Box Break: 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey

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.

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1996-97 Upper Deck Game Jerseys

Remembering Hockey’s First Jersey Cards

It’s a brisk, early morning in September of 1997. I’m sitting at a picnic table at an elementary school playground, just north of Pittsburgh. My nine-year old self is huddled up with a few friends, rummaging through the new cards we had acquired over the summer. We were all in awe over Jeffy’s Joe Thornton rookie card, when a boy with a Sidney Crosby-esque pencil mustache approached us.

“Pfft, you guys think that’s cool?” asked eighth grader Joey M. “Check this out.”

He laid something out on the table that blew our pre-pubescent minds: a Mike Modano 1996-97 Upper Deck Game Jersey card. We stared in amazement, like it was a winning lottery ticket.

Joey glared at us like we were mere peasants in his newfound collectors kingdom. He then slowly picked up the card and walked away, without another word, leaving us in utter disbelief. 

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Interacting with Hockey Players

A stick to the face, a car door covered in paint marker and hearing “Hot dogs!” screamed at him was just one day of Phil Kessel’s experience of meeting fans outside of the new Pittsburgh Penguins practice facility. Can you blame the guy for being so secluded? This is just one of the many instances I have unfortunately had to witness when interacting with players. 

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not an autograph hound. I am not a re-seller. I am just a fan of the game. NHL players are extremely talented and hard-working, but in the end they are just like you and me, and want to be treated with respect. 

Think about it. If you walked out of your job every day and 20 people that you’ve never seen in your life ran up to you screaming, waving markers in their hands and asked you to autograph something, it would get old, wouldn’t it? So, with that perspective in mind, here are some do’s and don’ts for interacting with players.  

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Box Break:  2017-18 SP Authentic

There are two products I look forward to when the new season starts. One is Upper Deck’s flagship Series One and Series Two, and the other being SP Authentic. These two releases seem to be very solid year after year. So I stopped by my local shop and picked up a box for $100. I rushed home to break open this box with my wife. Here are the results.

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The Day I Met Bobby Orr

Note: Travis Shaw is a new Puck Junk contributor. Please give him a welcome in the comments below. 

My biggest fear when meeting someone I idolize is that the experience is going to be disappointing. I have this fear because when you idolize someone you have this idea in your mind of this person being bigger than life and flawless. So, when I was given the chance to meet the greatest defensemen — or maybe even the greatest player to ever step on the ice — I was a pretty nervous.

This past May, my wife and I took a road trip to Toronto for the Spring Sport Card and Memorabilia Expo. To put it into perspective, it’s the Canada’s National. My wife purchased me The Ultimate Bobby Orr VIP Experience meet and greet package as a birthday present. Included in the package was the chance for Bobby to sign one small item of your own and get a limited edition signed canvas, which was only available in this package and hand-numbered out of 104. But the item that drew me in and was you would get a framed photo with Bobby surrounded by all of the individual awards he had won during his legendary career. I don’t know about you, but this was an experience I was not going to pass up.

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