We don't get to do as many hockey reviews as I would like, but I always like these cards because hockey was actually way ahead of baseball in working to ensure that you had to play in the NHL before you could get a hockey card. I thought back in the day that was a good idea and nothing has changed my opinion of that. In fact, one can argue one of the reasons baseball products do better than they did a few years ago was the rookie card rules changed nearly a decade now and thus you were not having situations like Carlos Beltran winning the 1999 A.L. Rookie of the year but having rookie cards back in 1995.
Thus, when you open a current year hockey issue you know the rookie cards are very up to date and accurate in terms of what they mean for the players. Then you combine a double rookie crop with a gorgeous design and guarantee four autographs per box and the odds are pretty good you will have a winner on your hands.
Several weeks ago, Panini issued 2013-14 Select Hockey, another resurrection of a brand from the days of Pinnacle Brands. These silver full-bordered cards feature the player's photo in the middle with the player name on the bottom and the team name in small letters above his name. The backs have biographical notations, season and career stats and an informational blurb. These cards were issued in a master box with two six-pack mini boxes. Each mini box contained six packs and six cards per pack.
My local card store (Triple Cards, Plano TX) could not stop raving about these cards. He loved that these packs were not searchable, how gorgeous the cards were and he thought the cards provided good value for the dollar. He has sold through two cases at $115 per box (and Dallas is not known as a hockey hotbed) while current leading on-line retailers are between $95-100 for a master box.
The base set includes 150 regular cards, plus 35 retired players and 15 rookies. Many of the autographs are on stickers, however.
So how did we do from our box?
Base Cards: 59 of 200 which is a tad less than 30 percent. That means you need four boxes just to have a chance of completing a base set
Prism Parallels: Jiri Hudler,Kari Lehtonen, Cory Schneider, Jiri Tlusty
Cornerstone: Evander Kane
Double Strike: Niklas Kronwall
Fire on Ice Prism Gold (#d to 25): Brendan Gallagher
Stars Jersey Autographs Prizms Gold Patch (#d to 5): Gabriel Landeskog
The Landeskog was a real nice pull and we did well from our box. In addition, there is no doubt that hockey collectors old and new enjoy these cards as I pulled a base card of a retired great in every pack. Knowing you will be getting a current Hall of Famer to go with a future Hall of Famer in most of these packs plus the four autographs and the other goodies makes these boxes worth pursuing.