Saturday, February 18, 2017

My first National Hockey Card Day!

Editorial note: The first part of this post is a copy and paste from my post on A Pack to Be Named Later. The new material starts after the Auston Matthews card. 

Today, February 18th, 2017 is National Hockey Card Day in both the USA and Canada. How it works is, if you visit a participating hobby shop, you get some free hockey cards. Pretty simple, no? They've been doing it since 2009 in Canada and 2012 in the USA, but since I just began to collect hockey, this is my first one participating. I'm not sure how big a deal it is, but I didn't roll into my local shop until 3 PM and I was the first one to ask for them. Hopefully it will continue because let's face it, all card collectors love oddball issues. I was afraid they were going to be all sold out-even more so when I discovered that somebody had come in and purchased just about every hockey box in the shop since my last visit a month ago-but I was lucky.

The set primarily includes American born players on American teams, but the Toronto Maple Leafs make an appearance with Auston Matthews being both card #1 in the set, and a special bonus card #16 that usually only comes with a purchase of UD cards, but since I've been a regular at my shop for 17 years, and they had no more hockey cards to purchase, I got one of them too.

The set is not just current players, there are retired legends as well. There are also some super rare autographs as well but I was not lucky enough to pull any of them.

One thing to watch out for, about half the cards I pulled had damage on the back, this was something done at the UD factory, because of the fact that the cards underneath them did not always have damage.
First out of my first pack was Jimmy Vesey, a rookie on the New York Rangers.
Following him was Bill Guerin, one of the legends in the set.
Dylan Larkin came next...and appeared in my second pack as well. I know it's a small set at only 15 base cards, but a duplicate is still a bit disappointing.
Zach Werenski followed Larkin
And the final player card was another legend, Ed Olczyk
Although not counted as part of the pack, each pack I opened also included a checklist card, which is great. I love checklists.
Here's the back of the regular cards. The one thing I would have done differently was include the player's hometown. After all, the set is built around American hockey players, so it would have been nice info to include.
As an added bonus, here is the Auston Matthews bonus card that doesn't come in a pack. It is my first official hockey card of him, as he previously only appeared in my multi-sport collection. My first cards of Vesey and Werenski as well!

Now, here's pack two...minus the spare Larkin of course.
The New York Rangers led off again, with legend Brian Leetch
 Two straight Chicago BlackHawks came next with Patrick Kane and Tyler Motte

Last up was another retired legend, Mike Modano

Now, I went to the shop with the intention of buying another tin of 2015-16 Series 2, which I got one of last month and when I left they had 4 more on the shelves. They were gone, as was pretty much everything else. As I mentioned they sold most of the hockey in the store. But I did not come away empty handed. I have been a big fan of my local shop since I started going there in the year 2000. But the one bad thing is that they didn't do single cards...only boxes. That has now changed. I was able to add some singles to my NBA collection. Although I've been posting about hockey more than NBA recently, NBA is still #1 for me...I wasn't sure if these were all new or not, but I decided to take the chance on a couple I wasn't sure about, because I figured, even if not new, they were still serially numbered, and I've got a serious SN addiction. 

 I've been finding a lot of Araujo autographs for cheap recently, this is the third I've added for $5 or less in the last year.
 This is my second card from this relic set. The first one I got when I did a box when the set was new back in 2005.
 Today is also his birthday.
 This is one I wasn't sure if I needed or not.
 I've written about Dajuan Wagner before. Had great talent but poor health.
 I've always felt bad for Lampe. He was a player similar to Kristaps Porzingis, but he never got the chance to get on the court to show what he could do. He even wore #6 on the Knicks...Lampe was expected to be a lottery pick, but fell to the 30th pick in the draft...the New York fans actually cheered for him, he was there at the draft. (Highly ususual, the NY fans boo everybody). But...the Knicks, at that time, refused to play rookies. He sat on the bench without getting a chance to play. Not even a single game did the Knicks bother to play him. Then, he was traded to the Suns in the Penny Hardaway/Stephon Marbury trade. The Suns finally did play him...barely. He got into 37 games over two years for the Suns, before they traded him to the Hornets where he again mostly benchwarmed, before they traded him to the Rockets, who played him in a grand total 12 minutes over 4 games, before releasing him. He never played in the NBA again. We have no real clue what he could have accomplished because his coaches never bothered to find out. I've always felt bad for him, like I said. According to Wikipedia, he's playing in China now.
Finally we have TJ Ford from 2003-04 Ultra. I really liked this Ultra design, but I didn't like that the lottery picks were short printed. (Each of the Lucky 13 is SN500 on the back). I have most of them but I didn't know if I had this one, so I took the chance. Turns out I needed it! In fact, I only guessed wrong once, the only card I had before was the Jarvis Hayes from Sweet Shot. Not too bad considering.


  1. Nice pulls on the Hockey Card Day packs - I love this promotion!

    1. Thanks! Me too! I wish now that I had taken part in previous years...I will surely take part again in the future!

  2. Glad you got some free hockey cards...when I saw the last card on here, I glanced quickly and thought it was Tiger Woods! LOL

  3. AK47! I liked that he still in the league? Last I heard he was on Brooklyn, but that may have been a while ago.

    The hockey cards are pretty neat, I like the design better than past years. Why are the last three cards lettered and not numbered? Are those the autographs? If so, it figures there's no Kyle Palmieri base but there is a rare auto. :/

    1. No, he's retired. The Nets traded him to the 76ers during their tanking years and he refused to play with them, so he retired instead. He's now director of Russia's national basketball team. Yes the lettered cards are the autographs. Would have been pretty cool if one of them got to be my first NHL autograph but it wasn't to be.

  4. Awesome stuff! What year is that Rafael Araujo card #ed to 1999? I was looking at some Yuta Tabuse auto cards that look similar!

    1. There's a very good reason for that, as this is from 2004-05 SPx...Yuta Tabuse has a card in this set as well, although I don't have it yet. In fact, this is my first rookie autograph from the set, I believe.

    2. Thanks for the info. I am considering starting a Tabuse Set. Looks like maybe a couple dozen cards to chase.

    3. Yeah he did not get too many. The Trading Card Database shows 115 but not all are on there yet.

    4. I need to remember to use The Trading Card Database more for stuff like this. I would love to get involved in uploading images there....especially for all the Japanese sets I've accumulated.

  5. I know nothing about hockey anymore. I collected some in the 90s but gave it up within two or three years. The stars I knew are long retired. That said, this weekend I picked up a stack of misc hockey for you including some from 2016 Hockey Day. Nickel boxes. ;) Hopefully there will be a few star cards in there.

  6. I like those hockey cards. I'd seen a few and thought they would be nice and you confirmed it. Thanks for the post.