Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2007-2008 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Three-fer

I've managed to stumble into writing the site's 250th post, so I'll give you three packs for your enjoyment to commemorate the event. We'll hit one thousand before you know it! Today I've got some 2007-2008 O-Pee-Chee hockey to rip. There are a couple reasons I bought this stuff. First, I've never actually been able to buy a pack of O-Pee-Chee in a retail store before. This used to be Canadian only before Upper Deck bought them out and the last time I was in Canada I was 5. Secondly, the NHL All-Star Game and Fan Fest is in Atlanta this year. This includes a trading card show sponsored by Upper Deck, which of course means wrapper redemptions. Upper Deck is offering a bunch of Thrasher cards as rewards for opening wax at the show, but I can't open wax if there's nothing I want to buy. Any money I spend there is money I don't have to buy 2008 Topps and Heritage baseball, so I really, really don't want to waste a lot of cash on junk hockey wax I don't even collect just to get a couple of Thrashers promos. Pack prices tend to be a tad inflated at these things too, which doesn't help. That's where O-Pee-Chee comes in. OPC is the quintessential Hockey card (well, other than maybe Parkhurst) plus the stuff is cheap. You can get a handful of retail packs to rip for under ten bucks which is always nice. If O-Pee-Chee is worth it, I'll have something to rip while I'm there to get the goodies. Plus Todd McFarlane will be there hawking his Action Figures and signing autos, and it would be awesome if I could get my copy of Spawn #10 with the Cerebus crossover signed. Let's see how this stuff looks.

Pack 1:
91 Andrew Ladd
356 Joffrey Lupul
233 Lubomir Visnovsky
253 Chris Higgins
589 Torrey Mitchell Marquee Rookies
260 Cristobal Huet

Well the stuff certainly looks great. The gold and black borders with the subtle cross hatching looks really slick, plus any hockey set with the team logo prominently displayed is a good one. The cards are printed on old-school gray cardboard too, which is fantastic. It's a pretty large set so pretty much every player who spent significant time with their team should be in the checklist. Not bad at all so far. I'm not crazy about the backs though, the base cards are a tad minimalist for my tastes and the Rookie card is printed in full color on the back which looks terrible. You can't tell from the scan, but the colored ink causes a glare on the back that makes it really hard to read. No foil, which is refreshing. The most disturbing thing about this set is that it has a 600 card checklist with short printed rookies and Upper Deck could only manage to squeeze 6 cards per pack. Why? Is gray cardboard that freaking expensive nowadays? Plus most packs have a rookie or insert in them so that's 5 base cards per pack. So now I'm looking at three boxes minimum with perfect collation for even a shot at a base set. Ugh. It's a nice set though, so let's check out the second pack.

Pack 2:
162 Mike Ribeiro
62 Andrew Peters
322 Peter Prucha
274 Vernon Fiddler
CL24 Pittsburgh Penguins Checklist
436 Vaclav Prospal

I have to admit that out of the packs I got, the Penguins checklist is my favorite pull. I love the old cartoony penguin logo. The checklist also give a little more info about the breakdown of the set. Penguin cards are numbered 383-399, so UD grouped all the players by team, which is nice for team collectors. There are 17 Penguin cards in the checklist, so it looks like most teams will have a good number of players. They didn't list any rookie cards on the checklist, which is strange. You'd think there'd be at least one Penguin in the 100 card rookie set, and a team checklist is useless if you don't have all the cards on it. Nice stuff, but I'm still not sold. At the bare minimum though this pack break has made me want to check for a Thrashers team set online.

Pack three:
222 Dan Cloutier
362 Kimmo Timonen
132 Ryan Smyth
264 Alexander Perezhogin
SH2 Daniel Alfresson Season Highlights
35 Phil Kessel

Upper Deck got one thing right with this set, the inserts are shiny. Real shiny. Refractor-like shiny. Alfredsson's not a bad pull either, a Buffalo fan would soil themselves if they pulled this card. I'll say one thing for this set, if I collect any hockey set this year, it will be this one. Problem is, I'm still extremely bitter over the cancellation of the season a couple of years before. Dany Heatley was my absolute favorite hockey player ever, and I got to watch his Thrashers career end with assclown Gary Bettman announcing that the season had to be canceled because billionaire owners just couldn't work out with the millionaire players how they should divvy up the money pie. A money pie that looks more like an overcooked Hostess fried pie now thanks to their short sightedness. Oh well. Even though I'm still angry at the NHL, this will be my only chance to go to a Hockey Fanfest show and I'll probably end up checking it out anyway. The chance to stalk Todd McFarlane so I can ask if he'll show me his balls is too big a temptation to pass up. I'm still not sure if I'll be ripping any wax there though since Upper Deck decided to be stingy with the cards per pack. Maybe I can sneak a couple of Thrashers promos without anyone seeing. Everybody is going to want Sidney Crosby anyway.


kevincrumbs said...

Thank you thank you thank you for the hockey post!

Baseball was my first love growing up and I collected heavily for a couple of years until the 94 strike hit and then I moved onto basketball and then hockey. Even though I started buying baseball cards again for fun two years ago, I ended up stopping again.

What I'm trying to say is that even though I don't care about baseball at all (except going to Safeco Field and having an Ivar Dog), I still check all the great baseball card blogs out everyday since I love cards so much. Thank you for finally writing about my true love, hockey.

(Can't seem to find any hockey card blogs out there)

dayf said...

Cool, I'm glad someone out there appreciates them. My basketball packs haven't gone over very well lately, I'm glad someone at least has the Hockey Love.

FYI - I just stumbled upon this site the other day... enjoy


Sal said...

Hey DAYF, let me know if you want to trade that Penguins checklist. It's the last one I need.

And thanks for mentioning my site, PuckJunk.com

KEVYN...please check out my hockey-card related websites--I think you will enjoy them.


Just spreading the hockey love :)