Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Reflections on my first month of collecting the NHL

It is hard to believe that it is already a month ago that I made the announcement that I had become a hockey fan. I made the post on January 14th, and began adding cards to my collection the very next day.

I still have a lot to learn, but I am still enjoying every minute of it. My mom surprised me with Center Ice for Valentine's Day (although over a week early, so I could watch more games!) and now I've seen all but two teams play (Nashville and Carolina). I have read the Wikipedia entries for each active team in full, and I'm close to finishing the defunct teams.

I still have not picked a favorite team or player yet, but I do have a couple of leading candidates. I do think I'm going to favor the Vegas team, considering it was because of them that I started watching. Brent Burns, Jarome Iginla and Henrik Lundqvist are in the early lead as favorite players. However, like I do with the NBA and NASCAR, I will be and am collecting everyone, every team. It's just not in my nature to collect only a portion of something. I collect primarily to document history after all.

And about that collecting...I began with exactly 3000 cards thanks to several friends sending me bunches of them before I became a true the month I've been actively collecting, my collection has grown to 3835 cards! Even more amazing...all but about 250 of them were cards I received as gifts from fellow collectors!

Card collectors are a great group of people. I've said it before, but it really does bear repeating. The kindness and generosity among collectors is topnotch. I truly believe if more people were like card collectors the world would be a better place.

I do not have any autographs yet...and my only relic is the one I claimed from JBF's Christmas Tradeathon. I have specifically not purchased any on COMC or anywhere else, even though I do have a couple of dollars in my COMC account. That's because I want to pull my first, especially autograph. In both NBA and NASCAR I purchased my first autographs, and I really want to pull my first for the NHL. This may be difficult as I mostly do only blasters...not really a haven of many autographs. I'm considering springing for a hobby box of the two series of Upper Deck Flagship this year, considering it's my first year collecting, but that's a lot of money to lay out with them going for more than $60 each. But the UD Flagship has never been big on autographs if it is anything like when they had the NBA license. The boxes that guarantee multiple autographs are out of my price range, and that's kind of like cheating, if it's a sure thing, right? Maybe for my upcoming birthday (October) or Celebrating not dying day (any day between April 26-May 1) as my Mom and Brother always get me something nice on those two days.

What I have pulled is my first Serially numbered parallel. I am a huge fan of SN cards. I have a definite affinity for them, and while I mentioned it in a previous post, I never showed it, so here it is now:
Interestingly, it's SN 084/100...I was born in 1984. That splotch under the P is on the actual card...not sure if they are all like that or this is a single flaw in my card.

I hope that a lot of SN friends will join it, but with no local shops that do singles it might not be as easy to pick them off as it was in my heyday of collecting the NBA in the early 2000s.

Honestly, sometimes I've wondered if it was stupid for me to take on another sport. I'm already doing two sports, the Olympics sets, and some non-sports, and I have very little money to spend on the hobby, so it seems almost like a fool's errand. Then I put on a game and enjoy the heck out of it and remember why I started in the first place. It is something that occasionally crosses my mind, I must admit.

I have not yet determined if I want to tackle getting every set and every player like I did for the NBA and NASCAR. It's worth noting that I didn't finish the latter part for either sport, (not even close!) and the NHL has had a much more extensive history of getting cards...whereas the NBA's first set was in 1948, and NASCAR's in 1988, the NHL's was in 1923-24! Maybe even older, some of the early stuff is not always easily visible on the Trading Card Database. For some of the early players and sets finding an example may prove to be more troublesome than affording it, although that would be an issue as well.

Finally, I have posted a small tradelist along the very top bars of my blog. It's not very much, but I've only been collecting a short period of time, so I don't have much to offer yet. As is always the case with my tradelists, all cards are in virtually perfect shape. No corner issues, no surface flaws, no cards you'd ever need to look for an upgrade on; I have plenty of those damaged cards from all sports but I don't list them. I am not ready to post any wantlists yet because there is so much I don't have.

And now, here's just some random cards I've added to my collection and scanned but hadn't posted yet.

Thanks for reading!
 I got the entire Rangers team set at my local dealer on the 15th of January but didn't get any scanned in time to post in the second post that I linked to above.
 This and the next one below are actually cards I had as part of the 3000 that I started with, but I scanned them in January.

 This one was also part of the original 3000, but I didn't realize it was the French version and had it in my duplicates box. When I got it out to enter it in my tradelist here I realized it was not the English version!

 This MVP Silver Script and the two O-Pee-Chees that follow were also part of the Original 3000

This was in the pack that was included in the Repack I profiled. In fact, it was the first card out of that pack. I had not opened it when I wrote the profile. What an excellent photo this is! 


  1. You have some excellent and generous friends!!!!

  2. Goal celebration cards are some of the best. Gretzky as a Blue, not so much. Be A Player packs will get you a guaranteed autograph. It's not cheating and you should be able to find some inexpensive packs or blasters with a little research. Welcome to the wonderful world of hockey card collecting.

    1. I have a few base card singles from them from back when they had a license, but I have never opened anything from them. I'll keep my eyes out for them. Thanks!

  3. #LGR Let's Go Rangers!! I hear a team calling your name Billy!!!

    1. Could be! I have been watching more than a few of their games...

  4. You are correct about Upper Deck not being autograph heavy. They aren't even one per box.

    Also, those MVP Gold Scripts are tough to come by. I'm not sure the entire story, but it has to have something to do with the retail aspect. They are retail only and so some have speculated that they are in kids' collections somewhere and that they don't have any idea what they are. I've only seen two Andrew Shaw Gold Scripts and I bought both of them.

    1. I wouldn't be surprised. Retail exclusives have always been tough to come by. I wasn't aware they were retail only until just now, I found part of a blaster in a local dealer's dollar bin.

  5. Nice to see you getting in the hockey card game. They're a lot of fun to collect.

    1. I'm finding that already...I've been enjoying every minute so far!