Clemente’s Corner: Hockey Cards I Love

February is a month devoted to love. The shortest month of the year features as its centerpiece Valentine’s Day every February 14. It’s a day devoted to buying flowers and greeting cards for that special guy or girl in your life.  

For those of us who collect hockey cards, Valentine’s Day could also be a day to reflect on what cards we love the most. Whether you’re a set collector or you just buy up singles (or both!), everyone has cards they love most.

A major part of the hobby for those of us who have been around for a while is nostalgia. It isn’t unusual to associate a card or set with a special moment from our past, especially if your collecting days date back to childhood. I can still tell you 30 years later where I was when I purchased or pulled a certain card.

Yes, loving little pieces of cardboard featuring photos of men in hockey gear isn’t for everyone. Having said that, this hobby is a lot more than that. It’s about love of a sport, fandom around a certain team and a connection to the people and places of our past. In other words, it’s more than cardboard.  

Here are three cards from my collection that I love most and why:  

Continue reading “Clemente’s Corner: Hockey Cards I Love”

Goodbye and Thank You, Bobby Hull

Chicago Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull — nicknamed “The Golden Jet” — passed away on Monday at the age of 84. I had heard rumors late last year that Hull was in poor health, but I was still surprised when the news broke of his passing. 

There are two camps of writers who have eulogized Bobby Hull over the past few days.

There are those who want to stick to his myriad of accomplishments, only touching on Hull’s history of domestic abuse and racist comments.

And there are those who really just want to demonize him, but will begrudgingly acknowledge that Hull was one of hockey’s all-time greats. 

I am going to take a third approach. Continue reading “Goodbye and Thank You, Bobby Hull”

Puck Junk Podcast: 2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe Hockey

Plus: Canucks Fire Bruce Boudreau
Episode #141: January 27, 2023

In this episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish give their thorough review of the 2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe Hockey Card Set — including the good, the bad, and the shiny…oh, so shiny! They also discuss the Vancouver Canucks disastrous firing of head coach Bruce Boudreau, the 2023 NHL All-Star Reverse Retro jerseys, and the All-Star Game voting controversy. Pitter, patter, let’s get at ‘er! It’s 83 minutes of hockey goodness! 

Show Notes, Links and Images:
Canucks fire Bruce Boudreau, hire Rick Tocchet as replacement (ESPN)

Picture of the 2023 NHL All-Star Game Jerseys

2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe Box Break (Puck Junk)

A few 2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe card images

Base Card
Autographed Card (about one per box)
1997-98 Retro Insert
                                  The Cheddar insert
                                             Picks insert
Premium Prospects insert
The “Base Card” (left) and the “Alternate Jersey” short-printed card of Brent Burns. As you can see, Burns is wearing the same jersey on both cards.

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Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Podcast music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard (Instagram @flyingV2112)

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Finding the Right Pages to Store Your Odd-Sized Trading Card Collection

If you are like me, you enjoy putting your trading cards in pages and albums, so you can protect your collection in a way that also lets you easily look at it. But one point of frustration for collectors is when they come across cards that are not the standard 2-1/2” by 3-1/2” size. What’s a card collector supposed to do with postcards, odd-sized team-issued cards, or even cards that are just a touch larger than normal size? Fortunately, BCW has you – and your cards – covered, as it has archival-safe pages that will fit almost any collectible.

The goal of putting your cards in pages is to protect them with as little “wiggle” room as possible, because you do not want the card to shift around or slide out of the pockets when you are flipping through a binder. Here’s a breakdown of the different pages that BCW has available to store your collection of odd-sized cards. Read the rest of the story at the BCW Supplies Blog. 

Puck Junk Podcast: Does Changing Teams Affect Player Collecting?

Episode #140: January 20, 2023

This week, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about if and how changing teams affects a players collectability. Do hockey card collectors still chase after cards of a player they like after he has been traded or leaves as a free agent — or do they dump his cards first chance they get? Plus, a look at some upcoming hockey card sets, including the 2023 Upper Deck First Peoples Rookie Cards. It’s 68 minutes of hockey goodness. 

Show Notes and Links:
Press Release about the 2023 First Peoples Rookie Card set (Upper Deck)
2023 First Peoples Rookie Cards checklist and front/back images (TCDB)
Facebook discussion thread on player collecting (Puck Junk FB Group)
Twitter discussion threads on player collecting here and here.

Follow
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Podcast music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard (Instagram @flyingV2112)

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Subscribe to the Puck Junk Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicCastboxDeezeriHeartRadioOvercast,  
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or Transistor. Subscribe to the Puck Junk Channel on YouTube.  

Connect 
Connect with us and other hockey fans on the Puck Junk Facebook Group.

Support 
Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop

2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe Hobby Box Break

I was a big fan of the 2020-21 Skybox Metal Universe Hockey card set, so naturally, I was excited when I heard that Upper Deck was coming out with Skybox Metal Universe for 2021-22. And they did — about halfway through the 2022-23 season. No matter. What’s important is that the cards are out now and ready to collect. Skybox Metal Universe cards are etched metallic foil (hence “Metal”) and have space-y backgrounds (hence “Universe”). 

A hobby box of 2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe costs around $150 and has 15 packs, each containing seven cards for a total of 105 cards. I recently got a box of Skybox Metal Universe. Here’s what was inside.

