Trader Crack's

2007-08 In the Game O Canada Hockey Review

I don't normally do a lot of hockey, although this offering from In the Game appealed to my patriotic side. 2007-08 In the Game O Canada Hockey pays tribute to the amazing work and passion of Canadian amateur hockey as well as giving a little star-powered props to some of the program's famous rivals.

So while the content is great, I just wish that the design was a little less in-your-face and that the chase wasn't just about "the big hit" (although I won't lie, I was hoping to pull a John Tavares autograph).

2007-08 In the Game O Canada Hockey breaks down the many parts of the Hockey Canada program as well as adding in a little bit of international seasoning. The first 21 cards of the 100-card base set look at the Under-18 squad. Among those included are Coyotes' rookie Kyle Turris and Angelo Episito. The next 20 cards cover the National Women's Team. It's nice to see the well-respected ladies get some attention alongside the men. There's 22 card that cover the World Juniors, perhaps the biggest piece of Canadian pride going today. Trust me, if you live in the States or elsewhere in the world, the day after Christmas might not mean a lot. For us Canucks, it marks the kickoff of the tournament we seem to own in recent years. If Thanksgiving in the US means football, then Boxing Day in Canada is all about the puck and the ice.

Nostalgia and name power come through in the remainder of the set. Seventeen "graduates" from the Hockey Canada program are featured, all of whom have gone on to outstanding careers since. It's not a perfect representation as some players like Wayne Gretzky don't appear but one would assume this is due to contractual reasons. Plus, the history of the program is so deep you could make a set of its own about it (hint, hint).

The connections between 20 players are explored on ten Duals cards, while some international opponents from years past are part of the Formidable Foes subset that rounds out the set.

My box broke down nicely with one complete set and 18 doubles. While I like the depth of the first two-thirds of the checklist, I'm not a huge fan of the design. The photos on the front are limited to a cut-out of the player put to the backdrop of a maple leaf. While the look is very Canadian, there's also way to much red and white in the overall presentation. A lot of players almost get lost cammo-style in the background. Card backs are much simpler, providing basic stats from the 2007 season and stat-centered bios.

Inserts cut right to the chase, limiting options to autographs and memorabilia cards at varying levels. Both are inserted at a rate of 18 packs, giving you a good chance of getting three inserts total in a box.

My box landed two autographs. The first was Gina Kingsbury who, honestly, I'd never heard of. But then again, I probably couldn't name more than three players on the Women's National Team. Part of that's been my largely apathetic view towards hockey in recent years and the other part is they simply don't get much media attention outside of the Olympics.

My second signature was from Marc Staal. The brother of Eric, Jordan and Jared, he's currently in his second season with the New York Rangers. A top-15 pick in the 2005 draft and I'd say this is a solid pull.

On a side note, if a company has to go with sticker autographs, this is how to do it. In the Game has the signatures on clear stickers that are big enough for the player to sign with the loops getting cut off. They're then placed on a white box that has been designed into the card so it's actually hard to tell a sticker's even there unless you look very closely.

The game-used memorabilia checklist is huge and it comes in many levels. According to the In the Game website, issue numbers range from 100 all the way down to 10. Personally, I feel like I hit the jackpot with my pull. No sissy one-colors for me, no sir. I landed a beautiful patch Game-Used Emblem of Mark Katic with a nicely sized swatch. I could complain that Mark Katic isn't John Tavares, but man this is one gorgeous card, which trumps the fact that it's limited to 20 copies.

So overall, I think I did very well with my box. It cost $30 for the 24-pack break so the price is very reasonable as well. Granted, a patch like this would make any $30 break seem strong.

2007-08 In the Game O Canada Hockey Box Breakdown:

Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 5
Total cards: 121

Cards in set: 100
Singles: 100
Doubles: 18
Triples+: 0

Inserts: 3

 


2007-08 IN THE GAME O CANADA YVES BASTIEN AUTO ITG SIGNATURE STORM
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2007/08 Braden Holtby ITG O'Canada AUTOGRAPH Auto A-BH
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2007-08 O CANADA - CASSIE CAMPBELL AUTOGRAPH #A-CC (VAULT)
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2007-08 O CANADA - LOGAN COUTURE AUTOGRAPH #A-LC (VAULT)
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2007-08 In the Game O Canada Autographs Autographed #A-KA Karl Alzner Auto Card
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2007-08 In the Game O Canada Autographs Autographed #A-KA Karl Alzner Auto Card
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2007-08 O CANADA - BRYAN LITTLE AUTOGRAPH #A-BL
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2007-08 , ITG , IN THE GAME , HAYLEY WICKENHEISER , O' CANADA SERIES , AUTO
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12/13 ITG HISTORY OF HOCKEY SAM GAGNER BUYBACK CARD - 07/08 O'CANADA AUTO'S
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07-08 ALEX GRANT ITG O'CANADA AUTOGRAPH #A-AG
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2007-08 O CANADA - TOM PYATT AUTOGRAPH #A-TP
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2007-08 O CANADA - CARLA MacLEOD AUTOGRAPH #A-CM
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