Who Am I?

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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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Thursday, March 29, 2018

1991-92 Stadium Club

Bure didn't appear in the 1991-92 main set containing 400 cards, but he does in a multi-sport set was sent in three installments to members in the Topps Stadium Club. 

The Members Only set was a 50 standard-size cards set featuring star players from sports like baseball, football and hockey. On his photo, Bure was standing behind the Calder trophy, gave to the best rookie of the year.

1991-92 Stadium Club Members Only #38

The Russian Rocket didn't disappoint in his first season with the Canucks. Although Bure finished third in terms of points, 3 behind Kevin Todd of the New Jersey Devils (63) and 9 behind Tony Amonte of the New York Rangers (69), he was still named the best rookie of this year. Why? Let's have a look.

- Bure played 15 and 14 games less than Todd (80) and Amonte (79). That placed him first in the points-per-game column (0,92). The two others finished respectively with 0.79 and 0.87. 

- His 34 goals placed him second, only one behind Amonte (35). But his goals were diversified compared to Amonte. Bure lit the lamp 6 times on the powerplay and 3 times while on penalty killing. He also had 6 game-winning goals and one in overtime in his pocket. On the other hand, Amonte had 9 powerplay goals, none on penalty killing and 4 game-winning goals, plus another one in prolongation. 

- Bure recorded at least a point in a four-game streak 4 times during the season, like Amonte. His two best streaks were 5 (between January 12th and 23rd) where he collected 9 points, and 8 (February 17th to March 8th), where he gathered 13 points. He also had 18 multi-point games, with 6 of those were multi-goal. However, he wasn't able to record a hat-trick. Amonte was able to achieve that feature on March 14th, 1992, but he had fewer multi-point games (15) and his 8 games streak with at least a point was below Bure (10). 

Finally, I loved the "journal-style" back of the card. It adds emphasis to the accomplishment. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

1991-92 Score

I think I am grateful that Bure came late in the NHL just because he didn't have a base card in the 1991-92 Score. This set is must be painful for collectors of players in particular, because of two reasons. 

First, it came in three colors; purple (American), red (Canadian Bilingual) and blue (Canadian, but only in English). Secondly, star players have a ton of cards in these sets. Multiply them with three colors and you passed the rest of your life trying to find them all. Luckily they were produced in mass, so you have plenty on the market right now.

Anyway, Bure appears in the Rookie/Traded 110 standard-size cards. It was a factory set, so basically you need to buy the complete set to have the card, it wasn't inserted in packs. It was also an update to the American set.

1991-92 Score Rookie/Traded #49

I don't call it an insert though, just because it was a factory set. Also, it was the hardest one for me to get in good shape and for the right price. On eBay, there's not a bunch of this card, but it cost way more than it's value. Add the shipping and if you find someone with a decent shipping cost, this card will cost you 5$ for a 0,25$ value...

So I waited a few months, containing myself to not buy it immediately because I'm a compulsive buyer. One day, a guy on eBay sell a decent lot of Bure cards, with this one in it, plus maybe a few more I didn't have. The time was now for me to scratch the last one I needed to complete this year.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday Talk #1 : What (or who) do you collect and how do you protect your collection?

Sunday will be reserved as a topic to discuss between us, fellow collectors. The first subject I wanna talk about is what (or who) do you collect, but more importantly, how do you collect?

When my Bure collection was at his beginnings, I placed them in a penny sleeve and after in a binder. I separate them by year and left spaces between them for the missing ones. But two things changed my mind and I decided when I came back at collecting to proceed with another method.

First of all, I realized that my checklist had many errors. I wrote some parallels card that doesn't exist for him (like the update in the 1991-92 Parkhurst. I thought initially that a french version existed). As a consequence, my number of cards for a year in particular was wrong, so I had to manipulate my cards to leave the correct number of spaces in the pages.

Secondly, some penny sleeves were cut too large, so when I inserted a card in the pocket, it waves. That wasn't beautiful at all and I have to waste them. So when the collection starts to grow exponentially, I switch to the penny sleeve and top loader combo, and I loved it.

