You're not from around here, are you?

When you get a nice big stack of cards from a fellow blogger, but you don’t want to cram each and every last one of them into one post, you have to look for common themes among the group.  Case in point, the monster lot of serial #’d hockey cards that Doug from the Sportscards from the Dollar Store blog sent me.  Seeing as I didn’t want to put all 50 of them into one post (thank you again Doug, BTW), I have to find some common groups or themes.I thumbed through the cards recently and found 6 cards that had a significant theme.  The players aren’t North American by birth.Let’s start with the Eastern European group.  Vlad Namestnikov is in his 2nd full season (4th overall) with the Lightning.  He’s actually sporting one of the versions of the Lightning jersey that I like, with the “Bolts” nickname diagonally in the front.  His card is from the 2014-15 Artifacts set, a product that you’re likely going to see quite a bit in the SNI Hockey set. Another Lightning product, Vlad Mihalik, managed only 15 games over 2 seasons with the Lightning before heading to Europe to play one season in the Swedish Elite League before finding steady work with HC Slovan Bratislava in the KHL.  This card is from the 08-09 Trilogy set, and is one of those rookie cards that hit the market and cooled quickly.  Konstantin Pushkarev is the 3rd member of this group, and not unlike Mihalik, only had a cup of coffee in the NHL.  He lasted just 17 games over two seasons in the mid 00’s, played a couple of more in the AHL, went to the KHL for a year, back to the AHL in 09-10, then back to the KHL again for the past 6 seasons with Barys Astana.  The card of Konstantin is from the 06-07 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection set.  The serial # is a little harder to see but it is #246 for my set.We go up to Northern Europe for the next three players.  Peter Forsberg doesn’t really need any introduction to hockey fans out there.  “Foppa” was a first year HOF inductee in 2014, and finished his career with 2 Stanley Cups as a member of the Avalanche.  Forsberg’s card is from the 16-17 Artifacts release. Petter Granberg never did get much of a chance to show what he could do in a Leafs uniform, playing just 8 games over 2 seasons.  He was actually called up to Nashville’s roster in the past week, but hasn’t seen any playing time with the big club this year. Markus Granlund has finally found a full time job in the NHL, having played each of the Vancouver Canucks games so far this year.  He was acquired from the Flames a week before the trade deadline last year for one of the best names in hockey, Hunter Shinkaruk.  Granlund’s card is from the 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee set, and is serial #’d 68/100. Tampa and Toronto become just the 2nd and 3rd teams with 5 cards shown so far, trailing only Philadelphia who have had 6 displayed in the first few weeks.  Still a long way to go….thanks for reading, Robert

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