Contributor: John McTaggart
For a guy like me, August is the slowest time of the year.
Sure, baseball pennant races are heating up.
Football is literally days away from kickoff, but you have to remember — hockey is sort of my mojo.
That said, as slow as this stretch can be between the end of the season and the start of training camp, there are certain advantages to the offseason.
The first being — it’s the best time to buy (in most cases).
This generally hold true in every sport, including, of course, hockey.
Players such as Matthew Tkachuk and Jeremy Swayman, among others, have seen pretty noticeable dips in pricing over the past month or so.
Knowing that, it’s not a stretch to think this is a good time to snatch some of these up before the start of training camp in a few weeks.
Secondly, it’s a great time to organize the collection.
I am, admittedly, terrible at this facet of the hobby.
I will try.
I try very hard in fact, and I am much better than I once was at organizing everything, but I still lag way behind most who take the hobby as seriously as I do.
Next, the offseason is a great time to get a plan of attack together for the upcoming season.
Believe it or not, this is the one thing I have noticed over the years that has helped collectors the most — planning.
Take some time to do the research, the leg work, and develop a strategy for your collection moving into the upcoming season.
Figure out if there are certain cards, certain players, certain sets that you want to hone in on and add to the collection/inventory.
Last season, for example, a friend and fellow hockey hobbyist decided that he was going to focus on goalies only.
He took a look at his collection and felt that it lacked some real goaltending prowess.
He directed all his attention on acquiring as many goalie rookie cards as possible, some as new as this year’s rookie crop, all the way back the early 1980s.
Now, he didn’t check off every box, every player on the list, but he made a substantial dent in it heading into this season.
However you choose to spend the offseason, just remember, there are plenty of opportunities for collectors waiting for the season to get underway.