First are the legends. I'm NOT saying every collector must have an Orr rookie, but I am saying that a collector must have a healthy appreciation for the superstars of the 80's, 90's, and 00's. Of course before the 1980's is even more expectable, but I'm talking about the basics. To throw around some names would be...Lemieux, Yzerman, Jagr, Lidstrom, Selanne etc. These should be things that beginners strive for.
These are the guys you want in your beginning stack. Hasek, Pronger, Madano, Naslund etc. The great thing about these cards is they don't break the bank. These are all rookie card and all of them are worth around 50 cents. Even a Lidstrom "Young Guns" card is valued at a buck!
I guess what I'm trying to say is that a starter should have a healthy appreciation for the superstars of the game. What I'm not saying is to go out there and spend your life savings on a Gordie Howe original but an 2007-08 OPC insert of the guy wouldn't hurt.
Second on the list is a team set. Most hockey fans have one specific team they route for. If you are one of those guys, why not start a team set? Doesn't have to be anything special but, collecting basic superstars is not too much of a burden. Low end rookies won't kill you either. As long as you start a small 50 card stack you're in business.
Third, start a player collection. This is something I never did whole heartedly when I started and now I regret it. Starting a player collection over a set gives you variety and a flexible price range. I highly recommend it.
My last subjects ties in well with the first. He's a legend I'm sure all readers were irate I didn't mention at first. My final basic need for collectors is Mr. Wayne Gretzky. I believe all hockey card collectors should have at least one Gretzky in the collection. Again, I'm not saying to go and spend a grand on a Wayne Gretzky card but instead grab yourself an insert from one of the many Legend inserts in OPC or UD.
A guy like this is worth 10 bucks and I'm sure a beginner would be happy with a 1981 OPC scoring leader card.
So that is my "Collecting Basics". Again, they are:
1. Legends that won't put you out of business
2. Team collection
3. Player collection
4. The Great One
Now I ask you, what are your collecting basics? This is just my opinion and I'm sure you have your own. Do you agree with me? Let me know and drop me a comment.
GO NUCKS GO!