The middle of September came quickly this year. Maybe it's because the Stanley Cup finals ended late in June. Maybe it's because the Pirates have been fun to follow this summer. For whatever reason, when training camps opened yesterday around the NHL, I was ready to start hoping that the Leafs would win the Cup this year. Largely because I haven't seen them win a championship in my lifetime.
I found a table at the card show last weekend that was offering cards 12/$1. Not too shabby a deal if you ask me. I managed to pull 11 Leaf cards out of the boxes, which is no small feat since I usually don't find a lot of hockey cards at the monthly show.
The one battle that is going to be very interesting at training camp is in the net. James Reimer had a solid season last year, but the Leafs believed that they needed to upgrade the depth they had on the big league roster, and added Jonathan Bernier to the mix.
Twenty years ago, this wasn't a problem, because the Leafs had a clear #1 in their cage, Felix Potvin.
I really liked Felix during his time in Toronto, and I hated seeing him in other teams colors (Islanders, Kings, Canucks, Bruins). The mask that Felix wore paid homage to his nickname "the Cat", and similar to Ed Belfour's eagle mask, the cat ears and whiskers followed him from city to city.
Upper Deck had a thing for multiple exposures on a card, and hockey was no different. The photography was always great, as the card on the left demonstrates.
I like the Score gold parallel of Andreychuk in the upper left corner. Dave was one player that I enjoyed seeing win a Cup towards the end of his career with the Lightning. I spoke earlier about Ed Belfour, and his MVP card in the upper right I believe might the first card I have of him in a Leafs sweater. I was sorry to see the Leafs give up on Alex Steen so soon, because he's actually gone on to have a good run in St. Louis. The Pacific Omega set on the bottom may be one of the least liked by collectors, but for some reason I've had an affinity for it since its release. Tie Domi's son, Max, was drafted by the Coyotes and from what I've read will get a long look at training camp this year.
October 1st will be here soon. I can't wait.
thanks for reading, Robert