It’s been over a year of anticipation, but the newest NHL team finally has a name: the Seattle Kraken! On Thursday morning, the Seattle Hockey Partners revealed its name, logo, colors and uniform design. Last year, the writers at Puck Junk gave their suggestions for potential team names for the NHL’s 32nd franchise. Now, they’ve teamed up again to share their thoughts on Seattle’s brand identity.
The 2019 American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Finals start on Saturday (schedule here). The Charlotte Checkers, who are affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes, take on the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. AHL teams only play against teams within their conference during the regular season, so this is the first time this year that the Checkers will take on the Wolves.
Jim Howard, Puck Junk’s resident “Caniac,” and Sal Barry, who has followed the Chicago Wolves the past 25 years, give their insight as to which team will win. Either way, it won’t be a sweep.
What makes a trade lopsided? Many hockey fans think it is when one team gets the better players, declaring that that team had “won” the trade. But getting the better players doesn’t necessarily mean that team always wins.
For example, look at the Wayne Gretzky trade. One could rightly surmise that the Los Angeles Kings won that exchange, since they acquired the game’s greatest player in the deal. But consider that the Edmonton Oilers got $15 million in the trade, which allowed them to stay afloat, and won the Stanley Cup in 1990 with some of the assets they received. The Kings raised their profile exponentially with Gretzky on their team, but did not win a Stanley Cup Championship until 2012, long after that trade had any bearing.
That trade doesn’t seem so lopsided anymore when you look at it that way, does it?
With today being the NHL trade deadline, here is a look at five lopsided trades, where one team clearly benefited, while the other got hosed.
Yes, we know. The new Seattle NHL team won’t start playing until the 2021-22 season. And the ownership group probably won’t reveal the name of that team until at least 2020. But we still can’t help but think what nickname the new team will use. Will the ownership group go retro and pick the name of a prior pro hockey team that played in Seattle, such as the Totems? Or will it go with something original? And if so, what? Members of the Puck Junk Team gave their suggestions on what they think would be a great name for the new Seattle NHL team.
By Sal Barry, Kyle Scully, Blake Isaacs & Jim Howard
Before we fully turn our attention to the season that lies ahead, here is a look back at the biggest hockey stories of the 2017-18 season.
Rubber, Thread, Ink and Ice
When the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators in six games to claim the 2017 Stanley Cup Championship, they were the first team to win two Cups in a row since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1997 and 1998.
Of course, with this championship win comes championship memorabilia and apparel, commemorating the Penguins’ modern-day dynasty. Here are a few keepsakes that you might want to make room for in your collection.
Game-Used Ice from the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals
Ice from the Stanley Cup Finals was melted and encapsulated into crystal pucks and crystal Stanley Cups. These items were also available in 2016, and were popular enough to make a comeback in 2017.
Although, if the ice is melted, aren’t they actually selling you water?
Anyway, for $49.99, you can get a crystal puck filled with game-used ice, which comes with a nifty display case. A miniature miniature crystal Stanley Cup filled with ice costs $79.99 and comes with a black crate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a miniature Philip Pritchard to lug it around for you.
Penguins 2017 Stanley Cup Champions T-Shirt
There are a whole bunch of t-shirts touting the Penguins back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships, but here are two of the most-creative designs. One uses cartoon illustrations of the Penguins core players, while the other lists out every player on the team’s championship roster, but using the backs of their jerseys…cuz, you know, back-to-back championships. ($27.99 & $31.99, plus free shipping with coupon code 30SHIP.)
2017 Stanley Cup Champions Patch
For $13, you can stitch this patch to your Penguins jersey, your favorite jacket or your backpack. The patch measures 4″ x 4.5″ and is embroidered.
Jake Guentzel Autographed Items
Rookie Jake Guentzel was the surprise of the 2017 playoffs, leading the league with 13 goals in the postseason. Perhaps an appropriate memento would be an autographed 2017 Stanley Cup Champions puck ($69.99) or a signed photograph of him raising the Cup ($99.99).
Framed Shadowbox with 10 Autographed Pucks
By far, this has got to be the coolest memorabilia piece for the 2017 Penguins Stanley Cup Champions. This framed shadowbox display has 10 pucks autographed by Nick Bonino, Ian Cole, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Murray, Bryan Rust and Justin Schultz. It is a bit pricey at $1,500 — but it is limited to just 50 editions. At 52″ x 18″, this bad boy will take up six-and-a-half square feet of wall space. But if you can spend $1,500 on something like this, you probably live in a mansion with lots of wall space….and that mansion is probably in Pittsburgh. ■
Shop for Pittsburgh Penguins 2017 Stanley Cup collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.com, and save $10 with coupon code 10OFF2017.
Shop for Pittsburgh Penguins 2017 Stanley Cup apparel at Fanatics.com and get free shipping on orders over $30 with coupon code 30SHIP.
Buy ’em before the prices go up
Yesterday, Upper Deck announced that they are now the exclusive seller of memorabilia autographed by Connor McDavid. This comes hot on the heels of the Edmonton Oilers naming McDavid their team captain last week; the youngest team captain in NHL history.
That said, if you were on the fence about collecting Connor McDavid memorabilia items, now is the time to do it. McDavid is quickly becoming the face of the NHL, and with that the demand for his autograph and other collectibles are going to go up. Signed items sold by Upper Deck are not cheap, but if you shop elsewhere, you can find items autographed by McDavid for much less.
Here are four collectibles — some autographed, others not but still unique enough to merit consideration — that are relatively affordable now, but may appreciate nicely in the future.
Continue reading “Four Great Connor McDavid Collectibles”
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey ended over a week ago, but there is still plenty of merchandise to go around. Sure, a lot of it — like a drawstring bag with the fugly WCH logo or pretty much anything with a Team USA logo — will probably languish for a while before finding its way to discount chains.
But not all of the World Cup collectibles were dumb. Sure, I could do without the Team Canada drink cozy, but there are some items unique enough that they might be worth your while.
Ice, Ice Baby! Consol Center Ice, Ice Baby!
What do you buy a die-hard Pittsburgh Penguins fan to celebrate the Pens’ 2016 Stanley Cup Championship? You could get them an autographed photo, a signed puck or a team-signed guitar. I’m not making the last one up.
Or you could get them some ice from the Consol Energy Center that has been melted down and put into a puck or a mini Stanley Cup. It’s the ice that the Penguins and Sharks skated on for Games One, Two and Five. This is great for Pens fans who like water that they can’t drink. And if Sidney Crosby spit on the ice in any of those games, it might even have his DNA! No, not really. All kidding aside, these are pretty nice.
The Crystal Puck looks fancy and comes in a posh blue box that bears the Stanley Cup Championship logo. It costs $49.99, with free shipping.
But I think I like the “Crystal Cup” better.
Like the real Stanley Cup, the Crystal “filled with ice” Cup comes with its own
coffin storage case. At $79.99 (with free shipping) it costs a bit more than the crystal puck, but I think the box makes it worthwhile. It lists out the years of the Penguins’ four Championships, their regular season record, the results in the first three rounds of the playoffs, and the game-by-game results of the Finals.
Update: this idea was popular enough to be revisited a year later, with ice from the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals.