Puck Junk Pack Break: 1990-91 Pro Set Hockey Series 1

If you are anything like me, you are probably thinking, “Man, what the world really needs right now is another chubby geek opening packs of trading cards on YouTube.” 

Thus, I am happy to report that I am going to start doing hockey card pack breaks on YouTube. Or perhaps I should say restart, as I did do a few pack breaks on YouTube back in 2011, when I was less chubby but equally as geeky. 

Truth be told, I’ve been itching to restart making pack break videos ever since the COVID-19 pandemic gave me good reason to shelter-at-home. I work from home, and spend most of my time at home. I’m around my collection a lot more, and rediscovered a two-column shoe box of unopened hockey packs from various sets and years…and I think it is time I start opening these packs! 

But before I could attempt to become the George Lucas of hockey card pack break videos — who you calling scruffy-looking? — I had to change my living situation first. I had to find a new place to live, pack my belongings, move, unpack and get settled. I’m unpacked and settled enough that I can finally start creating some videos. 

To launch the return of my pack break videos, I’m starting with a pack of my favorite  cards of all-time: 1990-91 Pro Set Hockey Series 1. You get a lot of cards in the pack — and I actually got an extra card in this one. Plus, I pulled a pretty good card…well, good for Pro Set. 

If you watch this video, please fire off a comment, either here or on YouTube. Let me know what you think, either about the video itself and how it could be better, or about the cards that I got in this pack. Oh, and please be sure to subscribe to the Puck Junk YouTube Channel. ■ 

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

Video: Sal Barry Guest Appearance on Pittsburgh Hockey Now

I was a guest on Pittsburgh Hockey Now, discussing my article for The Hockey News about the Russian Penguins. For those who don’t know, the Russian Penguins were a joint venture between Russia’s Red Army hockey club and the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins from 1993 to 1995. If that sounds like a crazy idea, well…it was. The Russian Penguins had everything from strippers to mobsters, as well as a few future NHL players, too. I also show off a few rare pieces of Penguins memorabilia. 

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

The Time Dave “Killer” Carlson Interviewed Dale Tallon

This is the video we all need right now. Slap Shot actor Jerry Houser and former NHL defenseman Dale Tallon take turns interviewing each other. And it’s pretty darn funny.

Houser, who hockey fans remember best as Dave “Killer” Carlson from the 1977 film Slap Shot, is a longtime TV and movie actor. And hockey fans all know Tallon, who has been in the NHL for 50 years now as a player, color commentator and team executive. He is currently the GM of the Florida Panthers.

This interview is from a charity hockey game from 1989 between the Celebrity All-Star Team and the Chicago Blackhawks Alumni Team. The game took place at the old Chicago Stadium.

Tallon and Houser sat down for this interview prior to the game, and Tallon does an admirable job when being put on the spot. This was perhaps the best exchange between the two:

HOUSER: People don’t talk to you all that much; find out who you really are. Who are you really?

TALLON: Actually, I’m Alan Thicke in a bigger body.

HOUSER: Oh, then I don’t have to worry about getting any passes from you.

Later in the interview, Houser talks about how hockey has grown in Los Angeles over the past 20 years and how Wayne Gretzky coming to L.A. has increased interest in the Celebrity All-Star Team.

The game between the Celebrity All-Stars and Blackhawks Alumni was played sometime in September of 1989, and I recorded it on a VHS tape when it was televised a few weeks later in early October of 1989. (The Blackhawks even blacked out live broadcasts of charity hockey games back then. Seriously.) Thankfully, my VHS copy still works 30 years later, because the world needed to see Killer Carlson interviewing the future Panthers GM. ■

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

Video: SportsChannel 1989 Stanley Cup Championship Intro


This was the intro to Game 6 of the 1989 Stanley Cup Finals, which aired in the United States on SportsChannel America. The next season, SportsChannel changed the intro animation, but thankfully retained the awesome theme music. Admit it — you at least thought of playing air guitar while watching the intro. 

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

Ten Funny Wayne Gretzky Commercials

Wayne Gretzky has endorsed numerous products, and thus has been in a lot of commercials during and after his NHL career. But many of the commercials were either footage of Gretzky playing hockey intercut with shots of products, or of him seriously explaining that whatever he was shilling was a good thing. Boring!

