This week, we finally saw Erik Karlsson score his first goal as a San Jose Shark. I also show my spiteful side and root for the downfall of some people’s favorite team.
How the New Fees Affects Card Flippers
Over the last 10+ years, COMC.com (or Check Out My Cards) has been toiling away in the trading card marketplace, striving to become one of, if not THE leader in individual trading card sales. After having evolved from a small web portal known as LowPriceCards.com into the juggernaut that it is in a few years, COMC has emerged with an inventory of over 18.3 Million cards and sells and ships more singles to collectors all over the world than any other service provider.
Led by a sort of “grass-roots” style guerrilla marketing campaign (which to me appeared to be based mainly on word of mouth and appearances by COMC people at the big sports shows), I have seen COMC grow from servicing about 3 million cards in their inventory when I first joined to over six times that amount today. First joining COMC in the fall of 2013, I happened on the website after meeting the owner, Tim Getsch, at the National Sports Collectors Convention. The former Microsoft employee’s pitch was simple enough. “Just try it out,” he told me. “If you like it, stick around. If you don’t, feel free to email me personally and tell me why.” That’s what brought me into the fold as a user. Customer service and the feeling like the owner gets it will most likely win out with me in the end.
Fast forward to this past weekend and the “Huge Announcement” from COMC. Like any company that is looking to survive for a long period of time, the goal has to be to make money. Sure you want the customer experience to be the best and people to love you all the time and what you do but the existential aspect of running a business will eventually give way to the fact that pats on the back don’t pay bills. Continue reading “Changes In Store For COMC.com”
Last year, I started The Puck Junk Bad Hockey Card Hall of Fame as a way to immortalize the very worst hockey cards ever made. Yes, cards like Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr rookie cards will always be a cherished part of the hobby — but so should cards that feature bad photographs or of even worse ideas.
Thus, The Puck Junk Bad Hockey Card Hall of Fame Class of 2018 is an exciting mix of the bad, the ugly and the awful. These are all cards that you can’t un-see, yet they still make hockey card collecting an enjoyable hobby in their own weird kind of way.
This weekend marked the latest entry for the Sport Card & Memorabilia Expo, which was held the weekend of November 9 to 11 in Toronto.
The show is fully stocked, from top-to-bottom, with exceptional memorabilia, unique autograph and VIP experiences, and of course cards. The show provides something for just about every type of collector in the market and you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a good time while in attendance.
Although most of the dealers stay the same from show to show, their offerings remain fluid and the inventory they carry has a decent turnover rate. This gives each show something new and exciting to look at every time.
The first thing that strikes me as I enter the show is the number of fake jerseys I see hanging from the vendor’s displays. They range from marginally horrible to outright hideous.
I will be the first to admit that I’m a little slow when it comes to buying and opening Panini Hockey Sticker packs.
This is because I’m too cheap to spend $1 per pack (plus tax) for however many packs it takes to build a set; it’s usually over 100. I also don’t want to spend around $40 plus shipping on a box. So, I usually wait until the season ends. Then the price drops significantly, I purchase a box or two, and trade for or buy whatever stickers that I still need.
Panini Hockey Stickers usually have terrible collation. Earlier this year, I purchased a 2016-17 box, and 57 out of 350 stickers (roughly 16%) were doubles. Despite shoddy collation, I still like Panini Hockey Stickers enough to try and build a set every year.
However, this box might be a turning point for me with Panini Hockey Stickers because the collation was actually darn near perfect.
Welcome to the fourth installment of Blake’s Takes. Here is who stood out to me during this past week in hockey.
1. Joel Quenneville
As almost everyone in the hockey community has heard, Blackhawks’ bench boss, Joel Quenneville, was fired recently after starting off this season at 6-6-3. This is a shock. Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Pacioretty, Plekanec, Pettersson; Quenneville, Crosby & Ovechkin!”
What’s black and white and red all over?
Not the new Chicago Blackhawks Winter Classic jerseys! Those are black and white — but red is nowhere to be found. Yesterday, the team unveiled the jerseys that they will wear at the Winter Classic against the Boston Bruins on January 1, 2019, and I absolutely love this design. Continue reading “Why the Chicago Blackhawks 2019 Winter Classic Jersey is a Winner”
Last week I dropped in to my local Target store to shop for leftover Halloween candy, to leave a few snakes hidden in the toy aisle and nab the latest issue of Cosmo (hair care tips, bro!).
I decided to swing by the cards to see if there were any overpriced Upper Deck tins I could sneer at, walk away from and feel better about myself for being a cheap skate. Now, most of the time, there are mixed boxes of random packs of sports cards; usually baseball, football, and basketball, but almost never hockey. Lo-and-behold! Target actually had some in an unassuming product called the Triple Deke Box for $14.99.
Not stopping to consider how bad of a name this is, I bought it anyway out of curiosity and it promised — PROMISED!!! — an autographed card and memorabilia card along with “3 Card Packs” and “1 Hobby Pack.” OK, so you mean four packs? Pictured on the box are three cards that you will never find in one of these things: autos of Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Auston Mathews. While NOT promising this, the box did tease “Look for randomly inserted redemption cards for bonus items,” which are presumably rookie cards for current ECHLers who sell cars in the summer time. BUT LET’S TAKE THE DIVE!
Coach Q Fired After 10 Seasons.
Will His Replacement Last 10 Months?
The biggest news in the hockey world on Tuesday — and probably for this entire week — was the firing of Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. Because when a team fires the second-winningest coach in NHL history, it’s kind of a big deal.
Quenneville’s departure comes on the heels of a five-game losing streak and a 6-6-3 record to start the 2018-19 season. Jeremy Colliton, the head coach of the Blackhawks AHL affiliate, was named Quenneville’s successor. Assistant coaches Ulf Samuelsson and Kevin Dineen were also let go, while Barry Smith was moved from the ‘Hawks front office to an assistant coaching role.
Like a lot of Blackhawks fans, I am disappointed that Coach Q was fired. Quenneville was to the Blackhawks what Mike Ditka was to the Bears or Phil Jackson was to the Bulls. Continue reading “The Quenneville Era is Over in Chicago”
With the NHL hockey season back in full swing, we take a look at five hockey books from the 2017-18 season that are well worth the read. And if you aren’t a hockey fan, don’t worry; these books will still appeal to anyone who loves reading about sports.
“Gratoony the Loony”
by Gilles Gratton and Greg Oliver
Gilles Gratton had a short, tumultuous career in the National Hockey League and World Hockey Association during the 1970s – but not because he lacked talent. The oddball goalie, best known for his lion mask, was sometimes said to be better than Ken Dryden when it came to his ability to stop pucks. The problem was, Gratton hated playing hockey.
“Gratoony the Loony: The Wild, Unpredictable Life of Gilles Gratton,” explores the life and times of one of hockey’s most colorful characters. Despite having the talent to garner a six-figure contract – great money for a pro hockey player in the 1970s – and representing Canada in international tournaments, Gratton sought interesting and absurd excuses to get out of playing hockey. Some nights, he couldn’t play because of a bad horoscope. Other nights, Gratton’s war wounds – incurred during his “past life” as a soldier in the Spanish Inquisition – made it too painful for him to play. The list goes on.
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.