Happy 2016. While I am excited about the new year and all the potential it brings, I would like to take just a moment to reflect on 2015. It was a heck of a year at Puck Junk. This site enjoyed more visits in 2015 than in the previous two years combined, and I have all of you to thank for that. There’s a good chance that you’ve already read these “Top Articles of 2015.” But if not, here is a handy list of this site’s “must reads” for 2015.
1. Patrick Kane’s “First” Hockey Card
The top article on Puck Junk in 2015 had more views than the next nine articles combined. Apparently, the interwebz were smitten with seeing a five-year old Patrick Kane photobomb Sylvain Turgeon’s hockey card.
2. Re-imagining the 1990 NHL Draft
Playing “Armchair GM” 25 years after the fact was a lot of fun. Most readers were inclined to agree. Plus, my girlfriend Photoshopped Martin Brodeur’s head on Owen Nolan’s body. That alone is worth the price of admission (which is free).
3. Building the 2015 Blackhawks: An Interactive Timeline
The Stanley Cup-winning 2015 Blackhawks team was built by a combination of solid drafting, smart trades and shrewd free agent signings. This interactive infographic illustrates how the team was assembled.
4. The 5 Worst Trades in Blackhawks History
While the 2015 Blackhawks were built in part by several good trades, the team made some terrible moves too — most during the 1990s, but an unforgettable one in the late 1960s.
5. Best of the Worst: 2014-15 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey
Puck Junk contributor Jim Howard (no, not that Jim Howard) takes a look at the worst photographs in the 2014-15 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey set. Be prepared to laugh…a lot.
Best of the Rest
I can’t just go with a “Top Five” this year, so here are the next five most popular articles of 2015.
6. 7 Incredibly Stupid Blackhawks Items
You won’t believe some of the things an NHL team will license to make a buck.
7. An Interview with Goalie Scott Darling of the Chicago Blackhawks
Darling talks about his first NHL game, being on Road to the Winter Classic, playing against a 12-year old Patrick Kane and the pros and cons of red goalie pads.
8. It’s Time to Rename the NHL Awards
Let’s replace Ross, Hart and Byng with Gretzky, Lemieux and Beliveau.
9. What’s That Song in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Commercial?
If you really must know, but don’t want to click the link, it is “Stars” by H.U.M. Beavis and Butt-Head even made fun of it once (the song that is, not the All-Star Game).
10. Rookie Cards of Every 2015 Chicago Blackhawks Player – Plus the Coaches (and the broadcasters and black aces)
For those of you who want to build a team set of the NHL’s modern-day dynasty. Or who want to see what Eddie Olczyk looked like in 1985.
Here is looking forward to what 2016 may bring. ■