. He is expected back sometime in February.
#258 - Teemu Selanne - Anaheim Ducks - We finish it off with my favorite card of the bunch, the Finnish Flash. This guy just seems ageless. At 40 years of age he's still a top notch scorer. He's got 41 points in 41 games this year, and recently recorded his 1,300th career point! he needs just 26 more points to crack the top 30 of all time, which could conceivably happen this season at the rate he's going.
This latest lot puts me at 430 cards down, 170 to go. It would be a great feeling to get this one finished off someday...
Sets in my Collection #32: 1954 Bowman US Navy Victories - This is a set that I only have one card of, and it was free! Gotta love free- even though one of the corners is literally missing and the card is so severe...