The Beckett Blog


First Look: 2010-11 Donruss Hockey by Tracy Hackler
September 8, 2010, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Beckett Media, Card gallery, First look, NHL | Tags: , , ,

In a hockey trading card season that promises to be full of history-making firsts and grand reintroductions, Panini America provided a sneak peek at the latest one Wednesday afternoon: 2010-11 Donruss Hockey.

Indeed, for the first time since the 1997-98 season, there will be a Donruss-branded hockey set for diehards to devour, complete with its own throwback Donruss logo and everything.

Due out in mid November, the product (five cards per pack, 24 packs per box, 12 boxes per case) carries a $4 pack SRP.

Returning to the product are longtime product standbys (50 Rated Rookies, Press Proof parallels and the Les Gardiens, Elite and Ice Kings inserts) and venerable brand staples such as Fans of the Game. Of course, there are plenty new-generation bells and whistles, too, including the Tough Times insert honoring the most fearsome enforcers of the 1980s (including on-card-autographed parallel versions) and Line of the Times memorabilia cards.

As of now, the Fans of the Game autograph lineup includes such celebrity hockey fans as Pamela Anderson, actor Michael Ontkean and folk singer Stompin’ Tom Connors.

Each box of 2010-11 Donruss Hockey should deliver two memorabilia or autograph cards, six Rated Rookies, three Boys of Winter, two Ultimate Draft, one Press Proof, one Les Gardiens, one Tough Times and one Fans of the Game.

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Live from the Ice: An Update from the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for MapleLeafsHotStove.com, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

The afternoon session at the 2010 NHL Rookie Photo Shoot included a lunch for the players and gathered media (which disseminated fairly quickly after the morning skate). There is a pick-up hockey game that will end the afternoon events before the rookies take the bus back to the host hotel.

A most curious and interesting scenario, however, occurred as the rookies were taking their photos and video rolls. A bunch of young kids were using the ice for a practice. The awe in the eyes of the children as they saw their dreams and aspirations personified walking among them made for a much more spirited effort in training sessions.

Inspiration, it seems, comes from the most unlikely places and surprise times. These kids didn’t expect to see actual drafted NHL players in what was surely just a routine practice. Their surprise and elation will form a deeper root in their commitment.

Lunch intersected the sessions and the ’95-born Toronto Marlboros took to the ice for their own practice. While the interaction wasn’t as extensive as they likely preferred with the potential NHL Rookies, similar to the younger kids, the practice was high energy and focused.

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Real-Time Photo Gallery from the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for MapleLeafsHotStove.com, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

TORONTO — After this morning’s media scrum cleared, the next phase of the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase had players on a brief skate for action photos. As the players skated away and toward the camera, taking various shots, some rookies started showing off shooting skills on Nashville netminder Chet Pickard after Milwaukee Admirals teammate Jonathan Blum fired some preliminary warm up cannons from between the face off circles.

The cold arena, coupled with heat-wave-like conditions surrounding Toronto set up a thick fog across the ice surface that even skating players couldn’t lift. Skating through the fog gave the appearance of waif-like creatures emerging in battle fatigues, ready for action.

Players lined up in their respective organizations’ uniforms and participated in a small video roll. Florida Panthers rookies Eric Gudbranson and Jacob Markstrom participated in a hilarious video shoot, set up with various comical situations (including a funny bit with two dolls and a proposal of a female assistant on the ice) set up through the NHLPA.

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The Puck Drops on the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for MapleLeafsHotStove.com, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

TORONTO — Future NHL hopefuls were gathered this morning, lined up waiting for the inevitable questions about hockey cards, collectibles and their own experiences as collectors growing up.
Heaped upon the majority of young men were questions about their young careers to this point, with the next level so close they could taste it, just like the complimentary breakfast afforded to the media horde.

The 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase is being held today at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the Toronto Maple Leafs practice facility, in association with Panini America and Upper Deck, the official trading card partners of the NHLPA and NHL.

For some players, this may be one of a few times in their careers to be involved in such intense media surroundings. For others, like 2010 first overall pick Taylor Hall and his potential line mates, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paarjarvi-Svensson, the attention may be familiar. They’ve all performed like champs so far, answering questions and cracking some jokes.

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ITG President Dr. Brian Price’s “Welcome Letter” to Panini by Tracy Hackler

In The Game President Dr. Brian Price had an interesting post on his PrezSez blog Sunday regarding alleged language in Panini America‘s NHL player agreement letters that he finds rather objectionable.

Price cited specifically the following paragraph, which he says a player agent brought to his attention:

“Player shall be restricted from providing autographs on Cards for other comapanies unless such Cards are licensed by the National Hockey League Players’ Association (the “NHLPA”) at the time such autograph is provided.”

Price’s response?

“These agreements are being sent out to players who might be playing in the AHL and the CHL next year [and are] clearly trying to effect our contractual relationships with the AHL/PHPA and CHL. Since the NHLPA no longer permits exclusives, this clause is an attack against ITG.

“Is it legal? We certainly will find out very soon.

“Panini should worry about competing with Upper Deck but it seems they are more concerned with us, should I be flattered?”

For the full post, visit Dr. Price’s blog.



First Look: 2010-11 Score Hockey by Tracy Hackler

Panini America officials on Tuesday released preliminary product information and images for 2010-11 Score Hockey, the company’s highly anticipated fun-and-affordable-for-all-ages product that will release in mid October.

The product — initially expected to be Panini’s premiere release under its new hockey license — will follow Certified into the market but will pack a bevy of its own distinctive bells and whistles, not the least of which are a$.99 pack price and a massive 550-card base set that includes 50 rookies.

In a nod to Score Hockey’s landmark first release in 1990-91, this new-generation version includes a little of the old (36 packs per box and throwback inserts such as The Franchise and Snow-Globe Die-Cuts) with a lot of the new (autograph cards seeded one per case, including on-card BuyBacks from the original 1990-91 set).

Each box will deliver 18 Rookie Cards, 36 Glossy inserts, 12 additional insert cards and one Rookie Redemption card that collectors can exchange for an early card of a hot 2010-11 rookie.

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First Look: 2010-11 Certified Hockey by Tracy Hackler

With a long-untapped arsenal of fan-favorite brands to pull from, the subject of what product should lead became a hot-button topic inside Panini America’s walls the second the company announced in late March that it was entering the hockey card business.

Traditional wisdom swayed things early toward the venerable Score brand. Ultimately, though, the power of a positive first impression won out.

“We went into this with our own ideas of what the first launch would be and what brand we wanted to reintroduce to the market first,” says Scott Prusha, Panini America’s Director of Marketing. “But we listened intently to distributors and other key partners within the hobby and the message was clear: ‘Come out with a bang. Come out hitting. Come out really making a bold statement.’

“That’s why we settled on Certified.”

In late September, Panini America makes its long-awaited debut in the NHL trading card market by delivering 2010-11 Certified Hockey, the first Certified brand since 1997-98.

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