National Hockey Card Day is Saturday

Get Free Hockey Cards on February 18

Doughnut lovers have National Doughnut Day. Vinyl aficionados have Record Store Day. Hockey card collectors have a day of our own, too. Saturday, February 18 is National Hockey Card Day. Set your alarm, grab some coffee and head out to your local card shop – or maybe a few card shops — and get some free hockey cards. 

National Hockey Card Day, or NHCD as us cool kids abbreviate it, started in Canada in 2009 and in the U.S. in 2012. Collectors who visit a participating card shop can get a free pack of exclusive Upper Deck hockey cards. Each pack has five cards. A bonus card can also be acquired by making a $10 purchase. 

Here are the details on National Hockey Card Day in each country.  Continue reading “National Hockey Card Day is Saturday”

NHL fails to televise Marleau’s 500th goal

Center Ice subscribers who wanted to see Patrick Marleau score his 500th career goal Thursday night were denied the opportunity. For reasons unknown, the game was not televised on Center Ice, the subscription service that lets fans watch every out-of-market NHL game. 

Well, every game except the one where a 19-year NHL veteran, on the brink of becoming the 45th player in NHL history to score 500 goals, scored his 500th goal. 

But hey — the Oilers-Predators, Jets-Stars and Leafs-Blues games had two feeds each on Center Ice. 

The channel that was supposed to show the Sharks-Canucks game instead showed the list of the games on Center Ice that night. (Note the text at the very top of the screen.)

As a Center Ice subscriber, I expected to watch the Sharks-Canucks game live. That is why I pay for Center Ice. I was hoping to see Marleau score his milestone goal Thursday night. Instead, I got to see it online after the fact. 

I am in Chicago — about 2,160 miles from San Jose and 2,200 miles from Vancouver — so it is safe to say that I am not in either team’s broadcast territory and subject to blackouts. I figured that this might have been a problem with my cable provider, Comcast.

But on Twitter, I found out that this problem wasn’t isolated to Chicago or to Comcast subscribers.  Continue reading “NHL fails to televise Marleau’s 500th goal”

NHL Bungles Its Own Celebrity Game

Some guy with 91 million fans played in the Celebrity NHL All-Star Game. Too bad it wasn’t on TV.

Sometimes, the level of amateurishness displayed by the NHL in 2017 surprises me. The league held a celebrity all-star game on Saturday prior to the NHL Skills Competition. One player in the game was international pop sensation Justin Bieber. And yet, the NHL didn’t even bother to televise this game — not even on the NHL Network, which just ran a bunch of talking heads in that time slot.

The NHL streamed the 2017 NHL All-Star Celebrity Shootout on its website, and did a lousy job of it too, wasting the opportunity to raise the game’s profile and hopefully get a few new fans in the process. 

The two teams — named Team Gretzky (home) and Team Lemieux (away) — had a lot of retired greats in the lineup, like Joe Sakic, Luc Robitaille, Sergei Fedorov, Peter Forsberg, Borje Salming and Larry Robinson. Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux served as the coaches. Current stars Patrick Kane and Connor McDavid played, too. Celebrities like actor Cuba Gooding Jr. and movie director/producer Jerry Bruckheimer also laced them up.

And did I mention singer/hearthrob Justin Bieber? Bieber has 91.5 million followers on Twitter — about 86 million more followers than the NHL. He even tweeted Continue reading “NHL Bungles Its Own Celebrity Game”

Will More Parallels Save e-Pack Hockey?

Upper Deck announced some changes yesterday to their e-Pack platform as a means to reduce the potential glut of insert and parallel hockey cards available on the secondary market. In a nutshell, physical insert and parallel cards obtained through e-Pack can now be combined to make an even more-limited parallel of the same card. This is bad news for those who are already sick of parallel cards, and even worse news for those who enjoyed scooping up cheap hockey cards as a result of e-Pack. So, will this move save e-Pack?

Continue reading “Will More Parallels Save e-Pack Hockey?”

Best of the Worst: 2016-17 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey

Welcome, my friends, to the show that never ends. Time for another edition of Best of the Worst of Upper Deck! Let’s all take a moment to appreciate just how far we’ve come with the photography and printing technology that bring us such stunning pictures in a little foil pack. The imagery is unparalleled with anything we’ve had in decades past; it truly does bring us closer to the game. 

Everybody over that moment of appreciation?

OK, good, now let’s make fun of them! 

Continue reading “Best of the Worst: 2016-17 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey”

Puck Junk’s Top Articles of 2016

Not only was 2016 a great year for hockey collectibles, but it was a great year for this website, too. Readership has steadily grown over the past nine years, and I have all of you to thank for that. While I am working on some new articles for 2017, I just wanted to share this list of “must reads” from the past year. These were Puck Junk’s top articles from 2016:

Continue reading “Puck Junk’s Top Articles of 2016”

Top 10 Hockey Collectible Stories of 2016

Happy New Year! With the holidays and other obligations requiring my focus over the past few weeks, I needed to take a little break from Puck Junk and turn my attention elsewhere. But now I am back on track and ready to start writing about hockey goodness once again in 2017. 

Before we get on with the new, I thought it would be good to take a look back at the year that was 2016. Yes, a lot of cool people died — rest in peace, Princess Leia and Ziggy Stardust — and a mean Oompa Loompa was elected as U.S. President.

But 2016 wasn’t a bad year for hockey collectors. We saw the introduction of a new way to buy cards, a new type of hockey card altogether, and so much more. Here are the biggest hockey collectible stories of 2016.  Continue reading “Top 10 Hockey Collectible Stories of 2016”

The Two NHL Records of Helmut Balderis

helmut_balderis
Custom Hockey Card by Sal Barry

Helmut Balderis set an NHL record 27 years ago. On November 2, 1989, the 37-year old right wing scored a goal for the Minnesota North Stars in a 4-3 loss to the Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium. By doing so, he became the oldest player in NHL history to score his first goal in the NHL.

However, that was actually Balderis’ second NHL record. Continue reading “The Two NHL Records of Helmut Balderis”

A Look Back at the 1991 Canada Cup

7_canada_cup_checklist

Twenty-five years ago today, Canada won the 1991 Canada Cup Tournament when they beat the United States. It would be the last Canada Cup, as the tournament would be renamed the World Cup of Hockey in 1996.

A few months after the 1991 Canada Cup, Upper Deck released its 1991-92 hockey card set, which included a Canada Cup subset. This was the first time that a set of trading cards would feature pictures and players from the Canada Cup. These Canada Cup cards were also the first hockey cards for many of the European players — some who would go on to lengthy NHL careers.

Here’s a look at how each of the six teams, as well as many of the players, performed at the 1991 Canada Cup.
Continue reading “A Look Back at the 1991 Canada Cup”