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Friday, January 10, 2014

The 2014 AHL All-Star Classic Roster

The roster came out today for the 20th AHL All-Star Classic.  If you don't follow AHL hockey, you may have no clue what I am talking about or care for that matter.  But pay attention to some of these guys.  Of the 20 players that were selected, 19 of them have NHL experience, including 14 this season.  Plus, success in this game leads to great opportunities.  Many of these guys are highly touted prospects for their respective NHL teams and could see permanent NHL jobs in the near future.  In fact, 93% of players that appear in the AHL All-Star Classic end up in the NHL.

This year, for the first time ever, the AHL All Stars will be competing against the best team from Sweden.  Ex-NHLer Hakan Loob's team, Farjestad BK from Karlstad, Sweden will be traveling to North America to compete against the best the AHL has to offer.  This team is one of the most successful European franchises ever, winning 9 Swedish league championships and making it to the finals 19 times.

The other reason I'm posting this is another excuse to show off some cards.  Prospecting is definitely not one of my fortes but with the double rookie class this year and the inclusion of many draft picks that see time at the tail end of the NHL season, many of these guys have cards floating around out there.  A lot of them have regular release cards with autos and memorabilia cards to boot, while some have only team releases and other examples from In The Game products.  If you are really motivated, most of them can be had on the secondary market for mere pennies.  If prospecting is your thing, this is a great group of players to target.

Here is the roster with player positions, teams they are on, the prospective NHL team they belong to, and a rough idea of how many instances of cardboard love they have out there.  

Brett Connolly (F), Syracuse Crunch - Tampa Bay Lightning (389 Cards)

Brian Gibbons (F), Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins - Pittsburgh Penguins (0 Cards)

Mike Hoffman (F), Binghamton Senators - Ottawa Senators (15 Cards)

Jason Jaffray (F) [named team captain], St. John's IceCaps - Winnipeg Jets (15 Cards)

Travis Morin (F), Texas Stars - Dallas Stars (7 Cards)

Brandon Pirri (F), Rockford IceHogs - Chicago Blackhawks (113 Cards)

Colton Sceviour (F), Texas Stars - Dallas Stars (83 Cards)

Ryan Spooner (F), Providence Bruins - Boston Bruins (174 Cards)

Colton Sissons (F), Milwaukee Admirals - Nashville Predators (33 Cards)

Ben Street (F), Abbotsford Heat - Calgary Flames (33 Cards)

Ryan Strome (F), Bridgeport Sound Tigers - NY Islanders (58 Cards)

Linden Vey (F), Manchester Monarchs - LA Kings (17 Cards)

Chad Billins (D), Abbotsford Heat - Calgary Flames (0 Cards)

TJ Brennan (D), Toronto Marlies - Toronto Maple Leafs (42 Cards)

Cody Goloubef (D), Springfield Falcons - Columbus Blue Jackets (151 Cards)

Alexey Marchenko (D), Grand Rapids Griffins - Detroit Red Wings (0 Cards)

Brayden McNabb (D), Rochester Americans - Buffalo Sabres (80 Cards)

Frederic St. Denis (D), Springfield Falcons - Columbus Blue Jackets (50 Cards)

Jake Allen (G), Chicago Wolves - St. Louis Blues (380 Cards)

Martin Jones (G), Manchester Monarchs - LA Kings (46 Cards)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Life As A Flipper (not the Dolphin variety)

Well, not exactly but...

Back in September, I was looking around the universe for places to sell my cards.  I am well aware of all the "regular" haunts for card sellers but I wanted to find something different.  Maybe be introduced to something on the ground floor that as it grew, so could I.  Well, I was unable to find such an animal (with the exception of Collector's Revolution which I haven't decided on a plan for yet).  But in the process, I was reintroduced to Check Out My Cards.

I know everyone knows of, is familiar with, or has used  That's nothing new.  They have been around for I think over 6 years now and are a mainstay at many of the larger shows across North America, promoting their sort-of, kind-of, unique-like consignment website.  I have always thought they were a great place to buy but never had the guts to pack up a 600-count box to send to them.  Instead, I've always searched for singles for my various PCs and sets that I collect (probably like many others out there).

When the light bulb went off in my head, I wasn't sure what I should do.  Usually when it comes to half-baked ideas I get regarding this hobby, I go gung-ho for about 10 minutes until I realize the work involved.  This time, though, it was different.  I decided that I would do what I could to work the system, meaning taking the Wall Street mentality of "Buy Low, Sell High".  Why not?  It works there, why can't it work here on this marketplace.  Ebay is never going to lend itself to that behavior and some of the other sites are just too crowded with competition.  The key was finding something people would want without A) mailing anything to the COMC inventory, B) amassing a large stable of junk wax, and C) spending a lot to make a little.

So I found a niche and for the most part stuck with it.  Pre-1990s hockey cards seemed to be my calling and I slowly began building my inventory.  100, 200, 300 cards...building from the bottom up one at a time using the money from selling to purchase more inventory.  Cashing out account balances on COMC seemed to me to be counter productive so the only choice was adding more inventory.  It has worked out to the tune of about 80 cards being sold since October.  Not much by comparison with the majority of sellers on there but I was pretty proud of that fact since all I was doing was flipping, not providing money, and not sending in inventory.

Now if only parring down my own collection was this easy.  It seems that pointing and clicking is the only way I get rid of anything.  I guess I do have a collecting goal for 2014...get organized.