For me, I was able to manipulate the cards, look and sorted them at ease. I started buying top loaders and boxes in large quantity, but I quickly realize that it's an expensive way to protect your collection. So each time I went to my local card shop, I bought some packages and after some visits, my collection was completely in that combo.

But after a couple of months, while placing my new finds in their rightful places, I noted that the top loaders were all scratched, due to friction between them. Moreover, dust entered the top loader... oh boy I wasn't happy.

That is team bags come into play. With that trio (penny sleeve + top loader + team bag), it was a perfect protection. No scratched top loaders. No dust. Yet again, it wasn't perfect though. Because the team bags enlarge the size of the top loader, it didn't fit now in boxes. I had to find another way.

It was simple. By buying the 5000 cards boxes, I assemble them without the rows in it. I calculated the exact width of the team bags and created homemade rows. Instead of four rows in these boxes, I have three, but they are centered, spreading the weight.  

Here's what my "homemade" boxes look like.
As you can see, I placed some stabilizers to solidified the rows too. I glued them too, so they stay right where I put them. Also, between years, I placed a cardboard a bit higher and I inscribed the year. Furthermore, I sorted my card in alphabetical order, it's so much easier to find them after! Finally, all the oddballs were placed at the end of my collection, because since it's not a "real brand", it didn't belong there. So with more than 1600 different cards now, I needed 4 boxes of 5000 cards. 

Two things before closing this post. All my Ultimate Memorabilia and slabbed cards are placed in another kind of boxes. I saw one day a vendor at a show with boxes especially for this kind of cards. I didn't by one at the time, simply because I had like two back then. But now, with nearly 30, I need one! 😂

Lastly, all my prized cards are in a one-touch, plus a team bag especially for them. I know it's a pricey way to preserve them, but I think in the end it's worth it. I'm able to show my collection easily and scan them without taking all the precautions possible to protect them for damage.

So that's it guys! That's my way to protect my collection! And you, what (or who) do you collect and how? Let me know! 


Friday, March 23, 2018

1991-92 Pro Set Platinum

Oh boy, what else can we say about the 1991-92 Pro Set Platinum...

Not much, I guess.

This is a 300 standard-size cards set. Released in two series of 150 cards, Bure appears in series 2.

1991-92 Pro Set Platinum #272
But wait, I have some others news! Wednesday, I received some packages in the mail and with them, I surpassed the 1600 mark in my collection! I'm very happy with this accomplishment and would like to thank everyone who helped me get there! 

And as you know, I'm a completionist, so I'm now 86 away from hitting the 1700 cards! The search continues! 


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

1991-92 Pro Set, my first contact with hockey cards

"O’Pro Set, My Pro Set". Just like Walt Whitman when he wrote this poem in 1865 or Robin Williams creaming these words in his iconic role in Dead Poet Society, everyone in my generation has a story with this brand.

For me, it was my first contact with hockey cards, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I remembered vividly my reaction when my godmother gave me her present. It's was the best birthday gift of my life and it's still is today. Why? Simple: she gave me a passion. 

The fire inside me was growing fast and consume me entirely. In my souvenir, I recalled my father buying BOXES of these in Dollorama for like 10 bucks in special. They were literally cases of the product on pallets nearby the cashiers. 

I knew at the time everything about the players at that time: where they play, how many goals they scored, where they were from. I passed hours trying to sort them by teams or by numbers. With so many doubles, I tried to trade them to complete my set. 

With series 1 and 2, they were 615 cards in this set. Bure appears in series 2. They were produced in French too. 

1991-92 Pro Set English and French version #564

In the French series, they were an autographed version of the Patrick Roy card #125 and #559, serial numbered to 1000. Same as Kirk McLean, but in the English version. I never saw one of the Vancouver Canucks goaltender though. 

Also, 10 000 of the 3-D Hologram in second series in foil packs were inserted to commemorate the NHL's diamond anniversary. The Stanley Cup hologram card was produced at 5000 copies. In today's market, they sold for... 500-600 dollars! 😯

And you fellow collectors, what was your first contact with hockey cards? Let me know! 


Sunday, March 18, 2018

1991-92 Pinnacle

Today's gonna be a small post because, well... there's not much to say about the next brand. 

