In the latest episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry and Clemente Lisi ask their biggest questions of the 2023-24 season: how well will Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard play – and can his 1/1 rookie card hit six figures? Can the Golden Knights repeat as Champions? What will the Lightning do without Andrei Vasilevskiy? Plus, they talk about the upcoming ODR Hockey Heroes video game. It’s 90 minutes of hockey goodness!
Show Notes & Links:
“Blog” was actually the Word of the Year in 2004 (Wikipedia)
ODR Hockey Heroes game trailer (YouTube) ODR Hockey Heroes Kickstarter Campaign (Kickstarter)
Download and play demo of ODR Hockey Heroes (Steam)
NHLPA/Upper Deck Rookie Showcase (Sports Collectors Digest)
Now three years into its comeback, Skybox Metal Universe hockey cards feature colorful designs of NHL players superimposed over space backdrops, with metal design elements. Hence, “metal” and “universe.” The cards are also printed on shiny, foil cardstock, While the designs aren’t quite as over-the-top as the Metal Universe cards from the 1990s, they will still appeal to both oldschool collectors who remember those sets, as well as the newer collectors who want something different.
A hobby box of 2022-23 Skybox Metal Universe contains 15 packs. Each pack has seve cards, for a total of 105 cards. Hobby boxes originally cost around $130, but are now down to around $120 per box. A box has 15 various insert cards – including autographs, though those are not guaranteed – and 30 short-printed cards.
I recently opened a hobby box of 2022-23 Skybox Metal Universe hockey cards. Here is what was inside.
Plus: The Return of NHL SportsPicks
Episode #166: September 29, 2023
In Episode #166, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about the new 2022-23 Skybox Metal Universe Hockey card set, including what’s great about it, what could be better, and strategies for completing a set. They also discuss the new NHL SportsPicks figures by McFarlane Toys, Brad Marchand being named team captain of the Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Mike Babcock getting fired for doing Mike Babcock things, and more! It’s 100 minutes of hockey goodness.
Show Notes, Links and Images: Todd McFarlane Interview (Puck Junk)
The National Picks Chicago as Site for 2026 (Twitter)
Panini Stickers Feature on 60 Minutes (YouTube)
A few images from 2022-23 Skybox Metal Universe Hockey:
It is no secret that Todd McFarlane, the founder and CEO of McFarlane Toys, is a huge hockey fan. McFarlane was a part-owner of the Edmonton Oilers from 1998 to 2008, and designed the “gear” logo that adorned the Oilers’ third jersey from 2001 to 2007. His toy company made a line of hockey action figures called SportsPicks from 2000 to 2014.
SportsPicks were the “gold standard” when it came to hockey action figures, for their attention to detail and great player likenesses.
As popular as the figures were, McFarlane Toys stopped making them in 2014. But after a nine-year gap, SportsPicks are coming back with an all-new line of action figures featuring eight different NHL players.
I recently had the opportunity to ask McFarlane about the new line of NHL SportsPicks figures – and why they stopped making hockey figures in the first place.
Sal Barry: Why did McFarlane Toys stop making NHL SportsPicks figures in 2013? And hockey SportsPicks altogether in 2014? (NOTE: The 2014 figures were in Team Canada Olympic jerseys and were not licensed by the NHL.)
The 2021-22 Credentials Hockey set by Upper Deck was released in August 2023, just a few months shy of the 2023-24 hockey season. That makes Credentials a bit of an “old” product, with rookie cards from almost two seasons ago. More so, Credentials also contains cards from the cancelled 2020-21 Credentials cards, as well as rookie update cards from 2019-20 Credentials – meaning, you can get rookie cards from three different seasons in one box!
A box of 2021-22 Credentials hockey has eight packs. Each pack has six cards for a total of 48 cards. When 2021-22 Credentials was released, it cost about $150 per box. Now, it’s around $110 per box. A hobby box contains either an autographed card OR a non-autographed acetate card.
I recently opened a box of 2021-22 Credentials. Here’s what I got in my box.
Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about TWO sets of recently-released hockey cards: 2021-22 Credentials and 2021-22 Stature. Other topics include 2022-23 Parkhurst hockey cards on e-Pack, the Upper Deck Rookie Showcase, and an auction for a Connor McDavid Young Guns rookie card that exceeded $100k. It’s 79 minutes of hockey goodness!
Show Notes, Links and Images: Sign up for the Puck Junk Email Newsletter here.
Sport Card Expo Toronto Fall 2023 Guests (website)
Upper Deck NHLPA Rookie Photo Shoot (Sports Collectors Digest)
Sal’s story on how he got a Tuukka Rask rookie card (Puck Junk)
Upper Deck’s Stature Hockey cards, first released during the 2019-20 season, features serial-numbered cards printed on thick, shiny foil stock. These accoutrements give Stature a sense of gravitas to them. The cards are shiny and thick, while most are numbered. Upper Deck released its 2021-22 Stature Hockey set in August of 2023; yes, that is a full year after the season it is based on had ended!
Regardless, if you liked Stature hockey cards from the past two seasons, then you will like the 2021-22 Stature set as well. A hobby box contains eight cards and costs around $145. That’s a bit cheaper than last year, when Stature was selling for around $180 for an eight-card box.
A box of 2021-22 Stature Hockey contains two base cards, one rookie card, one autographed card, one insert card, and two numbered parallel cards. The eight card in the box is either an additional rookie card, autographed card, or numbered parallel.
I finally got my hands on a hobby box of 2021-22 Stature Hockey. Here is what is inside.
In this episode, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk all about the 2023-24 MVP Hockey card set, which is the first set for the new season. The guys take a look at the design, the inserts, the rookies – and the ridiculous amounts of cash money that the Connor Bedard redemption cards are selling for. Plus, they discuss the new Professional Women’s Hockey League, the NHL’s announced future participation in international tournaments, and the change in CEO at Leaf Trading Cards. It’s 76 minutes of hockey goodness!
Show Notes, Links and Images:
2023-24 MVP Hockey Card Checklist (Trading Card DB)
Sal mentioned a goalie named David Altshuller – his name is actually Daniel Altshuller (oops!). Here’s the article about how Daniel Altshuller played zero games yet was pictured on over 80 hockey cards (Puck Junk)
Upper Deck issued its 2022-23 American Hockey League trading card set in June of 2023. The set has 150 cards of AHL players – some prospects who will go onto long careers in the NHL, and others who played a handful of NHL games but went on to long careers in “The A.”
Fortunately for minor league hockey card enthusiasts, this set isn’t too hard to put together. There are 100 base cards and 50 short-printed Star Rookies – and you get one Star Rookie in each pack!
A box of 2022-23 Upper Deck AHL costs around $50 and has 12 packs. Each pack has 10 cards. Here’s a look at what’s inside a box of 2022-23 Upper Deck AHL.
First released during the 2017-18 season, Upper Deck Synergy hockey cards feature all the bells and whistles. Synergy cards are two layers thick. Like past years, the 2022-23 Synergy cards have a top layer that is printed on die-cut foil board, and a bottom layer is printed on clear plastic.
One thing that makes Synergy an odd release is that the base cards are very hard to find. You read that right; the base cards are tough pulls. Synergy base cards of veteran players are serial-numbered to 13 copies each, while Synergy rookie cards are numbered to 23 copies each. What you will normally get in a box is mainly Red Parallels, which some may mistake for the base cards.
That said, Synergy is not a cheap product. A box has eight packs, with each pack containing three cards, for a total of 24 cards. When 2022-23 Synergy launched at the end of June 2023, a box was $100; now the price has settled to $85.
I opened a hobby box of 2022-23 Synergy. Here is what was inside.