Earlier this year, Upper Deck released a team-centric set called the Edmonton Oilers Collection. The set focuses on the greatest players in Oilers’ history — even including some players from the team’s WHA days. A box contains 10 packs, and each pack has 10 cards. The front of the box boasts that you will “get a full base set in every box!”
Spoiler Alert – I did indeed get a full base set in this box, and a few other goodies too.
90 Base Cards
The back of the card lists the player’s career NHL totals and their career total with just the Oilers. Sometimes, a player’s Oilers Statistics include their time with the World Hockey Association. This is great for guys like Al Hamilton or Dave Semenko who spent significant time in the WHA. Unfortunately, on Gretzky’s card (above), his career Oilers’ statistics do not include his year with the Oilers when they were still in the WHA. Blasphemy!
Also, the card back are hard to read due to unnecessary diagonal stripes running behind the text. The stripes look OK at the top, but otherwise make these cards tedious to read.
3 Franchise Ink Autographs
The three autographs I pulled were Magnus Paajarvi, Francois Leroux and Andy Moog. The cards are signed in blue Sharpie marker on a sticker that was later affixed to the card.
Paajarvi (or Paajarvi-Svensson, to be technically correct) was traded to the Blues last July. He did play three seasons with the Oilers, but is still a curious choice since he is a recent cast-off and didn’t do much with the team in his 163 games with the Oilers.
Leroux is a former first round pick who played a scant 10 games over five seasons with the Oilers. Ten games. Five seasons. Sure, he played another 200+ NHL games elsewhere, but really has no business being in this set.
Now Moog, that’s a cool autograph to get. He played 18 seasons in the NHL; seven with the Oilers. Too bad his signature looks like it says “Achy Woox.” But I’ll take Achy Woox over whatever the heck Leroux and Paajarvi scrawled on their cards.
2 Manufactured Patch Cards
Sure, the Ethan Moreau logo patch does combine an interesting and not often seen shoulder logo with a portrait of the player. But haven’t the novelty of logo patch cards worn off by now?
Also, that photo of Moreau is going to haunt me for a while.
On the Glenn Anderson card, we get a big hunk of logo for apparently no good reason. The logo wasn’t worn; heck, it probably wasn’t even on a jersey. I guess it is one thing to cut up a game-used jersey so everyone who wants a piece can have one. But cutting up a logo just to put on a card seems pointless. Wouldn’t most collectors rather have something that was game used — or another autograph?
5 Foil Parallel cards
Rounding out the box were five foil versions of the base cards. The background behind the player has a rainbow effect (which is hard to see in the scan), while the logo is printed in gold foil. Although a daunting task, it would be fun to see a complete set of these parallels put together.
What I like about Upper Deck Edmonton Oilers Collection: You will get a complete set in every box. Three autographs in a box is fun — and the chance at getting an autograph of Wayne Gretzky or other Oilers’ greats is enticing.
What I don’t like about Upper Deck Edmonton Oilers Collection: Questionable player selection for the autographed cards. Overdesigned card backs are hard to read. Manufactured patch cards
Getting a complete set from one box makes this a nice “one and done” kind of break: you buy a box, get a set and hope to get stellar autograph like Wayne Gretzky or Paul Coffey. You probably won’t, but at least you’ll otherwise have the whole set, which is a nice look back at the Oilers throughout their 40-year history.
From what I understand, the Edmonton Oilers Collection was only sold to retailers in Canada, meaning a local card shop in the U.S. won’t have this set. That is understandable, given its niche appeal to Canadians and die-hard hockey fans. However, collectors in the U.S. can purchase a box from DA Card World or from various sellers on eBay.
Special thanks to Upper Deck for providing the box for this break.