The Showcase Showdown!

2016-17 Fleer Showcase Box Break #2

Yeah, I know. Not long ago, I wrote about the price of cards being too high, but I also said that if you wait long enough, you can find it for the price that you’ll pay. Thus, this box of 2016-17 Fleer Showcase ended up in my lap. Sal already went though the particulars, so I’ll just let you in of the “hits” of my box. 

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Chicago Steel 2017 Clark Cup Champions Trading Card

The Chicago Blackhawks may have been eliminated in the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that doesn’t mean Chicago is without a championship hockey team. Back in May, the Chicago Steel won the Clark Cup as the best team in the United States Hockey League. The USHL is the premier Junior A league in the U.S. The Steel took the best-of-five series three games to two over the Sioux City Musketeers. The Steel won Game Five 2-1 in overtime — while on the road, no less. 

This Chicago Steel “Clark Cup Champions 2017” card was given away by the Steel at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Continue reading “Chicago Steel 2017 Clark Cup Champions Trading Card”

Box Break: 2016-17 SP Authentic Hockey

Upper Deck’s SP Authentic was released during the 2016-17 playoffs. The set is known for its white backgrounds and being tough to put together — usually consisting of around 100 base cards and another 100 short prints. 

Over the past several seasons, SP Authentic has become the set where Upper Deck sneaks in some “Upper Deck Update” cards into its packs; cards that resemble Series One/Two and feature late-season trades and surprise rookies.

SP Authentic is the first set to be a part of Upper Deck’s new “Bounty Program,” which encourages collectors to put together a special insert set to redeem for even more tough-to-find cards. 

2016-17 SP Authentic costs about $150 online for an 18-pack box. Each pack contains five cards. Recently, I opened a box. Here is what I found inside. 

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New Penguins 2017 Championship Items

Rubber, Thread, Ink and Ice

When the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators in six games to claim the 2017 Stanley Cup Championship, they were the first team to win two Cups in a row since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1997 and 1998. 

Of course, with this championship win comes championship memorabilia and apparel, commemorating the Penguins’ modern-day dynasty. Here are a few keepsakes that you might want to make room for in your collection.

Game-Used Ice from the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals

Ice from the Stanley Cup Finals was melted and encapsulated into crystal pucks and crystal Stanley Cups. These items were also available in 2016, and were popular enough to make a comeback in 2017. 

Although, if the ice is melted, aren’t they actually selling you water? 

Anyway, for $49.99, you can get a crystal puck filled with game-used ice, which comes with a nifty display case. A miniature miniature crystal Stanley Cup filled with ice costs $79.99 and comes with a black crate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a miniature Philip Pritchard to lug it around for you. 

Penguins 2017 Stanley Cup Champions T-Shirt

There are a whole bunch of t-shirts touting the Penguins back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships, but here are two of the most-creative designs. One uses cartoon illustrations of the Penguins core players, while the other lists out every player on the team’s championship roster, but using the backs of their jerseys…cuz, you know, back-to-back championships. ($27.99 & $31.99, plus free shipping with coupon code 30SHIP.)

2017 Stanley Cup Champions Patch

For $13, you can stitch this patch to your Penguins jersey, your favorite jacket or your backpack. The patch measures 4″ x 4.5″ and is embroidered. 

Jake Guentzel Autographed Items

Rookie Jake Guentzel was the surprise of the 2017 playoffs, leading the league with 13 goals in the postseason. Perhaps an appropriate memento would be an autographed 2017 Stanley Cup Champions puck ($69.99) or a signed photograph of him raising the Cup ($99.99). 

Framed Shadowbox with 10 Autographed Pucks

By far, this has got to be the coolest memorabilia piece for the 2017 Penguins Stanley Cup Champions. This framed shadowbox display has 10 pucks autographed by  Nick Bonino, Ian Cole, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Murray, Bryan Rust and Justin Schultz. It is a bit pricey at $1,500 — but it is limited to just 50 editions. At 52″ x 18″, this bad boy will take up six-and-a-half square feet of wall space. But if you can spend $1,500 on something like this, you probably live in a mansion with lots of wall space….and that mansion is probably in Pittsburgh. 


Shop for Pittsburgh Penguins 2017 Stanley Cup collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.com, and save $10 with coupon code 10OFF2017. 


Shop for Pittsburgh Penguins 2017 Stanley Cup apparel at Fanatics.com and get free shipping on orders over $30 with coupon code 30SHIP.

