Here’s a bit of a spoiler, there is a lot to like about 2010-11 Panini Zenith Hockey but at the same time this is a hard set to review. Just like that last statement seems stuck in the middle of opinions, Zenith Hockey is placed in the middle of two categories, set builder trading cards and premium hit cards.
For the purposes of our review, we will consider Zenith Hockey premium cards based on it’s price point per card. Each hobby box contains 10 – 5 card packs. Most boxes contain three autograph or memorabilia cards per box. There are “hot boxes” that fall about 1 out of every 12 boxes that contain three times the hits of a regular box with nine autograph or memorabilia cards per box. Lets take a look at the cards we pulled from the box.
First from the base set
Here are some of the best of the base cards.
Roberto Luongo, Jonathan Toews and Evgeni Malkin
Joe Thorton, Henrik Sedin and Jarome Iginla
Legends Ray Bourque, Kelly Hrudey and Brett Hull
Rookie Stefan Della Rovere
From the inserts - PLEASE NOTE - The next four cards are covered from side to side with foil and Nufex which makes for a really cool card, but almost impossible to get a good scan or picture.
Theo Peckham and Anders Lindback Rookie Roll Call
Tampa Bay Lightning Mozaic, Ryan Malone, Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos
Crease is the Word Kari Lehtonen
Gifted Grinders James Neal
Our hits were
Minnesota Wild Mozaic single swatch, Cal Clutterbuck,Mikko Koivu and Niklas Backstrom
Winter Warriors Swatch Daniel Sedin
Rookie Auto Mattias Tedenby #/999
And the 5X7 Dare to Tear Box Topper
Dare to Tear Jeremy Roenick
You Double Dog Dared us to tear it and inside was this.
Epix Michal Neuvirth, front and back.
The cards have a clean look overall, almost like they are framed photographs. The Gifted Grinders and Chasing the Cup inserts are really nicely designed.
Quality and Variety of Players
The checklist is tight at 115 Players, 85 Rookies and 25 Legends. The thing that is a little confusing is the distribution of the base cards. To be fair, out of the 85 Rookies, 25 of those are only available in autographed versions or SPs in Dare to Tear cards and another 15 are only available as Auto SPs. Perhaps it’s a minor point, but it kind of feels like these should have been given their own subset numbering, as should the Dare to Tear cards for that matter. Also, of the base cards pulled, 39 were commons, 3 were legends and we pulled 1 rookie. Perhaps the collation for our box was not typical, but if it is, this leaves a difficult chase for premium set builders.
Do the Hits satisfy? Are the cards too base heavy?
There are a lot of great hits to chase, a great checklist of autos to hit, especially the Yours Truly Autos. On the memorabilia side, The Winter Warriors are nice as are the Triple Mosaic Cards. The real fun comes with the “Dare to Tear” cards that, in addition to the Epix card we pulled, can yield Donruss Elite and National Treasures Autos.
Will you keep coming back for more?
This feels like a three box purchase with hopes of hitting a hot box. Super collectors will order by the case to ensure two hot boxes and all of the case hits that come with it.
4 out of 5
2010-11 Panini Zenith Hockey feels little stuck in the middle, but Hockey Aficionados will appreciate its return to collecting.
Review box provided by Panini
Review box provided by Panini