Saturday, December 28, 2013


And a little bit closer!

With an additional 11 cards, I am now 93.9% complete of my 1956 Topps Baseball set.

To get from 310 to 321, I made my first purchase from the Check Out My Cards website.

Although I had known of this site for years, it was my first order from the site. A place where you can acquire many items from many different sellers yet pay only one shipping price, it was a simple way to acquire more of the low-grade 1956 Topps Baseball cards that I needed.

With only 21 cards remaining, it feels pretty darn cool getting this close. Although there are some commons remaining, there are also some important cards remaining too, including Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Yogi Berra, and Warren Spahn.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hit of the Year!

I purchased a box of ITG Ultimate Hockey recently and opened it as an early Xmas present. Luckily for me, Santa Claus must have put me on the nice list this year.

I'll let the picture do the talking...

From 2012-13 In The Game Ultimate:

It's hard to top a pull like this any year!

Thanks Santa!

Monday, December 9, 2013


With the acquisition of 9 more 1956 Topps Baseball cards, I've now completed 90.6% of the set (including two checklist cards)

Although none of the 9 cards which I acquired are high-end players, they had eluded me nonetheless until now. Most of the cards are in quite good shape (as shown in four of the cards below) and would grade quite well except for being off-centre.

With only 32 cards remaining, I've decided to test my luck with the Check Out My Cards website. I've selected some cards that I need and we'll see what I end up with. The cost of the cards were quite reasonable and it's handy to be able to get cards from different sellers in one single shipment.

I'll update my set progression in the next few weeks when the package arrives.

It's exciting that I'm getting so close and it's fun to try to build an older set.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Trading Up.... (By Selling and Buying)

When collecting trading cards, trading is a great way to get rid of cards that you don't want and acquire cards that you need. Unfortunately, trading isn't always as easy as it seems. Some collectors are difficult to trade with, it's not always possible to find you need, and you may not have what other collectors need. While the internet has given rise to the number of possible traders out there, trust can also be an issue with someone that you've never met.

To upgrade my collection, I sell on eBay. When buyers pay me through PayPal, I use that cash (and only that cash) to acquire new cards for my collection. By only using that money, it's as if I've traded my sold cards for the purchased cards.

With eBay's 50 free listings per month, it's a great opportunity to list some cards which have no place in my collection. It's surprising to see what you can sell and then buy at virtually the same price.

My past 10 sales on eBay have been:
2011 Paini Prime Cuts Kevin Matthew Auto - $2.79
12-13 Fleer Retro Chet Pickard Autograph - $2.29
2009 Panini Contenders Kory Sheets Auto - $11.83
08-09 ITG BTP Brian Elliot Autograph - $1.99
07-08 UD McDonald's Joe Sakic Insert - $1.69
06-07 UD SPA Ryan Shannon FW Auto - $1.49
09-10 UD SPA SOTT Andrew Cogliano Auto - $1.89
12-13 ITG H&P Daniel Altshuller Jersey - $1.89
09-10 UD Young Guns RC Lot (7) - $3.99
07-08 ITG H&P Cody Franson Auto - $1.79

Total sales - $31.64

My past 10 purchases on eBay have been:
11-12 Parkhurst Champions Pat Stapleton Auto - $3.13
11-12 Parkhurst Champions Doug Wilson Auto - $3.03
11-12 Parkhurst Champions Steve Larmer Auto - $3.55
11-12 Parkhurst Champions Rick MacLeish Auto - $2.53
00-01 UD Retro Epic Signatures Pat Verbeek Auto - $3.01
00-01 UD Retro Epic Signatures Keith Tkachuk Auto - $1.85
00-01 UD Retro Epic Signatures Denis Potvin Auto - $2.30
10-11 Donruss Tough Times Ron Hextall Auto - $3.50
04-05 UD Legendary Signatures Ted Lindsay Auto - $6.59
11-12 Panini Prime Signatures Mark Scheifele Auto - $4.03

Total Purchases - $33.52

There's always a little give and take on shipping charges but, on this occasion, I was on the good side of about two dollars.

