When the Pittsburgh Penguins captured their second title in as many years, it didn’t take long for the Upper Deck Company to continue their tradition of issuing a limited-edition set to celebrate the achievement. Released in August 2017 was this 18-card Penguins Stanley Cup Championship set, featuring the players instrumental to the Pens’ pursuit and capture of Lord Stanley’s mug.
Once again, the set was made available to authorized Upper Deck internet dealers and select Upper Deck certified diamond dealers in the Pittsburgh area. Most dealers offered the set for free when customers purchased a certain dollar amount of Upper Deck Products. The good news is, you will have no trouble finding one on the secondary market for around $10 to $20 USD.
What I like about this set: The cards have a nice fluidity to the photos, and all shots are at close range with no landscape-orientated cards. The small name plate on the front of the card lets us see a good amount of the front photo.
The write-ups on the card backs give a nice snapshot of information, with facts about their contribution during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
What I dislike about the set: The images and graphics do not feature the crispness or deep definition that usually accompanies an Upper Deck product. Many cards appear blurry and it looks as though the set was a generic design so the company could easily place the Penguins of Predators players on them without much modification.
I also would have liked to see a standard stats line on the back of the card. It could have contained information from the current playoff year or complete playoff stats for the individual player.
There is a lot of dead space on the back of the cards, smaller logos could have been easily allowed more information to be displayed, A different head shot could have been used on the back of the card.
While, I do appreciate the Upper Company’s commitment for producing these sets and making them widely available to collectors of all different levels, I do feel they could have tweaked this release to add more quality. I know the real value is placed on Upper Deck’s “Day with the Cup” insert set, but given Upper Deck’s rich history with Sidney Crosby and the marketability of the Penguins, Upper Deck could have really capitalized on the Penguins 50th season and produced a truly special release. ■
About Rob Joncas: I am just a common man, living in a short print land. Card collector and Penguins obsessor since ’89. You can find me on Twitter @RobJoncas.