The Trials and Tribulations of a Teenage Card Show Promoter

Illustration by Shellie Lewis.

For 3 ½ years, I was a card show promoter. At the same time, I was also a teenager. Thus, I was a teenage card show promoter. I know, it sounds like the title of a bad B-movie or a cheesy pulp novel, but the story you are about to read is 100 percent true. From early 1992 to mid-1995, I organized a monthly get-together known to collectors around Chicago as the “First Friday Show,” fueled by a few postage stamps and my passion for sports cards.

Read thefull article at Sports Collectors Digest. 

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

Helmet Holdouts: The Last Players Not to Wear Helmets in the NHL

Look around the NHL today, and you will notice that players without visors are few and far between. Such was the case with helmets 30 years ago. Seeing a helmetless player in 1989 was as unusual as seeing a visorless player today.

The NHL made helmets mandatory four decades ago. Any player who entered the league after June 1, 1979 had to wear a helmet, but any player who signed his first pro contract before then could opt out if they signed a waiver. During the 1978-79 season, about 30 percent of NHLers didn’t wear a helmet. Ten years later, though, and you could count on both hands how many helmetless players were left in the league. Here’s a rundown of those players, and why they chose to show their flow.

Read the full article at The Hockey News.

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.

Year of the Pig, Part III: The Postseason

Part III in the recap of the 2018-19 Carolina Hurricanes’ season & run to the Conference Finals. But will there be a Part IV? 

Note: Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 first. 

In the Hurricanes first postseason game in a decade they fared OK, but played like a team that was still in the regular season, while a far more experienced Washington squad played “playoff hockey.” Andrei Svechnikov, being a rookie, didn’t know they were suppose to lose, and put up two goals to make the Canes look good. Game 2 ended tighter, but novice play in OT put them down 0-2 in the series. Another rookie, Warren Foegele, started to make a name for himself here (besides being the thief that stole all the E’s out of Petr Mrazek’s name).

Game 3 was in Raleigh, the first game in a generation of new fans. Continue reading “Year of the Pig, Part III: The Postseason”

Year of the Pig, Part II: Regular Season

Part II in a three-part retrospective on the
Carolina Hurricanes’ 2018-19 season. 

NOTE: Read Part I first if you haven’t done so already. 

Where was I? Oh yes, the vastly retooled Carolina Hurricanes began their pre-season with a bang, topping the powerhouse Lightning twice, the Stanley Cup Champion Capitals twice (to be fair, they were probably still drunk), and Western Conference BBQ rival Preds once and to a OT loss; outscoring their opponents 28 to 13!

Many of us longer-suffering fans were cautious because we’d seen decent preseason teams trip on the door step to the regular season, Continue reading “Year of the Pig, Part II: Regular Season”

Year of the Pig, Part I: The Offseason

Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard recaps the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2018-19 season — in three parts!

Last year, Tom Dundon became the new majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes. Shortly after he stepped in, the hockey world sat up and took notice of the irreverent moves that he made. Let’s take a look at what happened since then and how it has impacted the Hurricanes’ organization this season. 

Continue reading “Year of the Pig, Part I: The Offseason”

The NHL’s 5 Most-Shocking First Round Playoff Upsets Since 1967

This past Tuesday saw perhaps the most-stunning upset in NHL playoff history. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who won 62 games in the 2018-19 regular season, were swept decisively by the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets, who outscored them 19-8 in the process. 

Regular season success provides no guarantee for the postseason; as factors such as solid goaltending and special teams can power an underdog past the favorite in a seven-game series. Since the award was introduced in 1986, seven President’s Trophy winners have lost in the first round. Tampa Bay,  however, becomes the first recipient to be swept in their opening series. Here are the top five most shocking first round playoff upsets, since the expansion era began in 1967.

Continue reading “The NHL’s 5 Most-Shocking First Round Playoff Upsets Since 1967”

Every Blackhawks Third-Overall Pick

Yesterday, the Chicago Blackhawks placed third in the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery. Picking third overall never gets a generational talent like Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby, who always go first overall. But picking third overall is still high enough to get a good — or even great — hockey player. 

Ever since the NHL instituted a draft in 1963, the Chicago Blackhawks have picked third-overall a total of five times. And in some years, the Blackhawks didn’t even have to play poorly to pick so high in the draft. Some of these third-overall draft picks fared better than others. Here is a look at how well the Blackhawks did with third place in the draft.

Continue reading “Every Blackhawks Third-Overall Pick”

No Stanley For Old Men: 2019 Edition

Time is Running Out for These Veteran NHL Players to Win the Stanley Cup

Even if the song “Fly Like an Eagle” by the Steve Miller Band was before your time, you still probably recall the first line of the song: 

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future…

Time gets away from us, and the next thing you know, the young first-round draft pick you cheered for is now a grizzled old veteran, vying for one last shot at winning a Stanley Cup. Such players, known as “Old Men Without a Cup,” are making perhaps their last attempt at winning a Stanley Cup Championship before calling it a career. 

Here is a look at the oldest player from every 2019 playoff-bound team who has not won a Stanley Cup Championship. In our hearts, we’d like to see all of them win, but in the end, only one will. Who on this list are you pulling for? 

Continue reading “No Stanley For Old Men: 2019 Edition”

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”

Seven Blackhawks Goalies Who Played in Only One NHL Game

One year ago today, emergency backup goaltender Scott Foster stepped in between the pipes for the Blackhawks after both Hawks goalies went down with injuries. Foster was perfect, stopping all seven shots that he faced.

Coincidentally, there have been exactly seven Chicago Blackhawks goalies who played in only one NHL game — Foster and six others. Here is a rundown of all seven Blackhawks goalies who had just one NHL game in their hockey careers. 

Continue reading “Seven Blackhawks Goalies Who Played in Only One NHL Game”