Thursday, June 16, 2011

2010 - 11 Playoff Contenders Hockey NHL Trading Cards. An All About Cards Review

For a while, there has been a void for hockey cards.  Plenty of trading cards for set builders, plenty of ultra premium sets for super-collectors, but not much that strikes a balance for those that want premium hits in a collectable set but can’t put down several hundred dollars for a box.   Panini has filled that void with 10-11 Playoff Contenders Hockey and it just might be the best version of the Contenders line for any sport.

Contenders Hockey falls into our premium cards category.  Each hobby box contains 24 – 5 card packs with four autographs per box on average.  Just like the Football version, there are Golden Ticket redemptions for immediately available cards made out of 11 grams of 14K gold.  Lets take a look at the cards we pulled from the box.

NOTE- Some of these cards are really hard to scan because of their mirror foil finish, 
like the Classic Ticket and Draft Tandems below.   In person they all look great.

First from the base set
 Alex Ovechkin Season Tickets Front and Back
 Stanley Cup Finals Goalies Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas Season Tickets

 Luc Robitaille Classic Ticket and Kyle Palmieri Rookie Ticket #/100

 From the inserts
 Jeff Skinner Rookie of the Year Contenders

Bobby Ryan Lottery Winners

Ray Bourque and Mark Messier Draft Tandems

Carey Price Award Contenders

"The Roadrunner"  - Yvan Cournoyer Legendary Contenders

 Joe Thornton and Roberto Luongo Perennial Contenders

Dustin Byfuglien Against the Glass

Sidney Crosby The Great Outdoors

 Dwayne Roloson and Mike Smith Leather Larceny

Here are our hits

 Two Alexanders
Alexander Burmistrov and Alexander Vasyumov Auto Rookie Tickets

Evgeni Malkin Autographed The Great Outdoors

 This redemption card for which we have done a Photoshop mock-up 

Steven Stamkos Autographed Lottery Winners

Overall Look
The familiar design of Contenders works well with Hockey.  The players really stand out on the base cards and the rookie cards have plenty of shiny.   The autograph zone for the Rookies Tickets looks great.  Leather Larceny cards with their faux leather textured surfaces are fantastic and Against the Glass cards work well with their clear acetate zones.  The photography for The Great Outdoors cards is... well... great! As with the Football release the Golden Ticket cards are amazing.

Quality and Variety of Players
The checklist is tight!   With a majority of these cards carrying autograph parallels, that’s a good thing.   The quality of the players is outstanding.

Do the Hits satisfy?  Are the cards too base heavy?
If you just pull 4 Rookie Tickets as your autos, you should be happy.   For those lucky enough to pull a legend or really hot prospect as one or more of your autos, this box with exceed your expectations.

Will you keep coming back for more?
I could easily see prospectors with case orders.  With the perfect storm of Rookie Tickets during a year of super rookies, adding the Lottery Winners inserts that dip into previous rookies, Legends cards, Draft Tandems and Leather Larceny, these boxes will get consumed at a high rate.   Add the Golden Ticket chase and that case order just might increase to two.

5 out of 5

2010-11 Playoff Contenders is a great product and a welcome addition to the stellar lineup of Hockey Cards being produced by Panini this year.

Review box provided by Panini


  1. i dont know if my original question reached you- new to the blog how many player cards are there in the 2010/2011 playoff contender season ticket series- how many rookie cards and legends...thnx

    1. Season Tickets are cards 1 - 100. Classic Tickets (legends) are cards 101 -115. Rookie Tickets are cards 116-165.