Continue reading “2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe Hobby Box Break”

Puck Junk Podcast: The Upcoming 2023 NHL All-Star Game

Plus: 2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe
Episode #139: January 13, 2023

Sal Barry and Tim Parish look ahead to the upcoming 2023 NHL All-Star Game in Florida, including some of the players who were named to the teams — and players that should get voted in. They also look back at the Winter Classic and the World Junior Championships. Plus, the guys talk about 2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe hockey cards. It’s 70 minutes of hockey goodness. 

Show Notes and Links:
List of the first 32 players in the 2023 NHL All-Star Game (NHL)
2023 NHL All-Star Game fan voting for the last 12 players (NHL)
South Park makes fun of NFTs (YouTube)
2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe checklist & images (Cardboard Connection)

Follow
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Podcast music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard (Instagram @flyingV2112)

Subscribe
Subscribe to the Puck Junk Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicCastboxDeezeriHeartRadioOvercast,  
PlayerFMPocketCastsPodcast AddictPodchaserSpotifyStitcher,
or Transistor. Subscribe to the Puck Junk Channel on YouTube.  

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Connect with us and other hockey fans on the Puck Junk Facebook Group.

Support 
Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop

Puck Junk’s Top Articles of 2022

Hello Puck Junk readers, and Happy New Year! Before getting into new content for 2023, I wanted to give my annual list of the previous year’s top stories, as well as a recap of what’s going on with the Puck Junk website and podcast.

In October 2022, PuckJunk.com celebrated its 15th Anniversary. Thank you. all for your support! This site has come a long way — from a fun little blog that had zero traffic, to the blog and podcast that it is today. If I did not have readers like you, reading this right now, I probably would have quit doing this a long time ago. 

Speaking of support, readership was pretty even from 2021 to 2022. Even though card collecting cooled off a bit, die-hard collectors were still coming here in 2022 to read about hockey cards, collectibles, and culture.

I guess we can add conventions to that list, too, since a lot of our articles and podcasts have been about the National Sports Collectors Convention and the Toronto Sport Card Expo. 

Surprisingly, it isn’t just Americans and Canadians who visit this site. Readers from 139 different countries visited Puck Junk in 2022. Most of our visitors comes from (in order) Canada, followed closely by the United States, with Finland, Sweden, and Czechia rounding out the top five. 

Listenership of the Puck Junk Podcast grew a bit in 2022. Most of our podcast listeners are from the United States, then Canada, Germany, Finland and — checks notes — Australia? Yep, we have listeners from “Down Under.” 

Although I fell short of my goal of releasing a new podcast episode every week, we still put out 31 episodes during the 2022 calendar year. That’s five more than the 26 podcasts we released in 2021, so that’s improvement I can live with. Our most-popular podcast episode for 2022 was about the 2021-22 Upper Deck Series Two Hockey cards, followed by our ’90-91 Retrospective about the groundbreaking 1990-91 Upper Deck Hockey card set.

Even though I love podcasting, my number one passion is writing. Fortunately, Puck Junk has several contributors who are willing to share their own perspectives on hockey cards, collectibles, and culture. Below is the list of Puck Junk’s most-read articles that were published in 2022. 

Continue reading “Puck Junk’s Top Articles of 2022”

Clemente’s Corner: Card Shows You Must Attend in 2023

National Sports Collectors Convention

What makes collecting cards most fun is meeting others who share the same interests. There’s no better way to do that than attending card shows. It’s also a great place to meet other hockey collectors.

I got to attend a good number of shows in 2022. I went to my first National Sports Collectors Convention last summer in Atlantic City, N.J. A few weeks prior to that, I attended my first Sport Card Expo in Toronto.

Sure, buying hockey cards on eBay or other platforms is easy, but card shows bring people together, spark debates about the hobby and help create friendships. As a result, I hope to get to more shows in the new year.  

So many shows, both local and regional, have popped up just as the hobby has grown in popularity since the pandemic. There’s more demand for such get-togethers and that’s a great thing. The explosion in “Trade Nights” is another example of how the demand for get-togethers (as well as the chance to buy and sell cards) has also gone up in popularity.   

There’s yet a date for the 2023 Toronto Sport Expo (typically held in the spring and fall), but here are five other shows you should circle on your calendar scheduled for the first half of this year.  

Continue reading “Clemente’s Corner: Card Shows You Must Attend in 2023”

Puck Junk Podcast: Alex Ovechkin Passes Gordie Howe with Goal 802

Plus: Collecting Ovie’s Rookie Cards
Episode #138: January 2, 2023

In the first Puck Junk Podcast of 2023, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk all about Alex Ovechkin moving to second all-time in goals, and when he might pass Wayne Gretzky to become the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer. Then, they discuss Ovechkin’s rookie cards, from the surprisingly affordable to the ridiculously expensive. It’s 96 minutes of hockey goodness! 

Show Notes, Links and Images: 
Blake’s Takes Can Ovie Top Gretzky? (Puck Junk)
Martin Brodeur “Scores” Goal Against Canes’ Goalie Dan Ellis (YouTube)
Where in the World is Patrice Bergeron? (Puck Junk)
Patrice Bergeron Substitution Card (Puck Junk)

The best Alex Ovechkin card Sal got in a pack was this dual patch card of Crosby and Ovechkin, numbered 04/40. 

Follow
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Podcast music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard (Instagram @flyingV2112)

Subscribe
Subscribe to the Puck Junk Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicCastboxDeezeriHeartRadioOvercast,  
PlayerFMPocketCastsPodcast AddictPodchaserSpotifyStitcher,
or Transistor. Subscribe to the Puck Junk Channel on YouTube.  

Connect 
Connect with us and other hockey fans on the Puck Junk Facebook Group.

Support 
Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop