By Linda Mankefors aka RazzamaztazWith the playoffs approaching now is the time to buy if you belong to those who want to make a little cash for your hobby, or simply pick up a player cheaper than in two months.

The simple and obvious choices can be made by anyone. Malkin, Crosby, Ovechkin, and a bunch of Red Wings can be expected to hit new soaring heights, but they’re kind of boring choices aren’t they? Ovechkin or Malkin will likely wander off with the Hart as well, so it’s a good pickup, but if you’re the more daring kind, even brave, you should look elsewhere! Each playoffs there is always one surprise, it was the mule last year, but this year we could end up with a whole pile of surprises.

Now here are the real and exciting long shots: Chicago, Columbus, and Boston If, all of them are in the playoffs that is (I recommend waiting a few days and make sure of that first). Of those three teams Columbus is the most exciting of all. They have a future Vezina winner goalie and a sure fire Calder winner in Steve Mason. They have young Filatov, which will not be a new Malkin or Ovechkin but for sure a new Semin. Brassard is down and out, but most of all, they have Rick Nash.

Poor Rick. Had he played on almost any other team he would have been loved to death. He’s Canadian. His name is catchy. He scores in tons (imagine him with a proper backup!). And he’s nice. What could go wrong? He ended up in Columbus that’s what.

Take a look at his Young Guns rookie, it has already started making some waves and almost sells for full value. If, if, if Columbus would perform a miracle (I say miracle, this is a playoff virgin team, and those always gets overwhelmed) and pass the first round, you are a very lucky person if you sit with a real nice Nash rookie. Preferably his Premier RC but they’re not easily found, so I would choose his Young Guns or SP Authentic.

Steve Mason. I’d pick him up now even if Columbus makes a fast exit, he’s bound to get the Calder. He’s everything Carey Price isn’t. It’s a shame for him Carey doesn’t play in Columbus and Steve in Montreal. Grab an Sp Authentic Future watch RC that was just released.

Don’t expect any Columbus success to last long though, their exit will happen before the finals.

Boston then? They already have attention; Boston’s fans are intense ones. But nonetheless the Krejci fire has cooled off a bit, pick up any Kessel and Krejci now. Boston just may stay around until June (even if I personally don’t believe it).

Chicago. Exciting young hungry team! Also got the attention for a year, but have cooled off. If they survive round 1one watch eBay explode with “bid-happy-crazies” who think they’ve seen the new Messiah in Toews and Kane. Toews especially will be surrounded by love. Buy Kane and Toews, and even Versteeg, they are relatively cheap at the moment, and Chicago could be the surprise team in the West.

Discounting my own personal interest and favorite teams – For the hobby AND the sport, the best final of all would be Boston-Chicago. Two old Original Six teams with an old rivalry. Two teams with a big loyal fan base. Two big cities. Two teams with great young talent. It would be great for the hobby, and the NHL. If that happens in June and you’ve picked up a hot Krejci rookie and one or two Kane/Toews rookies, thank me.