Bush League

1991-92 Upper Deck card #47 – White House Welcome

George Bush & Mario LemieuxToday is Election Day in the United States. No matter who wins the vote for President of the United States – though I pray it is Barack Obama – at least it can no longer be George W. Bush. Needless to say, the last eight years under “W” were not the greatest of times – from the 9/11 Attacks in 2001 to the economy being in the worst shape since the Great Depression, to fighting wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Anyway, all this hatin’ on George W. Bush got me thinking about his dad, George H.W. Bush, who was President from 1989 to 1992. The elder Bush actually appears on a hockey card in the 1991-92 Upper Deck set. Continue reading “Bush League”

Thank you Martin!

I would like to thank Martin Van Olst of Edmonton, Alberta for generously sending some hockey cards my way, including this one…

Jets Sticker

Martin kindly sent me the last five 1987-88 Topps insert stickers I needed to complete my set, as well as some other random cards I needed for some of my sets-in-progress.

Martin–thank you for your generosity. I hope that I can locate some of the cards you need.

I Has a Hot Dog

1995-96 Pinnacle card #134 – Olaf Kolzig

Olaf KolzigOlaf Kolzig was not what you’d call a “hot dog” during the early days of his long NHL tenure. The first five years of his pro career were mostly spent in the minor leagues, while the next three were spent playing second fiddle to former All-Star goaltender Jim Carey. Back then, “Olie the Goalie” spent more time riding the pine than stopping pucks.

During Kolzig’s time as a backup, he was shown on a Pinnacle hockey card, sitting on the bench and enjoying a hot dog – with his name spelled out in the mustard! Continue reading “I Has a Hot Dog”

I voted today

No, I did not vote for the next President of the United States…that happens next month.

Instead, I (an American, go figure) voted for what I thought should be the new theme for “Hockey Night in Canada”.

Personally, I liked Canadian Gold by Colin Oberst better than the other finalist. Have a listen…

Now, you’re probably wondering why an American would care about this. Back in 1989, my family got a satellite dish–one of those big ones that are five feet in diameter. Not only could I watch a lot more hockey games than what was shown on SportsChannel at the time, but I could watch Hockey Night in Canada. I watched HNIC almost every weekend until I moved away to college. Like millions of other people The Hockey Theme grew on me. It is an awesome tune.

After not seeing Hockey Night In Canada for about a decade, I’ve decided to subscribe to the NHL Center Ice package, which means I can finally hear Don Cherry’s wisdom once more. But I’m kind of bummed that that totally badass tune will no longer be the precursor to the (usually) awesome match-up shown by CBC that night.

Tonight, I watched the Canucks/Flames game. CBC showed both anthem finalists during the second intermission, and Canadian Gold is the one I like better. Let’s hope it wins!

Puck Junk is 1 today

Puck Junk 1st AnniversaryWow, I must have had like ten other things on my mind if I just now realized that PuckJunk.com has reached its first anniversary.

I launched this site on October 5, 2007, although it had been an idea I wanted to do since late 2006. Once I decided to quit my 40-hour a week job as a web designer to concentrate on teaching and freelance, the abundance of free time allowed me to develop, launch and maintain this site.

But while my passion for all things hockey has not diminished, my free time has. While I was able to crank out 35 assorted articles from October to December 2007 (plus random blog posts), my output from January to September has been less than that–only 32 “real” articles as of this writing…though I do seem to be doing a lot of random blog posts about hockey stuff more so than last year.

A few things have gone down that have taken up a lot of my free time. I started dating this girl named Shellie in January, and things have worked out well–so well, that we are now living together. No complaints from her about my collecting habits, here, as she has hobbies of her own. Plus, I’m starting to get her “into” hockey.

Another thing that I have mentioned is that I started Graduate School. That is also eating up a good portion of my “free time”. As much as I love writing about old sets of cards, the idea of getting straight As in Grad School right now is a bit more appealing to me. Not only am I going back to college, but I am also writing for the school’s paper.

So, while I don’t always write on this site as much as I’d like to, it is always on my mind. Hopefully, with the hockey season now upon us, I’ll be able to get some new reviews up soon.

Best $2 purchase ever!

I was thumbing through a binder full of miscellaneous hockey cards at the local card shop, and came across this beauty:

1974-75 O-Pee-Chee The HowesThe owner of the shop told me I could have it for two bucks. I informed him that this card was worth significantly more–even though the edges are a bit rough–but he said that I’m a good customer so he didn’t want much for it.