When I look at what I sold on eBay, I see some autographs of rookies who never made it, some rookie cards of average players, an insert of a star, and some sticker autographs. Nothing which really fits into my collection.

When I look at what I purchased on eBay for basically the same amount of money, I see 10 hard-signed autographs of stars and minor stars from the past few decades, multiple 1,000 point scorers, multiple Hall of Famers, and an autographed rookie card of a highly-rated young player.

If I placed my ten (sold) cards in front of another collector do you think I'd be able to acquire the ten (purchased) cards. In my opinion, I think I'd be lucky to acquire 2 or 3 of the cards which I bought.

I still enjoy trading. It's nice to make a deal. However, by selling my cards for $30+ dollars and then buying the others for $30+ dollars, it's a way to upgrade my collection with a little more ease.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hockey Hall of Fame - Collector's Corner

The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario has a Collector's Corner sponsored by Upper Deck. The walls in the back corner showcase a wide array of tickets, coins, games, dolls, apparel, pennants, and food items from around the world. In addition, there is an Island of Cards.

Although it's great to see a tribute to hockey cards and collectibles in the Hockey Hall of Fame, it was somewhat disjointed and without much detailed information. On the Island of Cards, hockey cards seemed mostly just randomly dropped into slots. There was no description of what or why these particular cards were chosen.

As a fan of the hobby, it would be nice to see the whole area revamped. I'd love to get to Cooperstown and see how it compares to the baseball card collection there.

Monday, May 6, 2013


With a few pick-ups at the Sports Card Expo in Toronto this weekend, I was able to pass the 300 mark in my quest to complete a low-grade version of the Topps 1956 Baseball set.

Picking up Minnie Minoso, Bob Feller, Bill Skowron, and Elston Howard, I now have put together 88% of the set.

Obviously, it will be harder and harder to finish this set off at a reasonable cost but I'm quite proud to only need 40 more base cards and 1 of the 2 checklists.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

500 NHL Goal Scorers - Project Complete!

One of the bonuses of completing the 1,000 NHL Point Project is that the list contains most of the NHL's 500 Goal Scorers. It definitely reduced the need for finding a lot more hard-signed hockey cards.

In the history of the NHL, 42 players have scored 500 goals in their career. Luckily for me, 40 of those players finished their careers with over 1,000 points.

The only two players to score 500 goals but not reach 1,000 points are Maurice 'The Rocket' Richard and Peter Bondra.

Peter Bondra scored 503 goals and 892 points in his career. Long remembered as a Washington Capital, he holds many team records. A five-time NHL All-Star, Bondra twice won the Fastest Skater Competition on All-Star weekend. Although he never scored 90 points in an NHL season, he twice scored 50 goals.

From 1995-96 Upper Deck Be A Player comes this Global Training hard-signed autograph of Peter Bondra. Pulled from a pack years ago by myself, this card is easily available for only about $5.

Maurice 'The Rocket' Richard was the first NHL player to score 50 goals in one season, doing so in 50 games, and the first to score 500 goals in a career. He finished his career with 544 goals and 965 points. He added another 82 goals in 133 playoff games. Inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, Richard won 8 Stanley Cups as a player.

A legend in Montreal, Maurice Richard was famous as a member of the 'Punch Line' with Elmer Lach and Toe Blake. He is also remembered for the Richard Riot in 1955 and the classic story 'The Hockey Sweater' by Roch Carrier.

From 1994-95 Signatures Rookies comes this hard-signed autograph of Maurice Richard from the Cool 5 subset /1050. Although quite plentiful, the card often sells between $50-$100 and I was lucky enough to win an auction for one on eBay in the $60 range.

And Project Complete!

With the Bondra and Rocket autographs, I now have hard signed autographed hockey cards of all forty-two 500 goal scorers and, as mentioned previously, all seventy-nine 1,000 point scorers.

