Blake’s Takes: Offseason Frenzy Begins

What a week in the NHL! Just in the past week, the Kraken solidified their roster during the expansion draft, the NHL Entry Draft took place, and there was a bevy of trades and free-agent signings. There’s no way I’ll be able to cover everything this time, so I’ll make sure I cover everything that happened this week over the next few weeks.

Happy Monday!

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National Hockey Card Day 2021 is Saturday, July 24

Get Free Exclusive Hockey Cards — in the U.S., in Canada, and in Europe! 

Saturday, July 24 is National Hockey Card Day in the United States and in Canada — and, for the first time, several European countries as well! Card shops in the United States will give away packs of cards exclusive to the U.S. Several card stores in Germany, Austria, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and France will also give out the same packs given out in the U.S. Card shops in Canada, as well as Toys R Us and London Drugs,  will give cards exclusive to the Canadian market. 

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The Fourth Annual Puck Junk Awards

A.K.A. 7 Awards the NHL Should Give

Each year, the NHL gives out awards to celebrate the best goalie, defenseman, coach, and all-around player, among others. But I’ve always found their awards lacking. Yes, scoring more goals — or allowing less goals — than your competitor wins the game, but hockey is about much more than that. 

So, back in 2018 I created the Puck Junk Awards to give props to the NHL’s biggest surprise player, toughest son-of-a-gun, and the guy that everyone hates, among others. And this year, Puck Junk Podcast cohost Tim Parish chipped in his two cents on who should win these awards that we wish were real. 

So, without further ado, here are your winners of the 2021 Puck Junk Awards!

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Blake’s Takes: Welcome to the Offseason

Barely a week after the Lightning hoisted the Stanley Cup, the offseason has entered full swing. The expansion draft is on Wednesday, and the Kraken have an exclusive negotiating window with all UFAs until then.

In this week’s column, I’ll share my thoughts on who could suit up for the Kraken this fall, a number of high-profile offseason moves, and one notable retirement. 

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Puck Junk Podcast #96: July 13, 2021

The Duncan Keith Trade 

Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about longtime Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith getting traded to the Edmonton Oilers, and give their opinions about the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, Vladimir Tarasenko wanting out of St. Louis, and the upcoming NHL Expansion Draft. Then they shift their focus to trading cards and discuss National Hockey Card Day, Upper Deck Extended Series Hockey, and the upcoming National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. It’s an hour-forty of hockey goodness. 

Show Notes, Links, and Images: 
Oilers acquire star defenseman Duncan Keith from Blackhawks (ESPN)
What Haters Get Wrong about the Vegas Golden Knights (Puck Junk)
Topps Now Hockey Sticker print runs (Topps)
National Hockey Card Day images and retailer list (Upper Deck)
National Hockey Card Day trade group (Facebook)
National Sports Collectors Convention website

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG.
Podcast opening and closing music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.

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Blake’s Takes: Lightning Go Back-to-Back

The Lightning have won the 2021 Stanley Cup. This team thrives off unusual circumstances. They have now won a Stanley Cup in the middle of a pandemic in a bubble in Edmonton, and won another at the tail end of the pandemic during a truncated season. This column will be mostly dedicated to the Lightning and their accomplishments.

It won’t be all Tampa Bay, though. My last two takes will be a little spicy and cover two topics I think all of you will enjoy reading about.

Happy Monday!

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Titillating Sports: The Tampa Bay Lightning Win the Stanley Cup

Sal Barry was a guest on Titillating Sports with Rick Tittle to recap the Tampa Bay Lightning’s second Stanley Cup Championship in two seasons. Plus, talk about the upcoming National Sports Collectors Convention, the oldschool Blades of Steel video game, the movie Youngblood and the Benders TV series! 

You can learn more about Rick Tittle here and listen to full episodes of his show here. Special thanks to Sports Byline USA for providing this audio clip.

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Rick Tittle on Twitter @RickTittle
Follow Sports Byline USA on Twitter @SportsBylineUSA

1990-91 NHL Season Preview: A Special Advertising Supplement

If you subscribed to cable television in the 1980s and 1990s, you no doubt remember the monthly cable guide that was mailed to your home. Those thick, black-and-white magazines, usually printed on cheap newsprint-type paper, would list out everything that was scheduled to air on cable TV that month. When I was a kid, I would go through it page-by-page — hell, I’d study the thing like there was going to be a test about it — and note what hockey games were being televised that month. 

Back in October of 1990, my monthly cable guide  included this special, pull-out “1990-91 NHL Season Preview Special Advertising Supplement.” Measuring 5″ by 7-1/4″, it is an eight-page, full-color booklet printed on magazine paper instead of the typical newsprint. It has two hockey articles, some random trivia, and the burning questions for the season. 

This “advertising supplement” seems like the thing that most people would have read once and thrown away, and not carefully preserved for 30 years like I did. 

But I think we established that I am not like “most people,” and have saved some of the most random “puck junk” over the years. So, let’s take a look at what the big stories were prior to the 1990-91 NHL season. 

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2020-21 Upper Deck NHL Star Rookies Box Set Checklist & Review

While at my local Target store the other day, I decided to take a look at the trading card aisle, knowing full well that Target was currently not selling sports cards. But maybe I’d get lucky and find some top loaders or penny sleeves or — hey now, what’s this?

Yes! My local Target had a few of the 2020-21 Upper Deck NHL Star Rookies Box Sets in stock for $20 each. The set contains “one 25-card rookie set per box,” plus one in every 20 sets has an autographed card. 

Autograph or not. I was pretty happy to find this because I haven’t seen any sports cards at Target since May, and $20 for 25 cards seems like a bargain nowadays. And I’ve always been a sucker for boxed sets that focus on a particular subject — in this case, hockey rookies — and that I could just buy and be done with. 

So, let’s take a look and see what goodness $20 will bring me. 

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