Denis Savard Appearance

Chicago Blackhawks head coach and Hall of Famer Denis Savard will be signing autographs this upcoming Saturday, March 1, at the Kmart Super Center in Tinley Park (16300 Harlem Ave.) at 3 pm.

Hopefully, I will be able to attend this signing. I have an old photo of Savard, from the 1989-90 season, that I would love to get signed. The picture is 11″ x 14″, so it is too big to mail to him. I also have some cards I can (hopefully) get signed too.

UPDATE: I went to the signing, and have posted about it here.

Blackhawks Convention – July 18-20

Things just keep getting better and better for Chicago Blackhawks fans this year.

It’s as if the team wants people to like them.

A few days ago, the team announced that it will hold the first annual Blackhawks Convention, July 18-20, 2008. The convention will feature autograph sessions and photo opportunities with former players such as Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard. New players such as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will be there too. ‘Hawks broadcaster Eddie Olczyk will be the Honorary Chairman of the convention.

The full story can be read on the Blackhawks website here.

Semi-Pro trading cards

A classmate of mine from Second City (where I take improv lessons) gave me a three-pack of Semi-Pro trading cards.

And no, I don’t mean AHL or IHL trading cards from yesteryear.

These trading cards are based on the new Will Ferrell movie coming out on February 29. In the film, Ferrell plays the player/owner/coach of a minor-league basketball team that *could* become eligible to join the NBA if he can turn the team around.

Although Semi-Pro is a basketball movie–and this is a hockey site–these cards are just too cool not to show off:


Will Ferrell as Jackie Moon


Woody Harrelson as Ed Monix


AndrĂ© Benjamin as Clarence “Coffee Black” Withers

Produced by Upper Deck, these cards resemble the old Topps basketball cards from the 1970s, as that is when the film takes place.

Also included with the cards was a big pink stick of sugar free chewing gum. Yum!

Gotta love The Onion

For those of you who don’t know, The Onion is the premier weekly satirical newspaper here in the U.S. of A.–sort of like Mad Magazine, but more sophisticated…and yet not pretentious. They poke fun at all things, like politics, current events and sports. Once in a while, they even dis’ on hockey, as evidenced by this photo:

The Onion also poked fun about the recent NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta.

NHL Series 20 lineup announced

McFarlane Toys recently announced the upcoming lineup of hockey figures that will comprise NHL Series 20:

– Daniel Briere (Philadelphia Flyers)

– Jarome Iginla 3 (Calgary Flames)

– Jonathan Cheechoo (San Jose Sharks)

– Nicklas Lindstrom 2 (Detroit Red Wings)

– Vesa Toskala (Toronto Maple Leafs)

– Daniel Sedin 2 (Vancouver Canucks)

You can read the full article on the McFarlane Toys website here.

2007-08 MVP Rookie Packs

Awesome! Today I got my 2007-2008 MVP Rookie Packs. If you redeemed your MVP redemption cards, then watch your mailbox–you should be getting your Rookie Packs soon.

I redeemed my redemption cards online on November 7. Two months later, I have these packs. There are 30 different rookie cards (numbered 351-380), and I have 12 packs (each contains 3 cards). It would be highly unlikely that I’d get all 30 cards that I need, and only 6 doubles. But if I get a lot of doubles, hopefully they will be of Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews.

Happy New Year

OK, so this post is a few days late, but I would like to wish the ten or so people who visit this website a Happy New Year.

When my school where I teach at went on break in mid-December, I had lofty aspirations to update this site five times a week…at least for a few weeks. After all, how can I expect to develop a following if I update this site once a week or less?

But that goal was lofty indeed. Even though I was free of work-related responsibilities, I still had to contend with family, friends and the holidays.

So, Puck Junk has not been updated all that much over the past two week. But I did manage to go to three Blackhawks games in December. I don’t think I’ve been to three games in the past three years. Of course, my seats were far from the action, so I didn’t bother taking many photos. I did snap a few before one of the games…

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Bobby Hull exclusive figure in Phoenix

On January 19, 2008, every fan attending the Phoenix Coyotes game will receive an exclusive SportsPick figure of Bobby Hull in his Winnipeg Jets jersey. The figure will be of the miniature variety, standing about 3 inches tall.

