Today marks the 25th anniversary of the New York Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup Championship. Earlier this season, the Rangers gave away a replica Stanley Cup ring to fans who attended the February 8, 2019 game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes — and it is awesome!
The sport of professional hockey has long been a male-dominated venture. That started to change with the establishment of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League in 2007, and more recently the National Women’s Hockey League in 2015. This bold new initiative inspired author Stephanie Phillips to create the graphic novel, “Kicking Ice,” which tells the story two young girls who play hockey and grow up to play in the NWHL. The book is intended to inspire girls of all ages to discover the joys of hockey along with the possibility that now one day they too could play as professionals.
I recently spoke to Phillips and artist Jamie Jones.
Kyle Scully: Stephanie, what inspired you to write this graphic novel?
Stephanie Phillips: I’ve always been a hockey fan, I grew up playing hockey, first roller hockey and later in High School I made the switch to ice. I remember just kind of following the start of the NWHL and with the Olympic year approaching, my initial idea was just to do kind of a web-comic about girls and women in sports. It became very centered around what I know the best and kind of spiraled from there, but my own personal love for the league and the sport itself.
KS: What was the pitch process like with the NWHL?
SP: When I first spoke with Ominous Press, my initial concept was an ongoing web comic about women in sports. Ominous was quickly asked, what if we do a graphic novel? I thought, I do have some contact with the NWHL and it might be really cool since they’re still in their infancy to give them a way to have their own superheroes of a kind, Continue reading “Interview: “Kicking Ice” Creators Stephanie Phillips & Jamie Jones”
Bonjour, Puck-Heads! Today we’re classying up the joint and looking at some hockey-related wines. Coming from the hands of 300-game-winning goalie Cam Ward and Olympic Silver Medalist defenseman Tim Gleason, Vinyard 36 is more than just an indulgent hobby, it’s a passion. Both Ward and Gleason get their hands dirty and are hands-on in the production of this very fine juice. (I have no evidence that they stomp on the grapes with their own bare feet, but I don’t have any evidence against it, either.)
On a lovely Saturday in early March, I was invited to a wine tasting hosted by Mr. Gleason here in Raleigh for a rare chance to try the literal fruits of his labor, ask some questions and get a better understanding of his post-hockey passion. Finding a bottle can also be difficult, since it’s a rather small operation. It’s no Paul Masson, but they don’t need Orson Wells shilling their wares anyway.
So where does one go to try a rare and unique vintage? Why, at a gas station, of course! Continue reading “Fruits of their Labor: Cam Ward and Tim Gleason’s Vineyard 36”
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.
Upper Deck has released a new hockey collectible that will cost some serious…coin. On Monday evening at the Hockey Hall of Fame, the trading card company announced the launch of the Grandeur Hockey Coin Collection, a series of limited-edition coins minted in silver and gold. The coins are available for purchase starting on April 5 and sell for $100 to $500.
“I look at this as a game-changing product line, similar to what we did in 1989 with trading cards,” said Jason Masherah, president of Upper Deck, in an interview with Puck Junk. “Nobody has ever blind-packed precious metal coins before.”
The Los Angeles King gave a collectible holiday greeting card to their season ticket holders in December of 1992. How do we know that it is collectible? Because it has the Upper Deck logo and a serial number. In your face, Hallmark!
By the way, I should start serial-numbering all of the Christmas cards that I send out so that people save them for future collectibility and/or investment value. Of course, that would mean that I would have to actually send out Christmas cards in the first place.
Anyway, the front of the card shows a group of Kings celebrating a win at the old Great Western Forum. Robb Stauber (#35) looks eager to mess up fellow goalie Kelly Hrudey’s hair some more, as if that was possible. But the other side of the card is way better. It has a detailed illustration of Continue reading “1992 Los Angeles Kings Holiday Card”
Hockey can work very well as the basis for a scary story. The game is played on ice — a cold, unforgiving environment that seems so alien when compared to a green baseball field. Hockey players wield sticks, wear masks, hit each other and fight. It is a violent, sometimes bloody sport; even more so 40 years ago. So it is not surprising that hockey found its way into the pages of several horror-genre comic books in the 1970s. Just in time for Halloween, here are three spooky hockey tales pulled from the pages of vintage comic books.
Continue reading “Three Spooky Hockey Stories”
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.
“Captain America: Civil War,” the new Marvel movie comes out today, and oh man, am I excited. The movie features Captain America, who was my favorite comic book hero growing up. (Yes, I self-identify as “lawful good.” Deal with it!) It’s got Iron Man and Spider-Man and all the other superheroes we love.
My first-ever job was working in a comic book store, as a dorky, flannel-wearing teenager who spent his $4 an hour on comics and hockey cards almost faster than he could earn it. (Well, it wasn’t like I had many dates back then.) Today, I still collect hockey cards, and while I’ve cooled my heels on comic collecting, I still enjoy a good superhero flick.
Hockey fans who also like superheroes — or comic book fans who are at least tolerant of hockey — will be interested to know that there have been several notable crossovers between superheroes and hockey. Like ketchup on ice cream, hockey and superheroes is a strange combination that always had ridiculous results.
Here are six examples of hockey and superhero crossovers.