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”

The 10 Best Hockey Cards from 1988-89

Thirty years ago, the 1988-89 hockey season was winding down. Wayne Gretzky was in his first season with the Los Angeles Kings, while the Calgary Flames would go on to win their first Stanley Cup Championship. Hockey legends Marcel Dionne and Lanny McDonald retired at the end of the season, while Guy Lafleur successfully started his three-year comeback. 

It was also a simpler time for hockey card collectors. There were only two mainstream hockey sets to collect — Topps and O-Pee-Chee — and there were not yet any Eric Lindros cards for speculators to hoard. In fact, the word “hockey cards” and “investments” weren’t even uttered in the same sentence back then. 

The 1988-89 season was also when I first discovered hockey — and thus started collecting hockey cards. So, here is a look at the 10 best hockey cards from the 1988-89 season. These are not necessarily the most valuable or most-rare hockey cards from that year; rather, these are cards that have significance and should be in any serious hockey card collection. 

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Romo + Modano = Romodano

2009 Upper Deck Heroes #488: 
Hometown Heroes Tony Romo / Mike Modano

I had no idea that this card existed. It features an illustration of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and Dallas Stars center Mike Modano. If the two of them combined into a giant super monster, it would be called ROMODANO, play two sports, make $30 million per year…and breathe fire! 

Finding unknown gems like this is the reason why I love rummaging through quarter boxes at card shows. Although honestly, this could have been from a dollar box — and it was a dollar well-spent. 

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Box Break: 2018-19 Upper Deck Trilogy

“Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count to two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached…” you shall then open your box of 2018-19 Upper Deck Trilogy.

I hope the Holy Grail reference didn’t go unappreciated as my lead in for reviewing this year’s Trilogy product from Upper Deck. As you may have already guessed, Trilogy has always been focused on groups of three, whether it’s three players pictured on a card, three parallel levels, three autographs, serial numbers to three, etc.  Even the set logo has a three in the title in place of the “g.” Is it a conspiracy? A puzzle? The Illuminati? I don’t know, but the 2018-19 edition of this mid-range product is no different.

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A Closer Look at 10 Hockey Card Blunders

In the 100-plus years that companies have made hockey cards, countless mistakes have been made – from spelling a player’s name wrong, to getting a stat incorrect, to picturing the wrong guy. But every now and then, a card company gaffed so egregiously that you wonder if anyone was even paying attention. Here are the ten biggest hockey card blunders. Read the full article at Sports Collectors Digest.

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

Review: 2016 Leaf Jack Eichel Collection

Not long after being drafted second overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 2015, Jack Eichel signed an exclusive deal with Leaf Trading Cards. As a part of that deal, only Leaf products could include cards autographed by Eichel. In late 2016, Leaf released the “Jack Eichel Collection,” a 30-card boxed set that showcases the Sabres’ young superstar. The big draw to the set is that it includes a hockey card autographed by Eichel. Unfortunately, that’s really the only upside to this otherwise mundane set. 

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Review: 2018-19 Upper Deck Pittsburgh Penguins Giveaway Set

At the Pittsburgh Penguins game on January 6, 2019, the team celebrated the 10th anniversary of its 2009 Stanley Cup Championship. (Wow, a decade has passed; I feel so old.) The Penguins invited back many of the retired players from that roster to join with the current players from that team in the celebration. A few of the current players who have moved on to different teams, such as Marc Andre Fleury, sent video messages to be played during the event.

The Penguins and Upper Deck teamed up and gave to each fan in attendance a nine-card set commemorating that Stanley Cup run. Continue reading “Review: 2018-19 Upper Deck Pittsburgh Penguins Giveaway Set”