Box Break: 2018-19 Artifacts Hockey

When it comes to new hockey card releases, I am frequently a late bloomer when it comes breaking boxes. This year, 2018-19 Artifacts was no different. Released October 4, 2018, Artifacts is usually one of the first products to hit the market at the start of the new season (as well as MVP and O-Pee-Chee). I hadn’t had a chance to pick this product up until recently and I wanted to share my break and thoughts with our readers.

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Card of the Week: Extinguished Flame

1991-92 Stadium Club #391 – Stephane Matteau

Before he would score one of the most famous goals in New York Rangers history (“Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!“), Stephane Matteau was a young winger on a stacked Calgary Flames team. He played 78 games for the Flames in 1990-91, so there should have been plenty of photos of Matteau for Topps to choose from for Matteau’s 1991-92 Stadium Club hockey card. But for some reason, they picked this picture, which fails on so many levels that it’s kind of sad. 

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Review: Chicago Wolves 25th Anniversary Card Set

The Chicago Wolves have been a top-notch hockey team over the past 25 years, winning two Turner Cup Championships in the old IHL and two Calder Cup Championships in the AHL. Many former NHL stars, future NHL stars and minor league legends played for the team over the past quarter-century. Earlier this month, the Wolves issued a trading card set honoring its best players. Like past team sets, the Wolves’ 25th Anniversary team set does not disappoint.

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Review: 2017-18 Upper Deck Las Vegas Golden Knights Boxed Set

The Las Vegas Golden Knights had a very successful inaugural season, first winning 51 regular season games, then powering its way to the Stanley Cup Finals. No, the Knights didn’t win in the Finals — that would have been a little too perfect — but the team was still inspiring and made many new fans along the way. So, it is only natural that Upper Deck would capitalize on the team’s popularity and success and release a Vegas Knights boxed set. Anyone who found themselves cheering for the gray and gold should definitely give this set a look. 

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1994-95 Parkhurst SE Promo Card

During the 1994-95 season, Upper Deck sold a set of hockey cards called Parkhurst Special Edition — usually referred to as Parkhurst SE — in Europe. Even though the cards were printed in English, they were sold outside of North America, though many have eventually found their way back to this side of the Atlantic. Even though they were sold overseas, Parkhurst SE cards were printed in English. 

A while ago, I found this promo card for Parkhurst SE. It features Wayne Gretzky and gives more details about the set in English: 10 cards per pack, 48 packs per box, and a special collectors album to put the set in. 

But the back of the card was always a mystery to me. It is written in Swedish and Finnish, and I never knew what it said — until I got a little help from some friends on Twitter. 

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2018-19 Panini NHL Sticker Collection Box Break #2

Last month, I purchased two full boxes of 2018-19 Panini NHL Stickers. My first box had quite a few foil stickers, and very few duplicates. So I was excited to open the second box of Panini stickers, and hoped that the collation would be as good as the first box. 

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Everyday I’m Byfuglien

2018-19 Upper Deck #192: Dustin Byfuglien

This hockey card recently came to my attention, so of course I had to give it my spin. 

File this one under good hair days. Gold Star Medals McGee back there is absolutely besides himself at the sight of Big Buff, being all footloose and fancy-free. He must be cut from the same cloth as Brian Burke.

“Is that a ‘man bun’ that I am seeing? I do not like it one bit.”

Meanwhile, the rest of us wonder how Byfuglien fits all that hair under his helmet.  Continue reading “Everyday I’m Byfuglien”

The George H.W. Bush Hockey Card

1991-92 Upper Deck #47: White House Welcome

George Bush & Mario Lemieux

George H.W. Bush, who was the 41st President of the United States, passed away Friday night. He was 94 years old. Prior to his term as President (1989-1993), Bush was, among other things, a pilot for the navy during World War II, the head of the CIA for a year and the U.S. Vice President for eight years. During his Presidency, Bush welcomed the Pittsburgh Penguins to the White House to congratulate their 1991 Stanley Cup Championship, as commemorated on this 1991-92 Upper Deck hockey card. 

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Review: 2018-19 Topps Skate Mobile App

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.

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Box Break: 2018-19 Panini NHL Stickers

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. 

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