Upper Deck Answers My Burning Questions

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Back in March, I wrote a long-winded opinion piece on how Upper Deck can improve their Series One and Series Two hockey card sets. But I hate to just wish for things; I want them to happen. So I forwarded my article to Chris Carlin, Upper Deck’s Senior Marketing & Social Media Manager. 

Not only did Chris read my article, but he actually addressed all of my points. As collectors, many times we believe that the card companies can make what we think are a few easy changes that will make us happier.  Well, it turns out that those changes aren’t always easy to make as they might seem — and they won’t necessarily make collecting better, either. 

Here’s a summary of each point from my prior article, along with Chris’ response to each one. Maybe you will learn something; I know I did. 

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Review: 2015-16 Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins Team Set

Almost every season since 2000-01, Choice Marketing has issued a team set of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 2015-16 Wilkes-Barre Penguins set is worth a look from hockey card collectors because of the nice design and, more importantly, because many of the players in this set went on to play in the NHL. 

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Book Review: The Code

“The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL” is a book that I wanted to read for a long time. Recently, I found it at a used book store and snapped it up. Now, I wish I had read this book back in 2006 when it first came out. “The Code” explains the culture of fighting in hockey, including the hidden subtexts that I never knew about. 

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Puck Junk Podcast #24 – May 12, 2017

…with Sal Barry & Tim Parish

It’s been two weeks, so get ready for a super-sized podcast. In this episode, Sal and Tim talk about the second round of the 2017 NHL playoffs, including the Penguins-Capitals series, Upper Deck’s new Bounty program with SP Authentic, and Goon: Last of the Enforcers finally getting a U.S. release date. Other topics discussed include Grandeur Hockey Coins, and Sal’s long-unfulfilled wish for a Youngblood sequel.

Podcast #24 is 1 hour and 23 minutes of hockey goodness. 

Follow Sal on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim on Twitter @TheRealDFG

Book Review: Father Bauer and the Great Experiment

“Father Bauer and the Great Experiment: The Genesis of Canadian Olympic Hockey” chronicles the life of Catholic priest David Bauer, who forever changed Canada’s international ice hockey program. Bauer, the younger brother of former Boston Bruins star Bobby Bauer, was himself a star player in junior hockey. But the younger Bauer decided against turning pro, and instead became a priest and then a hockey coach soon after. His decision wouldn’t just change his life, but the landscape of Canada’s Olympic Team for 30 years. 

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Puck Junk Podcast #23 – April 25, 2017

…with Sal Barry & Tim Parish


Player not working? Listen to this podcast on SoundCloud.

Sal & Tim talk about the craziness that was the first round of the 2017 NHL Playoffs, playing daily fantasy playoff hockey on the Topps Skate mobile app, building sets on the cheap with Upper Deck E-Pack, Dennis Wideman gettin’ sued and more. 

Podcast #23 is an hour long, so grab a tall one, kick back and hit play.

Follow Sal on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim on Twitter @TheRealDFG

Review: 2003-04 Carolina Hurricanes

This Carolina Hurricanes team set was issued during the 2003-04 season. The cards are quite large, measuring 4.25″ wide by 5.5″ tall and have an unusual matte finish on the front. The 23 cards in the set give us a good look at many of the players who would win the Stanley Cup two seasons later.

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Puck Junk Podcast #22 – April 18, 2017

…with Sal Barry & Tim Parish


Player not working? Listen to this podcast on SoundCloud.

Sal & Tim (@theRealDFG) are back for a long-overdue, but always fun, edition of the Puck Junk Podcast. Topics in this podcast include: 2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Hockey, coaching change chaos (!!!), the upcoming expansion draft and Zach Werenski, the most badass rookie in the NHL this season.

Total time is 47 minutes, so get comfy and hit play! 

Custom Hockey Card: Irwin the Penguin

While sorting through a box of old hockey memorabilia, I came across this “custom card” that I made many years ago of Irwin the Penguin.

Of course, you have no idea who Irwin the Penguin is, so allow me to explain. Back when we were kids, Irwin was my sister’s favorite stuffed animal. One day during the summer of 1989, I decided to make a drawing of her toy penguin as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, since that seemed like an obvious team to put him on.

But it wasn’t *just* a drawing — it was a hockey card, complete with statistics on the back.   Continue reading “Custom Hockey Card: Irwin the Penguin”

Upper Deck Releases New Hockey Coins

Upper Deck has released a new hockey collectible that will cost some serious…coin. On Monday evening at the Hockey Hall of Fame, the trading card company announced the launch of the Grandeur Hockey Coin Collection, a series of limited-edition coins minted in silver and gold. The coins are available for purchase starting on April 5 and sell for $100 to $500. 

“I look at this as a game-changing product line, similar to what we did in 1989 with trading cards,” said Jason Masherah, president of Upper Deck, in an interview with Puck Junk. “Nobody has ever blind-packed precious metal coins before.”

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