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Just a guy showing his passion about hockey cards and for one of the purest goal scorer that ever put skates : Pavel Bure. Hope you guys enjoy!

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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sunday talk #5 : My never-ending thirst for knowledge of hockey cards

While writing this article on my chair in front of my computer, I looked at the Excel spreadsheet of my list of cards of Pavel Bure and I thought "Man, I spend a ton of hours building that list". And folks, that's true. 

3358 entries later, while I just inserted the 2018-19 Upper Deck MVP Buyback into the list, I was impressed by the amount of time I search the confines of the Internet for every bit of information around cards that I didn't exist. And still today, I found some oddballs and parallels I wasn't aware of and on the counter hand, I thought some cards existed but weren't after some verifications. 

When I was a kid and didn't have any computer, I first started my by hand, writing down every card I found on the paper version of Beckett. Boy, It was a painful task, but I managed to get through. It's probably the biggest project I finished in my whole life, no joking. 

When my parents bought a computer for our school homework, I transcripted my list on a Word file. A couple of months later, when they decided that we need the Internet, I stumbled upon the online checklist version of the Beckett.

Well, it was eye-opening.

Although Bure was listed quite often in the early versions of the Beckett, he was later listed as an "unlisted star", so I missed quite a bunch of his cards. So I updated my list with all the new entries and decided, after seeing a lot of oddballs, that I put them in another list. 

Years passed and someday while stopping at my LCS, he had copies of the Charlton standard catalogue of hockey cards. Well known for their work with Canadian coins, it was a monstrous bible of every single card ever produced, from team sets to oddballs, magazine, food companies, as well as every major card companies from 1879 to present. It was at a whopping 45$ back in 2003. Too bad they didn't produce them anymore, the last edition was printed in 2005, two years later.

The infamous Charlton standard catalogue. It was the 13th edition in 2003

In that book, I found a pile of new cards and parallels, well explained in the description before the checklist of the set. It was my new go-to checklist, except for the price, which doesn't reflect the real market in my opinion. Still today, I checked some information when I'm doubtful about something. 

After that, I search the Web for other Pavel Bure collectors. I found some with a dedicated website about their collection, which was very helpful. I was able to see pictures of cards I've never seen before, as well as new entries for my checklist. Unfortunately, all these sites are shut down now, they were 10 years old. Maybe these collectors moved on with their collection. 

When I came back into collecting 3 years ago, I was a decade behind with my checklist. She was outdated and I decided to build it from scratch with everything that I have in hands. From retrieving my previous list, my Charlton catalogue and Beckett, I type my checklist all the way to 2015. Then I discover new websites that help me a lot with obscure set and parallels: Trading Card Database, Cardboard Connection, Sports Card Forum and COMC. But the biggest on them all is eBay. On this site, I found countless oddballs and variations it was crazy.

But the premise of this article is my never-ending quest for knowledge of the hobby and the world of hockey cards. For three years, I have a routine to check all these websites above, in search of new additions to my collection, but to find some undiscovered Pavel Bure cards. And I do this every. Single. Day. 

Maybe it's a disease, but for me, it's time well spent. I'm more aware of my collection and what I need. I have stories of how they were made, and when other Bure collectors went for me to seek answers about some parallels and I can help them, I feel great. Probably I'll never stop my thirst for knowledge because we never know when you'll unearth new cards! 


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A nice gesture from Kin Kinsley

The hockey card world never ceases to amaze me.

Let me give you another reason why the hobby is the best in the world and let me talk about Kin Kinsley.

Kin is one of my earliest follower on Twitter. I really enjoy his blog (Bean's Ballcard Blog), where I find some very interesting articles. He was one of my earliest here on this blog too and even if he doesn't know me, he was very supportive, saying that my "passion for the hobby is beautiful to see". 

One day in early May, he posted about a Pavel Bure card that I have, but was very damaged. I purchased my 1998-99 Donruss Elite Promo in a yard sale, along with a bunch of cards for 2$, but all the corners were dinged. 

And he even put some extras! 

I replied to his post saying that his copy was way better than mine, and he says that he will keep up with me. Two weeks ago, he popped on my dm and say "Was about to send this out, but still don't have your address". 

And he didn't ask anything in return.

Yesterday, I received a package from the United-States. I opened it without remebering that I purchased a card from the US and it was his package, along with bases of Bure. This package put a big smile on my face. 