This card is very cool. It is from the 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA set, and depicts Hall of Famer Gordie Howe along with his two sons Mark and Marty. This was Gordie’s first card in three years–his last being in the 1971-72 sets. But this card also serves as a rookie card for both Marty and Mark–the latter who would go on to play 22 seasons of pro hockey (six in the WHA followed by 16 in the NHL).

The card is not perfect. The edges have those typical OPC rough edges, and there seems to be a bit of a blemish to the right of Marty’s head. Nonetheless, for two bucks I ain’t complaining. It might be the best $2 hockey card purchase I ever made.

2008-09 Legends Masterpiece box breakdown

This weekend, I purchased my first box of hockey cards from the new season–2008-09 Upper Deck Legends Masterpieces. I was at Target and bought one of those “blaster boxes”, which contained 8 packs for the low, low price of $20.

By the way, eight packs for $20 is not a low price, especially considering that you only get four cards per pack. Counting sales tax (10.25% in Chicago), that makes each individual card “cost” about 69 cents each.

But are they worth it? I’m a sucker for “art cards”. One of my favorite sets is the old Hockey Hall of Fame postcard set. Since this Legends Masterpieces set is composed solely of artistic renderings of famous players and memorable moments, I thought I’d give these a shot.

I know blaster boxes don’t have great odds having any sort of insert card. This one in particular was devoid of any insert, chase or special cards–only base cards here. I’ve listed a pack-by-pack breakdown of what I got in the box:

Pack 1
#66 – Marty McSorley
#47 – Grant Fuhr
#32 – Phil Esposito
#76 – Andy Bathgate

Pack 2
#62 – The Sutters
#35 – Jarri Kurri
#38 – Wayne Gretzky
#12 – Mario Lemieux

Pack 3
#24 – Pat LaFontaine
#68 – Dale Hawerchuk
#23 – Mike Bossy
#85 – Mr. Hockey

Pack 4
#65 – Manon Rheaume
#25 – Lanny McDonald
#14 – Ray Bourque
#69 – Gilbert Perreault

Pack 5
#51 – Johnny Bower
#80 – Mr. Hockey
#38 – Wayne Gretzky (again!)
#31 – Tony Esposito

Pack 6
#40 – Rick Vaive
#21 – Patrick Roy
#49 – Brian Leetch
#9 – Richard Brodeur

Pack 7
#33 – Bobby Orr
#58 – Peter Stastny
#72 – Eddie Shack
#13 – Lester Patrick

Pack 8
#3 – Lady Byng
#28 – Bobby Hull & Mr. Hockey
#77 – Craig MacTavish
#60 – Rod Langway

As for the cards themselves, they are printed on a thicker card stock that has some texture, as well as embossed gold ink. I still think that the asking price for these is too high.

Fortunately, I only got one duplicate card–and that was of Wayne Gretzky, so I’m sure I’ll be able to trade it to someone.

I’ll post a review once I get the entire base set. In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite cards from the set so far…

DePaul Hockey Jersey

So, for like the first time in ages I bought myself a hockey jersey…

DePaul Hockey JerseyI recently started Graduate School. I am enrolled in the New Media Studies (aka “Multimedia”) program at DePaul University in Chicago. Well, it turns out that DePaul has a Collegiate Division II hockey team, which is pretty awesome because my undergrad college only had Ultimate Frisbee.

If there’s two things I like, it’s hockey and writing about hockey, so I went to the first game of the season this past Friday–not only as a spectator, but to cover the game for DePaul’s student newspaper.

It’s only been three weeks, but so far grad school has been pretty cool. I’ve totally enjoyed the class I’m taking, I get to write for their school paper and they have a hockey team.

As for the jersey…well, I couldn’t pass it up. It was $30, and has an old school look to it with the shoelace neck. Now I just got to find a place that can put some New York Ranger-style numbers on it.

Here’s the link to the DePaul Hockey Club.

Review: 2007-08 Victory Hockey Update

100-card update to complete a set you probably didn’t buy

2007-08 Victory #253 - Daniel BriereVictory is one strange little set. The first 245 cards were released in packs and boxes towards the end of August 2007 – almost six weeks before the start of the hockey season.

The next 100 cards – known as the “Update Set” – are actually inserts in packs of Upper Deck Series 2. Continue reading “Review: 2007-08 Victory Hockey Update”