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Friday, November 15, 2013

They Don't Make 'Em Like This Where I'm From

I've never seen ice like this in my life.  

I think this might just be paradise...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Epic Card Has Arrived.

I have noticed lately that both Upper Deck and Panini have been sending redemption cards of "higher" value with signature verifications.  I have no problem with that other than the fact that no one is ever home at my house to sign for them.  Regardless, the Post Office gladly holds my little yellow envelopes for me until I can get my happy butt over there to pick them up.

Well an epic card awaited me yesterday.  I bought a box of Panini Classics Signatures back in March at the Chicago Sun-Times Sports Show in Rosemont, IL.  In it was a redemption for a triple auto.  Honestly, I never expected to receive this card and assumed it would be one that would need replaced.  Then the email came last week.  My card had shipped.

And here it is in all it's glory...

One Card!!  

Three HOFers!!!  

Three Autographs!!!  

19 Total Stanley Cup Championships!!!  


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sabres To Name Pat LaFontaine as Director of Hockey Operations???

Bob McKenzie reported on his Twitter feed that he expects the Sabres to announce that Pat LaFontaine is the new director of hockey operations for the club.  The Sabres have announced a press conference for today at 10:30 and it is being streamed live on their website.

This seems to be a trend in the NHL these days.  Hey, our team is struggling.  Let's take a former NHL great (preferably a vet of our franchise) and put him in a position of authority.  That will certainly turn the team's fortunes around.

What does everyone think of this move?  Other moves like this?


Sabres fired Darcy Regier as Buffalo's GM!!  And....They fired their coach, Ron Rolston!

Ted Nolan is the new "interim" head coach.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another Year, Another League Impacting Injury

For many of you, this is old news.  But I'm trying to keep my tradition going of being late to the party.

There were two Tampa Bay teams in action last night.  One in the NHL, one in the NFL.  Which one would you want to watch??  Those of you that chose the NHL (made the right choice) got to see probably the most devastating injury of this young 2013-14 season.

With about 7 minutes left to play in the second period, Steven Stamkos was skating up the ice toward his own net, chasing a dump in pass by Boston, when his skate got tied up with Dougie Hamilton.  As Stamkos went down, he collided with the right post of the goal, knocking it from its' moorings.  As you can see in the videos, he hits the post with his left leg and then his right leg came awkwardly across his body and bent backward as it too hit the post.  He was immediately in pain and Anders Lindback instantly signaled for trainers to get out on the ice.  As Stamkos got up to skate away, he fell back to the ice in pain.  He had to be taken from the ice on a stretcher.  Word from the Lightning is that he has a broken tibia, he is out indefinitely, and will undergo surgery today.

For a team in the Eastern Conference that has to contend with other big dogs to get a playoff spot, this isn't good news.  With five teams basically locked on top of the East, any edge will benefit the rest and this injury just could push a "bubble" team into a playoff spot (I know it's early, I'm just saying).  Going into last nights game, Stamkos was tied with Sidney Crosby for as the NHL leading scorer at 23 points and tied with Alex Steen in goals with 14.  He hasn't missed a single regular season game in his entire career up to this point and is now in jeopardy of missing much of the rest of the season, if not all of it.  Those are points the Lightning can't afford to be without for any amount of time.  The sheer fact that Steven was a part of 44% of all Tampa goals this year shows that his impact will be potentially devastating for the Lightning.

This also has world hockey implications as Stamkos was basically a lock for making Team Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.  The final team roster does not have to be announced until Dec. 31st however, adding an injured player to the roster and then having to have them removed is not as easy for international play.  Broken legs generally take four to six months to heal completely.  Surgically repaired legs can heal quicker but every person is different when it comes to down time and the pain threshold.  Regardless, I doubt Stamkos would be ready before the first game of Team Canada which is only about three months away.  Stamkos isn't replaceable either as the only other player with his type of ability is Sidney Crosby, who is already most certainly going to be on the team.  Plus, with Rick Nash yet to return from concussion, the Team Canada lineup is starting to look thin.

Overall though, NHL fans are going to lose out on seeing one of the best players in the world for awhile.  Regardless of whether you are a lightning fan or not, Stamkos has always been a class act and an amazing player to watch.

New PC Cards, Rare Ones Too

So I hinted last week in my three-card PC post that I had some bigger pull-type cards on their way for my PC.  Well they arrived.

As most people know, I have an Eric Tangradi personal collection that I started back in 2010 when he was a prospect in the Penguins organization.  Now that he is with Winnipeg, I still actively chase the missing links that I don't have. 

The problem for me has always been that I am aware of at least a half-dozen other Tangradi collectors.  This poses a problem when searching for cards on the auction sites.  I can't tell you how many times I have gotten into a bidding war with someone and ended up overpaying for a card just because the demand was there (or lost at the last second or just got bid right out of the auction). 

One of those collector's periodically puts up many of his/her rarer cards, assuming to test the market.  Up to this point, I have only ever seen them listed for BIN numbers reaching in the ridiculously high stratosphere of values.  I have always watched them, but they have never ended with a sale.  A few weeks ago, some of these cards hit the Bay again, only this time, they were traditional auctions with starting prices of $.99.

It was on.

After all was said and done, I ended up winning 4 of the 6 auctions I bid on.  The other two just got too rich for my blood.  At any rate, I figured I would share.

2010-11 Certified Freshman Signatures Mirror Gold #/25

So with a tiered system in any card set, the ones numbered under 50 are next to impossible to find.  I have only seen this gold one pop up a couple times.  I was happy to bid and finally win this one.  I have the basic Silver #/899, the Red #/250, and the Blue #/100.  I just need the Emerald #/5 and the Black #/1.  I have actually found the Emerald recently and am working on procuring it.  We shall see. 

2010-11 Ultimate Debut Threads Signed Jersey #/50

This is another in a long line of "tiered" cards.  These were found as just jerseys, jersey autos, patches, patch autos, and I think there is a black version or something like that.  I know I have the regular Jersey #/200 and the Patch #/35 but I had never seen the jersey auto.  Never.  Maybe I just didn't pay good enough attention.  I did pay for the card though.  And now it's mine.

2010-11 Upper Deck Magenta Printing Plate #1/1

I believe this would be my tenth printing plate.  These never popped up at all a few years ago but then last year around summer time, I found quite a few.  The difference though was that they were all The Cup plates which feature the other releases by Upper Deck (ie. SP, SPx, Black Diamond, Arifacts, etc).  I didn't realize that the basic flagship set had it's own plates outside the realm of The Cup.  The card itself is made of metal (as most plates are) and you can see it on the back (although I didn't scan it).  The corners are rounded too.  There is a sticker identifying it as the actual plate, signed by our friend Richard P. McWilliam.

2010-11 Zenith Autograph

Finally I was able to get my hands on a Zenith auto.  These have popped up on a number of occasions but every time they have a BIN that is well out of my price range.  Not anymore.  This one set me back a whopping $3.  It is numbered out of #/99.  Unfortunately it's a sticker auto although the design of the card had the white space for signing. 

One of these days I will get around to updating my Tangradi page and checklist.  One of these days seems to be my mantra lately.