On to the next project...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Project Complete!


Project Complete!

In my collection, I now have at least one hard-signed hockey card of all 79 NHL players who have scored over 1,000 points in their career.

I even blogged about each and every player as I counted up the list from Ray Whitney to Wayne Gretzky. Sometimes it seemed like it was a losing battle but I'm proud of myself for successfully finishing a large project.

Next up?

500 Goals Scorers? Top point-scoring defensemen? Winningest goaltenders?

I think all three are likely choices.

I'm also debating trying to collect hard-signed baseball cards of every Toronto Blue Jay who played during the back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993.

I've learned that I enjoy projects... especially if they're challenging and feature subjects that I thoroughly enjoy.

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #1 Wayne Gretzky

The Great One!

With 2,857 points (894 goals, 1,963 assists) in 1,487 games, Wayne Gretzky was in a class of his own. In a sense, Gretzky was the fastest and the second fastest 1,000 point player as he scored his second 1,000 points (the only player ever to reach 2,000 points) in only 433 games after scoring his first 1,000 points (424 games).

The only player to score 200 points in a season, he did it 4 times!

After his retirement in 1999, Gretzky was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The NHL retired his jersey number 99 league-wide, making him the only player to receive this honour.

Involved in the most famous trade in NHL history in 1988 (Edmonton to Los Angeles), Gretzky won four Stanley Cups before the trade and none after.

From 2005-06 Upper Deck SP Authentic comes this dual hard-signed Prestigious Pairings /50 featuring Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky. One of the best card I've ever pulled from a pack (as mentioned in the Gordie Howe post), it happened at the Sports Card Expo in Toronto about 4 years ago.

Another one of my biggest pulls was a pack that featured Gretzky as well. However, the Legendary Linemates card from 2004-05 Upper Deck Legendary Signatures featuring Gretzky, Jari Kurri, and Glenn Anderson was sold by myself back in 2006. It would be nice to have it still in my collection.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #2 Mark Messier

The Moose or The Messiah.

Regardless of his nickname, his resume speaks volumes.

Mark Messier is considered one of the greatest NHL players of all time. He is second on the all-time career lists for regular season points, playoff points (295) and regular season games played (1,756). He won six Stanley Cups and is the only player to captain two different professional teams to championships.

With 1,887 points (694 goals, 1,193 assists), Messier ranks only second to Wayne Gretzky in career scoring. Inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007, Messier was awarded the Order of Hockey in Canada in 2013.

Although Messier scored the 2nd most points in NHL history and won two Hart Trophies, he never won a scoring title during his career.

From 2007-08 Upper Deck The Cup comes this Stanley Cup Signatures /25 hard-signed autograph card of Mark Messier. I personally pulled this card from my only tin of The Cup that season and it remains the only Messier autograph in my collection. Definitely a great one to have.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #3 Gordie Howe

"Mr. Hockey"

There's not much to write about Gordie Howe which hasn't already been written. The 23-time NHL All-Star won 4 Stanley Cups, 6 Art Ross Trophies, and 6 Hart Trophies.

A recipient of the Order of Canada, he stands as the 3rd highest scorer in NHL history with 1,850 points (801 goals, 1,049 assists) in 1,767 games. He played professional hockey from 1946 to 1980 and scored another 508 points while in the WHA in the mid-1970's.

Inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, Gordie Howe became good friends with Wayne Gretzky, who had idolized Howe as a young player, and who would later break many of Howe's scoring records.

From 2005-06 Upper Deck SP Authentic comes this dual hard-signed Prestigious Pairings /50 featuring Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky. One of the best card I've ever pulled from a pack, it happened at the Sports Card Expo in Toronto about 4 years ago. I've also been lucky enough to meet and talk to Gordie Howe on one occasion. I even pulled on a Red Wings jersey and had a photo taken with him... borderline sacrilegious for a Montreal Canadiens fan but I made an exception for Mr. Howe.

