The Best 2019-20 NHL Game-Night Giveaway Items

Today is the start of the 2019-20 NHL season — and with that, a bevy of new game-night promotional items will be given away to ticket-buying fans in most cities.

Many of these giveaways sound pretty fun. For example, the Philadelphia Flyers will give away a Gritty Chia Pet, which seems so obvious that I’m mad that I didn’t think of it first. The Chicago Blackhawks will give out Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome salt and pepper shakers, while the Red Wings are giving out nesting dolls. The San Jose Sharks are giving away a badass 3-D sculpture of their secondary logo (shown above).

Surprisingly, only nine teams are giving away bobblehead figures. Perhaps last year’s Joe Thornton bobblehead that was missing a chunk of its beard made most other teams’ marking and PR people realize that they could never, ever top that — so why even try? That didn’t stop some teams from trying, though. The Blackhawks and Nashville Predators are each giving away six bobbleheads over the course of the season. The New Jersey Devils will give out a bobblehead of P.K. Subbam as “The Subbinator,” while the Anaheim Ducks will give away a John Gibson “bobble legs” figure.

Here is a list of the coolest giveaway items from each NHL team. I’ve skipped the mundane stuff like t-shirts and hats instead focusing on items that are collectible or kitschy.

Continue reading “The Best 2019-20 NHL Game-Night Giveaway Items”

Introducing the Puck Junk Online Shop

Today, after several months of inspired and feverish work, I would like to finally announce the launch of the Puck Junk Shop, an online store for this site. I’m excited that everything  came together to make this happen.

Currently, the Puck Junk Shop is selling hockey t-shirts that feature original designs that my girlfriend and I created. Hopefully, the Shop will soon expand to sell other hockey-related merchandise.

Do you collect hockey cards? Do you play hockey in a recreational league? Do you  love all things hockey? Then check out the Shop, which has six different hockey t-shirts — in multiple colors — with more creations in the works.

The Puck Junk Shop is currently taking pre-orders, with shirts expected to ship the first week of the hockey season. Place an order between now and October 1 and save 10% off your first order with coupon code SHOPLAUNCH at checkout.

Even if you don’t buy anything, please help spread the word about the new online Shop, and consider signing up for the mailing list. This is something that I’ve dreamed about doing for a long time, and every share, like, retweet and repost will help. Also, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the designs — or what hockey shirt designs you’d like to see. Wish us luck, and thank you for your support!

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.  

My Recap of the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago

I went to the 40th National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago last week (July 31 to August 4). This is the 6th time I’ve been at The National. Going to world’s biggest sports memorabilia show for five days takes a lot out of you, from standing and walking around most of the day, to the visual overload of cards, memorabilia, cards, jerseys, cards, photos, cards, game-used items and cards. 

But I have finally recovered, so here’s my recap of my experience at the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention. 

Continue reading “My Recap of the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago”

Hockey Trade Night at The National

This Friday, after The National Sports Collectors Convention wraps up for the night, two colleagues and I will be hosting a Hockey Card Trade Night. Meet other hockey fans, trade cards with each other, and take part in our free raffle. The get-together will be at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare right across the street from the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. 

Here are the full details:

Date: Friday, August 2, 2019
Time: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
(right across the street from the DES Convention Center)
Room Number: DFW
For More Info: Call 586-522-5093 or email TreesCollectables@aol.com

We should have a sign out in the lobby that looks like the graphic above. 

Hopefully, some of you who see this will be at The National and will visit our little hockey card trading event. 

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.

Canucks Bring Back the Black Skate

If you’re not scoring points in the game, you might as well score some points with the fans, and the Vancouver Canucks are doing exactly that. For the upcoming 2019-20 season, the British Columbia team is bringing back its storied “Black Stake” jersey for three games. 

Continue reading “Canucks Bring Back the Black Skate”

The Trials and Tribulations of a Teenage Card Show Promoter

Illustration by Shellie Lewis.

For 3 ½ years, I was a card show promoter. At the same time, I was also a teenager. Thus, I was a teenage card show promoter. I know, it sounds like the title of a bad B-movie or a cheesy pulp novel, but the story you are about to read is 100 percent true. From early 1992 to mid-1995, I organized a monthly get-together known to collectors around Chicago as the “First Friday Show,” fueled by a few postage stamps and my passion for sports cards.

Read thefull article at Sports Collectors Digest. 

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

Helmet Holdouts: The Last Players Not to Wear Helmets in the NHL

Look around the NHL today, and you will notice that players without visors are few and far between. Such was the case with helmets 30 years ago. Seeing a helmetless player in 1989 was as unusual as seeing a visorless player today.

The NHL made helmets mandatory four decades ago. Any player who entered the league after June 1, 1979 had to wear a helmet, but any player who signed his first pro contract before then could opt out if they signed a waiver. During the 1978-79 season, about 30 percent of NHLers didn’t wear a helmet. Ten years later, though, and you could count on both hands how many helmetless players were left in the league. Here’s a rundown of those players, and why they chose to show their flow.

Read the full article at The Hockey News.

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.

Year of the Pig, Part III: The Postseason

Part III in the recap of the 2018-19 Carolina Hurricanes’ season & run to the Conference Finals. But will there be a Part IV? 

Note: Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 first. 

In the Hurricanes first postseason game in a decade they fared OK, but played like a team that was still in the regular season, while a far more experienced Washington squad played “playoff hockey.” Andrei Svechnikov, being a rookie, didn’t know they were suppose to lose, and put up two goals to make the Canes look good. Game 2 ended tighter, but novice play in OT put them down 0-2 in the series. Another rookie, Warren Foegele, started to make a name for himself here (besides being the thief that stole all the E’s out of Petr Mrazek’s name).

Game 3 was in Raleigh, the first game in a generation of new fans. Continue reading “Year of the Pig, Part III: The Postseason”

Year of the Pig, Part II: Regular Season

Part II in a three-part retrospective on the
Carolina Hurricanes’ 2018-19 season. 

NOTE: Read Part I first if you haven’t done so already. 

Where was I? Oh yes, the vastly retooled Carolina Hurricanes began their pre-season with a bang, topping the powerhouse Lightning twice, the Stanley Cup Champion Capitals twice (to be fair, they were probably still drunk), and Western Conference BBQ rival Preds once and to a OT loss; outscoring their opponents 28 to 13!

Many of us longer-suffering fans were cautious because we’d seen decent preseason teams trip on the door step to the regular season, Continue reading “Year of the Pig, Part II: Regular Season”

Year of the Pig, Part I: The Offseason

Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard recaps the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2018-19 season — in three parts!

Last year, Tom Dundon became the new majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes. Shortly after he stepped in, the hockey world sat up and took notice of the irreverent moves that he made. Let’s take a look at what happened since then and how it has impacted the Hurricanes’ organization this season. 

Continue reading “Year of the Pig, Part I: The Offseason”