Sal is moving…

Sorry, no pictures…but I promise that this is interesting and worth reading.

Recently, I took one giant stride towards “acting like an adult” when I decided to move in with my girlfriend Shellie. More accurately, we decided to move in with each other. But she isn’t moving in at my place, and I’m not moving in at hers; instead, we are getting a “new” place together.

I am both excited and overwhelmed. So much to do…so little time to do extracurricular stuff, like update Puck Junk with new articles.

My planned move day is this Saturday. In the interim, I have been slowly moving things to the new place, which is conveniently 1/2 block away from my current place of residence.

I have been a man of many hobbies, from collecting GI Joe and Star Wars figures, to collecting vintage Transformers–including rare Japanese imports. And, let us not forget hockey cards and collectibles. Right now, hockey seems to be my “big thing”. I’ve never gotten tired of collecting hockey cards…but there have been years when I have taken a break from it. Eight years ago, I was really into Transformers. Four years ago, my number one hobby was GI Joe action figures (from the 1980s to present).

In the past few years, I have sold off much of my toy collection. Many times, I’d ask myself “Why did I buy this?” As in, “Why did I buy these bootleg Transformers toys?” Or, “Why did I buy four of this particular GI Joe figure?”. Or “Why the hell did I decide to start collecting Captain Power, Ronin Warriors, etc. etc?”

However, I have never regretted purchasing a hockey card. Sure, I’ve sold or traded cards, but only my doubles, or to get cards I really wanted. My Pro Set cards from 1990-91 are as meaningful to me now as they were back in 1990-91.

So, I’ve decided to concentrate most of my collecting efforts on hockey cards. There is just so much variety, so much history…so much undiscovered cool stuff out there, that I feel that this is a hobby I’ll never bore of. After all, it has been almost two decades.

Back to my move. One of the bedrooms in this new apartment will be for my stuff–a haven for Sal, and where no dogs shall roam (my girlfriend has three basset hounds–good dogs, but old cards do smell like gum, and dogs like to chew on things). One of my big plans for this room is to “consolidate the collection”. I have a lot of binders full of complete hockey sets–some of them are here, but most are at my Grandma’s house. Once I am settled in, I am going to purchase some tall bookshelves to store and showcase my card collection. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and I am excited that I finally can.

I’m also going to frame and hang many of the autographed photos I’ve acquired throughout the years, including Denis Savard, Patrick Roy, Doug Wilson, Gump Worsley, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Al MacInnis.

My goal is for this room to look cool–but not too cluttered.

So, I won’t be updating this site for at least a week. I won’t have internet access at my new place until at least the middle of next week. Until then, I’ll be unpacking, building shelves, and doing the other two hundred things that need doing when you move to a new place.

Luc Bourdon is dead

bourdon_ripVancouver Canucks defenseman Luc Bourdon died on Thursday when he crashed his motorcycle into a semi truck. The Hockey News article regarding this can bee seen here.

Coincidentally, I traded away two Luc Bourdon cards earlier in the week–a Young Guns, and a game used card.

Upon hearing the news of his death this morning (via The Hockey News email newsletter, I of course was both surprised and a bit sad. I never saw this guy play, but I’m always sad when stuff like this happens. I was bummed when Jon Kordic died in 1992, and when Gaetan Duchense died last year.

It’s even sadder when it is someone who never got a chance to realize their true potential.

A player’s death always has one negative, albeit short term, impact in the hobby. All of a sudden, a card that was selling for $1 becomes a $10 card. This has already begun on eBay–not even 24 hours after his death. I saw Bourdon’s OPC rookie card from last year, with an asking price of $20–that’s more than what Evgeny Malkin’s RC in that set is worth. Some of Bourdon’s autographed stuff is going for over $30 now. I’m sure most of it would have sold for only $5 two days before.

When a player plays well, we try and cash in. When a player makes it into the Hall of Fame, we also try to cash in. And, when a player passes away–sometimes tragically–some people try to cash in on that too. That is one trend in the hobby that I never enjoy.

Phil Esposito satire video

I found my old VHS copy of the 1997 NHL Awards show. What made this awards show worth keeping around on tape all these years were the “comedy bits”–humorous, hockey-related skits that were put on before and after commercial breaks that lampooned our favorite game.