Both Todd McFarlane (the owner of McFarlane Toys) and Bobby Hull will be in attendance at that game, and will sign autographs during the first intermission. According to the article on Spawn.com, only the first 75 people or so will get an autograph.

This particular game will be special for Hull, as the Coyotes play the Chicago Blackhawks that night. Hull spent 15 years playing for the ‘Hawks, followed by seven years with the Winnipeg Jets. In 1996, the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes, but still honor former Jets players.

More photos of the figure can be seen here.

I am interested in acquiring one of these figures. If anyone would like to trade one, please Contact me.

Change to Upper Deck N.P.N. program

Today, I got a letter in the mail from Upper Deck, which read as follows:

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your continued interest in Upper Deck’s “No Purchase Necessary” program. Upper Deck is pleased to announce that as of January 1, 2008, Upper Deck will be going to an online method of submitting entries. Upper Deck will no longer be accepting mail-in entries after December 1, 2007. To submit your entries beginning on January 1, 2008, please log on to npn.upperdeck.com.

Sincerely,

The Upper Deck Company

The letter was signed by “T.R.L.”, which I think are the initials of their N.P.N. Manager. Either that, or they want me to watch MTV’s “Total Request Live”.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Upper Deck’s “No Purchase Necessary” Program, it was a chance for you to get an insert card without making a purchase. For a chance to “win” an insert card (such as a jersey card, a rookie card, an autographed card, etc.), you would actually have to write out by hand–no photocopies or other reproductions–your name, address, daytime phone number and evening phone number on an index card, and then send that in a hand-addressed envelope. They would only allow you to enter once per day, meaning that they’d discard one of your entries if they received two from you on the same day (or so they say).

When I first learned of the N.P.N. program in May of 2006, I would send an entry to Upper Deck every other day, in a vain attempt to win something. After 15 entries or so, I decided that it was a waste of stamps, and stopped. A month later, I got a 2005-06 Parkhurst autographed card. In the fall of 2006, I entered a few more times, just for the heck of it, but received nothing. A few weeks ago, I received an insert card from 2007-08 MVP. So, I guess they would keep all entries on file, and just pull from them every day or something.

Either way, it seemed like a waste of stamps and energy–who wants to *write out* their information for a *chance* to win? Ugh!

This new method sounds like it wouldn’t be much harder than sending an email or filling out an online form. I can deal with that. Of course, I don’t mind writing things out by hand–I send fan letters to hockey players, asking them to autograph a few cards, and I *always* handwrite those as they should be personal. Contest entries don’t need to be personal.

Overall, I think this is good news. While Upper Deck still holds an unhealthy and unfair monopoly on the hockey card industry, it is great to see them take great strides forward in customer service–first with their redemption programs, and now with their N.P.N. programs. Now I’ll have a chance to win some insert cards without wasting stamps.

New hockey 2-packs by McFarlane

McFarlane Toys has announced that they will release three hockey 2-packs that will be sold exclusively at Lowblaws stores in Canada. These will go on sale on December 26, 2007–a.k.a. “Boxing Day”.

Each pack contains previously-released figures, giving fans a second chance on a favorite player they might have missed. The 2-packs are:

— Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames) vs. Roberto Loungo (Vancouver Canucks)

— Sakiu Koivu (Montreal Canadiens) vs. Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils)

— Bryan McCabe (Toronto Maple Leafs) vs. Jason Spezza (Ottawa Senators)

Since these are being sold only in Canada, they tend to focus on Canadian-based players, with the exception of Martin Brodeur–who has been the best goalie in the NHL for a while, as well as Team Canada’s goalie in the Olympics and such. Brodeur has not been available since 2004, so this is a good chance for fans to get a figure of him now.

You can see the full article on the Spawn.com website here.