Hockey Cards That Need to Be Made

Ideas Beyond Jersey and Autograph Cards

My boss once gave me some advice during a performance review: “Don’t come to me with problems, come to me with solutions.” I’m sure it meant for me not to bother him complaints, but I took it another way. If you have a question, also have a variety of answers ready and we can figure out what’s best.

Taking this to heart, I’ve complained about how the rising cost of little cardboard rectangles should be worth your hard earned cash. Let’s be honest; you have a better chance of breaking even with a scratch off lottery ticket. But I’ve yet to offer solutions of what ideas would grow my little t-rex arms long enough to reach my wallet buried deep in my back pocket.

What follows are card idea, or notions at least, that are a breath of fresh air to the usual jersey cards and autographs. Upper Deck, if you’re reading this, you’re more than welcome to take these ideas and make them a reality for all the trading card nerds. But Panini – you you keep your hands to yourself!

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Five Hockey Rookie Card Bargains for Next Season

During the past season, several rookies like Elias Pettersson, Rasmus Dahiln, Andrei Svechnkiov and Brady Tkachuk were extremely popular with collectors based on their performance. Add them to the list of players who had breakout performances last season, but rookie cards from prior years like  Jordan Binnington, Nikita Kucherov, Dylan Larkin, and Mikko Rantanen. The better a player performs, the higher the demand for — and the cost of — his rookie card becomes. 

But collectors can still find several bargains out there, though these players’ rookie cards may not be bargains much longer. Here is a list of young NHLers that can still be considered bargains based on how they have developed with their teams and how they have been received by collectors up to this point.

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Rookie Cards of the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Inductees

Yesterday, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced its inductees for 2019. The Hall will honor six new members: Sergei Zubov, Guy Carboneau and Vaclav Nedomansky will be inducted in the players’ category. Haley Wickenheiser is the latest woman to be enshrined. NCAA coach Jerry York and longtime NHL GM Jim Rutherford join the Hall as builders. Except for York, all of these Hall of Fame inductees have had hockey cards issued during their career. Here is a look at each of their rookie cards, their pre-rookie cards (yes, there is such a thing), and the values for each one. 

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Rookie Cards of the 2019 St. Louis Blues Players and Coaches

The St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup in grand fashion last night, winning Game Seven 4-1 on the road against the Boston Bruins. Goaltender Jordan Binnington shut down Boston’s offense and kept the Blues in it, and Ryan O’Reilly’s four goals in four Cup games earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

For those who are looking to build a rookie card collection of the 2019 St. Louis Blues team — or just want to see what that collection looks like — here is a visual checklist of RCs for every Blues player who appeared in at least one 2019 playoff game.

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Review: 1987-88 Flint Spirits Team Set

The Flint Spirits had a great 1987-88 season. Much of that success was owed to future NHLer John Cullen, who led the International Hockey League in scoring with 157 points (48 G, 109 A) in 81 games, and then led his team in the playoffs with 26 points (11 G, 15 A). Cullen was named IHL rookie of the year. Unfortunately, the Spirits lost the Turner Cup Finals to the Salt Lake Golden Eagles. Still, the team had a pretty good run, as well as a decent set of trading cards. 

The 1987-88 Flint Spirits team set is a typical minor-league team issue, with darkly-lit photos and an underwhelming design. But that’s pretty normal for 1980s minor league hockey cards. 

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1992-93 Score Eric Lindros Press Conference Promo Card

This is the Eric Lindros card that flew under most hockey card collectors’ radar. While seasoned collectors are familiar with Lindros’ rookie card from the 1990-91 Score set, or the numerous other Lindros cards from the early 1990s, this one is a hidden gem. It is the first-ever card to picture Lindros in a Philadelphia Flyers uniform and was both a giveaway and an insert, but not particularly easy to get either way. 

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Zero-Game Goalies: Daniel Altshuller

Photo by Jamie Kellner
[Photo Credit: Jamie Kellner]

We’re starting a new, semi-regular feature on Puck Junk called “Zero-Game Goalies,” where we take a look at hockey goalies who got an NHL trading card, but never played in an NHL game. This phenomenon occurs when a goalie gets called up from the minors to be the backup goalie for an NHL team, but never sets foot on the ice during the game. Just being on the bench as a backup qualifies a goalie for inclusion in a set of NHL trading cards, so from time to time you come across a trading card of such a goalie and ask, “Who is this guy?” 

Today’s zero-game goalie is Daniel Altshuller, who was a backup for the Carolina Hurricanes. 

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The 1990’s Weirdest Hockey Cards

Hockey cards have changed significantly since their inception and even more so since the “modern era of collecting” which began in 1990. Despite all of these changes, not every set issued was a hit from a collector’s standpoint. In that vein, there have been a ton of flat-out weird cards produced, especially towards the end of that decade.  These cards were believed by overzealous manufacturers to be exactly what collectors wanted, only to receive a not-so-wanted reception. With that I would like to share with you some of the weirdest and most unique cards that I have come across from the 1990s:

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Every 2018-19 Upper Deck Hockey Card Arena Giveaway

Get Free Upper Deck Cards at NHL Games

During the 2018-19 season, 17 different NHL teams, as well as three American Hockey League teams, will give away Upper Deck hockey cards. While these giveaway cards look similar to 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey cards, there are some differences that make these cards unique enough that they will appeal to player collectors, team collectors, or completest nuts like me. 

The Andrew Shaw card on the left is from 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One. The Andrew Shaw card on the right is from the Montreal Canadiens team set, which will be given away on December 15.

For example, the silver foil is removed and replaced with standard ink. So, all team logos are in full color instead of silver, while the silver “swirlies” at either side of the logo are replaced with a dominant color from the team’s uniform. The Upper Deck logo is also de-silvered, and printed in color. However, the most interesting change is that some of these cards use different photos than what was used on the standard 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey card. 

The first arena giveaway will be at the Anaheim Ducks game on Friday, November 23. The promotion will visit seven other NHL teams — and possibly several others — plus two AHL teams. Here is information on every team that is giving away these unique hockey cards, and how to get them.  Continue reading “Every 2018-19 Upper Deck Hockey Card Arena Giveaway”