Pinnacle, produced by Score, came to life in 1991-92. It was a 420 standard-size cards set, with an English and a French version. Unlike the base, who has a different color on the front (orange for the English version and green for the French version), the rookies were the same. The only exception was the description on the back, as you can see it the picture below.

1991-92 Pinnacle English and French #312

For the rest, it was pretty basic. It didn't take long for me to pick up these cards. It was one of the earliest in the collection. But Pinnacle will be hard to collect in the next years. It's gonna be for another post though! 


Friday, March 16, 2018

1991-92 Parkhurst

The second set featuring Bure is Parkhurst. Pro Set resurrected this iconic brand in 1991-92, nearly 30 years after his last release (1963-64).

This time, the set was way bigger, topping 478 cards. Separated into two sets of 225, Bure figured three times in the set. According to Beckett, 15 000 cases were produced. 

1991-92 Parkhurst #404 and #446
Of those 15 000 cases, 2,500 of them were translated in French. They were essentially shipped in the province of Quebec, in Canada. 

1991-92 Parkhurst French #404 and #446
In Series II, you can stumble upon a special promotion for an update set containing 25 cards. That's where Bure appear for the third time. This update set was only in English though. Also in Series II you can get the NNO Santa Claus card. Nevertheless, the update set was printed below 15 000 copies.

1991-92 Parkhurst #462
Ironically, it took me a while to grab my hands on the update. I found it on eBay last year and again to this day, I only see it from time to time. It's the last one I needed to complete this year.

So that's a wrap fellow collectors!


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

1991-92 OPC Premier

Like I said in an earlier post, 1991-92 was the first season for Bure in the NHL. As a result, it's also the first cards of him in his Canucks jersey.

If I don't count all the oddballs (that will be saved for future posts), 19 different cards of Bure were produced that year. Let's begin alphabetically with the first one: the OPC Premier.  

It was the first box of cards I purchased... actually not me, but my father with the money of my birthday. The owner of the local shop in my town was very nice. After I opened all the packs home and sorted them, I bring my doubles to him. He gently traded me the ones missing to complete my set.

The main set contains 198 standard-size cards. As a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the National hockey league, the Original 6 teams (Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York Rangers, Montreal, Toronto) wore throwback sweaters. Some of the players are pictured with those sweaters. 

1991-92 OPC Premier #67

There's nothing much more to say about this set, except maybe one thing; there's an error with the Vladimir Konstantinov card (number 118 in the set). On the back of the card, some of them have the face of Nicklas Lidstrom. Very few of them are in the market, so if you happen to have one, you are lucky! Beckett list this variation at 25$.

So that's it guys! I know it's short, but I'll save some for later!


Monday, March 12, 2018

A nice gesture from Brett (and others too!)

Over the past years, I witnessed truly what really a hobby family is. 

Like I said in my previous article, more than a decade passed since I restarted collecting again. I remembered back then, I didn't feel the camaraderie between collectors. Everyone focuses on his collection and if you happen to share a player, team or set with someone else, it was the war to gain the missing pieces. The lure of profits floated in the air too.

Social media changes everything. Sure, it has his flaws, but in counterpart, some beautiful things happen in there. When I decided to start my Twitter account last April, I didn't know what to expect. I just wanted to share my passion for hockey cards and collecting. I was overwhelmed with the response.

In the first months of my journey, I started following people with great collection themselves. I was impressed by their dedication, but the support between collectors in the community is what it stroked me the most. Every time I posted a card saying that it was the missing piece for completing a rainbow or just a nice jersey or auto, they congratulate me on my addition! 

But the pinnacle is certainly making some new friends and the gift of sharing. I have no remorse coming into the world of social media. If you pay attention, you'll see some amazing persons. Let me introduce some.

The reason for this post, you guessed it, it's Brett (bamlinden on Twitter). He has a wonderful blog too, called My hockey card obsession (I suggest checking it while you're here!), where he posted about his fantastic Bure teammate from some years, Trevor Linden, as well as some subject about the hobby. Brett message me one time on Twitter, saying that if I have a checklist, he can check in his area for some Bure cards. Today, I received a package today with some cards I needed for my collection! He didn't want something in return, so I've decided to thank him this way! 