Monday, February 18, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #4 Ron Francis

Skill, leadership, and longevity.

Three words which describe Ron Francis. Any player who stands second all-time in career assists behind Wayne Gretzky with 1,249, third in games played (1,731), with 2 Stanley Cup championships is worthy of many compliments.

With 1,798 points (549 goals, 1,249 assists), Ron Francis ranks 4th all-time in NHL scoring. Although he never scored more than 32 goals in a season and only had three 100+ points seasons, Francis was consistently good on every team he played for.

A three-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy, Ron Francis was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.

From 2011-12 Panini Certified comes this hard-signed autograph of Ron Francis from the Eternals /25 subset. It shows him in his Penguins jersey from his championship seasons with Pittsburgh. I pulled this card from a pack at the Sports Card Expo in Toronto in 2012.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #5 Marcel Dionne

The 1971 NHL Entry Draft was top heavy.

1st overall - Guy Lafleur
2nd overall - Marcel Dionne

Both were ridiculously skilled players from Quebec who made it to the Hockey Hall of Fame (Lafleur in 1988 and Dionne in 1992). But it was Marcel Dionne who became the 5th highest scorer in NHL history with 1,771 points (731 goals, 1,040 assists) in 1,348 games.

Dionne is third in the NHL for most 100+ point seasons. He had eight 100+ point seasons in his NHL career, only behind Wayne Gretzky's fourteen 100+ point seasons and Mario Lemieux's ten 100+ point seasons. He was also part of the famous Triple Crown line with Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor in Los Angeles.

A two-time Lady Byng Trophy winner, Dionne also won the Art Ross Trophy in 1979-80 by beating Wayne Gretzky (a tie broken by goals scored). He never tasted playoff success despite his scoring prowess and was unable to win a Stanley Cup.

Marcel Dionne does not get a lot of respect in the collecting world despite his scoring career totals. It isn't difficult to pick up a hard-signed autograph of his for under $10. However, the hard-signed auto in my collection is a little more desirable. From 2005-06 Upper Deck Trilogy comes this great Personal Scripts card featuring his signature along with the "2 Time Lady Byng Winner" inscription. The Personal Scripts subset (when done right) is one of my favourite autograph subsets.

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #6 Steve Yzerman

The Detroit Red Wings knew early in his career how good he would be.

Prior to the 1986–87 season, at the age of 21, Steve Yzerman was named captain of the Detroit Red Wings and continuously served for the next two decades, retiring as the longest-serving captain of any team in North American major league sports history.

His career-high 155 points in 1988–89 has been bettered only by Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. In total, he finished his career as the 6th highest scorer in NHL history with 1,755 points (692 goals, 1,063 assists) in 1,514 games.

A winner of three Stanley Cup's during his playing career, Yzerman was also known for his outstanding defensive play and won the Selke Trophy in 2000. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

Steve Yzerman currently serves as the Tampa Bay Lightning's vice-president and general manager.

From 1996-97 Pinnacle Be A Player comes this Link 2 History Die-Cut hard-signed autograph of Stevie Y. A long-held piece of my collection, this card was pulled from a pack about 15 years ago. In addition, from 2006-07 In The Game Ultimate 7th Edition, I have a double auto/memorabilia silver /50 card featuring Doug Gilmour with Steve Yzerman.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #7 Mario Lemieux

Mario the Magnificent!

It only took Mario Lemieux 513 games to reach 1,000 career points. If it hadn't been for lymphoma, back injuries, and his brief retirement, who knows what heights he could have reached. Although he probably never would have reached Wayne Gretzky's totals, it's likely he'd rank as the 2nd highest scorer in history if he hadn't missed so many games.

Mario Lemieux scored 1,723 points (690 goals, 1,033 assists) in 915 games. The Hockey Hall of Fame inducted Lemieux immediately after his first retirement in 1997, waiving the normal three-year waiting period. When he returned to the game in 2000, he became the third Hall of Famer (Gordie Howe and Guy Lafleur) to play after being inducted.

