Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pack Rip - More 1978-79 Topps Hockey

Way back in May I picked up the last 17 packs of 1978-79 Topps hockey from the local card shop. After I posted pack 1 and pack 2, they kind of fell off the radar. I'll try to get a few more posted before the summer's over. Here's pack 3, 12 cards and one team sticker:

#241 - Roland Eriksson

After two solid seasons in Minnesota to start his career, Eriksson would actually play with Vancouver in the 1978-79 season. Unbelievably he would last just 35 games with the team, his play so poor that he was actually cut. He would never play another NHL game.

#91 - Bob Murdoch

Won the 1989-90 Jack Adams award as coach of the Winnipeg Jets.

#202 - New York Rangers Checklist

The Rangers had a great season in 1978-79, but ran into the buzz-saw that was the 1970's Montreal Canadiens in the Cup finals.

#250 - Tony Esposito

A new Esposito is always welcome, even if it is off-center.

#50 - Ken Dryden

In addition to Lord Stanley's Cup, Dryden was awarded the Vezina in 78-79. Hall-of-Fame goalies back to back in this pack.

#12 - Phil Russell

One of the better tough, solid D-men of the 1970's...

Team Sticker - New York Rangers

#166 - Wayne Thomas

#36 - Michel Plasse

Awesome Rockies sweater. Unfortunately Michel passed away in 2006 from a heart attack.

#43 - Joe Watson

Joe's pretty badly miscut...

#139 - Ron Sedlbauer

#10 - Bryan Trottier

Great card, the best centering and cut of any cards in the pack. I also love this card because 78-79 was Trottier's career year. He captured the Art Ross (leading scorer) and Hart (MVP) trophies, with a 134-point effort. In December of that season he registered 6 points in a period against the Rangers. This is one of the cards I was really hoping to pull out of these packs.

My final, wax stained card of the pack is...

#52 - Dennis Ververgaert

A miscut Dennis Ververgaert.

I'd say that was the best pack yet. I'll try to get a few more of these posted in August...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pack Rip - 2010-11 Panini Donruss Hockey

Have you ever experienced this before? You're in a small mom-and-pop type store. You look around and don't see even one thing that you'd normally spend money on, yet you feel compelled to purchase something small rather than leave empty-handed. You know, just to support the local business. This pack is the product of one of those experiences.

#87 - Cal Clutterbuck

Interesting facial expression captured on this one.

#45 - Pavel Datsyuk

I really don't know why I bought these.

#93 - Johan Franzen


#10 - Matt Moulson

This is my first Matt Moulson card. I think he's a pretty good player, but I'm just not that excited about these cards at all. The design is not doing anything for me and the photos are pretty boring compared to what Upper Deck puts out.

#237 - Michael Del Zotto

#210 - Frans Nielsen

#193 - John Tavares

Moulson's partner in crime.

#140 - Daniel Sedin

"Supposedly" played in 2010-11 Stanley Cup finals...

#130 - Tom Gilbert

#175 - Scottie Upshall

There you have it. I guess this pack actually had some decent scorers in Tavares, Moulson, Sedin and Datsyuk. Nonetheless, I can confidently say this will be my only pack of 2010-11 Donruss hockey. I'll gladly trade away any of these, especially if someone has a Krejci, which is about the only card in the set I'm interested in.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Belated Congrats to David Krejci

Time has certainly flown by since the 2010-11 NHL season came to a close with my hometown Bruins capturing their first Stanley Cup in decades. The Bruins winning the Cup was something that I enjoyed immensely, and as someone who hasn't missed even a minute of a single game for about 7 years now (thank you DVR!) I appreciated it more than any other championship I've been alive for. I didn't really have the time or motivation to put my thoughts on the championship run into words for a post, but since David Krejci is my favorite current player I'd be remiss if I didn't do a quick post on his 2010-11 season.

Krejci was a major factor in the B's Cup run, and believe it or not he ended up the overall post-season league leader in both goals (12) and points (23)! I'd say David did a pretty good job of redeeming himself after a disappointing 2009-10 post-season where he was knocked out for good by Mike Richards, ultimately leading to the team's demise in that awful collapse of a series against Philadelphia. Here's the newest addition to my David Krejci player collection:

2010-11 Panini Zenith - Dare to Tear EPIX - #37

I haven't purchased any Zenith, nor do I plan to, but apparently these Dare to Tear EPIX cards were contained within a larger card. You can only get one by "dearing to tear" into your larger card to see who's inside. Like most cards with excessive foil, it doesn't scan too well but is much more pleasant on the eyes when seen in person. Once AGAIN, Panini has given us the exact same photo on the back of the card as the front:

