Monday, November 30, 2009

Petr Nedved Autograph Card

This card may be from the first series to offer a regular set of autographed cards - Upper Deck's 1995-96 Be A Player set, arguably one of the worst sets of all time.

Because they were only licensed by the NHLPA (and not the NHL), Peter Nedved is seen here wearing the Pittsburgh Penguins' colours - but that's all he's sporting. Nowehere on the card is the word 'Penguins' nor the team's logo to be seen - it was even airbrushed out of the picture.

The back of the card doesn't have any statistics or text related to the actual player, only a fac-similed 'signed' word from Ted Saskin saying:
You have received a card personally autographed by the NHL player depicted on the front of this card.

This 1996 NHLPA Be A Player trading card's authenticity is guaranteed by the NHLPA:
One Dundas Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z3

This certificate guarantees the authenticity of the player's signature.

The NHL player depicted did not autograph this card in the presence of a representative of the NHLPA.

Enjoy your autographed card.

Ted Saskin
Senior Directir Business Affairs And Licensing
NHL Players' Association
Yes, you read that right - twice they ''guarantee the authenticity'', yet they still make it abundantly clear that the card was NOT signed in the presence of NHLPA reps, so, really, there is no guarantee.

So they guarantee that the player on the front of the card, who they can't name, wearing an NHL jersey with no logo and affiliated to no NHL team (just the city of Pittsburgh) signed this card with no one to witness it.

Not that I don't trust a former second overall draft pick who played for 8 different NHL teams (and twice each for the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers, for a grand total of ten NHL transactions)... just that I think the NHLPA offers us a lack of respect and transparency with every single detail of this card.

Dwayne Roloson Jersey Card

Here's a card depicting Dwayne Roloson in what I believe to be his finest hour in the NHL - as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. Sure, when he played with the Minnesota Wild, he had two seasons where he stopped over 92% of shots against, but the system they were playing likely helped, and there were no playoffs in which to judge him.

However, when he was traded to the Oilers at the end of the 2005-06 season, his impact was immediate, as he led the team to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Carolina Hurricanes - and the Oilers probably would have won had Roloson not gotten injured in Game 1.

This card (#AF-DR) is from Upper Deck's 2006-07 SP Game Used edition, the Authentic Fabrics Jersey sub-set, and is special for sporting two colours, red and blue. Keep in mind that I have no clue whatsoever as to where there might be red on a recent Oilers jersey...

Pascal Leclaire And Ty Conklin - Jersey Card

Because many players care more about ice time and making money than the city where they play in or being on a championship team, we rarely see players spend their entire careers with the same team anymore. Both goalies here are no longer with the team in which they are pictured here (Conklin himself has been on 3 other teams since), but at least the card depicts a picture, jersey and team name that all fit at the time.

Upper Deck didn't have enough of the usual brands they were producing, they absolutely needed to flood the market with one more, and that's why they came up with this (beautiful) set: 2006-07 Artifacts, with these jersey cards being part of the Tundra sub-set. This Dual Jerseys card (TT-PT) depicts Pascal Leclaire wearing the Columbus Blue Jackets' blue uniform (though the patch seems to be from a white one), and Ty Conklin, backup extraordinaire who has been to the last 3 Stanley Cup Finals, in his Edmonton Oilers white jersey (the patch being bronze coloured, like the stripes on the arms or waist). The card is numbered 120/125.

Trevor Kidd Autographed Card

He was destined for greatness... Trevor Kidd was the Calgary Flames' first-round draft pick (selected 11th overall, ahead of goalies Martin Brodeur and Félix Potvin and skaters Keith Tkachuk, Chris Simon, Doug Weight, Slava Kozlov, Sergei Zubov and Craig Conroy, among others). Maybe the Flames saw something in him, but his goals-against average in juniors was above 4.00 - pretty high for a #1 goalie, unbelievably high for a first-rounder.

He won over 20 games twice with the Flames, and once more with the Carolina Hurricanes, and finished his NHL playing career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is believed to be playing in Europe (although I couldn't find any statistics beyond the 2005-06 season when he played in Germany) and owns a high-end coffee chain in Canada (Mountain Bean Coffee Co.).

This autograph was taken in person while he was a Leaf, but because I hate the Leafs and at least respect the Flames - and because he looked better in a Flames uniform than any other, in my humble opinion - I chose this card, a 1994-95 Flair card from Fleer (card #25).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chris Davis Card - ''With Everything On It''

What's more valuable: a rookie card, a jersey card, or an autographed card? The Topps Company didn't want to have to find out, so they made this card that is all three.

Indeed, as stated in the top-right corner of this 2007 Topps Performance card (card #122), it's Chris Davis' 'Rookie RC Card'; the autograph is either a very well-placed sticker or part of the card (and, unlike Upper Deck cards, is guaranteed to have been signed in the presence of company representative); and the 'relic' (the piece of jersey) was worn during the 2007 NFL Rookie Premiere.

A nice catch - just like the one that seems to be almost happening in the picture on it.