Waking up with a splitting headache isn't always the best way to rev up your Tuesday morning.
The benefits of collecting cards from the 90s is the fact that I can pick up cards that I yearned-for as a child for a fraction of the price they were when they were first released.
Lately I've began to focus on completing a few of my incomplete sets from the 90s that I still have and love to this day. When this box of 1997-98 Donruss Leaf recently caught my eye I just had to have it as it was a prime set during my collecting days as a pre-teen and hockey fan.
|Patrick Roy #128, Jim Carey #71, Marc Denis / Checklist #105|
As far as completing the base set is concerned, I think I did pretty good. I'm unsure of how many cards that I needed pre-box opening but when all was said and done the 'want list' was taken down to a minimal size of just 5.
#7 Martin Brodeur
#40 Jozef Stumpel
#50 Daren Puppa
#51 Petr Nedved
#75 Janne Niinimaa
|Patrick Lalime #111, Felix Potvin #24, Kirk McLean #74|
I decided to choose a few of my favorite netminder cards from the break to showcase the base design. A good example of the progress made from the box would be the fact that I needed all the cards above towards the set with the only exception being Lalime.
|Vinny Prospal / Gold Leaf Rookie #, Alyn McCauley / Gold Leaf Rookie #|
Prospal is still enjoying a career in the NHL as a member of the Blue Jackets. McCauley had an up-and-down sort of journey through the league (injury plauged, couldn't produce at the same level as he had in the minors, Selke Trophy nod in 2003-04), hanging up his skates in 2007. I had a Tomas Vokoun from this subset in my collection from years ago, glad I kept it around.
I still need 17 more of these pieces of cardboard to put a damper on it.
#148 Marc Denis [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#149 Boyd Devereaux [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#150 Joe Thornton [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#151 Sergei Samsonov [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#153 Erik Rasmussen [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#154 Patrick Marleau [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#155 Olli Jokinen RC [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#156 Chris Phillips [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#158 Chris Dingman RC [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#159 Daniel Cleary [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#160 Juha Lind RC [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#161 Jean-Yves Leroux RC [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#162 Brad Isbister [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#163 Vadim Sharifijanov [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#164 Alexei Morozov [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#166 Vaclav Varada [Gold Leaf Rookie]
#167 Jaroslav Svejkovsky [Gold Leaf Rookie]
Yikes. What a tedious looking subset list to pursue.
Another short print subset, "Gamers". Basically a a who's who collection of players in the league during that period. Another 20 card subset injected into the 200 card base set. I managed to pull 3 of these guys from the box and also had another 3 (Hull, Grettzky and Tkachuk) cards from this set in my collection. Smyth and Brodeur are still hanging in there, each playing for their respected teams listed on their 97-98 cards.
Smyth spent 10.5 seasons as a member of the Oilers before being traded like currency during and after the 06-07 season; things came full-circle when he signed with the Oilers again in 2011-12.
Brodeur signed a 2-year deal with the Devils during the 2012 off-season so even if the lockout spoils the entire 2012-13 season there's a very good possibility we will get to see one of the greatest players between the pipes play again.
And well, Kariya - we all know how it went down for him. There's no doubt in my mind that he would still be playing if it weren't for his unfortunate concussion issues.
#168 Eric Lindros [Gamers]
#169 Dominik Hasek [Gamers]
#170 Peter Forsberg [Gamers]
#171 Steve Yzerman [Gamers]
#172 John Vanbiesbrouck [Gamers]
#176 Mark Messier [Gamers]
#177 Jaromir Jagr [Gamers]
#179 Brendan Shanahan [Gamers]
#180 Jarome Iginla [Gamers]
#181 Mike Modano [Gamers]
#182 Teemu Selanne [Gamers]
#183 Bryan Berard [Gamers]
#186 Dainius Zubrus [Gamers]
#187 Patrick Roy [Gamers]
Another tedious laundry list of 'wants' for this subset. Grueling.
|Trevor Linden / A Day In The Life #191, #193, #194, #195|
#190 Trevor Linden [Day in the Life]
#192 Trevor Linden [Day in the Life]
#196 Trevor Linden [Day in the Life]
#197 Trevor Linden [Day in the Life]
There's also a mail-in autograph card #d/500 from this set, found one going on eBay last night for a very reasonable price.
Well that was the meat and potatoes from the box break - let's get to the...desert? I think I did pretty good.
|Sergei Berezin #66, Jaromir Jagr / Gamers #177, Trevor Linden / A Day In The Life #196|
The Berezin card is a silver variation, Jagr 'Gamers' and the Linden 'Day In The Life' cards are gold (at least I'm pretty sure) - don't even bother to ask me which axis they each fall on. All of these are for trade by the way as I have no use for them. I almost wish the Jagr and Linden cards were regular base as it would have been more beneficial towards my set. Hopefully I can swap these for a few cards that I need though.
And now for what I would undoubtedly proclaim as my biggest 'hit' from the Leaf box.
|Wayne Gretzky / Banner Season #3 #d/3500|
Still need 21 of these 'Banner Season' inserts to complete the set as I have had Mike Grier and Steve Yzerman since I collected these cards in 1997-98.
If anyone has anything from this set, base or inserts - let me know. Maybe we can work something out via trade.