In addition to these cards, he writes a sweet word too! Thank you Brett!
The second person is Benn (Benn Mixer on Twitter). All the from England, he his a Bure collector too, and die-hard Flyers fan. He decided one day to reach me via message and demand me my list. He was able to find some cards from his doubles and send me for free. A few days ago, I posted my want list for 1994-95 cards and he personally gave me a card from his personal collection! I was speechless! 
As a token of my appreciation, I was able to find some Mike Richards signed cards, one of his favorite player while his passage in Philly. The simple gesture of giving back made me smile for an entire week! 

This is the first package Benn send me all away from England. Thank you Benn!
Lastly, I can't pass over Ed (EddyTee1968 on Twitter). This guy, more than a Ryan Kessler supercollector and fan of our deceased Expos, is hilarious and a great giver. If you don't follow him on Twitter, I'll suggest you do, you'll not be deceived! He sent me some Bure cards from his collection, as well as wonderful piece hanging proudly in my office, but this will be in another post! 

I have to thank him twice, so thanks Ed! 

With postal fees inscrease significantly on eBay, it's difficult for a Canadian collector to buy cards from the States (and because of our poor dollar). But with the help of my buddy AndroSFL, an Henrik Lunqvist auto collector, he shipped me cards he bought for me on eBay, and then shipped to me. He even send extras without demanding!

The Bure mask gold was my request, not the two others!
Lastly, I have some other people I want to mention here. Jeff (Jeff_thegreat1 on Twitter) his a Jimmy Vesey supercollector and a Ranger fanatic. He didn't call himself a "Rangerbug" for nothing! He sends me a nice package too, but unfortunately I didn't take a picture! By the way Jeff, I hope I'm gonna meet you in May at the Spring Expo in Toronto! 

A big thank you to Yuji (Eric88_Stack42 on Twitter), an Eric Lindros collector and Legions of Doom teammates, Mikael Renberg and John LeClair. He sent me all the way from Japan some sick Bure cards without checking the value of them. I can't thank him enough and I'm in big debt! I'll find some beautiful Lindros for you I promised!

And this is just the beginning! The community in the hockey world is a wonderful one, and I hope I'll gonna meet some new people and maybe be able to contribute to their collecting without asking anything in return just like all these amazing friends above! 

Stay classy everyone, and keep making this hobby beautiful.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

1990-91 Upper Deck

This is where the adventure begins for me.

1990-91 marks the first cards printed with Pavel Bure in it. Bure came in the NHL at age 20. Selected 113th overall in the 1989 NHL draft by the Vancouver Canucks, he played his first NHL game on November 5th, 1991, a 3-3 tie against the Winnipeg Jets. 

In the hockey cards universe, 1990-91 is a breakthrough year. Before that, Topps and his sister O-Pee-Chee ruled the market. Panini stickers and food companies like Vachon, Kellogg's, Neilson, Kraft, along with Esso and 7-Eleven created some sets in the 80's. For collectors, there were not many choices.

But that'll change in the turning of the new decade. Four companies began producing hockey cards: Bowman, Pro Set, Score and of course, Upper Deck. I'm not going to write the pedigree of the first three (for now) because Bure didn't appear in those sets this year, but it's another story with the fourth one. 

With many new products, the hype for hockey cards exploded in Canada, as well as in the United States. Companies, to reach as many collectors as possible, printed bilingual versions of their set. As for us, Bure appears only in one of them: the 1990-91 Upper Deck.

Consisting of 550 cards split into two series (400 for series 1 and 150 in series 2), Upper Deck arrived by storm in the industry with their stunning photographies, quality-made cards. But his landmark is surely the "Young Guns" cards and the end of the second set, featuring photos of rookie players. The rest is history...

Bure actually appears in the first "Young Guns" set. The photo was taken when he won gold in the  1989 World Junior Championship, in Alaska. In Russia, he played for the CSKA Moscow, where he broke the record for most goals for a rookie in the Soviet League (17). This mark will last 18 years until Alexei Cherepanov scored 18 goals in 2006-07. Sadly, Cherepanov died at 19 years old in 2008 from a heart failure during a KHL game.

