A History of Enforcers in All-Star Games

John Scott’s selection to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game is not without precedent. Having a guy known more for punching than puckhandling play in the NHL All-Star Game, while rare, has happened on several occasions.

Then there is the curious case of Chris Nilan, whose near-appearance in the 1991 All-Star Game was, until now, the most controversial selection ever made.

But neither Scott, or Nilan before him, would have been the first pugilist to play in an NHL All-Star Game. Continue reading “A History of Enforcers in All-Star Games”

Top 10 Hockey Card and Collectible Stories of 2015

While 2015 was not quite as tumultuous as 2014 was for hockey cards and collectibles, this was by no means an “off year.” Two highly-touted draft picks made their NHL debut — one causing hockey card sales to skyrocket, the other making an unconventional decision. Two new hockey collectibles books came out. And there were toys…lots and lots of toys.

Continue reading “Top 10 Hockey Card and Collectible Stories of 2015”

Trading Card Explosion Article for The Hockey News

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Twenty-five years ago, the trading card landscape was changed forever when three new companies entered the hockey card market. I recently wrote an article for The Hockey News about this crazy time — when people were stockpiling Sergei Fedorov rookie cards like they were gold bullion — and how it eventually led to the 1992 NHL players’ strike The article is in THN’s 2015-16 Season Preview issue, but you can also read it (for free!) at the THN website here. Check it out, and let me know your favorite memory of the 1990-91 season. 

Blackhawks 2015-16 Season Preview

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Happy first day of the 2015-16 NHL season! While I’ll still be updating Puck Junk as regularly as possible, I am now writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for lthe website Chicagoist. Today, they published my first article, which is a preview of the Blackhawks 2015-16 season. You should all check it out. I even throw in a little hockey trivia you can use to impress your friends. If you do read it, let me know your thoughts; do you think the ‘Hawks can win the Stanley Cup again this year? 

Dominik Hasek’s Blackhawks Debut

hasek_1990_1Dominik Hasek’s final game with the Chicago Blackhawks was Game 4 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals. But when was his Blackhawks debut?

True, Hasek played in his first official NHL game as a member of the Blackhawks on November 6, 1990. He may have even appeared in a preseason game before then. But Hasek’s debut with the Blackhawks came on September 15, 1990 — 25 years ago today — when he took part in the team’s annual Red-White Scrimmage.

This wasn’t an official game. No ticket stubs exist, as it was free to get in, and no newspapers recapped it the next day. All that we have is this roster that was typed out, photocopied and passed out to fans during the first period.

Continue reading “Dominik Hasek’s Blackhawks Debut”

The New Upper Deck Replacement Policy

Upper Deck LogoUpper Deck’s policy on replacing damaged cards has changed. They will still replace damaged cards up to a year from the date of the card’s manufacture, but you can no longer just drop the cards in the mail; the process is a bit more involved.

I’ve documented my most-recent return of defective cards to Upper Deck, so you know what to do — and how long it will take – if you get damaged cards in your latest box break.

Continue reading “The New Upper Deck Replacement Policy”

The NHL’s Big Spenders vs. Big Winners: An Interactive Chart

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Click the above image to activate the bar graph. Not working? Click here.

The tenth year of the NHL’s “Salary Cap Era” has wrapped up. To the surprise of perhaps no one, no team that had the highest-paid roster has won the Stanley Cup in the past decade. The Vancouver Cancucks — who were paid a league-high $70,975,000 in 2010-11 — almost did it when they came within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Above is an interactive chart that displays the highest-paid team and the Stanley Cup-wining team, plus the teams that scored the most goals, that allowed the fewest goals, and that had the best record during the regular season. The chart also notes where each team ranked overall in league payroll for that season.

To learn more, check out the interactive bar graph. ■


SOURCES

Salary data from USA Today (2005-06 to 2013-14) and and NHL Numbers (2014-15).
Special thanks to Hockey’s Cap.


Building the 2015 Chicago Blackhawks: An Interactive Timeline

Click tbe above image to activate timeline. Not working? Click here or here.

The Chicago Blackhawks are a modern-era dynasty, winning the Stanley Cup three times in six years. The journey started way back in 2002, when the team selected defenseman — and future Conn Smythe Trophy winner — Duncan Keith in the NHL Entry Draft.

Solid drafting has been the key to Chicago’s success. Of the 25 players who suited up for the Blackhawks in the 2015 playoffs, 12 were drafted between 2002 and 2013, while seven were acquired in trades and six others were signed as free agents.

For more detail on how this dynasty was crafted, plus a recap of how every player contributed to the ‘Hawks latest championship, check out this interactive timeline. ■

Free Hawks rally tickets hawked on eBay

ticketThe plan for this year’s Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory parade and subsequent rally was flawed from the get-go.

First, the parade is on a Thursday. A Thursday! Who wants to call in sick to work on Thursday, only to come back to work on Friday and pretend they’re still nursing a summer cold?

The other problem is that the rally afterward is a ticketed event at Soldier Field,  home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears. The rally tickets were free through the Ticketmaster website at noon Wednesday. The 75,000 available tickets sold out in 20 minutes, and — to the disappointment of many Blackhawks fans — were being scalped on eBay moments later. Continue reading “Free Hawks rally tickets hawked on eBay”

Thank You, Elmer Lach

lach_autoElmer Lach, a former Montreal Canadien and an honored member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, died on Saturday at the age of 97. He was the oldest living former member of the Les Habitants at the time of his passing. Lach played in the NHL from 1940 to 1954, and was the center of the “Punch Line” with Maurice Richard and Toe Blake on his wings. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966, and had his jersey number, 16, retired by the Habs in 2009. Despite all these accolades, Lach remained humble and fan-friendly, and always signed autographs for anyone who wrote to him. Continue reading “Thank You, Elmer Lach”