Lemieux's place in hockey history was carved out early when he scored one of Canada's most important goals in the 1987 Canada Cup Final versus Russia. As his career progressed, he won every major award, including two Stanley Cups and the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP three times.

Currently, Mario Lemieux is the co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

I've always been a fan of Mario Lemieux's signature, so I'm glad that I have three in my collection. From 2007-08 ITG Ultimate Memorabilia is a Double Auto/Memorabilia Silver /24 card featuring Mario Lemieux with Jaromir Jagr. From 2007-08 Upper Deck The Cup is a beautiful Limited Logos /50 auto/patch and from 2011-12 Panini Prime comes a Prime Signatures /99 featuring Lemieux's hard-signed flowing autograph.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #8 Jaromir Jagr

The man, the mullet, the legend.

One of the best to ever play the game, Jaromir Jagr will always be remembered as a Pittsburgh Penguin, first and foremost. Although in later years, he played for various teams as a hired gun, and even spent 3 years in the KHL, Jagr will be best remembered as part of the great Penguins team of the early 1990's.

As the 8th highest scorer in NHL history, Jagr is still scoring. As the active leader in NHL scoring, Jagr has accumulated 8 points in the 2012-13 as of early February 2013. His current totals include 1,661 points (668 goals, 993 assists) in 1,357 games, now as a member of the Dallas Stars.

He is one of a small group of hockey players to have won the Stanley Cup (1991, 1992), the World Championships (2005, 2010), and the Olympic gold medal in hockey (1998).

In The Game and Jaromir Jagr have been good to me through the years. I've pulled a 2007-08 ITG Ultimate Dual Auto/Dual Memorabilia Silver /24 of Jagr with Mario Lemieux, a 2008-09 ITG Ultimate Dual Autograph Silver /9 of Jagr with Marian Gaborik, and a 2008-09 ITG Ultimate Patch and Auto Silver /9 of Jaromir Jagr. In addition, from 2011-12 Panini Dominion, I have a hard-signed Jaromir Jagr auto/jersey /60 from his short time with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #9 Joe Sakic

Joe Sakic won virtually all of the NHL's most important trophies. He also set scoring records and was one of the most influential leaders in the sport of hockey. It was no surprise when he was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fall in 2012, his first year of eligibility.

Selected 15th overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, Joe Sakic spent his entire 21-year NHL career with the Quebec/Colorado franchise. He's the 9th highest scorer in NHL history with 1,641 points (625 goals and 1,016 assists) in 1,378 games.

A frequent member of Team Canada internationally, Sakic won an Olympic gold medal in 2002. He is currently an executive advisor and alternate governor of the Colorado Avalanche.

From 2011-12 Panini Contenders comes this hard-signed Joe Sakic Contenders Legacies /100 featuring  a three-coloured patch and stitching. The card was pack-pulled a few months ago and the timing couldn't have been better as I was working on this project and was searching for a hard-signed Sakic for my collection.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #10 Phil Esposito

One of the best to ever play the game... just like his brother.

Phil Esposito was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984 (his brother Tony was inducted in 1988).  A two-time Hart Trophy winner as NHL MVP, Phil Esposito is the 10th highest scorer in NHL history with 1,590 points (717 goals, 873 assists) in 1,282 games although when he retired, he ranked 2nd on the list.

A two-time Stanley Cup winner, Esposito scored over 60 goals in a season four times and topped out at 76 goals in 1970-71. The record stood until Wayne Gretzky appeared on the scene in the 1980's.

After retiring as a player, Esposito served as a head coach and general manager for the New York Rangers before co-founding the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Both pack-pulled, one of my Phil Esposito autographs stands out against the other. From In The Game Captain-C comes a sticker autograph of Esposito in his New York Ranger colours. But... from 2009-10 Upper Deck SP Authentic comes a Sign of the Times hard-signed dual autograph of Phil Esposito with the legendary Bobby Orr!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #11 Ray Bourque

He won the Stanley Cup in his final NHL game.... but he didn't win it with the franchise he was synonymous with.

