Thursday, May 8, 2014

Suckered In - A 2-Pack Special Featuring Ales Hemsky

The other day I had a weak moment and walked out of Target with this:

10 packs of hockey cards for $11.99.  Some halfway decent stuff, at least based on the two visible packs.  So far I've been pleasantly surprised as the first pack, a 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee rack pack, yielded a new David Krejci card, as well as Crosby and quite a few other big name players and some good trade bait.  Today I've got the next two packs for you...

First up is 2007-08 Fleer Ultra.  I was bummed to see this at first because I thought I had already completed the set, but was happy to find that it was '08-09 I had knocked off (they all look the same, anyway).  That made me feel better, until I realized there was a measly five cards in this pack.  Let's see 'em all...

Out of the gate we have Ales Hemsky on what is your classic Fleer Ultra hockey card for the time period; bland design that includes player's last name written in a cursive type font, and a closely cropped warm-up photo that gives you no feel at all for what's going on around the player.

Another pet peeve of mine, player depicted with one team but listed with another.  Look, I'm not questioning the decision not to mess around with airbrushing.  What I am questioning is why Joni Pitkanen just had to be included in a 200-card short set checklist when there were hundreds of better players in the NHL at the time who weren't just traded and thus wearing the wrong sweater.  I think this pack is starting to make me grumpy.

Hey, here we go!  A nice Gold Medallion parallel of a Boston fan favorite, Marc Savard.  It's a shame how it ended for Marc, who was still putting up point-per-game type numbers before the two concussions.  My wife has been subjected to a lot of hockey living in a household with me for the past 10 years or so, and she's a great sport about it.  In fact, she's really become quite a fan.  But the one thing she has a problem with is the fighting, egregious illegal checks and sometimes over-the-top displays of machismo.  When Matt Cooke pulled his typical crap yet again earlier this playoff year, she asked me if he was the same guy who had ended Savard's career.  When I told her that it was, she asked me why the league wouldn't ban him instead of just suspending him and then letting him come back and possibly hurt someone else.  Didn't really have a good answer for her.

My parallel was a Bruin, and now a Crosby insert, this pack has officially been salvaged after a terrible start.  According to the wrapper these 'Difference Makers' fall 1:12 packs.  I pulled a Crosby in the first pack from this value box, too!  I know it means virtually nothing, but the book value on this card is $6 which is half of what I paid for these ten packs combined.

We finish off with Michael Nylander.  For this hockey fan, Nylander might be the sleeper card of the pack.  Why is that?  Well, let's look at the back:

If you look closely at the first and second lines of stats you'll see the Hartford Whalers!  Pretty cool that even in 2007 you could still pull a card from a pack and find evidence of the long-gone Whalers franchise.

Alright, since that was only a five card pack here's another, 2011-12 Upper Deck Victory:

I've actually opened a pack of this before, which I posted on A Pack to Be Named Later.  Let's see what six cards await me this time around:

A very solid defenseman to kick things off.  Between his blazing slapshot and his intimidating presence, I've always thought to myself that Weber looks like one of the least fun people in the NHL to play against.

Alright, a new Lucic card with Patrice Bergeron lurking in the background.  Maybe this is an omen and Milan is going to bury one or two tonight against Montreal.

Here's my insert, a 1:2 packs Game Breakers Alex Ovechkin.  Strange because I pulled Alex's base card in the only other pack I've ever cracked of this stuff.

Two packs, two Ales Hemsky cards.  This is about normal for me, I always seem to pull this guy.

There you have it.  I have to say, three packs into this thing I'm kind of pleasantly surprised.  There's been a Bruin in every pack, and either a Crosby or an Ovechkin in every pack as well.  I thought I'd regret this impulse buy but I'm starting to wonder if I should actually do this more often!

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