Having the afternoon off, I got bored. When I get bored, I visit my local brick and mortar card shops. When I visit my brick and mortar card shops (RyansCards and The Rookie), I spend money. When I spend a lot of money on hockey cards, my wife gets exasperated at me. When my wife gets REAAALLY exasperated at me, I usually end up sleeping in the doghouse.
While I don't like sleeping in the doghouse, I couldn't resist buying a few packs of one of the new products on their shelves, the 2013-14 OPC Hockey Cards. So, I bought two packs at each store.
Overall, I feel this year's 500-card set is just, okay. Literally.
It's nothing spectacular, nothing to really write home about. I'm not real excited with the card color combinations -- yellow/lime, pink/yellow (gold?), green/orange, purple/light blue and light blue/red -- and with 500 base cards, it seems as if this will be a hard one for set collectors. It almost feels as if OPC really wrote this off as this their low-end hockey set and didn't put much effort into it.
Duncan Keith, Blackhawks #22
Blake Comeau, Blue Jackets #104
John Tavares, Islanders #161
Andrew Shaw, Blackhawks #223
Joel Ward, Capitals, #238
Michael Neuvirth Retro, Capitals 332
Theoren Fleury, Flames #370
Mikhail Grigorenko, Sabres RC #527
Highlights of this pack would have to be the Grigorenko rookie card. A 2012 first round pick (#12) by the Sabres, he led the QMJHL's Quebec Ramparts with 14 postseason points (5-9-14) in 2013. The Keith and Shaw cards, meanwhile, will be a welcome addition to my Blackhawks collection.
Kyle Wellood, Jets #28
Alexander Semin, Hurricanes #33
Saku Koivu, Ducks #176
Kari Lehtonen, Stars #204
Gustav Nyquist, Red Wings #225
Lubomir Visnovsky foil, Islanders #281
Pavel Bure Sticker, Canucks #SPB
Retro Checklist, #496
While the Visnovsky card appears blue, it's actually a foil card. Stickers are also included in this year's set, complete with a yellow border. Actually, the Bure photo looks pretty sharp, but I'm not really a big sticker fan.
The Rookie Pack #1
Nik Antropov Retro, Jets #35
Joe Pavelski, Sharks #116
Richard Clune, Predators #144
Shawn Horcoff, Oilers #170
Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals #272
Niklas Backstrom, Wild #478
Keaton Ellerby, Kings #483
Ben Hanowski, Flames RC #596
Another rookie card, this time Hanowski, of the Flames. A third round pick (#63) in the 2009 draft, Hanowski was second in scoring (17 goals) for St. Cloud University, as they reached the NCAA Frozen Four. To me, the retro card of Antropov is hard to read with the two-tone lettering. The "psychedelic" background reminds me out of something from Austin Powers.
Scott Hartnell, Flyers #47
Robin Lehner, Senators #109
Devan Dubnyk, Oilers #206
Carl Hagelin, Rangers #243
Grant Clitsome Retro, Jets #337
Bobby Clarke, Flyers #372
Brandon Yip, Predators #375
Sidney Crosby Rings, Penguins R43
The card I actually found the most interesting was from this pack. The honors would have to go to the Crosby Ring, which OPC originally offered back in the 70's. It's actually a punch-out ring, with Crosby's picture in the middle and three notches on both ends, so you can actually roll it and use it as a ring. I'm not sure who would do that, but it does look kind of cool, in an old school, retro-way. As for the Clitsome retro card, well, you already know how I feel about them.
Oh by the way, you can keep your wrappers, as OPC will once again offer a wrapper redemption program. However, it's only Canada exclusive, so if you live south of the border like me, you're out of luck.