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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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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! 😊


Saturday, April 28, 2018

1992-93 OPC Premier

This time, this is definitely the first insert in this blog from the Russian Rocket.

The 1992-93 OPC Premier didn't have a Bure base card out of his 132 standard-size cards set. BUT, he appeared in the Star Performers set. Randomly inserted at a ratio of 8:9 packs (yeah, what a thrill), the other one being the Top Rookie set, the card looks like a lot to the base set. The only difference is the Star Performer sign at the top. 

1992-93 OPC Premier Star Performers #10
Not much to say after that!


Monday, April 23, 2018

Anti-Expo pickups

So last weekend was the biggest trading card exposition in Montreal; the Anti-Expo in the gymnasium of the Collège André-Grasset. It's always in late April with more than a hundred of booths (120 to be precise) and it's for all kind of collectors; team and set builders, autographs enthusiasms, vintage fanatics and player supercollectors, like me.

Me and one of my best friend went there on a beautiful Sunday morning, to see what we can find. He's an avid Anthony Beauviller collector, so we were ecstatic to search in every box, looking to add some pieces in our collections.

Ironically, it was our first experience at the Anti-Expo. We went to smaller venues like the Salon des collectionneurs, but we weren't able to in the past two years to be present at the Anti-Expo, so our expectations were high.

And for me, it delivered.

Unfortunately for my collector partner, he quits the expo empty-handed, but I was able to find 11 new pieces for my collection. The first photo shows 9 of them. I was stocked to find some early 2000's Pacific inserts, and well as the 1995-96 SkyBox Impact Countdown to Impact. I just loved the design of the card! The others were a 1997-98 Pinnacle Mint with his gold medaillon, the new 2017-18 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Red Prism on /199 and the 2001-02 Upper Deck Collector Club and All-Star Class.

Some of my finds Sunday and the Anti-Expo! 
But two pieces stand out. That's why they have their own picture. The first one is a 1999-00 Pacific Crown Royale Premiere Date (the vendor actually have two in his possession), limited to only 73 copies. I picked the number 01/73! Also, it was the only one left for completing the rainbow! 

1999-00 Pacific Crown Royale Premiere Date
The other treasure found in this booth was a 2002-03 Upper Deck Superstars triple jersey on /250. It shows Bure with Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees and Latrell Sprewell of the New York Knicks.
2002-03 Upper Deck Superstars All-Stars Triple Jersey
But the quintessence of this day was to meet so many great people, passionate about the hobby. And I was able to meet one of my earliest follower on Twitter, Stephen (Stephler4). It was actually a funny story. I walked to his booth and just looking around. When he said to me what I collect, I have a vintage Bure t-shirt on, so I just turn around to show the name on the back of my shirt.

He said that he had no Bure cards for me, but knows someone on Twitter name Burefanatic10 who has an insane collection of him. I blushed and said that in fact... it was me! So we talked a few minutes about the others accounts on the Twittersphere we know and wanted to know if I'll be able to go at the Spring Expo in Toronto in two weeks.

Man, I wish could. But at this time, I can tell if I'm gonna be able to attend this monstrous show.

Anyways. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I'll be there next year for sure! It's gonna bigger because the organization moves the exposition in a much spacier place for his 10th anniversary! 

Such a wonderful day! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

1992-93 O-Pee-Chee

YASSSSSSSS! FINALLY! The first insert of Pavel Bure hit the blog! (Oh wait...)

1992-93 marks the 25th consecutive year of producing cards for O-Pee-Chee. To celebrate this feature, the company decided to build a 396 standard-card size set with reprints of 25 cards of superstars, like Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic and Wayne Gretzky.

1992-93 O-Pee-Chee #25
Bure, surprisingly, was one of them. It pictures him in a never used photograph with the design of the 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee Premier.

1992-93 O-Pee-Chee #324
If I said oh wait earlier, it's because I'm not convinced enough that it was actually the first insert in this blog. The reason is the 25th-anniversary set is, in fact, the first card of the player in O-Pee-Chee. So for players featured in the set like Patrick Roy, Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux, it's a reprint of their rookie card. Bure, on the other hand, it's really the 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee Premier because he didn't appear on any other sets than Upper Deck in 1990-91.

