2019-20 Allure Hockey Box Break #2

As a hockey card collector, I like chrome sets. I missed out on the whole Topps Chrome Hockey era in the early 2000s, and am envious whenever I see baseball card collectors get shiny sets like Bowman Chrome and Topps Chrome each year. I liked some of Panini’s chrome cards, especially Prizm from 2013-14. I also like O-Pee-Chee Platinum cards by Upper Deck. So, I was intrigued by Upper Deck’s new Allure hockey set, which was all about the shiny, reflective cards.

I recently busted a box of 2019-20 Upper Deck Allure Hockey cards. It was only eight packs, so it didn’t take me too long. Here’s what I got:

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1990-91 Pro Set Series 1 Sell Sheet

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the 1990-91 Pro Set Hockey card set. Even almost 30 years later, it remains one of my favorite card sets of all time. Yes, they were printed by the boatload and had a ton of errors, but the set was colorful, had a ton of different cards to collect, and the most sought-after hockey insert ever made: the Stanley Cup Hologram!

This sell sheet, which measures 6″ x 6″, was given out in Canada in the summer of 1990 to promote the forthcoming release of 1990-91 Pro Set Series 1 Hockey cards.

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Box Break: 2019-20 SP Game Used Edition Hockey

Practically every card in a six-card box of 2019-20 SP Game Used Edition Hockey by Upper Deck is a hit. Each box is guaranteed to have one premium autograph or premium memorabilia card, plus three more memorabilia, autograph or “premium” hits per box. Clearly, the idea behind SP Game Used is to give collectors a shot at getting some awesome memorabilia cards.

Each box has one pack, which contains six cards, and costs around $100. That averages to about $17 or so per card and really puts the expectation that these will indeed be great memorabilia cards inside. Or, at least a cut or two above the standard “UD Game Jersey” cards found in Upper Deck Series one and Series Two.

Let’s see how my box stacked up.

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Every 1993-94 Hockey Card Set Ranked

The 1993-94 season was my favorite year to collect hockey cards. Everything about that season was just so right for me. I was living with my Grandmother and going to a local junior college, so my cost of living was low. I was working full-time at a card and comic book shop, so I could buy new cards at a deep discount. I had just gotten my drivers licence, so I could drive around Chicago to other card shops or local shows to find the last few inserts I needed for a given set. Plus, I was still promoting a monthly neighborhood show, so a lot of times people would bring me cards that I needed. My situation in life made collecting easy for me that year.

As for the cards themselves, the 1993-94 season was the last year before hockey card collecting got out of hand. Packs were still affordable, with most between $1 and $3. (The 1994 NHL Lockout would change that, but that’s a story for another time.) There were really no short prints, other than the odd insert, so sets were fairly easy to complete. There were some great insert sets, but not so many different insert sets like it is today, where you can buy a box of cards and get 40 different inserts across 10 different insert sets. There were five different card companies competing with each other, so they had to try hard to do better than one another.

For example, Topps finally got with the program and printed its flagship set on quality card stock, with gloss coating and full-color backs. The company also issued the set in two series, so it could include rookies and traded players in their new uniforms later on that season.

Unfortunately, there were some casualties. Pro Set had gone bankrupt in 1992-93, and while it tried to issue a set for the 1993-94 season, its license was revoked by the NHL. The NHL also mandated that companies could only issue two sets per season, so Topps had to jettison its unpopular Bowman Hockey set, while O-Pee-Chee stopped making its own smaller, premium “Premier” set, as the “Premier” name would be used by both Topps and O-Pee-Chee that year for their large, two-series card sets.

One addition to this year’s ranking is how each company included Alexander Daigle in their sets. Daigle was selected first-overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Pinnacle Brands — which made the Score and Pinnacle hockey card sets — had worked out a deal with Daigle, so that only they could picture him in a Senators uniform until he played in an NHL game. The other companies could not use a “Draft Day” photo, nor could they use photo manipulation to put his head on a different Senators player’s body. Thus, they had to get a little creative in how to picture that season’s hottest rookie in their hockey card sets that year.

As I have done with the 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 sets, here is my retrospective and ranking of every hockey card set issued in 1993-94.

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The Puck Junk Bad Hockey Card Hall of Fame: Class of 2019

You didn’t think I would forget about honoring bad hockey cards this year, did you? I launched the Puck Junk Bad Hockey Card Hall of Fame in 2017 with an inaugural class of 10 horrible hockey cards, and then followed up in 2018 with another 10 equally-awful cards. In 2019, another batch of baddies get their due.

Usually, I unveil the honorees right around the time the Hockey Hall of Fame holds it’s induction ceremony, but these past few months have been busy for me. Really busy. (If you read The Hockey News, then you’ve seen what’s been keeping me busy.) Fortunately, we still have a little time left in the year, so without further ado, may I introduce the Puck Junk Bad Hockey Card Hall of Fame: Class of 2019.

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Rookie Cards of Every NHL Head Coach for the 2019-20 Season

Some NHL head coaches had long careers in the NHL, instantly giving them credibility to the players that they mentor. Other NHL head coaches got nowhere near an NHL rink during their playing days, but worked hard and finally ended up in “The Show” behind the bench.

Regardless of their path, it is always fun to see what an NHL head coach looked like during their playing days. So, for a third year in a row, I’ve dug up a rookie card for each and every NHL head coach. For you non-collectors out there, a “rookie card” is usually understood to mean a player’s first card in a mainstream set, like Topps, O-Pee-Chee or Upper Deck, among others.

However, because many NHL head coaches never actually played in the NHL — or if they did, it was only for just a few games — they never got an official rookie card. In their cases, I decided to share those coaches’ earliest-known trading card — even if it was from a minor league or junior league team.

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Box Break: 2018-19 Ultimate Collection

Yesterday, I posted a break of Upper Deck Chronology Hockey Volume 1, a box that has just four cards. Today is a break of another four-card box, this time of 2018-19 Ultimate Collection Hockey by Upper Deck. The set came out about three weeks ago and costs around $140 for a box. Let’s see what that gets us. 

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Box Break: Chronology Hockey Vol. 1

All the cool kids on Twitter and Instagram were opening boxes of Upper Deck Chronology Hockey Volume 1, and showing off the cool autographed cards they got.

Chronology is a “living” set that will be ongoing over multiple releases. Volume 1 was released at the end of July 2019, while Volume 2 is slated to come out in summer of 2020. This is an interesting concept, as there are thousands of retired NHL players, making the sky the limit for who might be included in this set.

A box of Chronology costs around $120 to $140 USD and contains FOUR CARDS. But three out of four are promised to be hits, so that’s enticing.

I finally got my hands on a box of Volume 1, and wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about.

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Box Break: 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee Premier

During The National last month, I purchased a box of 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee Premier Hockey cards for $5. It seemed like a fun retro break to do. The set is small, at just 198 cards, and seemed relatively easy to put together. Plus, I already had some doubles in my collection, so I thought if anything, I’d get a set out of the deal. I was wrong.

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