Top 5 Serious Stanley Cup Contenders

Sixteen wins. This is what it takes to win the hardest trophy in sports. Although regular season success is often used by analysts to predict post-season play, only one President’s Trophy winner has taken home the Stanley Cup this decade, the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks. Sometimes, the wear and tear of an 82-game regular season proves to be too much. The team which raises the cup in June must have enough mental and physical resolve, and undoubtedly some luck, to power itself through two months of grueling hockey. Below are the five teams that have the personnel and coaching to seriously contend for the Stanley Cup.

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Blake’s Takes: Let’s Play the Lottery

For this week’s Blake’s Takes, we look at the effect of our lottery-bound teams will have on next season. I also make my next award prediction and examine one more unloved team.

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No Stanley For Old Men: 2019 Edition

Time is Running Out for These Veteran NHL Players to Win the Stanley Cup

Even if the song “Fly Like an Eagle” by the Steve Miller Band was before your time, you still probably recall the first line of the song: 

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future…

Time gets away from us, and the next thing you know, the young first-round draft pick you cheered for is now a grizzled old veteran, vying for one last shot at winning a Stanley Cup. Such players, known as “Old Men Without a Cup,” are making perhaps their last attempt at winning a Stanley Cup Championship before calling it a career. 

Here is a look at the oldest player from every 2019 playoff-bound team who has not won a Stanley Cup Championship. In our hearts, we’d like to see all of them win, but in the end, only one will. Who on this list are you pulling for? 

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Every 2018-19 Upper Deck Hockey Card Arena Giveaway

Get Free Upper Deck Cards at NHL Games

During the 2018-19 season, 17 different NHL teams, as well as three American Hockey League teams, will give away Upper Deck hockey cards. While these giveaway cards look similar to 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey cards, there are some differences that make these cards unique enough that they will appeal to player collectors, team collectors, or completest nuts like me. 

The Andrew Shaw card on the left is from 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One. The Andrew Shaw card on the right is from the Montreal Canadiens team set, which will be given away on December 15.

For example, the silver foil is removed and replaced with standard ink. So, all team logos are in full color instead of silver, while the silver “swirlies” at either side of the logo are replaced with a dominant color from the team’s uniform. The Upper Deck logo is also de-silvered, and printed in color. However, the most interesting change is that some of these cards use different photos than what was used on the standard 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey card. 

The first arena giveaway will be at the Anaheim Ducks game on Friday, November 23. The promotion will visit seven other NHL teams — and possibly several others — plus two AHL teams. Here is information on every team that is giving away these unique hockey cards, and how to get them.  Continue reading “Every 2018-19 Upper Deck Hockey Card Arena Giveaway”

5 NHL Coaches that Could Get Fired

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are just one week away. Half of the league will endure grueling weeks, or months of extra hockey if they are fortunate, while the other half will hit the golf links early. Whether a team misses the postseason by a single point, or 20, the question remains the same: what must the franchise do differently to contend next season? In a league increasingly defined by parity, coaching turnover in the NHL is among the highest in the four major North American sporting leagues. I expect this offseason to be no different. Here are five coaches hanging on to their jobs by a thread.

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Blake’s Takes: Highlight Goals and Major Milestones

Last week was a big one in the NHL. We saw Ovechkin reach another major milestone and the Lightning continue the quest for their next one. I also dive into the state of the Dallas Stars and predict another award.

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The Top 5 NHL Free Agents of 2019

Editor’s Note: Joe Banish is a new writer for Puck Junk. Please welcome him in the comments below. 

Each season, at least one high-profile free agent is available, causing fans to speculate if he will stay with his current team, or go to another team that can give him more money — or a better chance to win the Stanley Cup. Here are five high-end free agents that will make a splash wherever they sign in the offseason. 

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National Hockey Card Day Has Become a Family Tradition for Many

“Daddy! It’s National Hockey Card Day!” exclaimed Tom Poray’s two young daughters on the morning of February 23. Such youthful exuberance would normally be reserved for a holiday like Christmas or Halloween. Yet since 2009 in Canada and 2012 in the United States, Upper Deck’s National Hockey Card Day has slowly and steadily transformed into an event that families look forward to each year.

Throughout the day, anyone who visited a participating card shop in Canada or the U.S. was given a free, five-card pack of hockey cards. Like every year, the Canadian and American sets differ, and each set has 16 cards. Cards 1-15 were available in the free foil packs, while the last card was given to a customer if they made a $10 purchase. This year, the bonus cards were of John Tavares in the Canadian set and Alexander Ovechkin in the American set.

Fans in both countries could also hope to pull an insert or autographed card. Some big box stores, such as Toys R Us in Canada and Dick’s Sporting Goods in several eastern U.S. states, also gave away perforated, nine-card sheets of hockey cards.

Poray, who is from Guelph, Ontario, looks forward to National Hockey Card Day each year, as do his two daughters, ages 7 and 5. This year, he took them to four different shops so that they could get enough packs to each build a set.

“To me, this is phenomenal,” he said. “This isn’t something that I’m pushing on my girls. It’s nice to see that level of enthusiasm not directed at a video game or a screen.”

Read the full article at Sports Collectors Digest

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk