Saturday, May 30, 2009

Preview: 2009-10 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

Even though the Stanley Cup finals don't start until later today, it's already time to start looking ahead to next hockey card season. Upper Deck appears to be taking an approach of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" with their base brand 2009-10 O-Pee-Chee Hockey. But that's not stopping them from making the base set a little nicer to look at.

The configuration of the set appears to be the same as last year: 600 cards including "Marquee Rookie" and "Legends" shortprints appearing at a rate of 1:2 packs. The look has a modern-vintage sort of feel to it. While I find there's still a whole lot of border, it looks a lot cleaner to me than the 2008-09 incarnation. Regular set Gold parallels will fall 1:4 packs.

Retro Variation and Retro Variation Rainbow parallels return, although Upper Deck hasn't announced what design they'll be paying tribute to. Retro variations will be one per pack, while collectors can expect to find one or two Retro Rainbows per box.

Upper Deck has announced that there will be a Canadian Heroes insert set with an average of one in every box. There's not much else to go with other than the fact that you won't find any European or American stars. My guess is they will replace the Winter Classic inserts from the 2008-09 set.

The emphasis on O-Pee-Chee is that it's for set builders, but even set builders like some hits. OPC Quad Materials return with four jersey pieces embedded. Look for lots of team combinations such as the Avalanche card below or a Penguins card featuring Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Marc-Andre Fleury. OPC Quad Materials will be a moderately tough find at one-in-four hobby boxes, or three per case. The set will also have some tough-to-find autographs inserted at two per case, or one-in-six boxes. Besides the gorgeous Gretzky shown below, the checklist of signers also includes Gordie Howe, Crosby, Carey Price and Jarome Iginla.

Hobby boxes will hold 36 packs of six cards. Twelve boxes make up a case.


GCA said...

The main set is great for set builders, but the 08/09 Update is just the opposite. It's impossible to build without spending the national defense budget since you only get a couple cards per pack. And there's no retail.
Hopefully, the 09/10 Update set is done differently if at all.

Ryan Cracknell said...

Agreed on the Update set. It's nasty. It's too bad too because I would have liked to have complimented the base set with it.

I did find some Update packs at Walmart, though. But I'm not sure if they're any different from the hobby versions.