Box Break: 2014-15 Masterpieces Hockey

2014-15 Masterpieces Hockey Unopened BoxI love cards that use paintings instead of photos. Sets like the Hall of Fame postcards from the 1980s, Donruss Ice Kings from the 1990s and 2010s, and even the Upper Deck Hockey checklists from the early 1990s were all “must haves” for my collection. There’s just something awesome about seeing your favorite player rendered as a painting; it makes them seem even more iconic. So when Upper Deck announced that they were making a new set of Masterpieces Hockey, I knew I had to buy a box. It took me a while, but I finally got my mitts on one.

A box of 2014-15 Masterpieces costs around $100 and consists of 15 five-card packs. You are guaranteed three hits per box, with at least one (read: probably just one) hit being an autograph. Here is what I got in my most recent box break.

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The Best Hockey Card of 2014-15

stlouis_fThis 2014-15 Upper Deck hockey card of Martin St. Louis does not have an autograph on it, nor does it have a piece of jersey embedded in it. And you know what? It doesn’t need any of those gimmicks to be the best hockey card of the season. All it needed was this amazing photograph that, coincidentally, was taken exactly one year ago today.

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Puck Junk Podcast #3 – May 27, 2015

…with your hosts, Sal Barry & Tim Parish!


Player not working? Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud.

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”

Puck Junk Podcast #2 – May 20, 2015

…with your hosts, Sal Barry & Tim Parish!


Player not working? Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud.

In Puck Junk Podcast #2, Sal and Tim discuss:

  • The not-so-new, but still-relevant 2014-15 Upper Deck MVP Hockey set (0:00 to around 10:30)
  • The 1992-93 Fleer Ultra Hockey set, which was groundbreaking in many ways (10:31 to 19:05)
  • If Las Vegas would be a good city for an NHL expansion team, and what other cities should be considered. (19:06 to 37:45)

Card images, as well as a map of the NHL teams, after the jump. Continue reading “Puck Junk Podcast #2 – May 20, 2015”

Buying Cards in the 1990s, Memory #2: The Comic Book Store

Variety_ComicsWhen sports card collecting became huge in the 1980s and 1990s, many comic book stores tried to get in on the action. Often, it was just a few wax boxes and display cases with singles to cash in on the trend without investing too much into it. But at the end of the day, most comic book dealers knew Wolverine better than they knew Wayne Gretzky. Sometimes, you could take advantage of that.

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Puck Junk Podcast #1 – May 12, 2015

…with your hosts, Sal Barry & Tim Parish!


Player not working? Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud.

This is the first in what will hopefully become a regular podcast series on this website, hosted by Sal Barry and Tim Parish. For those who don’t know, Tim maintains a sports card blog called The Real DFG and hangs out on Twitter @TheRealDFG.

Today, Sal and Tim talk about:

  • The Chicago Blackhawks sweep of the Minnesota Wild
  • The new 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Hockey set
  • The 1989-90 Topps and O-Pee-Chee Hockey sets
  • How Pittsburgh was a big hockey town in the 1980s — and Chicago wasn’t

Total running time is 28:17. Images of some of the cards we talk about are after the jump. Continue reading “Puck Junk Podcast #1 – May 12, 2015”

Buying Cards in the 1990s, Memory #1: The Suburban Convenience Store

During the sports card boom in the 1990s, you could find hockey cards almost anywhere in Chicago and the suburbs. I went to a lot of card shops back then; there were more of them 20 years ago. But what stands out two decades later is when I found hockey cards off the beaten path.This is one such story. Continue reading “Buying Cards in the 1990s, Memory #1: The Suburban Convenience Store”

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.

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Deja Vu Tuesday: Ryan Johansen

johansen_2014-15The photograph on Ryan Johansen’s 2014-15 Upper Deck trading card is bad. No, it isn’t quite as terrible as the infamous Bryan Pitton Score rookie card from a few years back. Nor is it the worst card of all time, though it is the worst card from this year’s UD Series One. Seeing the back of a player on the front of his own card is unremarkable. In fact, this photo is so unremarkable that apparently no one at Upper Deck noticed that they used the exact same photo on Johansen’s card from the previous season. Continue reading “Deja Vu Tuesday: Ryan Johansen”

Carter Hutton Yellow Printing Plate

Hutton_Yellow_PlateAs much as I like odd pre-production items like promo cards, proof photos and so forth, I’ve steered clear of printing plates. This is because they tend to be expensive. And really, who wants to spend money on a card that only shows only one-fourth of the image; either the cyan, yellow, magenta or black areas that makes up the photograph. But then I saw this card on eBay — a 2014-15 Upper Deck Series One Yellow Printing Plate of Nashville Predators goalie Carter Hutton — and had a conundrum. I collect all of Hutton’s cards. Do I go after this one too? Or do I let it slide by me, since it isn’t really a card? Continue reading “Carter Hutton Yellow Printing Plate”