1990-91 Upper Deck #526 English version (left) and French version (right)

The release of the Upper Deck brand was an instant success. People went crazy over the explosion of new products. The hobby is rejuvenated. A breath of fresh air arrived.

As an extra, a couple of months ago, I managed to catch an English version PSA 10. It was missing in my collection. I'm hoping to find a French version soon! 

1990-91 Upper Deck English version PSA 10

So this is it for the moment... until next time! Cheers! 

A bit about me

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog!

For my first publication, why not talk a bit about myself...

As long as I can remember, I always loved hockey. When I was younger, I didn't past a day without playing hockey in my parent's backyard, in the schoolyard or in the streets with my friends. Snow, rain, hot or cold day, my hockey stick in my hands, I dangled around my opponents, trying to score as many goals as possible.

When my father allows it, I watched hockey with him on television. On school days, I can only watch one period, but on weekends, I stayed awake for the Hockey Night In Canada doubleheader, or until I fell asleep. It was my favorite time of the week.

My father is a big Montreal Canadiens fan. For myself, as a young boy, I was trying to pick someone like me as my hero, the one I'll personalize on my next hockey game with my friends. Nobody seems to reach me at the time: a speedster, a pure goal scorer, someone with a desire to win.

Until one day.

It was the November 28th, 1992. The Habs played against the Vancouver Canucks. It was a club obscure to me. In my neighborhood near Montreal, we didn't have the chance to see often the Western conference, so I was intrigued by them.

Gosh I wasn't intrigued after the game, I was amazed. Amazed by the number 10 flying on the ice. His name? You guessed it: Pavel Bure. 

He finished the game with one goal and an assist. He scored on the powerplay and had like 10 chances to bury it. He had an arsenal of moves too, dancing around the poor Montreal defense like they were cones, unable to match his speed. 

After the game, I remember, I cannot sleep, still shaken by what I saw. The Canucks won 6-5 in overtime. I remembered that the analyst always nicknamed him "The Russian Rocket" too. Trying to sleep, all I can think was his dangles, something I've never seen.

The next day, all I talked about was Bure. At school, it was Pavel Bure against the Montreal Canadiens. I've tried his moves, running as fast as I can, passing the ball between the legs of my opponents, like him. 

On my 9th birthday, my godmother gave me the best gift ever: 4 packs of Pro Set series 1. I was hooked. She created a monster. When McDonald released his traditional set of cards, I harassed my parents to buy me some. The next day, I traded them to my friends, trying to complete the set. 

I was literally obsessed by them. Birthdays, Christmas gifts, Tooth fairy gifts... all I wanted was hockey cards. Nothing else. Since I'm a completionist, all I wanted is to have all cards in the main set. I didn't care about the player on the card: if I needed this card to finish a set, I was willing to trade all my doubles to have it. 

But growing up, I lose interest in sets and started focusing more on players. That's when I decided, at 14 years old, to start my collection of Pavel Bure. I demanded to my parents to buy me a Beckett and I passed my nights going on every line, writing my own Bure checklist on sheets of paper. 

When I started working as a teenager, I stopped often to my local store, ripping packs and boxes of hockey cards. I trade them all in exchange of Bure and before university, I assembled a nice collection, around 500-600.

Entering university, I stopped collecting completely. My hobbies changed as I haven't the cash anymore to pursuit my collection. I have some breakdowns, but I managed to pass by.

13 years have passed. We are in 2016. The bug bites me, and this time, it bites me hard.

I wasn't looking at cards at all. I stopped by a store for collectors of all genres: money, stamps, comics, board games, etc.. There was a corner of the store that sells hockey cards. Everything was ok until I stumbled upon a beautiful Pavel Bure auto. 30$. A voice in my head said that it was a bargain. I listened to her and bought it, with 7 others for a total of 180$. I was back in the game.

For now on, my collection grew up exponentially. I made some very good friends along the way and wanted to share my passion for cards and my Bure collection. Hope this blog will be the beginning of a beautiful adventure with you guys!

In this blog, I'll post photos of my collection, along with some historical facts, debates, and thoughts about the card industry. Hope this blog will grow and become a beautiful community.

For the love of the hobby,