This simple gesture gave me faith in humanity and in the hobby. They're still some very nice people on this planet. And Kin is one of them. Be sure to give a follow on his Twitter account (just click on the link above) and on his website

Thank you Kin, I owe you one! 


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Sunday talk #4 : Buying a box... or a pc card?

The big dilemma.

A couple of days ago, I came to my local card store to buy some goodies for my collection: toploaders, sleeves,  team bags and some one touches. While patiently waiting for my turn, I checked the boxes on the shelves and realized...

Damn it's expensive. 

And it's frustrating at times. Like all collectors, I love ripping packs of a brand new product. But I feel sometimes guilty to spend the 1/3 of my weekly pay for 10 minutes of fun. Because with companies reducing the number of cards per packs and packs per box, that's what it's gonna take you to rip them all.

Five seconds for an Upper Deck Black, and it'll cost you 140$. 

I know, the thrill of finding a big card of a legend, a star or a rookie worth collecting is very cool. But on the other hand, it's a very gambling move. And more often than not, you'll be left with 20-30$ worth of money. 

So the big question: buying a box or buying a pc card?

For me the answer is simple: always a pc card. Usually, I'm able to find every card of Bure in a specific set for less than the price of the box. For me, it's a win. The only downside is trading because I don't have traders.

I'm always tempted to buy boxes, but the voice in my head tells me it's not worth it. Sure, when I see someone pulling a fantastic card out of his box, I'm happy for him and sometimes jealous, but hey, he just spends 400$, let him have some luck! 😂

And you guys, are you more of wax ripper or a card spender? Let me know in the comments below!


Saturday, May 26, 2018

1992-93 Pinnacle

Thank you, Pinnacle cards, to let myself be able to distinguish easily the French and the English version of your 1992-93 set.

That being said (thanks to Jimmy Fallon for the idea), the 1992-93 Pinnacle, consisting of 420 standard-size cards, is simple to draw a distinction between the English and the bilingual French version: they don't have the same photo! 

What a treat! 

1992-93 Pinnacle French and English #110
Indeed, the French version depicts Bure in his black Vancouver jersey, while the English version has Bure in his white Canuck sweater. On the back, each version has his proper colors, (respectively magenta and teal). 
These colors came in handy to distinguish the Team Pinnacle insert, because it has no text in this set. According to Score, the odds of finding one is 1:125 packs! The cards were designed by the artist Christopher Greco. 

1992-93 Pinnacle Team Pinnacle French and English #4
Lastly, Team 2000 cards were randomly inserted at a rate of 2:27 super pack. Pinnacle keep the same pattern of his base set by producing a black and white jersey version for the French and English version. 

1992-93 Pinnacle Team 2000 French and English #8
That's it guys! Hope you'll have a great day!


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

1992-93 Parkhurst

Strangely, Parkhurst was a tough set to finish, simply because I'm north of the border.

The 1992-93 Parkhurst was split in two set of 240 standard-size cards. The first three of this set was easy to find, but the update was painful to obtain. That's because the update was only inserted in the US and never cross the border, only by trade or by purchasing it.

1992-93 Parkhurst #188. 234, 460 and the update (506)
It took me a while to finally be able to find one at a decent price. The update is fairly cheap (25 cents) and I wasn't able to find it cheap. But I managed to buy it in a lot, so I saved on shipping, even though I paid a bit more than the actual price. Whatever, I'm a compulsive buyer, so when it was the only one I need to complete the year, you buy it, whatever the cost. 

The Emerald Ice parallel was a bit tougher to pull together, especially the update. The normal one was hard to track, imagine the Emerald Ice! One day, while browsing the net, I stumble upon one. So I jumped on it!

1992-93 Parkhurst Emerald Ice #188. 234, 460 and the update (506)
I remember that this set was my second contact with hockey cards, after Pro Set. When I started collecting Bure, I sorted my entire collection to see if I have some. The results were good : 21 cards, but 6 of the Parkhurst #234! 😂

Anyways, glad that this set is behind me now!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Today in Bure's career #1 : The playoff goal vs the Flames

Twenty-four years ago today, Pavel Bure scored what I think is the biggest goal of his career. 

The Canucks faced the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs. The rivalry between the two clubs was established for a couple of years now, and it showed on the ice. 

Vancouver won the first match-up 5-0 at the Saddledome, but lose the next three (7-5, 4-2 and 3-2). Down 3-1 in the series, the Canucks managed to force game 7 with two victories in overtime. Geoff Courtnall scores the first one in game 5, and Trevor Linden scored the other one in game 6.

April 30th, 1994, the decisive game between the two rivals took place at the Saddledome, in Calgary. Theoren Fleury breaks the ties and put the Flames on board, but Bure, on the powerplay, and Courtnall gave Vancouver the lead after 20 minutes of play.

The second period was all about the Flames, Ronnie Stern and Fleury, with his second of the game, found the back of the net. 3-2 Calgary after two.

Greg Adams force the overtime late in the 3rd period. After a scoreless 1st period of overtime, this happened: 

The rest is history. I still get goosebumps when I checked from time to time the video.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday talk #3 : The problem with new collectors

Sorry for ranting again, but this has to go off of me...

I think that today, it is pretty much tougher to trade with collectors, especially those who start in the hobby and the young collectors.  

Why? Because they only see 2 things: money and profitable players that can lead to money.

Let me explain. Last week, I saw in a post in one of the groups I follow on Facebook a little insert of Bure, the kind of insert that cost less than the envelope and the stamp on it. I was like "meh, I don't care, this trade will give me a positive feedback in the group, so it's worth it".

Talking back and forth with the owner, I told him what he collects. Who you said? Well, you guess it: McDavid, Matthews, Barzal, Boeser and Laine. So here's a snippet of my conversation with him:

- Ok, but base on the price, the only card I can give you for this one is some bases, because its worth nothing. I can add more if you want though, that's not a problem for me. But an insert at 12$ when the card worth 1$, I think this trade is one-sided.

- No, I want that insert.

- Yeah...no, that's not gonna happen. An insert of them cost way more than this one. Bases equal the value of that card. It's not a problem for me to send you some, but no inserts, sorry. I'll keep them for bigger trades.

-Ok then, no trade, you piece of s*it.

And he ends the conversation. I was flabbergasted. 

Another thing; they changed their player collection so often it pisses me off. I know someone who literally changes his collection 5 TIMES over the course of the season, pretexting things like "Everybody collects him now", "he costs WAY too much",  "this player is better than him, so I collect him now!"

And he his pretty aggressive in his research. He comments on every post to see if the guy have what he collects, he himself post every day telling people he collects those players. Seriously, it's exasperating.   

But the quintessence is this; I even saw new collectors asking who are the cheapest players to collect right now but can be profitable in the future and what's the best boxes to buy with the only objective of getting big hits.

Seriously? What happened to the fun of collecting? You clearly don't understand the essence of collecting dear friend.

I picked Bure because he gave me chills each time he touches the puck. The way he loved the game, the way he wanted to score every single time. I couldn't care less if he is collected by an army of die-hard fans, that he his expensive in the hobby...

I picked him because I loved the player. And I'm gonna die with him.

I don't know... Before starting a collection, I think you should ask yourself some questions: How many cards does he have? Is he affordable for my budget? Do I love seeing him play? If you answer yes to these questions, you have yourself the player you need to collect! 

I think today every collector just saw the dollar sign at the end of the card. I saw many collectors being down just because he didn't get a Boeser, McDavid, Matthews, Barzal or a Laine in their boxes, even though he didn't collect him. COME ON MAN! 

Collecting should be a fun hobby, not a business. If you rip packs just to make a profit on your purchase, you didn't choose the right pastime. I rip boxes and sometimes hit nothing, but I don't cry in a corner! I was thrilled to open packs, and maybe I'll be able to help a fellow collector finishing his set or send him cards he didn't have of his player! That's the essence of collecting! 

Also, I know that's not the case of everyone. But it's a common thing among collectors. Last week at the Anti-Expo, I saw REAL collectors. The kind of collectors that went there, checking all the booths in the hope of crossing some of their list, which they bring. 

But you know what? Who do you think they bring at the expo? You guessed it right again: McDavid, Barzal, Laine, Matthews and Boeser, plus Lemieux, Gretzky, Roy, Brodeur and Habs player. I don't blame them though, that's the way the hobby is right now and they need to put bread and butter on their table too...

Ok, I feel better now.

Happy Sunday everybody, and happy collecting! 😊