Blake’s Takes: More Offseason Talk

There were so many moves made this offseason that I had to comment on some of the signings from the beginning of July. I also look into the new contracts of Jordan Binnington of Kevin LeBanc, and the big trade between Colorado and Toronto.

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Blake’s Takes: Gold Medals & Game 7s

Every week in the Spring is another big week in hockey. This week, we saw a bunch of jerks move on to the conference finals and a prospect finesse his way into a contract. The World Championships are also starting this week and one country is particularly stacked. I also highlight a few potential additions to the Triple Gold Club.

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Blake’s Takes: A Good Problem to Have

The NHL playoffs are in full swing and we saw the second round begin late last week. This week, I look at one of the NHL’s good problems, some interesting contract decisions and a name you need to know for the rest of the playoffs.

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Blake’s Takes: Tampa is in Trouble

In this week’s edition of Blake’s Takes, I give my two cents on the impact of the Nikita Kucherov suspension and look forward at a potential playoff matchup. I also show some love to an unloved team 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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Blake’s Takes: Trade Deadline Edition

This week’s Blake’s Takes dives into Matt Duchene’s run in Ottawa and the impact of both trades. I also take a look into the hit that earned Connor McDavid his first suspension and another jersey retirement ceremony. 

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G.I. Joe-inspired file cards of NHL players

Like many kids growing up in the 1980s, I played with G.I. Joe action figures. Each figure had an interesting code name like Snake-Eyes, Shipwreck, Roadblock or Cobra Commander, had a ton of poseability  — including swivel-arm battle grip! — and came with some pretty cool weapons.

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The back of each G.I. Joe figure’s toy packaging had a file card. Flint here has a degree in English literature.

Another great thing about G.I. Joe action figures was that each one came with its own file card on the back of the toy packaging — a small profile about the character that you were supposed to cut out and save for future reference. Believe it or not, these file cards many times became a factor when deciding which figure to buy. As a nine-year old, standing in the toy aisle of K-Mart, with only enough scratch in my Ghostbusters wallet to get one figure, I had to make a tough choice each week. All the figures looked awesome, so the file cards told you what kind of character the toy was supposed to be, which made picking one easier.

So this got me thinking, what if NHL players had file cards that summed up what you needed to know about them? It would quickly get you up to speed if you haven’t been following their career, and help you decide if you were going to like them or not.

I imagine they’d look something like these.

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Card ‘Toons: Columbus Fires More Than Just Cannon Balls

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Steve Galvao is a good old Canadian kid who grew up loving hockey and collecting hockey cards. To see more of Steve’s work, visit his website, the Shoebox Collection. You can view his earlier blog posts here. Follow Steve on Twitter @galvaost.

Book Review: Chill Factor

chill_factor_coverSo many stories about minor league hockey are of sad-sack franchises — the teams that can’t pay their players on time, have little support from the community, and end up folding or relocating in a few years. This is not one of those stories, because the Columbus Chill were not one of those teams. “Chill Factor: How a Minor-League Hockey Team Changed a City Forever” recounts the history of the Columbus Chill, one of the most successful minor-pro teams in hockey.

Just how successful was this team? The franchise got to go out on their own terms, turn a tidy profit and help build the city of Columbus into a serious contender for — and eventual winner of — an NHL franchise. Like any good story, there were setbacks along the way, but for once, the little guy comes out on top.

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The Ballad of Shawn Hunwick

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[Credit: NBC / YouTube]

Hello Sports Fans and welcome to another installment of, “Why God, Why Would You Give Me THIS Pack of Cards?” A few months ago I celebrated my birthday by buying too many hobby boxes of hockey cards because…

A) it’s fun, and

B) it’s my birthday and my wife can’t say anything. (Love you, honey!)

Plus that gives me plenty of fodder to write blog posts about!

One of the boxes I got was Panini’s 2012-13 Rookie Anthology, and when I buy hobby boxes, I play the numbers: what’s the price versus how many (and how good) are the hits!

It’s simple math but I’ll spell it out in different terms. You could throw down $20 for that CD of Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits! And you know it’s packed with awesome tunes like Mandy, and Copacabana, and that song about writing songs…it’s pretty much gold! But $20, that’s a lot of clams for 15 songs (Hey, he’s gotta save something for Greatest Hits 4, right?) So you look in the dust bin and find a cassette of Wang Chung’s Greatest Hits for 99 cents! Wang Chung had TWO good songs — that’s less than 50 cents per awesome song! Your mom’s Cavalier still has its tape deck after all; it’s hipster-relevant! So, that’s why I buy those Wang Chung Hobby Boxes.

Where were we…Oh right, Panini’s Rookie Anthology ’12-13. According to the box, you get “One Rookie Treasure Autograph Jersey Per Box.” And my draw from this box was THIS card of a hot up and comer named (drum roll, please)… Continue reading “The Ballad of Shawn Hunwick”