Ray Bourque holds records for most career goals, assists, and points by a defenseman in the NHL and is the 11th highest scoring player in history. In total, Bourque scored 1,579 points (410 goals, 1,169 assists) in 1,612 games. He also scored 180 more points in 214 playoff games.

A five-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's best defenseman, Bourque also holds the career record for shots on goal with 6,206 shots, nearly one thousand ahead of the Marcel Dionne.

After 21 seasons with the Boston Bruins, Ray Bourque went to Colorado and successfully ended his quest for the Stanley Cup championship in 2001. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004, he will always be involved in a debate regarding Boston's best defenseman.... Raymond Bourque or Bobby Orr?

My only Ray Bourque hard-signed autograph is of him in his unfamiliar Colorado Avalanche jersey. But as the card is from 2011-12 Upper Deck The Cup's Stanley Cup Signatures /50 subset, it would be impossible to feature him in the Bruins jersey... which isn't a bad thing considering I'm a life-long Montreal Canadiens fan!

Friday, January 25, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #12 Mark Recchi

Does Mark Recchi deserve to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

I've asked this to various people over the years. Most people quickly think of reasons why he shouldn't be inducted to the HHOF but here is a list of why he should be:

  • 3 Stanley Cup Championships (1991, 2006, 2011)
  • 50+ Goal Scorer (1992-93)
  • 100+ Point Scorer (3 times)
  • All-Star Game MVP (1996-97)
  • 12th Highest Scorer in NHL History
  • 500+ Career Goals
  • 900+ Career Assists
  • 1,500+ Career Points
  • 1,600+ Career Games
  • Finalist for Lester B. Pearson Trophy as NHLPA MVP

With 1,533 points (577 goals, 956 assists) in 1,652 games, Mark Recchi is the 12th highest scorer in NHL history. An exceptionally consistent player over his career, Recchi was known for his no-nonsense attitude, top level skill, and his distinctive skating style.

From 2002-03 In The Game Be A Player comes this hard-signed autograph of Mark Recchi during one of his stints with the Philadelphia Flyers. A three-time winner of the Bobby Clarke Trophy as the Flyers MVP, Recchi will become eligible for HHOF induction in 2014.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #13 Paul Coffey

Averaging more than one point per game during a career is quite amazing... even more so when you're a defenseman!

Paul Coffey scored 1,531 points (396 goals, 1,135 assists) in 1,409 games. Mainly known for his time in Edmonton, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, Coffey compiled these totals while playing for nine teams over his career.

Currently, ranked second all-time among NHL defencemen in career goals, assists, and points behind Ray Bourque, Coffey won four Stanley Cups and the Norris Trophy three times. He played in numerous All-Star games and was an integral part of Team Canada through the 1980's and 1990's.

Paul Coffey holds the record for most goals in a season by a defenseman with 48 goals in 1985-86. He was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Edmonton Oilers retired his uniform number 7 in 2005.

In one of his familiar uniforms (although an Oilers autographed card would be more desirable in my opinion), the only Paul Coffey hard-signed autograph in my collection shows him as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. From 2011-12 Upper Deck The Cup comes this Stanley Cup Signatures /50 card of the famed rear-guard.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #14 Stan Mikita

He was so good for such a long time... as consistent as they come.

Stan Mikita is a Chicago Blackhawks legend and one of the first cards I ever remember pulling from a pack, when I was a kid and Mikita was entering his final season.

A winner of every major trophy, including the Stanley Cup in 1961, Stan Mikita was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. He scored 1,467 points (541 goals, 926 assists) in 1,394 games. He was also a member of Canada's famed 1972 Summit Series team.

Definitely a rarity these days, only Nicklas Lidstrom, Alex Delvecchio, and Steve Yzerman had a longer career playing for only a single team.

My lone Stan Mikita hard-signed autograph comes from 1999-2000 Upper Deck Retro. It's from the Inkredible subset and features the Chicago legend with his distinctive signature.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #15 Bryan Trottier

With each post as I get closer to #1, the players get more elite.

Bryan Trottier won 4 Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders, 2 Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and his 7th Stanley Cup as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche.

Trottier's 18-year career was full of great achievements. A 50 goal season, numerous 100+ point seasons, many All-Star games, a Calder Trophy, a Hart Trophy, a Conn Smythe Trophy, and an Art Ross Trophy. As the 15th highest-scorer in NHL history, Bryan Trottier scored 1,425 points (524 goals, 901 assists) in 1,279 games.

At the time of his retirement, his point total ranked 6th in NHL history. He was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.

Considering he's such a gracious signed in person, it was surprising that he was one of the harder autographs for me to obtain as a pack-pulled autograph. From 2010-11 In The Game Enshrined comes this great portrait shot of the great Bryan Trottier featuring his stylish signature.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #16 Adam Oates

The only player in NHL history to centre three 50-goal scorers.

Although people remember Adam Oates helping Brett Hull attain ridiculous goal-scorer numbers they often forget that he helped Cam Neely and Peter Bondra reach the 50+ goal mark too. Surprisingly, Hull and Oates only spent two and a half seasons together in St. Louis.

Adams Oates is currently the 16th highest scorer in NHL history with 1,420 points (341 goals, 1,079 assists) in 1,337 games. He is one of the rare players to score over 1,000 assists in his career. He played in a total of five NHL All-Star Games and was a six-time finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012, Oates is now the head coach of the Washington Capitals.

Best remembered for his time in St. Louis and Boston (he also played for Detroit, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Washington, and Edmonton), I have a hard-signed autograph of Adam Oates in each of his key uniforms. From 2007-08 Upper Deck SP Authentic is a Sign of the Times autograph in his Bruins uniform and from 2009-10 Upper Deck SP Authentic is a Sign of the Times autograph of Oates in his St. Louis Blues jersey.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #17 Doug Gilmour


He wasn't a big guy but he played like one for many years. Despite being only 5'10" and 175 pounds, Doug Gilmour wasn't afraid of physical play and posted 100+ PIMs on three separate occasions.

And he could score too! The 17th highest scorer in NHL history, Doug Gilmour scored 1,414 points (450 goals, 964 assists) in 1,474 games. He won a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989, the Selke Trophy for the 1992-93 season, and was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.

When I think of Doug Gilmour, I think of his time with the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, and the Toronto Maple Leafs (and to a lesser extent, the Montreal Canadiens). I was surprised to be reminded that he also played for Chicago, New Jersey, and Buffalo.

I've had some luck with Doug Gilmour autographs on high-end pack breaks. From 2006-07 In The Game Ultimate Memorabilia 7th Edition comes this dual autograph /50 of Doug Gilmour with Steve Yzerman. From 2007-08 In The Game Ultimate Memorabilia 8th Edition is this Doug Gilmour jersey/auto silver /30 and finally from 2009-10 Upper Deck The Cup comes this hard-signed Gilmour signature /50 from the Enshrinements subset.

Monday, January 7, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #18 Dale Hawerchuk

The Winnipeg Jets selected Dale Hawerchuk first overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft ahead of future Hall of Famers Ron Francis and Grant Fuhr.