...So in my head, it's not actually a "real" insert, it's simply a reprint. But, nonetheless, it's not a base card like all my previous post! 😄

1992-93 O-Pee-Chee 25th anniversary #25
P.S. The French translation of the first one is terrible! It's like they took a dictionary and replaced all words in English to his traduction in French! My eyes are bleeding right now, but at the same time, I found it funny! 

Cheers everyone!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

1992-93 Bowman

1992-93 was a wonderful year for Bure and for his cards as well. This year has 48 different cards displayed him in his Canucks jersey, more than a double of the first two years combined (22). 

It was also a great year on the ice for the Russian Rocket. In 83 games, he scored 60 goals and assisted on 50 others for 110 points. That grants him the 13th place in points. His 60 goals placed him in fifth place and his 7 shorthanded goals tie him with the great Steve Yzerman for the first place in the league. Also, his 407 shots on goal are the most in the NHL, 17 over Brett Hull.

Cards companies started to put him more often in their sets. That comes consequently with all the hype with hockey cards at the beginning of the 90's. More inserts were put along the base cards, so collectors have more to chase down. Some included parallels instead of bilingual cards...but not Bowman.

1992-93 Bowman #154

This 442 standard-size cards set have only 2000 16-box cases produced according to Beckett. Forty-four gold-foil base card was inserted in each 15 cards pack, representing the players selected for the All-Stars. Mario Lemieux has also a commemorative card as the winner of the Conn Smythe trophy.

Actually, I love the back of the card. It shows in-depth stats of all the games he played before the card was produced. You see that he had at least a point against every team in the NHL except the Flyers and the Maple Leafs. He was dominant against clubs in his division like the King (5-2-7 in 7 games), the Flames (4-3-7 in 6 games) and the Jets (2-4-6 in 6 games). 

But that's all I can say about this Bowman card! The rest will continue in the following days! 


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday Talk #2 - The problem with Leaf/ITG...

As a supercollector and a completionist, it's obvious that when I started collecting Bure, I have only one thing in mind...

I wanna have them all.

While building my checklist, I realized that it is impossible (so many 1/1). But it didn't stop me. I set my goal 100 cards at a time and now I'm closed to 50% of all the Bure cards produces over the years. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy with the way my collection is going.

But now arrived Leaf and ITG in 2015. The two companies decided to produced some high-end sets like the Enshrined, Used, Lumber and Superlative. I was excited to finally have new products in place and new Bure cards to hunt. But fast-forward today, I disenchanted.

Why you ask? Simple: too many parallels to chase down. 

In 2015-16, Bure appeared in ITG Superlative, ITG Used, ITG Heroes and Prospects, ITG Enshrined, Leaf Metal and Leaf Genesis. How many cards of him, including all parallels, do you think he's on?

100? Pffffffff, not even close.
150? Wayyyyyyyyyy behind
200? You're burning.


Are you kidding me? 213 cards! I'm gonna be ruined before I've purchased the 1/4. That's ridiculous. Since three years, the total increased to 458 cards. 

Four hundred. Fifty-eight. Freaking. Cards.

I'm out.

So I've decided to sell my entire Bure ITG/Leaf collection, except the autos. I scratched all cards from these two companies from my checklist (except autos). Even with this action, I still have a lot of signed cards of him to track down...

And you guys? Do you think Leaf/ITG have crossed a line with their products? Do you have a player that you collect who is on these high-end products? What's your opinion about Leaf and ITG? Let me know in the comment section below!

Cheers, and happy sunday! 

Monday, April 2, 2018

1991-92 Upper Deck

Last entry of the year 1991-92 (at least the real companies, not the "oddballs"): Upper Deck. The set contained 700 cards, divided into two series of 500 and 200 cards. They were two versions; English and French. 

Two of these came in the infamous photo shoot he did before he became a Canuck. They took place on September 27th, 1991, in Manhattan Beach, in Los Angeles with his brother Valeri and father Vladimir.

According to Mike Beamish of the Vancouver Sun, Pavel didn't want to wear the Canucks jersey for the shooting. The photographer from Upper Deck have bought a jersey for the occasion from a local sporting goods shop, but he refused. His father slaps him on the face for his gesture, and he walked away in tears. 😨

The infamous photo shoot becoming the #54 and #647 of the 1991-92 Upper Deck set

The third one in the set was in his Vancouver Canucks uniform.

1991-92 Upper Deck #555

So that's it for the year 1991-92. Now to the year 1992-93!