Monday, January 17, 2011

2010-11 Upper Deck Hockey

With the NBA and NFL lockouts looming (NFL agreement ends 3/4/11 and the NBA agreement ends 6/30/11) we may be down to MLB and NHL for our sporting needs so I decided to take the plunge back in to NHL to see what I have been missing since I stopped collecting NHL cards about 8 years ago.
The base card design is something we have seen time and time again from Upper Deck, a full-bleed image with the name, team name and a small face shot of the player. Pretty similar to the baseball designs over the past 10 years, which is disappointing considering that UD has to survive on NHL and NCAA so you think they would keep product designs fresh to keep the collectors wanting.

I got a couple of young players, Jordan Staal and Sidney Crosby along with local player Scottie Upshall, not that I am really a Coyotes fan; I grew up an Islanders fan. I did end up pulling a couple of Islanders, D Mark Streit and G Dwayne Roloson, a player on the IR and has not even played a game this season (Streit) and a player who was actually traded a couple of weeks ago to the Tampa Bay Lighting (Roloson) color me impressed... said sarcastically.

I pulled a couple of Young Gun rookie cards, Eric Tangradi and Tommy Wingels, not really a couple of young guns setting the ice ablaze and both are currently in the minors but they do seem to have an upside and could be back in the NHL before long. I do like the design on the Young Gun cards; they stand out from the other base cards.

The EA Superstar cards are quite cool, this is the type of insert that makes UD stand apart from the lackluster we see with some of the other card companies. When you have one in your hand you immediately think “This is a hockey card worth pulling”. I pulled a Tavares and Daniel Sedin Superstar card.

Upper Deck included a number of 20th Anniversary variations and retros with the inserts, the Hockey Heroes is an instant classic taking you back to the 1990-91 set and pulling a Yzerman was a nice grab.

The best cards overall though are the 20th Anniversary base card variations. These cards are straight from a 20 year old pack. Upper Deck used the 90-91 design on the front and back and even used a similar thin card stock. At 1:9 pack odds you are bound to pull a couple even from single packs or blasters and they are very cool.

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