Blake’s Takes: Pacioretty, Plekanec, Pettersson; Quenneville, Crosby & Ovechkin!

Welcome to the fourth installment of Blake’s Takes. Here is who stood out to me during this past week in hockey. 

1. Joel Quenneville

Joel Quenneville in 2015. [Photo Credit: Creative Commons]
As almost everyone in the hockey community has heard, Blackhawks’ bench boss, Joel Quenneville, was fired recently after starting off this season at 6-6-3. This is a shock. Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Pacioretty, Plekanec, Pettersson; Quenneville, Crosby & Ovechkin!”

Why the Chicago Blackhawks 2019 Winter Classic Jersey is a Winner

[Photo Credit: Adidas]
What’s black and white and red all over?

Not the new Chicago Blackhawks Winter Classic jerseys! Those are black and white — but red is nowhere to be found. Yesterday, the team unveiled the jerseys that they will wear at the Winter Classic against the Boston Bruins on January 1, 2019, and I absolutely love this design.  Continue reading “Why the Chicago Blackhawks 2019 Winter Classic Jersey is a Winner”

Box Break: Farfield Triple Deke Box

Last week I dropped in to my local Target store to shop for leftover Halloween candy, to leave a few snakes hidden in the toy aisle and nab the latest issue of Cosmo (hair care tips, bro!).

I decided to swing by the cards to see if there were any overpriced Upper Deck tins I could sneer at, walk away from and feel better about myself for being a cheap skate. Now, most of the time, there are mixed boxes of random packs of sports cards; usually baseball, football, and basketball, but almost never hockey. Lo-and-behold! Target actually had some in an unassuming product called the Triple Deke Box for $14.99. 

Not stopping to consider how bad of a name this is, I bought it anyway out of curiosity and it promised — PROMISED!!! — an autographed card and memorabilia card along with “3 Card Packs” and “1 Hobby Pack.”  OK, so you mean four packs? Pictured on the box are three cards that you will never find in one of these things: autos of Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Auston Mathews. While NOT promising this, the box did tease “Look for randomly inserted redemption cards for bonus items,” which are presumably rookie cards for current ECHLers who sell cars in the summer time. BUT LET’S TAKE THE DIVE!

Continue reading “Box Break: Farfield Triple Deke Box”

The Quenneville Era is Over in Chicago

Coach Q Fired After 10 Seasons.
Will His Replacement Last 10 Months?

The biggest news in the hockey world on Tuesday — and probably for this entire week — was the firing of Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. Because when a team fires the second-winningest coach in NHL history, it’s kind of a big deal. 

Quenneville’s departure comes on the heels of a five-game losing streak and a 6-6-3 record to start the 2018-19 season. Jeremy Colliton, the head coach of the Blackhawks AHL affiliate, was named Quenneville’s successor. Assistant coaches Ulf Samuelsson and Kevin Dineen were also let go, while Barry Smith was moved from the ‘Hawks front office to an assistant coaching role. 

Like a lot of Blackhawks fans, I am disappointed that Coach Q was fired. Quenneville was to the Blackhawks what Mike Ditka was to the Bears or Phil Jackson was to the Bulls.  Continue reading “The Quenneville Era is Over in Chicago”

The Five Best Hockey Books of 2017-18

With the NHL hockey season back in full swing, we take a look at five hockey books from the 2017-18 season that are well worth the read. And if you aren’t a hockey fan, don’t worry; these books will still appeal to anyone who loves reading about sports. 

“Gratoony the Loony” 
   by Gilles Gratton and Greg Oliver

Gilles Gratton had a short, tumultuous career in the National Hockey League and World Hockey Association during the 1970s – but not because he lacked talent. The oddball goalie, best known for his lion mask, was sometimes said to be better than Ken Dryden when it came to his ability to stop pucks. The problem was, Gratton hated playing hockey.

“Gratoony the Loony: The Wild, Unpredictable Life of Gilles Gratton,” explores the life and times of one of hockey’s most colorful characters. Despite having the talent to garner a six-figure contract – great money for a pro hockey player in the 1970s – and representing Canada in international tournaments, Gratton sought interesting and absurd excuses to get out of playing hockey. Some nights, he couldn’t play because of a bad horoscope. Other nights, Gratton’s war wounds – incurred during his “past life” as a soldier in the Spanish Inquisition – made it too painful for him to play. The list goes on.

Read the full article at Sports Collectors Digest

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

Pat Falloon & Scott Niedermayer: The Case of the Missing Pro Set Insert Cards

1991-92 Pro Set #Cc3 – Pat Falloon
1991-92 Pro Set #CC4 – Scott Niedermayer

Longtime collectors will no doubt remember the 1991-92 Pro Set cards of Pat Falloon and Scott Niedermayer that were inserted into packs of 1991-92 Pro Set Hockey Series One, only to be pulled early on in production for reasons unknown. This caused the value of these two cards to soar during the early 1990s, becoming the stuff of legend, before eventually becoming the stuff of dollar bins. But what many collectors do not realize is that these two cards sparked a change in the hockey card industry. 

So what happened here? Did these cards disappear because they violated an agreement with the NHL, with the NHL Players’ Association or with Falloon and Niedermayer — or all of the above? 

Continue reading “Pat Falloon & Scott Niedermayer: The Case of the Missing Pro Set Insert Cards”

Multi-Pack Break: 2018-19 Upper Deck Tim Hortons

Make that 54 packs, to be exact

The Tim Hortons Collectors Series produced by Upper Deck is back for another hard-hitting and infuriating release, and let me say it is a widely popular event around Canada that brings out the best and worst of the collecting world.

Continue reading “Multi-Pack Break: 2018-19 Upper Deck Tim Hortons”

Hockey-Inspired Costumes for 2018

Going to a Halloween party? Need a last-minute costume? You could use one of these sweet ideas to impress your friends that know hockey, and confuse your friends that don’t. All you need is a jersey and a few things that are probably lying around your house or easy to find in the Halloween section of your nearest drug store. 

Continue reading “Hockey-Inspired Costumes for 2018”

Is the Hockey Hall of Fame Haunted?

For most fans of sports, the only ghosts that concern them are the ones that haunt their teams, causing last-second losses or blown championships. But the Hockey Hall of Fame is not immune to its own ghostly apparitions.

By 1986 the Hockey Hall of Fame was running out of room. Sharing a space with Canadian Sports Hall of Fame was no longer viable. The Hall finally left its rigid confines in 1993, taking over the former Bank of Montreal within the newly developed BCE Place complex, but what they didn’t realize was the space was already occupied.

Continue reading “Is the Hockey Hall of Fame Haunted?”