He became the youngest NHL player in history to reach 100 points (since broken by Sidney Crosby) and won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1982. The 18th highest scorer in NHL history, Hawerchuk was a prodigy from the first time he put skates on his feet. Although he retired due to injuries at age 34, Hawerchuk compiled 1,409 points (518 goals, 891 assists) in 1,188 games.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001, Dale Hawerchuk is currently the head coach of the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

'Ducky' has followed me around over my collecting years. I have four Dale Hawerchuk hard-signed autographs in my collection. The first is from 1996-97 Pinnacle Be A Player wearing his All-Star jersey for the Philadelphia Flyers. From 2000-01 Upper Deck Legends comes an Epic Signatures autograph card and from 2006-07 Upper Deck Parkhurst is Hawerchuk in his traditional Winnipeg Jets uniform. My favourite Hawerchuk autograph is from 2007-08 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee. It's a 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee autographed buy-back rookie card of Dale Hawerchuk! Older OPC cards were randomly inserted in packs that year and I was lucky enough to get this case-hit.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #19 Teemu Selanne

The NHL lock-out has ended. That means Teemu Selanne will climb higher than 19th on the all-time NHL scoring list. Imagine where he'd be on the list if he hadn't been part of three work stoppages in his long career.

After arriving on the NHL scene with a 76-goal, 132 points season to start his career, Selanne has been scoring at an incredible pace for most of his career. He is the oldest player to score 45 goals in one season, the oldest player in NHL history to score a shootout goal, and the oldest NHL player to collect 20 goals or more in one season.

The second Finnish Flash (Jari Kurri being the first), Teemu Selanne has 1,406 points (663 goals, 743 assists) in 1,341 games. With one Stanley Cup and three Olympic medals, Selanne is a no-brainer for the Hockey Hall of Fame when he finally does retire.

With his long, flowing signature, Teemu Selanne is a great addition to any collection. For my hard-signed 1,000 point card project, I have a Teemu Selanne Sign of the Times autograph from 2002-03 Upper Deck SP Authentic. In addition, I have a sticker autograph of Selanne from In The Game's Canada vs. the World.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #20 Jari Kurri

The first player from Finland to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (2001), Jari Kurri is most often remembered for his unforgettable time as Wayne Gretzky's right winger on the fire-wagon Edmonton Oilers teams on the 1980's.

The 20th highest scorer in NHL history with 1,398 points (601 goals, 797 assists) in 1,251 games, Kurri also had 233 points in the NHL playoffs and won five Stanley Cups.

Although his career ended without much fanfare with stops in Anaheim, New York, and Colorado after big success in Edmonton and Los Angeles, Kurri was the original Finnish Flash with six 100+ point seasons. He is one of the few players to score 70 goals and twice topped 130 points in a season.

I have two hard-signed Jari Kurri autographed cards in my collection but it seems odd that neither of them picture him in his Edmonton Oilers uniform. From 1995-96 Upper Deck Be A Player comes this Kurri autograph from the Global Training subset and from 1997-98 Pinnacle Be A Player comes a hard-signed signature of Jari Kurri during his final NHL season with the Colorado Avalanche.

Friday, January 4, 2013

1,000 Point NHL Player Autographs - #21 Luc Robitaille

Luc Robitaille retired in 2006 as the highest scoring left winger in NHL history.

Often remembered as a member of the Los Angeles Kings, over three separate stints, Robitaille went elsewhere to win a Stanley Cup (2001-02 with Detroit) before winning a Cup with Los Angeles in a management position as the President of Business Operations.

The 21st highest scoring player in NHL history with 1,394 points (668 goals, 726 assists) in 1,431 games, Luc Robitaille went from small beginnings as the 171st overall pick in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft to big things. He won the Calder Trophy in 1987, was a multiple All-Star, and a 3-time 50+ goal scorer.

Inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, Luc Robitaille was joined by Steve Yzerman, Brian Leetch, and Brett Hull.

As shown by my Luc Robitaille autograph collection, his signature hasn't changed much over the past decade. From 2002-03 In The Game Be A Player Signature comes a hard-signed auto of Luc Robitaille during his time with Detroit. From 2007-08 In The Game Ultimate comes an auto/stick silver /30 of Robitaille and from 2011-12 Panini Limited comes a hard-signed autograph /25 from the Retired Numbers subset.