So, in honor of The Great One’s Birthday today, I came up with a list of the 10 funniest Wayne Gretzky commercials.  

Continue reading “Ten Funny Wayne Gretzky Commercials”

Why the 1997 NHL Awards Show was the Greatest NHL Awards Show Ever

Tomorrow is the 2017 NHL Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas. During the show, the Vegas Golden Knights will also reveal who they selected in the expansion draft. If you haven’t already thought about that, do so now; a show that will heap praise upon the NHL’s best players will also highlight those not good enough to stay on their current teams.  

The NHL Awards have been cringe-worthy in its attempts to be funny for as long as we care to remember– with B-list comics making D-list jokes — while also seemingly trying to pander to non-hockey fans. Adding in expansion draft “revelations” can only make this year’s award show even worse. 

This got me thinking about the 1997 NHL Awards Show, which conveniently took place 20 years ago (people love anniversaries, as do I). The NHL Awards in 1997 tried to be funny, but in a sweet way, and succeeded where current NHL Awards shows do not. The 1997 show was hosted by Ron MacLean, who is serious but has a sense of humor. The 1997 NHL Awards Show had a good mix of celebrities who actually liked hockey as award presenters, jokes that aren’t bad and some humorous segments that introduced the awards nominees. Future rap sensation Drake even made a cameo as a 10-year old boy. 

But the best were these comedy sketches that served as “bumpers” before and after commercial breaks. I dare the NHL to once again at least attempt something as funny as “The Wig Helmet.” Read on, and you’ll soon understand what I mean.  Here is a rundown, with images and video clips, on why the 1997 NHL Awards Show was the best NHL Awards Show — ever!  Continue reading “Why the 1997 NHL Awards Show was the Greatest NHL Awards Show Ever”

Phil and Tony Esposito’s Action Hockey Tabletop Game Print Ad & Commercial

Sell_Sheet_FrontI found this picture of Phil Esposito and Tony Esposito in a pile of old sports memorabilia at a card show a few years back. It shows the famous brothers playing for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series, along with facsimiles of their autographs. On the flip side is an advertisement for a tabletop hockey game they endorsed. Continue reading “Phil and Tony Esposito’s Action Hockey Tabletop Game Print Ad & Commercial”

Top Ten Hockey Player Pick-Up Lines

Where were you today in 1998?

Me? I was parked in front of my television, excitedly anticipating the start of the hockey games in the 1998 Winter Olympics. This was the first time that the NHL would allow its best players to compete in the Olympic Games, which were held in Nagano, Japan that year. Many Americans, including myself, had high expectations for Team USA, especially considering that they won the World Cup of Hockey tournament in 1996.

But, the Men’s Ice Hockey Team performance — and off-ice conduct — was nothing short of a disaster in those games. (Fortunately, the Women’s Team redeemed the U.S. and won the Gold.) A few hours before their first game, against Sweden on February 13, 1998, David Letterman featured a hockey-themed Top-Ten List.  Below is the transcript, Continue reading “Top Ten Hockey Player Pick-Up Lines”

Ilya Bryzgalov “Mad” Music Video


This is currently my favorite video on YouTube. It combines Ilya Bryzgalov’s famous “Why you have to be mad?” quote with MAGIC!’s  hit singe “Rude.” The visuals are funny, in a bad Photoshop sort of way, and the lyrics make sense if you have followed Bryzgalov’s career the past decade. Continue reading “Ilya Bryzgalov “Mad” Music Video”

What’s That Song in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Commercial?

If you live in the U.S., chances are you’ve seen the above commercial for the upcoming NHL All-Star Game — probably ten times an hour when watching your favorite team on TV. Visually, it’s a pretty cool commercial, with elite NHL players as celestial bodies in the sky, playing hockey among the stars. But if that tune playing in the ad has started to grow on you after hearing it for the 40th time, you’re probably asking, hey, what’s that generic-sounding alt-rock noise in the background?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Continue reading “What’s That Song in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Commercial?”