Fall 2018 Sport Card & Memorabilia Expo Recap

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. 

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Blake’s Takes: Pacioretty, Plekanec, Pettersson; Quenneville, Crosby & Ovechkin!

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

Joel Quenneville in 2015. [Photo Credit: Creative Commons]
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!”

Why the Chicago Blackhawks 2019 Winter Classic Jersey is a Winner

[Photo Credit: Adidas]
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”

Box Break: Farfield Triple Deke Box

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!

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The Quenneville Era is Over in Chicago

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”

Multi-Pack Break: 2018-19 Upper Deck Tim Hortons

Make that 54 packs, to be exact

The Tim Hortons Collectors Series produced by Upper Deck is back for another hard-hitting and infuriating release, and let me say it is a widely popular event around Canada that brings out the best and worst of the collecting world.

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Hockey-Inspired Costumes for 2018

Going to a Halloween party? Need a last-minute costume? You could use one of these sweet ideas to impress your friends that know hockey, and confuse your friends that don’t. All you need is a jersey and a few things that are probably lying around your house or easy to find in the Halloween section of your nearest drug store. 

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Blake’s Takes: Torts and Global Series

1. Filip Forsberg is Breaking Out

Embed from Getty Images
Filip Forsberg has been one of the better players in the league for a few years now. Just watch a few seconds of his highlight reel and it’s not hard to figure out why. But he has never been in the conversation as one of the few elite forwards in the NHL along with Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, John Tavares, etc. It looks like that is about to change this year.

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Rookie Cards of Every NHL Head Coach for the 2018-19 Season

Becoming a coach in the NHL may arguably be harder than becoming a player in the NHL. While the NHL has roughly 700 jobs for players — not counting call-ups from the minors — there are only 31 jobs for head coaches. Making the task even more daunting is that there is no clear path to become an NHL coach.

Sometimes, an accomplished NHL player is given a shot as an assistant coach when they retire. Other times, a player might spend their entire career in the minor leagues, retire from playing, and then work their way up through those same ranks again, finally appearing in the NHL, but as a coach. Some NHL head coaches never even played minor pro, instead opting to coach once their junior careers wrapped up. 

But all of these men have been involved in hockey before they became an NHL head coach, and therefore have at least one card chronicling their career. So, here is a look at every 2018-19 NHL head coach’s rookie trading card.  Continue reading “Rookie Cards of Every NHL Head Coach for the 2018-19 Season”