Blake’s Takes: Botterill Out in Buffalo

Last week was a busy one in the NHL. The Sabres fired their GM, the AHL made a major announcement, and the NHL took another step forward with social justice. I’ll dive into all of those topics in addition to a few other  tidbits. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Puck Junk is at the Virtual Expo June 19-20 – and Will Be Podcasting, Too!

This Friday and Saturday, I  will be at the Virtual Expo. Tim Parish and I will also be doing a live podcast from the Expo on Saturday at 11 a.m. ET. This is the first-ever virtual sports card show, and I am excited to be a part of it. Admission is free, but you have to register first.

I will be selling all Puck Junk t-shirts at 25% off of their regular price. You don’t need to be “at” the Expo to buy a shirt at the discounted rate. You can go directly to the Shop section on this site to make your purchase and the discount will be automatically applied. But if you find yourself with some free time on Friday and/or Saturday, you should check out all that the Expo has to offer, like the guests and the schedule of events. The Expo Program (PDF) has all of that, plus a listing of the participating dealers and an article by yours truly. 

If you are at the Virtual Expo this weekend, please drop by the Puck Junk booth and say hello, hang out for a bit and talk hockey with us. 

On Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Tim Parish and I will broadcast the next episode of the Puck Junk Podcast live from the Virtual Expo. If you’d like to listen in, be sure to be at the Main Stage then. Also, if you have a question for us, you can submit it at the Main Stage in the “Chat” window. Bonus points if your question is interesting, funny or mentions “the Glow Puck.”■ 

Love hockey collectibles and/or hockey culture? Join the new Puck Junk Facebook Group and follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

Blake’s Takes: The Move to Phase 3

This week, I’ll share my thoughts on the founding of The Hockey Diversity Alliance. Hopefully, this group can much-needed change in regard to diversity in the hockey community. In other news, the league also announced a date to move into Phase 3 which will allow teams to host training camp.

Stay safe out there everyone!

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Everything You Need to Know About the Upcoming Virtual Expo

As many of you know by now, the Spring Sport Card Expo is taking place this weekend as a “Virtual Expo.” Sure, you won’t be able to walk around a convention floor and sift through cards until your fingers are numb. We all miss that experience, but the promoters of the Sport Card Expo are giving us the next-best thing: the first-ever Virtual Expo! It will be an opportunity to meet other collectors, buy some cards and other collectibles, and hear special guests tell stories during panel discussions. If that wasn’t cool enough, the Virtual Expo is now free for attendees. Read on to learn about what you need to get the most out of this weekend’s upcoming “Virtual Expo.”

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What if…the Quebec Nordiques Drafted Denis Savard?

How a series of backroom deals 40 years ago robbed the Quebec Nordiques of a future superstar — and gave the Chicago Blackhawks one of their all-time greats

Forty years ago today, on June 11, 1980, the NHL held its annual draft in Montreal. With the third overall pick, the Chicago Blackhawks selected Denis Savard, a skillful and speedy center who became the face of the franchise during the 1980s. Savard dazzled fans with his moves and was part of the team’s rebuild towards respectability. Any media guide or team-written biography will tell you of Savard’s offensive prowess. What is almost never mentioned is that Chicago’s selection of Savard was a perfect storm of backroom negotiations by the Blackhawks, a poor decision by the Quebec Nordiques, unfair rules against expansion teams – and the stellar play of a fellow Quebecor named Réal Cloutier.

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Blake’s Takes: Black Lives Matter

The United States is still reeling from the death of George Floyd and the increased exposure of police brutality towards black people and people of color. In this edition of Blake’s Takes, I’ll highlight some very important steps the NHL and its players are taking to combat racism both internally and externally. I’ll also share my perspective on the league’s decision to move into Phase 2 of its Return to Play plan. #BlackLivesMatter
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Blake’s Takes: Racism in Hockey

The most important thing I can share are my thoughts on the radical racial injustices occurring in this country. These injustices are abhorrent and I needed to speak out. My comments will tie into hockey, of course. But, hockey is only a vehicle to illustrate how we need to improve. I hope this makes some of you outraged and encourages you to speak out. I also hope it makes some of you uncomfortable and more willing to listen to your fellow humans that just happen to look different than you. This is a time for all of us to get involved and improve as people. We need to stop the horrific injustice towards black people and other minorities in the US and Canada.

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Hockey is Officially Back: Breaking Down the 24-Team Playoff

*Clears throat* Hockey is back, baby!

On Tuesday, the NHL released a video of commissioner Gary Bettman explaining the NHL’s decision to push through the COVID-19 pandemic and finish the season. A lot was explained, some things tentative and others not. I’ll break down Bettman’s explanation and gives my thoughts on the now official 24-team playoff. Continue reading “Hockey is Officially Back: Breaking Down the 24-Team Playoff”

Blake’s Takes: We Have News!

Sometimes when I wait until Monday to write this it pays off. The NHL released some big news on Monday which gives me something worthwhile to write about out. I’m noticing a trend where the big news is released on Mondays.

That news was that the league announced the logistics for their next phase in their plan to return to hockey. Not only that, but the NHLPA also opted to move forward with the proposed 24-team playoff. It looks like hockey might be coming back. Keep reading to see my thoughts with a few other takes sprinkled in.

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Blake’s Takes: My Thoughts on the NHL’s Proposed Plan of Return

There seems to be a plan in the works for the NHL to return! It’s going to be weird and a lot of people aren’t going to like it, but hockey could be back soon. I’ll give my thoughts on the proposed plan as well as a few other notable hockey announcements from the past week. I’ll also deliver some takes that are strictly derived from being bored on Twitter. Let me know what you think!

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