Looking at Krejci's NHL career so far, I'd say this past season was his second best individual campaign, behind the 2008-09 season where he set what so far are career highs in goals, assists and points, led the league in +/-, and tallied 6 game-winning goals:

A pretty good start through basically 4 seasons. If David can stay healthy again this year he may cross the 200 assist plateau. Looking forward to 2011-12!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Header

Well it only took me over 3 1/2 years, but I finally got around to making a header for the blog that doesn't look like it was created by a second grader:

I actually just threw this one together really quickly using Picasa, which works pretty well for a free program. There wasn't a whole lot of thought behind this one, I just grabbed a few random shots of cards from my collection that I like. This run was more to get the process down than anything. I've got it down to a pretty good set of steps, so I'm planning to create a bunch of these and to change things up from time to time going forward.

In any event I hope you like it and will find Shoebox Legends a bit easier on the eyes from now on!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

1990's Favorites - 1993-94 Leaf Hat Trick Artists

I plan to show off a few recently completed junk-wax-era hockey insert sets in the next couple of months leading up to the opening face-off of the 2011-12 season. One of my favorites is Leaf's 1993-94 Hat Trick Artists.

This 10-card set was found randomly inserted in both Series 1 and Series 2 packs of 1993-94 Leaf, and highlighted stars who registered hat tricks in the preceding 1992-93 season. I don't recall what the odds of pulling one were, if they were even stated. To me, the most memorable card in the set has always been the title or header card pictured above, which fittingly features Super Mario and a bunch of hats.

The other 9 cards have a clean, simple design. Full bleed photo with the same Hat Trick Artists logo from the title card in a top corner (sometimes right, sometimes left). At the bottom you have the foil Leaf logo and a faded stripe containing the player's name. Nice looking cards if you ask me!

The backs are done really well also. Once again the logo (which I love) appears, and below it you get a listing of each player's hat tricks from the 1992-93 season. On the opposite side we get a different photo from the front (imagine that! Panini, take note!), and a little blurb about the player.

Teemu Selanne is the man. Not only is he the lone player from this set who was still in the league in 2010-11, but he registered a hat trick this past season too, 18 seasons after the one commemorated by this card. He added two assists in that game as well (March 28th, 2011 against the Avalanche), becoming the first 40-year-old to register a hat trick and five points in a game. Has he seen his final NHL game? If so, he went out as a sniper, scoring 6 times in his last 6 post-season games to go along with a better than point-per-game regular season. I for one would love to see him back for one more year, but I guess he just underwent knee surgery a few weeks ago, so we'll see what happens.

Next up is Lemieux's base card. This reminds me of just what a MONSTER season Mario had in 1992-93. He was actually on pace to challenge Gretzky's single season records for goals and points when he shockingly announced in January of 1993 that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. He literally came back to the NHL on the day of his final treatment a couple of months later, and recorded a goal and an assist. Despite appearing in only 60 games (out of an 84 game season), he led the league with an impressive 160 points! Had he played all 84 games at that pace he would've been upwards of 220 points. Oh yeah, and his team went on a 17-game win streak when he returned to the lineup from his treatments. One of the great stories in the history of the game.

Pierre had a great 92-93 season himself, in fact it was his Islanders team that upset Lemieux's Penguins in the playoffs. It was Turgeon's best season ever actually, as he set career highs in goals (58), assists (74), and points (132).

The new coach of the Florida Panthers, and one of the many great players to wear the Hartford Whalers jersey. After 7 seasons in Hartford, the Whalers dealt him in the early part of the 1991-92 season to the Flyers. He was actually named team captain for the 1993-94 season, but had a somewhat disappointing year. Once play resumed following the 1994-95 lockout, he was replaced as captain by this man...

Hey, it's a mid-90's insert set, you had to know Lindros would be included right?

In his first full season in Boston, Oates also had a career year in 1992-93. He set highs in goals (45), assists (97) and points (142). Unfortunately the B's were swept by Buffalo in the first round. He would have a pretty solid 1993-94 season also.

Local guy (Boston College) who had a very good career and put up huge numbers playing with Mario Lemieux in Pittsburgh in the early 90's. Was a huge part of the back to back Cup wins for the Pens.

We close it out with card number 10, Stevie Y.

