Clemente’s Corner: Hockey Collectors Should Make a ‘Pitt’ Stop to Learn Penguins History

Take a stroll through downtown Pittsburgh and there’s a lot of American history to take in. The second-most populous city in Pennsylvania after Philadelphia – known both as “Steel City” for its role in that industry and the “City of Bridges” for its 446 spans – has also plenty of sports history.

Aside from the Steelers and Pirates (sorry football and baseball fans), the Penguins could very well be the team that has left the deepest impression on the city. In fact, the Penguins have also played a vital role in the history of the NHL, especially since Mario Lemieux was drafted by the team in 1984.

Over the next 40 years, the team has made the playoffs 28 times and lifted the Stanley Cup in 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016 and 2017. In the process, fans got to delight in the scoring heroics of Lemieux, then Jaromir Jagr and later Sidney Crosby.

Those five championships – proudly displayed on the façade of PPG Paints Arena – are part of the city’s iconic downtown. But the streets around the arena – usually bustling with fans – are empty these days. The Penguins, for the second straight season, failed to make the postseason.

My travels took me to Pittsburgh last month just as the playoffs got underway. Instead of taking in a game, I went on a search for – what else? – Penguins memorabilia. Continue reading “Clemente’s Corner: Hockey Collectors Should Make a ‘Pitt’ Stop to Learn Penguins History”

Despite Issues, Connor Bedard Game-Used Jersey Fetches $37K

When Exactly Was It Worn? And Why Frame It?

By Sean Sullivan

Connor Bedard mania has run wild throughout the hockey-collecting community this season, and on April 18, the game-worn jersey collecting segment joined in on the fun – but not without some controversy. Continue reading “Despite Issues, Connor Bedard Game-Used Jersey Fetches $37K”

The Case of the Unpaid O-Pee-Chee Case

Hey Buddy – Can You Cancel My $3.72M Winning Bid?

Back in February, you may recall that a full 16-box case of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey cards sold for $3.72 million at Heritage Auctions. The case may potentially have as many as 25 Wayne Gretzky rookie cards inside that presumably would get high grades. 

Well, the winning bidder still has not paid in full for the case – and he no longer wants it. 

Continue reading “The Case of the Unpaid O-Pee-Chee Case”

2024 National Hockey Card Day is This Saturday

Get Free Hockey Cards from Your Local Card Shop.

Considering how hard it has been to buy almost any recent hockey card products, the idea of actually getting some 2024 hockey cards in 2024 – for free, no less! – is exciting! 

This Saturday – April 13 – is National Hockey Card Day in the U.S., in Canada, and in even some other countries around the world. Fans who visit a participating card shop can get a free, exclusive pack of National Hockey Card Day 2024 cards, made by Upper Deck. Continue reading “2024 National Hockey Card Day is This Saturday”

High-End Connor Bedard Cards Are Finally Here

2023-24 SP Game Used Gives Us First Bedard RPAs.

Last week, the 2023-24 SP Game Used Hockey set hit hobby shops and shipped from online retailers.

While several Connor Bedard autographed cards were issued in Upper Deck Series Two, this year’s SP Game Used set has his first truly high-end rookie cards, such as rookie patch autographs (RPAs), and autographed letter mark cards. 

Continue reading “High-End Connor Bedard Cards Are Finally Here”

Clemente’s Corner: Rookies You Should Collect Besides Connor Bedard

Say the word “rookie” and the name Connor Bedard instantly comes to mind. It’s a reflex. None of us can help.

While the Chicago Blackhawks center may very well be on his way to taking the Calder Trophy, there are other rookies – even sleeper ones – that may be worth gobbling up now given that the majority of people are so laser-focused on acquiring Bedard.

Players like Luke Hughes of the New Jersey Devils and Leo Carlsson of the Anaheim Ducks have lived up to the preseason hype, although both have been overshadowed by Bedard mania. Both Hughes and Carlsson remain in the mix – although they are longshots – to capture the Calder.

Instead, here are five NHL rookies from this season (not named Bedard) who remain under the radar and worth chasing:   

Continue reading “Clemente’s Corner: Rookies You Should Collect Besides Connor Bedard”

Tim’s Take: Four Hobby Phrases That Should Be Retired Now!

You know the feeling you get when you hear the same phrases repeated over and over and over again?

Whether it was your parents yelling things like “Don’t make me come back there,” or “Because I said so,” or that catchphrase your once favorite sports personality now uses as a noun, verb, adjective, and every other part of speech you can think of, certain phrases just get beaten into the ground.

The same can be said for the card-collecting hobby. While those not on social media may not hear these things often, those that are and interact with others in the hobby daily, get bombarded by these words and phrases regularly.

The solution? I think it’s about time that some of these phrases get retired now. 

Continue reading “Tim’s Take: Four Hobby Phrases That Should Be Retired Now!”

The Decline in Value of the Connor Bedard Young Guns Card

When You Start at the Top, There’s Only One Way to Go.

This past weekend, I set up at the Chicago Sports Spectacular to sell hockey cards and t-shirts. The Spectacular is a twice-annual, three-day show with around 400 vendors and dozens of autograph guests. The show draws a large crowd, and many in the crowd were wearing Blackhawks jerseys with Connor Bedard’s name and number 98 on the back. 

The March Chicago Sports Spectacular was the first major Chicago-area show since Bedard’s Young Guns card was released in 2023-24 Upper Deck Series 2 on March 6 – and as you probably have guessed, everyone was talking about him.

At least half of the people who stopped by my booth asked if I had any Bedard cards, though many of them were looking specifically for his Young Guns card. And some even offered to sell me a Bedard Young Guns card, usually asking around $500 to $600. I could have bought that card ten times over.

But I didn’t. Continue reading “The Decline in Value of the Connor Bedard Young Guns Card”

Clemente’s Corner: Connor Bedard’s Young Guns Prices Do Not COMP-ute!

Amid the usual sea of Michael Jordan, Mark Grace and Walter Payton cards and jerseys, another – much younger – athlete was prominently on display at the recent Chicago Sports Spectacular.

Connor Bedard was very much on the minds and tongues of many at the three-day event, the Windy City’s biggest sports collectables gathering and one of the best-attended regional shows in North America.

And Bedard’s Young Guns card was hands down the most-talked about item – even by those who don’t typically buy hockey. It was a card that had shaggy-haired teens carrying silver cases scurrying about in search of it, while seasoned collectors shook their heads (some in disgust) at some of the prices in the showcases.

Continue reading “Clemente’s Corner: Connor Bedard’s Young Guns Prices Do Not COMP-ute!”

Checklists are NOT Dead!

A few weeks back, I opined that checklist cards in this day and age are pretty much useless and should be discontinued. I put a poll out on X/Twitter asking collectors if they like checklist cards.

As you can see from the poll results above, 50.7% of respondents still like checklists, while 49.3% do not like checklists.

There are two takeaways here:

Continue reading “Checklists are NOT Dead!”