Career in Cards: Andy Bathgate

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Andy Bathgate, the Hall of Fame forward known best for his years with the New York Rangers, passed away on Friday at the age of 83. He spent 17 seasons in the NHL, scoring 973 points (349 G, 624 A) in 1.069 games. Bathgate was named to the NHL All-Star Team four times, won the Hart Trophy as league MVP and appeared in the annual NHL All-Star Game each year from 1957 to 1964. Here we take a look at Bathgate’s career, illustrated with some of his best hockey cards.  Continue reading “Career in Cards: Andy Bathgate”

Career In Cards: Al Arbour

Arbour_HeaderAl Arbour, who passed away at age 82 on August 28, had a long career as a professional hockey player, and an even longer career as an NHL coach. Arbour broke into the NHL during the Original Six Era and played pro for 18 seasons between the NHL and the minor leagues. But he is best known for his success behind the bench: 22 seasons, one Jack Adams Award, second all-time in wins and four consecutive Stanley Cup Championships.

Here is a look at both of Arbour’s careers — as a player and as a coach — illustrated with various hockey cards and collectibles issued over six decades. Continue reading “Career In Cards: Al Arbour”

Puck Junk Podcast #3 – May 27, 2015

…with your hosts, Sal Barry & Tim Parish!


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In Puck Junk Podcast #3, Sal and Tim (a.k.a. The Real DFG) talk about:

  • The St. Louis Blues naming Martin Brodeur as their Assistant General Manager (0:01 to 4:52)
  • Mike Babcock signing an 8-year, $50 million coaching contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs (4:53 to 16:09)
  • The 2014-15 Fleer Ultra Hockey card set (16:10 to 24:11)
  • The 1998-99 Pacific Hockey card set (24:12 to 33:37)

Trigger Warning: We mention Mike Keenan twice in this podcast. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Pictures of some of the cards we discuss are after the jump. Continue reading “Puck Junk Podcast #3 – May 27, 2015”

Book Review: Black Ice: The Val James Story

black_ice_coverIn the opening pages of “Black Ice,” a 12-year old Valmore James is teaching himself to ice skate after-hours in a darkened hockey arena. Meanwhile, his pet dog is making a game of emerging from the shadows, knocking James to the ice, and running away. James believes that if he could learn to skate while dodging a charging Doberman, he would be able to avoid getting hit when playing hockey.

But during his career, it was other hockey players who would try to avoid getting hit by James. In his autobiography, “Black Ice: The Val James Story,” we follow James, as he makes the unlikely journey as a young man, transplanted from Florida to New York, who learns how to play hockey as a teenager and becomes the first African American to skate in the NHL. We also learn about the endless racially-charged hatred that he had to endure because of the color of his skin. Continue reading “Book Review: Black Ice: The Val James Story”

Deja Vu Tuesday: Felix Potvin

1991-92 Upper Deck #460 - Felix PotvinThis is one of my all-time favorite hockey card photographs. On the front of his 1991-92 Upper Deck “Star Rookies” card, Felix Potvin is shown hoisting the trophy he won as the MVP of the 1991 QMJHL playoffs. Everything about this photo is excellent, from the elated look on Potvin’s face as he proudly hoists the trophy, to the crowd of cheering people who have flooded onto the ice behind him.This picture successfully captures a moment in time.

It also succeeds in explaining why Potvin is a “Star Rookie” without saying a word. We don’t even need to read the text on the back of the card. Using this picture was a great choice by Upper Deck, and says more about Potvin than a staid draft day photo or a shot from Maple Leafs’ training camp. But Upper Deck wasn’t the first company to use this picture on a hockey card.

Continue reading “Deja Vu Tuesday: Felix Potvin”

Book Review – The Lost 10 Point Night: Searching for My Hockey Hero . . . Jim Harrison

cover_Lost-10-Point-NightThe Lost 10 Point Night: Searching for My Hockey Hero, Jim Harrison is not your typical biography. Instead of the usual formula — early days, career and post-career with current reflections woven throughout — this is a story about both the subject and the chronicler, liberally flip-flopping between past and present. The result is a book that, in many ways, is more about the journey than the destination.

Continue reading “Book Review – The Lost 10 Point Night: Searching for My Hockey Hero . . . Jim Harrison”

Face Time

1981-82 O-Pee-Chee #317 – Dave Farrish

Dave Farrish OPC Hockey CardI wonder why O-Pee-Chee even bothered including a card of Dave Farrish in their 1981-82 set if this was the best photo they had. Sure, the defenseman played 74 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the previous season…but he barely appears on his own card. You only catch a glimpse of his visage as he slightly leans over the boards of the penalty box, wistfully gazing upwards at the O-Pee-Chee logo floating above. Continue reading “Face Time”