My first taste of 2010/11 hockey cards

24 02 2011

Before the latest budget crisis took hold, I bought a couple of packs of 2010/11 hockey to test the waters for future buys.  I was pretty certain I’d chase the flagship Upper Deck set, but Score was the new kid on the block again and I was curious if it would unseat my desire for the perennial favorite.

Since the cards were thrown all over the card aisle, I should have known better than to spend my money on them and expect anything good.  I wasn’t expecting a hit or anything, but I was hoping for four solid corners.  I came up one corner short.

First up, the classic Upper Deck series 1, and the only card worth showing.

Awesome card.  Sometimes I think I expect too much from Upper Deck as far as photography goes, so even the nicer pictures I pass over as routine.  But I like this Boucher even if he does play for the enemy.  I had no idea he was back with the Flyers, further proof as to how out of touch I’ve become with most of the hockey world.  That’s why I need the cards – to stay current.

I have yet to take out my 2010 Upper Deck baseball cards to compare them, but from what I remember there isn’t much difference.  I’m looking forward to 2011’s release  since it will be the first time I haven’t seen it on a baseball card in three years.

So the Upper Deck pack was solid, if uninspiring.  Unsurprising.

I was a little eager for the Score pack, though.  As everyone knows, Panini has resurrected just about everything to try to bring collectors to their side of the ice in the inaugural season.  One of their earlier offerings was the rebirth of Score hockey, in the design of it’s very first hockey release from 1990/91.  I don’t remember the photos from twenty years ago looking this nice or being this creative.

Hornqvist is a good young scorer for the Preds and only the fourth Nashville player to have a 30 goal season.  He’s off pace this year, but still trying to help get the Predators back into the playoffs again this year and maybe even into the second round.  I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Predators, so I’d love to see them succeed.

My one insert was from the “Net Cam” set.  Not awful.  I’d rather see pictures like this in the main set, though.  Toss out the insert sets altogether.  I do not recall any of these in that first year of Score, though.

And another variation from the first season of Score, the short printed rookie.  I think that Panini’s definition and my definition of Hot Rookie differ greatly.  These are seeded 1:2 and this is the only card that came out of the packs unscathed.

I’m all for Panini’s return to the NHL market, but I kinda wish they hadn’t done it by cannibalizing so many old products.  Score, Pinnacle, Crown Royale, Donruss, Limited, and today they announced the return of Zenith, too.  Have they had an original named release yet?  Yes, I realize they bought the rights so they could do something like this, but I’d be more excited by the whole thing if it didn’t feel like I was reliving the 90’s hockey card glut all over again.

The upshot is for now I’m not collecting either one for now.  But I’m pretty disappointed so far with what Panini has done and will end up chasing both series of Upper Deck and maybe an OPC set if the mood strikes.  Hopefully Panini will try something new for 2011.

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