Puck Junk Podcast #24 – May 12, 2017

…with Sal Barry & Tim Parish

It’s been two weeks, so get ready for a super-sized podcast. In this episode, Sal and Tim talk about the second round of the 2017 NHL playoffs, including the Penguins-Capitals series, Upper Deck’s new Bounty program with SP Authentic, and Goon: Last of the Enforcers finally getting a U.S. release date. Other topics discussed include Grandeur Hockey Coins, and Sal’s long-unfulfilled wish for a Youngblood sequel.

Podcast #24 is 1 hour and 23 minutes of hockey goodness. 

Follow Sal on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim on Twitter @TheRealDFG

Puck Junk Podcast #23 – April 25, 2017

…with Sal Barry & Tim Parish


Player not working? Listen to this podcast on SoundCloud.

Sal & Tim talk about the craziness that was the first round of the 2017 NHL Playoffs, playing daily fantasy playoff hockey on the Topps Skate mobile app, building sets on the cheap with Upper Deck E-Pack, Dennis Wideman gettin’ sued and more. 

Podcast #23 is an hour long, so grab a tall one, kick back and hit play.

Follow Sal on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim on Twitter @TheRealDFG

Puck Junk Podcast #22 – April 18, 2017

…with Sal Barry & Tim Parish


Player not working? Listen to this podcast on SoundCloud.

Sal & Tim (@theRealDFG) are back for a long-overdue, but always fun, edition of the Puck Junk Podcast. Topics in this podcast include: 2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Hockey, coaching change chaos (!!!), the upcoming expansion draft and Zach Werenski, the most badass rookie in the NHL this season.

Total time is 47 minutes, so get comfy and hit play! 

Box Break: 2016-17 Fleer Showcase

Fleer Showcase is the “I Love the 90s” set of hockey cards. Many of the inserts found in this set use the same design as, or inspired by, hockey cards of the 1990s, along with some football and basketball designs too. Here we have Fleer Ultra, Flair — spelled F-L-A-I-R — Showcase, Fleer Metal Universe and other inserts that would make most kids from the 1990s smile. Oh yeah, there is a base set and some hits too.

A box of 2016-17 Fleer Showcase costs around $72 USD online and has 18 packs. Each pack has five cards. Here is what I found in my latest box break:

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Box Break: 2016-17 Upper Deck AHL

Earlier this month, Upper Deck released a new set of American Hockey League trading cards. Like the 2014-15 and 2015-16 AHL sets, this year’s AHL set is sold in packs and consists of 100 base cards and 50 short-printed cards. (The inaugural 2014-15 Upper Deck AHL set was released as a 100-card boxed set.)

This year’s AHL set is a good mix of prospects who will make it in the NHL, players who have been up-and-down between the NHL and AHL, and players who have not played much in the NHL but excel in the “A.” 

A box of 2016-17 Upper Deck AHL trading cards costs around $40 and contains 20 packs. Each pack has five cards. I recently opened a box. See the results of the break…after the break. 

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Ways to Improve Upper Deck Series 1 & 2

Upper Deck Logo

Last month, 2016-17 Upper Deck Series Two was released in stores and online shops. Other than a few packs I bought to get a promotional card on National Hockey Card Day, I have avoided buying Upper Deck Series One and Upper Deck Series Two this year. Since 1990, Upper Deck’s flagship “Upper Deck” hockey card set was something I always looked forward to. It was usually the biggest and best hockey card set every year during that decade, and set the high-water mark in quality for the hobby. 

But over time, Upper Deck Series One and Series Two have become somewhat…uninspired. Routine. Even boring. This year’s Series One Hockey set has 198 base cards of veteran players, two checklists, 49 short-printed Young Guns rookie cards and one short-printed Young Guns checklist. Likewise, this year’s Series Two Hockey set has 198 base cards of veteran players, two checklists, 49 short-printed Young Guns rookie cards and one short-printed Young Guns checklist.

Other than a little variation in the number of Young Guns, that has pretty much been Upper Deck’s script since 2005-06, and frankly, it is time for a change. 

Don’t get me wrong. The cards themselves look great and are of high quality. But even if you ate your favorite food for a month straight, it will still get dull. So it is time for Upper Deck to spice things up and not just do what has been working, but to seek to make things better. Here are seven ways that would improve Upper Deck Series One and Series Two. 

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