Did you know that Wyatt Russell has a hockey card? Yes, the actor who plays John Walker — a.k.a. the new Captain America — in the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier used to be a pro hockey player. His hockey card is from a set of movie trading cards made to promote the film Goon: Last of the Enforcers. Russell’s life — going from hockey player, to actor playing hockey player, to actor playing Captain America — took an interesting and unconventional road.
So much hype surrounded the release of 2020-21 Upper Deck Series One Hockey. The season hadn’t started yet, but that didn’t stop hockey card collectors (as well as speculators) from wanting to buy the latest release from Upper Deck — mainly in the hopes of finding a Young Guns rookie card of first-overall pick Alexis Lafreniere. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to get a Lafreniere rookie card — or three — as I opened numerous retail packs from blasters and “mega boxes” that I purchased at my local Target.
Unsuccessful with retail packs, I decided to try my luck with hobby boxes. While the odds of getting a Young Guns card are the same (1 in every 4 packs), there are more inserts in hobby packs, better odds at getting jersey cards and the chance of finding an autographed card. The price of a hobby box is higher, but the trade off is you get more inserts and a jersey card.
A hobby box of 2020-21 Upper Deck Series One Hockey has 24 packs. Each pack has 8 cards. Here are the results of my first hobby box break of this set.
Oh, and I must apologize in advance for the sheer amount of Rangers in this box break; it seems like practically every insert card I got was of a Rangers’ player.
Although head coaches are an important part of an NHL team, they are usually not included in most hockey card sets. So while Upper Deck may never make a card of John Tortorella — snarling at a referee from behind the bench — that doesn’t mean he wasn’t on a hockey card once upon a time. All of the 31 men who are NHL head coaches played hockey at one time or another in their lives — so that usually means they’ve appeared on at least one hockey card.
For the past four years, I’ve managed to track down a rookie card for each and every NHL coach who had one. For you non-collectors out there, a “rookie card” is usually understood as that player’s first card in a mainstream set, like Topps, O-Pee-Chee or Upper Deck.
However, because many NHL head coaches never actually played in the NHL — or if they did, it wasn’t very long — they never got an official rookie card. In those cases, I show off that coach’s first-ever trading card, be it from their minor or junior league playing days, or from a little-known team-issued set.
As a bonus, I’ve also indicated the value (in US $) and how rare each card is, on a scale of ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ to ★ ★ ★ ★ ★. Some of these cards are ridiculously-easy to find — I’m looking at you, Rod Brind’Amour — while others are tough.
So, kick back and enjoy this trip down memory lane, when these bench bosses weighed less and got paid less, but had more hair.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has delayed everything, from “pausing” the 2019-20 NHL season, to postponing the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. It has even delayed the induction of new members into the Puck Junk Bad Hockey Card Hall of Fame. But the wait is finally over.
A Wayne Gretzky rookie card recently sold at auction for $1.29 million dollars. Meanwhile, the 10 cards on this list would only cost you $5 combined. Yet, they are all priceless in each of their own, awful ways.
So here they are, the Puck Junk Bad Hockey Card Hall of Fame: Class of 2020.
After opening my first three boxes of 2020-21 Topps Hockey Stickers, I wondered if I made a mistake — either buying too many or too few boxes. At the rate I was going, it didn’t seem like four boxes was going to get me 400 unique stickers towards the 666-sticker set. On the other hand, maybe I was just wasting my money, and should have stuck with three boxes like I did the previous year.
But what’s done is done. I bought four boxes, so of course I’m going to open all four boxes. Hopefully, my luck would change with the final box.
Another day, another box break of 2020-21 Topps Hockey Stickers. Before opening my third box, I had 263 stickers (198 regular stickers and 65 foil stickers) out of 666 total stickers needed to complete the set. Hopefully, this box helps more than the measly 24 stickers that the last box provided me. Continue reading “2020-21 Topps Hockey Stickers Box Break #3”
The 2020-21 Topps Hockey Sticker Collection is not for the timid. At $1.00 per five-sticker pack — or $1.39 for those in Canada — it is going to easily cost over $100 to put the 666-sticker set together. It will take you 134 packs to build a set, and that’s assuming that you don’t get any doubles. However, getting doubles seems to be the name of the game when putting together this year’s Topps Hockey Sticker set.
I enjoyed the 2019-20 Topps Hockey Sticker Collection enough that I decided to collect the 2020-21 set. What really pushed me to collect this year’s set, though, was that certain stickers were designed to look like old Topps hockey cards. Nostalgia is a powerful drug — powerful enough for me to purchase four boxes of 2020-21 Topps Hockey Stickers. Over the next few days, I will post about what stickers I got, including how many were duplicates and how close it brought me to completing the 666-sticker set.
Yes, you read that right. There are 666 stickers in the set. 666 is also the Number of the Beast (according to Iron Maiden), and this sticker set is truly a BEAST to complete.
About 2020-21 Topps Hockey Stickers
2020-21 Topps Hockey Sticker packs contain five stickers — four regular stickers and one shiny foil sticker — and cost $1 in the U.S. and $1.39 in Canada. A full box has 50 packs for a total of 250 stickers. Packs are made of foil and are “crimped” at the top and bottom like a pack of Topps cards. This is unlike Panini sticker packs, which were two pieces of paper glued together. And unlike Panini stickers of years past, Topps Hockey stickers are affixed to cardboard backings (instead of paper), making them more “card like.” To house the collection, Topps also issued an 80-page album, which costs $2 in the U.S. and $2.79 in Canada.
Since I knew I was going to try to complete this set from the get-go, I decided to buy four 50-pack boxes, all from the same retailer. Here are the results of my first box.
This is my third and final box of 2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers. With each box containing 250 stickers, my hope was that I would get pretty close to having a complete 630-sticker set. The first box gave me over 39% of the set, while the second box put me at 62%. While I know that I am not going to get every sticker that I need, my hope is that I am at a respectable enough number that I could finish the set off in a few trades.
If you want to build a set of 2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers, you’re going to need to buy many packs. Considering that you get five stickers per pack and there are 630 stickers in the set, you would need to purchase at least 126 packs, or about 2-1/2 boxes. I purchased three boxes — each has 50 packs — and posted the results of the first box last week.
Opening packs of stickers is not for the “hit chasers,” as there are no hits to speak of. Really, a good box is one that has few doubles in its collation; a great box is one that has very few doubles from the previous box. Hopefully, this box is a “hit” by not giving me most of the stickers that I got in my previous box. So, without further ado, here are the results of my second box break of 2019-20 Topps Hockey Stickers: