You may recall that back in October, my family and I ventured up to Akron for a weekend. While everyone went out to the mall, my uncle and I went out to the local card shops to kill some time before lunch. He's not really a mall person and neither am I and our excursion took us to first to Medina then over to Cuyahoga Falls to a place called All-Pro Sports Cards. I spotted this lonely box of 1993-94 Donruss hockey in a pile of junk wax boxes that were hidden behind a cardboard cutout of Harrison Ford as Hans Solo. Being a sucker for cheap wax, I gladly dropped a ten spot on the counter and brought it back home. Let's see what treasures, if any, this 22-year old box will offer.
Baseball fans may recognize the design, it's exactly like the 1994 Donruss design. I always like the way the team logos were presented on the cards, with a 3D-ish look to it. The photos are full bleed but the one issue I have is, like most sets from the 90s, there is foil to be had. Unlike some of the sets from 1995 (looking at you Leaf baseball), there isn't really enough of that to distract me but it can definitely make it a pain to read player names. Also, because of said foil, when I opened the packs, most of the cards were stuck together. I was able to detach them though without any major damage.
In the group above, you'll find a bunch of stars from the era (Messier, Gretzky, etc.) but I really like the Joe Sakic card of him as a member of the Nordiques. They would not be long for the world as the 1994-95 season would be their last in Quebec.
Everyone likes some goalies and there are five of the top goalies of the time. I was pretty happy to get both a Martin Brodeur and a Patrick Roy card from the box since they are my top two goalie PCs. The bottom two cards of Grant Fuhr and Ron Hextall are interesting to me as I don't recall them being on either team.
Here's where the basic stuff ends and the fun stuff begins. Since the 1993-94 season was the first season for both the Panthers and the Ducks, their inaugural opening nights were commemorated in the base set with these cards.
There are four types of insert cards to be found ... Special Print, Ice Kings, Rated Rookies, and Elite. Judging by the odds I found, it's reasonable to expect one Elite card per box. I'll start with the special print cards, which are nothing more than the base cards with fancy writing on the bottom and a giant foil stamp on the right. Also, each card says "special print 1 of 20,000" on the top so you don't know if you've got card 1 or card 15,542.
Next up, the Ice Kings. I really like these as they are done exactly like the Diamond Kings cards. This must be a Gretzky hot box as not only have I pulled the base card of him, I pulled the special print and an Ice Kings insert.
The Rated Rookies insert. To be honest, I've never heard of either of these guys but thanks to Hockey Reference, I was able to drum up some basic info on them. Mironov hung around the league for 10 years playing with Winnipeg in his rookie year before he was traded off to Edmonton. He also spent time with the Rangers and the Blackhawks. Daigle hung around for 12 years, the first 5 of which was spent with Ottawa. After that, he bounced around to the Flyers, Lightning, Rangers, Penguins, and finished up with the Wild during the 2005-06 season.
I guess this could be considered my "hit" of the box, a really sparkly Elite Series Eric Lindros card. I'm not exactly the biggest Lindros collector but I'm all for cool cards like this so it will definitely find a place in the hockey binder.
For ten dollars, I was more than satisfied with this. I got a good batch of cards to add to my hockey collection, some good inserts, and about 30 minutes of fun. I'll be on the lookout for some more bargain hockey stuff on the discount racks, just as long as it's not Pro Set.