Last month, I purchased two full boxes of 2018-19 Panini NHL Stickers. My first box had quite a few foil stickers, and very few duplicates. So I was excited to open the second box of Panini stickers, and hoped that the collation would be as good as the first box.
The NHL made the announcement yesterday that for the first time, official game pucks to be used in this season’s NHL Winter Classic game will feature a new technology using a thermochromic coating. Thermo-what, you ask? To put it in the simplest terms, PPG — yes the Pittsburgh-based paint company that sponsors the Penguins’ home arena and is advertised as the official paint of the NHL — has developed a coating that changes color based on temperature. That’s right — color changing pucks.
Where have we seen this phenomenon before? Continue reading “The Thermochromic Puck: Hockey’s Latest and Greatest Achievement”
Welcome to Blake’s Takes, where I look at the players and teams that stood out to me during the past week of hockey.
On Tuesday, Las Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves hit Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson with a blindside hit. Reaves was ejected from the game, and Wilson also left the game with a concussion. Fan response ran the usual gamut, from lauding Reaves for giving Wilson a taste of his own medicine, to demonizing Reaves for making what many would consider a dirty hit (while, presumably, not understanding what “irony” means).
Two days later, Inscriptagraphs, a sports memorabilia store based in Las Vegas that specializes in autographed items, was selling 16″ x 20″ photos of Reaves standing near an injured Wilson — and signed by Reaves in red ink with the inscription “He ran into a Lion in the Jungle,” which Reaves said in a postgame statement.
2018-19 Upper Deck #192: Dustin Byfuglien
This hockey card recently came to my attention, so of course I had to give it my spin.
File this one under good hair days. Gold Star Medals McGee back there is absolutely besides himself at the sight of Big Buff, being all footloose and fancy-free. He must be cut from the same cloth as Brian Burke.
Meanwhile, the rest of us wonder how Byfuglien fits all that hair under his helmet. Continue reading “Everyday I’m Byfuglien”
This week is all about returns! A few Toronto Maple Leafs are on their way to joining the lineup if they haven’t already. And Erik Karlsson made his first trip to Ottawa as a player on the opposing team.
With the NHL season now two months in, I’m sure everyone is as happy as I am that hockey is back in full swing. Just like with the last few seasons, Topps Skate is back as well with another year of digital card collecting, trading, and competition.
For those not familiar with Topps Skate, it is a digital app for mobile devices, licensed by the NHL and NHLPA, that allows users to collect and trade cards as well as compete in chase contests and live, real-time competition.
What’s that you say? Topps doesn’t make hockey cards? Topps hasn’t made hockey cards since 2004?
Well, you would be correct…if we were talking about actual, tangible cards you can touch, smell, and throw in your bike spokes. But in this case, we are talking about digital cards that exist virtually, in the mobile device world, floating through the air as little ones and zeros. Topps has had a license to produce the app and make card designs since 2016. I don’t recommend throwing your phone into your bike spokes.
This year’s app is quite different from last year and received a heavy design face lift. For those familiar with other Topps digital apps, it now looks a lot like the Topps baseball app, Bunt. But since we focus mostly on hockey, I wanted to take some time to give our readers a basic overview of the app and also give my take on Skate as a whole.
Or Maybe Even Its Own Month
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now. Most major sports own a specific day or time of year that helps turn all the attention in the sports world to them — but not the NHL.
While we all loosen our belts and pass on the leftover green bean casserole, like every NHL team that passed on Jaromir Jagr’s contract last season, let’s take a deep dive into the Upper Deck’s latest offering of fresh, hot hockey photography from the 2018-19 Series One flagship set.
After purchasing boxes of 2016-17 and 2017-18 Panini NHL Stickers this summer, I decided to go “all in” and collect the 2018-19 Panini as soon as they came out. That is, instead of being thrifty and waiting for the season to end — and thus the price of a 50-pack box to drop significantly — I am going to try to build and complete this set during the season.
One reason I am doing this is because it is more fun to collect a modern set the year it comes out, instead of one or two years after the fact.
Another reason why I decided to build the 2018-19 set during this season is because I was very impressed with the collation of the 2017-18 box that I purchased, which had only 11 doubles out of 350 stickers.
Maybe Panini finally realized — after 30 or so years — that if collectors buy a full box of stickers, they don’t want to get doubles and triples within that very same box.
I recently went to a card show in Chicago, and one of the dealers was selling full boxes of 2018-19 Panini NHL Stickers for $35, so I decided to pick up two boxes. Here is my break of the first box.