One of my biggest problems is the inappropriate use of the word 'score' in the blurbs on the backs of several cards. I'll use Brian Gionta's card as an example: ". . . his 24 power-play scores set a team record." Was that written by a four year old? Do the people at Upper Deck also say that a team won "three scores to two"? Probably not. Scoring is the action, goals are the results.
Other than Upper Deck's poor grammar, the first series is quite amazing. There are more action shots than I've seen in any other set, including net battles, body checks, slapshots, saves and goals. The second series, however, feels a lot more thrown together. Upper Deck would have had to move fast to get all the photos of players on their new teams in time to release the set before the season was over, and the quality suffers for it. Instead of action shots there are a lot more photos of guys just skating around, not doing much and goalies stretching. The lamest thing Upper Deck did was to include two Gretzky cards. It's not like these were special cards celebrating some special achievement, one is a checklist which might not have been too big of a deal, but the other is a regular card just like every other one in the set, except that the last stats shown are for the 98-99 season. Adding a retired superstar like that just so you can put his picture on the box and sell a few extra to people who don't know anything about hockey is the lamest gimmick I've seen since the terrible pre-NHL Eric Lindros cards in 91-92 Score.
Five of my favourites:
#32 - Darren McCarty - Two minutes for stupid facial hair and generally acting like a jackass.
#45 - Nikolai Khabibulin - This is a nice horizontal card with an interesting angle showing a glove save, but the real reason I like it is that it is the closest Anson Carter got to having a card. I know Carter didn't do much in Columbus or Carolina and he's out of a job now, but if his 33 goal season with Vancouver didn't earn him a card, didn't his hair?
#98 - Derek Boogaard - I read in an old Beckett that the NHLPA doesn't allow companies to use photos of players fighting. I think that's stupid. They can show goalies making saves, and players scoring, why can't they show fighters fighting? Look at this card-- they don't even give Boogaard a stick when he plays. He just runs around elbowing guys until someone fights him.
#104 - Andrei Markov - Frank Musil's little brother?
#181 - Mats Sundin - Living in Vancouver, where you can barely afford to sniff the air around GM Place when the Canucks are playing, it's hard to believe that in other NHL cities the seats are as empty as this.
You can watch a guy open a box of 06-07 Upper Deck on an internet show called Rip & Pull. I don't suggest it. It's just a chubby nerd opening packs of cards, but I wanted to point that out so I could post the video of a later episode where he gets a stripper named Dejah Vu to help him open a box of basketball cards. It's as embarrassing as it is depressing.