Wednesday, March 21, 2012

El Cheap-o Box Break : 2002-03 Pacific Vanguard Hockey

A box of card for $20 including shipping?  Sure why not!  Last week, in addition to the Heritage baseball break I also ripped some Mylar on hockey.  Atlanta Sports Cards was running a special on old boxes of Pacific hockey so I took a gamble.

I had no recollection of this set whatsoever.  I had no idea what the base sets looked like, who the key rookies were or if there were even autographs or memorabilia cards in the box.  So I was buying blind.  How did I do?

Not bad.

Rather than give you a full recap, he's a sample back that I busted open.  And to make it more enjoyable let's play "6 Degrees of Lecavalier".  The challenge is to connect the player with the Lightning captain in less than six teammates.

Here we go!

Michal Rozsival Pacific Complete.

Yup, Upper Deck wasn't the first company to mix sets inside of other sets.  Pacific did it as well. Can we trace the Penguin to Lecavalier?  Quite easily:

Rozisval's last team was the 2011-12 Phoenix Coyotes which featured a player named Radim Vrbata. As mentioned before on this site, Mr. Vrbata played on the Lightning in 2008, even found himself on Vinny's line from time-to-time.

Bobby Lu in his Panthers' gear.  You know, back before he took long walks on the seawall and caused riots in Vancouver. As for his connection with Lecavalier:

Played with Lukas Krajicek in Florida. Krajicek played in Tampa with Vincent from 2008-2010.

Chris Gratton.  Former Bolt captain! Shown here in his Buffalo gear before being traded to Phoenix for Daniel Briere.

He played with Vincent two times, first in 1998-99 and then again in 2007-08. 

Advertisement for the 2003 Calder Collection Rookie Set Offer!  For the low price of $24.95 I could own a 10-card serial numbered set of rookies such as Alex Frolov and Chuck Kobasew! Former Lightning great Alex Svitov was also part of the set. 

Nikolai Khabibulin.  Cup winning goaltender. That is all.

Jay Bouwmeester "Vanguard" parallel. Oh yes, a pointless parallel, limited to 450 cards. Bouwmeester was one of the top rookies in the set along with Rick Nash and Henrik Zetterberg.  Well at least he was when the set came out.  Now he's a "solid" player in Calgary.

As for Vinny?  Bouwmeester's junior team was the Medicine Hat Tigers.  On that team was an 18-year-old Martin Cibak.  Don't remember him?  Well check the Stanley Cup 'cause his name is etched on their along with Khabibulin and Lecavalier as part of the championship team.

Patrick Elias.  Do you know that there are currently no former Lightning players on this year's Devils squad?  It's true, it's true!  So I had to connect him through linemate Daniaus Zubrus who was once traded for Timo Helbing who played 9 games on the 2005-06 Lightning team. He had one point in 9 games with Tampa Bay that year, it was an assist.  Who scored the goal?  Vincent Lecavalier, of course!

I like the set, but if anyone is trying to complete it let me know I'm not keeping the base.  I did get three memorabilia cards - the world smallest jersey patches of:

Brendan Morrison - Vancouver
Pavol Demitra - St. Louis
Mark Messier - Rangers

They might be part of a trade bait post in the future.


Captain Canuck said...

any Odelein cards???

dogfacedgremlin said...

I don't think Odelein is in that set is he? Maybe in the Complete set.