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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Review: 1998-99 Blackhawks Legends

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Pizza Hut restaurants in Chicago offered a five-card set of Blackhawks Legends during the 1998-99 season. I don’t remember the specifics, but I think you had to buy a pizza to get one of these cards. I also think that they gave out a different card each week for a five-week period. I vaguely recall clipping an ad about this offer out of a newspaper.

I also recall that I was two blocks shy of our nearest Pizza Hut’s delivery range. I was living at my college’s dormitory, located in downtown Chicago, and didn’t have a car. I wanted these cards bad enough that I even offered to meet the Pizza Hut delivery driver at the corner of their delivery boundary, but NOOOOO, they’d only deliver to a street address, and not to the corner of Congress and Dearborn.

Fast forward to 2016, and I finally tracked down all of these Blackhawks Legends cards. They weren’t particularly expensive, and a nice collector even gave me the last card that I needed — Bobby Hull — for free. But in all of my years of collecting, I don’t see these pop up too often online or at shows. That said, here is a review 17 years in the making.

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Review: 1993-94 Pittsburgh Penguins

1_Mario_LemieuxDuring the 1990s, Pittsburgh-area grocery chain FoodLand sponsored an annual set of Penguins trading cards. Children in and around the Pittsburgh area could get a card for free by from an on-duty police officer, who probably stored the cards in their back pockets, forever keeping them from a BGS 10 rating.

But I digress. The 1993-94 Penguins set looks good and has cards of many star players who went onto Hall of Fame careers.

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Review: 2015-16 Chicago Wolves

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The Chicago Wolves, the American Hockey League affiliate of the St. Louis Blues, gave away a team set of trading cards towards the end of the 2015-16 season. This year’s Wolves set has a wide player selection, but making it truly memorable is the gritty, cool-as-hell design that you’d expect to see on superhero cards instead of minor league hockey cards. Yet, the Wolves pull it off, making for one awesome-looking set.

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Review: 1976-77 Quebec Nordiques Postcards

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At a glance:
– 1976-77 Quebec Nordiques
– 20 postcards
– Size: 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″
Download checklist

The Quebec Nordiques released a set of 20 postcards during the 1976-77 season, back when the team was still a part of the World Hockey Association. Like so many other team-issued postcard sets, this set is minimalist, with basic color photos on the front and scant information on the back. These postcards give us a good look back at a time when hair was long and helmets were few and far between.

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Review: 2015-16 Rockford IceHogs

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Smart drafting and quality development are the two key reasons why the Chicago Blackhawks have been successful over the past half-decade. Many of the prospects that the ‘Hawks draft end up playing a season or two with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League, blossoming into NHL players. This year, the IceHogs released a new set of trading cards, which includes many players who may go on to become the newest ‘Hawks mainstays.

Every year since they joined the AHL, the IceHogs have either given away or sold in their team shop a trading card team set. And historically, the IceHogs do a great job, including practically every player and listing all of their statistics, while dressing it up in an appealing design. This year is no exception.

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Review: 2014-15 Springfield Falcons

2014-15 Springfield Falcons #11 - Kerby RychelConsidering that Upper Deck became the exclusive trading card licensee of the American Hockey League, it is a relief that teams can still produce their own sets. While Upper Deck has made two attractive sets dedicated to AHL players the past two seasons, team-issued sets are always the most comprehensive, featuring almost everyone on the team, from future NHLers to career journeymen to bubble players.

At a glance:
– 2014-15 Springfield Falcons
– 25 cards
– Size: 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
Download checklist

Earlier this year, the Springfield Falcons — top affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets — released a 25-card set for the 2014-15 season. It’s a colorful set that has baseball to thank for its unique, eye-catching design.

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Review: 2014-15 Rockford IceHogs

darlingThe Rockford IceHogs issued a team set of trading cards during the 2014-15 season. It was sponsored by the Rockford Register Star newspaper and features many Chicago Blackhawks prospects, such as Teuvo Teravainen and Scott Darling. The cards also have a unique design and tons of information on the back — as any good trading card should. Continue reading “Review: 2014-15 Rockford IceHogs”

Review: 2013 Upper Deck Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Box Set

To the victors goes the trading card set

2013 Chicago Blackhawks Commemorative Box Set #SCC-CB - Chicago BlackhawksWhen Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds apart in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, the Blackhawks clinched the Stanley Cup. That victory also earned them a special boxed set of hockey cards from Upper Deck, commemorating the team’s second Stanley Cup in four seasons. Released at the end of July, the set contains 31 cards that no die-hard ‘Hawks fan should be without. Continue reading “Review: 2013 Upper Deck Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Box Set”

Review: 2012-13 Rockford IceHogs team set

23_frontThe 2012-13 Rockford IceHogs team set might just be the greatest minor league team set ever made. Consider the cool, retro design that pays homage to old time cards and the plethora of NHL talent included, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more worthwhile team set of minor league players. Continue reading “Review: 2012-13 Rockford IceHogs team set”