Here is the first satirical video, of Ron MacLean giving Phil Esposito a phone call…

Check back next week, as I will be adding more of these funny videos.

Face Time

1981-82 O-Pee-Chee #317 – Dave Farrish

Dave Farrish OPC Hockey CardI wonder why O-Pee-Chee even bothered including a card of Dave Farrish in their 1981-82 set if this was the best photo they had. Sure, the defenseman played 74 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the previous season…but he barely appears on his own card. You only catch a glimpse of his visage as he slightly leans over the boards of the penalty box, wistfully gazing upwards at the O-Pee-Chee logo floating above. Continue reading “Face Time”

Oldschool Penguins puck

I normally don’t collect hockey pucks, but I had to buy this one…

Pittsburgh Penguins PuckI picked it up not too long ago at a card show. I love the old “Penguin with a scarf” logo. This particular cartoon Penguin looks a little fatter than the one that was used later. The scarf adds both style and motion to the design. I’ve always found these two things hilarious–in both a good and bad way. I mean, the logo is kind of cartoony and foppish…but I guess that’s why I like it. It’s fun, and doesn’t take itself too seriously (aren’t we all tired of the “snarling animal” as a sports mascott?).

A ton of Young Guns

This week, I picked up a bunch of Upper Deck Young Guns rookie cards from various years.


I *finally* got a Patrick Kane Young Guns card! I hope to get another one for my collection soon. I hate paying more than $10 for a “new” card, but I had to have this one (I paid a *lot* more than $10 for it, that’s for sure).

I also purchased a large lot of Young Guns from various seasons. Below are some of my favorites…


Atlanta Thrashers prospect Ondrej Pavelec has done well in the AHL this season with the Chicago Wolves, my other hometown team.


Brett Sterling has been tearing things up for the Chicago Wolves for the past two seasons.


Dustin Byfuglien has become one of my favorite Chicago Blackhawks players. He’s normally a defenseman, but has been kicking butt as a forward.


Adam Burish led the team in penalties this past season, and is one of the unsung heroes on the Blackhawks.


This Patrick O’Sullivan rookie card brings me closer to completing my 2006-07 Upper Deck set.


Same goes with this Niklas Backstrom RC. Three more Young Guns, and I’ll have the whole 2006-07 Upper Deck hockey set.


Ryan Kesler was fourth on the Canucks in scoring, right behind team captain Markus Naslund and the Sedin twins. His career seems to be on the upswing.


Alas, poor Tuomo Ruutu. I get your rookie card after you got traded to the Carolina Hurricanes.


Technically, this Tyler Arnason Young Guns card was not his
rookie card.


I like the look of this Jordan Leopold rookie card, with the full body shot in the foreground, and the close up ghosted in the background.


Pavel Datsyuk is an awesome player. Too bad this Young Guns rookie card has a slight “ding” on the top edge. Still cool to own, though.


Kristian Huselius was second on team scoring for the Calgary Flames this past season. Why exactly did the Florida Panthers trade him?


Third overall in scoring for Carolina this year, this Erik Cole rookie card has a Beckett value of $10. Who knew?

Pittsburgh Penguins toothbrush

My sister gave this to me a few years ago. I still haven’t gotten around to opening and using it…and I probably never will:


Click on image to enlarge.

The Slap Shot Hockey Stick Toothbrush, made by a company aptly named Sportbrush, is “Your best shot against tooth decay.” It is a toothbrush that is shaped like a hockey stick, and comes with a black “self adhesive puck holder”, which you would mount on your bathroom wall and use to hold the toothbrush. There’s something ironic about using a puck to hold a hockey stick.) Continue reading “Pittsburgh Penguins toothbrush”

A Tale of Two Teds

1975-76 Topps card #244 – Ted Irvine

Ted Irvine Topps Hockey CardWhat’s wrong with this picture?

Obviously, this card has been painted over, to change the player’s uniform to that of the St. Louis Blues, mid-1970s. Whenever Topps (or O-Pee-Chee) spent time retouching a player photo, the final result ended up looking like a painting with a superimposed floating head.

The problem here is the floating head belongs to Ted Harris and not Ted Irvine. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Teds”