Similar to baseball in January, it just feels weird when you hit the store and see the first hockey product of the season 6 weeks before the official start of the year. No matter, I still didn't have to have my arm twisted to pick up the first rack pack of the season a couple of weeks ago, and then a couple more of them last week.
I like what I see so far. I know it's going to be the typical O-Pee-Chee set of the last few years, with the cards numbered from 501-600 being the usual rookies/legends that will be a little more difficult to obtain. That doesn't bother me however, since this is the first hockey release since 2008-09 that I am going to put together. With no other sets to distract me, I should be more focused on completing this set.
The base cards are nothing to write home about, the photos are sharp and with a set as large as this, the player selection is pretty deep. I could do without the yellow circle with the silhouetted player on the lower right, but the rest of the design is fine with me.
I've only managed to pull one of the high numbers so far, a Bill Barber Legends card:
I'm kind of torn about the black and white photo. Yes, it does convey that the player is a legend from the past, but the Flyers uniform has one of the best color schemes out there, and should (at least in my opinion) always be shown in color.
The retro cards, which I believe come 1 in a pack (I'm sure someone out there will educate me on this..) remind me of a couple of Heritage/Vintage releases from the early 2000's. To be honest, if you add the position of the player to these cards, you may have had a better option for the set this year.
Stickers have become quite a regular insert option over the past year, and this set is no different. With 100 stickers, there is quite a selection, and pulling your favorite player will be no easy task.
To peel, or not to peel, that is the question:
Thanks for reading, Robert