Released in March of 2023, the 2021-22 SP Game Used CHL Edition set focuses on players from the Canadian Hockey League — that is, major junior players from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Western Hockey League (WHL), and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Needless to say, one big reason a set like this is desirable is because it has cards of Connor Bedard, who is expected to be taken first overall at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
Boxes of 2021-22 SP Game Used CHL Edition Hockey have just five packs, with each pack containing three cards, for a total of 15 cards. Each box guarantees at least four hits per box, which may be a game-used jersey card, an autographed card, or an autographed jersey patch card. Boxes sold out relatively fast at hobby shops and online card retailers, and are now commanding upwards of $300 per box on eBay. Let’s just say the Connor Bedard hype is real.
I opened a box of 2021-22 SP Game Used CHL Edition. Let’s see what’s inside.
Plus: The Return of Fleer Ultra
Episode #153: May 30, 2023
In this episode, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about where the Coyotes might relocate to if they can’t get an arena deal in Arizona. They also discuss the Maple Leafs firing GM Kyle Dubas, Fanatics acquiring PWCC, Leaf Trading Cards new Art of Hockey set, and the return of Fleer Ultra. It’s 90 minutes of hockey goodness!
Show Notes, Links and Images: Arizona Coyotes Arena Plan Rejected by Voters (ESPN) Fanatics Buys PWCC (ESPN)
2021-22 Leaf Art of Hockey Checklist (Cardboard Connection)
2021-22 Fleer Ultra Coming Out on e-Pack
Images of the upcoming 2021-22 Fleer Ultra Hockey set (click to enlarge)
Plus: 2021-22 SPx Hockey Cards
Episode #152: May 12, 2023
In this episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery. They also discuss the first round upsets in the 2023 NHL Playoffs, some of the NHL coaches who were fired, and 2021-22 SPx Hockey cards. It’s 86 minutes of hockey goodness.
Show Notes, Links and Images:
Blackhawks Win Draft Lottery, Connor Bedard Sweepstakes (ESPN)
2021-22 SPx Hockey Box Break (Puck Junk)
Here’s that Mike Grier hockey card we talk about on the show:
And here are the four cards Sal got in his box of 2021-22 SPx Hockey:
Another set that was released a year after it was supposed to is 2021-22 SPx Hockey by Upper Deck, which came out at the end of March 2023. A box of SPx costs around $130 and contains four packs. Each pack contains one card.
I’ll say that again for emphasis: a box of 2021-22 SPx Hockey costs $130, and contains four one-card packs. Math may not be my strong suit, but that averages to $32.50 per card.
With a buy-in like that, SPx is not for the meek. It’s a high-risk / high-reward type of set where you get at least two “hits” per box — those hits being either autographs, memorabilia cards, or one of each. The other two cards are referred to as “Tech Cards,” presumably because they go above and beyond standard card design.
I recently opened a box of 2021-22 SPx Hockey. Let’s see what I got.
Role Players and Small-Market Stars Shine Brightest in the NHL Playoffs
The NHL playoffs rarely disappoint in terms of fun and drama. The first round has been a slog, but also a round tinged with upsets.
The record-breaking Boston Bruins, among the favorites in the Eastern Conference to reach the Stanley Cup Final, were dumped out early by the Florida Panthers in seven games. Over in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers series with the Los Angeles Kings stood out as the most-exciting – only overshadowed by the Seattle Kraken eliminating the defending champions Colorado Avalanche.
Both upsets – the Panthers beating the Bruins and the Kraken beating the Lightning – went to seven games. Having the President Trophy winners and the defending Stanley Cup Champions bounced out of the playoffs — and in the same night! — is truly amazing.
Also, not having any team sweep was certainly a sign of how talented even the lower seeds have been this spring.
Teams aside, the playoffs are also about individual skill. For card collectors, the playoffs can help or hurt a players’ value. Of course, this is just the start. The playoffs are a two-month grind that involves lots of grit and some luck.
One of the biggest storylines from this first round is the ability of second-fiddle players, not the stars, to shine. Whether it meant scoring key goals or making that big play, it was the sidekicks that have shined brightest so far.
Here’s a look at six players who have done just that, while seeing their stocks go up. All figures cited below based on eBay sales and COMC.com.
The Allure hockey card set that was supposed to come out last year — during the 2021-22 season — came out this year, in 2023. That’s pretty standard these days, with the trading card industry still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some sets come out on time, while others — such as the 2021-22 Allure hockey card set — are late by a season or more.
Allure cards are known for their thick, chromium cardstock, giving the cards a nice heft and a metal look to them. A hobby box of 2021-22 Allure has eight packs, with each pack containing eight cards. Allure promises you one autographed card per box, on average. Not too long ago, I opened a box of 2021-22 Allure. Let’s see what’s inside.
In the latest Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk all about the SP Signature Edition Legends Hockey Card set — including some of the insane prices that the Future Watch Autographs are currently selling for. They also discuss the new line of Upper Deck Evolution “Authentic Digital Collectibles,” and Jonathan Toews’ last game with the Blackhawks. It’s 78 minutes of hockey goodness!
Every year, many new players make their NHL debut. Some play in only a handful of NHL games, while a few are good enough to stick around for over a decade. Eventually, the fresh-faced rookies of yesteryear become the grizzled old veterans of today, who toiled season after season in the hopes of winning the Stanley Cup one day. And that day might be soon.
With the 2023 NHL Playoffs starting tonight, here is a list of the oldest player from each team in the postseason — and why we should be rooting for each of them.
Plus: The Chicago Wolves Go Independent
Episode #150: April 14, 2023
Sal Barry, Tim Parish, and Jim Howard talk about the new 2021-22 Allure Hockey card set, including their thoughts on the design, the various inserts like 16-Bit, and the various parallels. They also discuss the Chicago Wolves AHL team going without a parent NHL club for next season, the Boston Bruins making NHL history, EBUG Jett Alexander getting his 70 seconds of fame, the new Evolution digital trading cards by Upper Deck, and more!. It’s 73 minutes of hockey goodness.
Show Notes, Links and Images: Chicago Wolves to Shed Hurricanes Affiliation (The Athletic) Chicago Wolves Goalie Pyotr Kochetkov Scores a Goalie Goal (YouTube)
Boston Bruins Secure NHL Record for Single-Season Victories (ESPN)
Jett Alexander Plays for Leafs as Emergency Goalie (NHL)
Press Release About Evolution Digital Trading Cards (Upper Deck)
2021-22 Allure Hockey Checklist (Cardboard Connection)
Some images from 2021-22 Allure Hockey
Don’t let the release date fool you. The 2021-22 Synergy Hockey set was released in February 2023, about a year later than it should have come out. Part of the reason for this is that the plastic used to make Synergy cards was in short supply during the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, things are starting to normalize again — at least with trading cards, which are coming out, *ahem*, less than a year late instead of over a year late.
Two features make Synergy base cards unique. The cards are twice as thick as normal cards, with a top layer that is printed on die-cut foil board and a bottom layer printed on Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG) plastic, usually referred to as acetate. Synergy cards are similar to the “two-layer thick” Fleer EX cards from the 1990s and in various retro-themed sets over the past decade. Synergy base cards, and even more so the insert cards, feel like they would fit right in with the zany, overdesigned hockey cards from the 1990s.
This is the fifth year that Upper Deck has released Synergy as a hockey card set. A box costs about $100 and contains eight three-card packs, for a total of 24 cards. I recently broke a box of 2021-22 Synergy. Let’s see what’s inside.