I've always liked these cards, and the checklist features some of the top scorers of the era. I put this one together for just a few bucks between the hobby shop and Sportlots. Did anyone else collect these back in the day?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

1995-96 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey - The Best of the Rest

Way back in February I picked up a box of one of my favorite 1990's hockey sets, 1995-96 Upper Deck. Initially I thought I would post every pack, and I got off to a good start. In case you missed it here are some links:

Packs 1 and 2
Packs 3 and 4
Packs 5 and 6
Packs 7 and 8
Packs 9 and 10
Packs 11 and 12

After getting through the first third of the box in this fashion, it fell completely off the radar. Quite frankly it just took too much time to scan and type up each post keeping everything in order. Here we are at the end of July and it's time for some housekeeping here at Shoebox Legends. Here are some highlights from the rest of the cards I pulled in the remaining 24 packs. I'm only showing cards that were not featured in the first 12 packs. We'll start with the base set:

#1 - Cam Neely

#4 - Mike Vernon

#14 - Brian Rolston

#33 - Trevor Linden

#39 - Patrick Roy

One of the best looking cards in the entire Series 1 set. I was happy I pulled this one as it's probably one of the few that would still cost more than a quarter to track down.

#44 - Claude Lemieux

One thing I love about this set and neglected to mention previously is the number of photos from the 1994-95 Stanley Cup finals that are used on the Devils and Red Wings cards. I like this shot of Claude Lemieux celebrating with his Conn Smythe trophy after the Devils shocked the Wings in a 4 game sweep.

#46 - Ron Francis

#63 - Bill Lindsay

Emerging from the Panther's mouth...

#70 - Jon Casey

#85 - Nikolai Khabibulin

With the Jets making a return hopefully we'll see some fine cards like this one in the 2011-12 releases.

#99 - Wayne Gretzky

#112 - Craig Billington

This is a great card, Craig's eyes are priceless.

#126 - Esa Tikkanen

Nice goal celebration with Brett Hull in the background.

#140 - Zigmund Palffy

That is one fine mullet.

#154 - Vyacheslav Kozlov

Kozlov seems to have a couple of options here, maybe a drop pass to Fedorov or even a long pass back to Nick Lidstrom. Not if Dirk Graham has anything to say about it...

#156 - Benoit Brunet

#159 - Keith Primeau

Keith is sporting a 1994-95 Western Conference Champions T-shirt and hat.

#167 - David Oliver

Don't remember much about David Oliver but ouch!

#171 - Teemu Selanne

#174 - Chris Pronger

#183 - Bob Carpenter

Here's another shot from the 94-95 Cup finals.

#191 - Andy Moog

#193 - Marty McSorley

#198 - Garry Galley

I don't have too many hockey cards of players blowing bubbles.

#211 - Martin Brodeur

This card is absolutely fantastic. It's so good that I almost withheld it here so that I could feature it in its own post, but if I did that I'd probably never get around to it anyway. What a photo!

#214 - Pavel Bure - 5th Anniversary

These 5th Anniversary parallels are pretty useless if you collected the 90-91 set, which pretty much EVERY hockey card collector did.

#217 - Mark Messier - 5th Anniversary

#219 - Mats Sundin - 5th Anniversary

#231 - Lemieux's Scoring Streak - 5th Anniversary

#240 - Doug Gilmour

Love Gilmour's smile on this one, classic hockey player.

#245 - Paul Kariya

#264 - Jeff O'Neill - Star Rookie

That wraps it up for the base cards. I did pull a few more Electric Ice parallels that are worth showing:

#34 - Nicklas Lidstrom

#48 - Felix Potvin

#136 - Kirk McLean

I think this is my favorite overall photo from the set, so I was psyched to pull the Electric Ice parallel of this card. Which card do you think is nicer, this one or the Brodeur? It's a tough call...

Not a great player but another one of the best horizontal photos. Can't complain about this one.

#190 - Vladimir Konstantinov

#194 - Mikael Renberg

I've mentioned this before but I've always been somewhat of a Renberg collector. Very pleased with this pull.

#206 - Paul Kariya

Paul recently hung up the skates after an impressive career. Unfortunately he's another of the really bright players who was negatively impacted by head injuries.

#228 - Felix Potvin

Yup, two Felix Potvin Electric Ice cards in one box...

#253 - Teemu Selanne

There were a couple of inserts to be found as well:

#F3 - Eric Lindros - Freeze Frame

These fall one per box and I definitely could've done worse than Eric Lindros.

#R28 - Alexei Zhamnov - Predictor Retail

Snooze....and finally my one-per-box Electric Ice Gold parallel was:

#58 - Marik Malik

I was pretty sure his first name was spelled Marek, but whatever. Obviously not the greatest card but I was satisfied with getting a Hartford Whaler at least. This guy was a monster at 6'6", but never played that physically (or well for that matter).

That wraps it up. What a great box for less than the price of a blaster. Best of all, I'm only 13 cards short of a complete Series 1 set. Now, I wonder where I can find a Series 2 box?
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