With the NHL season now two months in, I’m sure everyone is as happy as I am that hockey is back in full swing. Just like with the last few seasons, Topps Skate is back as well with another year of digital card collecting, trading, and competition.
For those not familiar with Topps Skate, it is a digital app for mobile devices, licensed by the NHL and NHLPA, that allows users to collect and trade cards as well as compete in chase contests and live, real-time competition.
What’s that you say? Topps doesn’t make hockey cards? Topps hasn’t made hockey cards since 2004?
Well, you would be correct…if we were talking about actual, tangible cards you can touch, smell, and throw in your bike spokes. But in this case, we are talking about digital cards that exist virtually, in the mobile device world, floating through the air as little ones and zeros. Topps has had a license to produce the app and make card designs since 2016. I don’t recommend throwing your phone into your bike spokes.
This year’s app is quite different from last year and received a heavy design face lift. For those familiar with other Topps digital apps, it now looks a lot like the Topps baseball app, Bunt. But since we focus mostly on hockey, I wanted to take some time to give our readers a basic overview of the app and also give my take on Skate as a whole.
While we all loosen our belts and pass on the leftover green bean casserole, like every NHL team that passed on Jaromir Jagr’s contract last season, let’s take a deep dive into the Upper Deck’s latest offering of fresh, hot hockey photography from the 2018-19 Series One flagship set.
After purchasing boxes of 2016-17 and 2017-18 Panini NHL Stickers this summer, I decided to go “all in” and collect the 2018-19 Panini as soon as they came out. That is, instead of being thrifty and waiting for the season to end — and thus the price of a 50-pack box to drop significantly — I am going to try to build and complete this set during the season.
One reason I am doing this is because it is more fun to collect a modern set the year it comes out, instead of one or two years after the fact.
Another reason why I decided to build the 2018-19 set during this season is because I was very impressed with the collation of the 2017-18 box that I purchased, which had only 11 doubles out of 350 stickers.
Maybe Panini finally realized — after 30 or so years — that if collectors buy a full box of stickers, they don’t want to get doubles and triples within that very same box.
I recently went to a card show in Chicago, and one of the dealers was selling full boxes of 2018-19 Panini NHL Stickers for $35, so I decided to pick up two boxes. Here is my break of the first box.
Do you want to give a book to your favorite hockey fan this holiday season? Then consider any of these fine books listed here. I have personally read each and every one, and highly recommend all of them.
Nearly 29 years after he skated his last shift, former St. Louis Blues center, honored Hockey Hall of Fame member and current Blues color commentator Bernie Federko finally penned an autobiography. Entitled “Bernie Federko: My Blues Note,” and co-authored with Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, the former superstar recounts his 14-year NHL career and what came afterward. Federko — perhaps because of his subsequent career as a broadcaster — has no shortage of interesting things to say, good or bad, about those he played for, with or against.
My second-most anticipated event that comes around every fall, besides opening night puck drop, is the release of Upper Decks flagship set. The new crop of Young Guns rookie cards, the great photography of the new base cards and the new insert sets — or the new designs of the recurring ones — are all reasons why I look forward to Series One. So of course, I had to pick up a box at my local card shop. Let’s take a look at what I pulled from my box of 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One.
2016 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Goudey #24: Dominik Hasek
Seriously, what is with this card? Why was it even made? Companies like Upper Deck issue these multi-sport sets such as Goodwin Champions, where players are purposely shown outside of a game setting and in plain clothes — so that the companies do not have to pay royalties to the sports leagues.