Building a Mystery: The Making of Mystery, Alaska – An Oral History

It was the original Winter Classic. Two teams facing off and getting back to their roots, playing shinny outdoors on a frozen pond under a grey, wintry sky. Only in this story, one team is the New York Rangers and the other is a group of amateurs from a small town. Mystery, Alaska, the classic underdog story of pros versus joes, turns 20 this fall.

Why does the movie Mystery, Alaska resonate with fans two decades later? Perhaps because it is one of the few movies that gets its hockey right. With all due respect to The Mighty Ducks and Youngblood, there are no silly knuckle-pucks or ludicrous stick-swinging duels in this film. Many people with deep hockey roots were involved in the making of Mystery, Alaska – and it shows. Producers Howard and Karen Elise Baldwin were the owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the time and had previously owned the Hartford Whalers. Scriptwriter David E. Kelley was the son of an NHL executive and the captain of his hockey team at Princeton. Brad Turner, the film’s assistant hockey co-ordinator and hockey double for Russell Crowe, played briefly for the New York Islanders and had an eight-year career in the minors. Several former players from the University of Calgary also contributed as Rangers players or as hockey doubles for the Mystery characters.

The Baldwins’ first film to involve hockey was the Jean-Claude Van Damme action flick Sudden Death. It came out in 1995 and had a hearty serving of hockey action. But in Mystery, Alaska, hockey was the main course. Oddly enough, the idea for the film came during a meal.

Read the full story at The Hockey News. 

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

Puck Junk Podcast: November 13, 2019

The Don Cherry Controversy

In the latest episode of the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish take a deep dive into the Don Cherry Controversy. Was Don out of line? Did the public overreact? Or was it a combination of the two? Plus, a recap of Upper Deck Singles Day, as well as an update on the new hockey cards that came out this week.

What do you think about what Don Cherry said? Do you think firing him was the right move by CBC? Leave a comment and let us know.

Follow Sal on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim on Twitter @TheRealDFG.
Podcast intro music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.

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Blake’s Takes: Don Cherry is Fired!

This week, I’ll dive into the firing of Don Cherry and why its a good thing for hockey. I’ll also give my take on a trade most people haven’t heard about and a hot start you should know about.

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Don Cherry is Fired!”

Collectors Corner #34 – Mystery, Alaska & eBay’s Top Sellers

In this week’s episode of Collectors Corner, Ron Barr and I talk about my latest article for The Hockey News, about the 1999 hockey movie “Mystery, Alaska.” We also chat about a new set of basketball cards spotlighting the old American Basketball Association, the top-selling sports teams and players on eBay, and this weekend’s Upper Deck Singles Day promotion.

Collectors Corner airs Friday nights at 9:25 p.m. CST. Find a nearby radio station that carries Sports Byline USA here, or stream online here.  You can also listen to past episodes here.Special thanks to Sports Byline USA for providing the audio clip.

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.
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Fender NHL Telecaster Electric Guitars

Y’all ready for some pickin’n grinnin’???  If there was one thing I could collect more than hockey-related vinyl records, it would be guitars.  Like, any guitars; doesn’t have be hockey-related.  My wife put a cap on my collection, and I’d go real broke, real fast doing that.  But I do want to share something that crosses my path that could be worth the cold, hard cash.

In the years 1999 and 2000, Fender made a limited run of guitars for the teams in the league, all limited to a maximum of 100 per club and painted with the team’s logo, plus another potential 100 featuring the NHL shield. Continue reading “Fender NHL Telecaster Electric Guitars”

Puck Junk Podcast: November 7, 2019

Do You Buy In-Person Autographs?
Plus Upper Deck Singles Day!

In this episode of the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about buying in-person autographs  on the secondary market. Not a certified autograph that you’d find in a pack of cards, but an item that a dealer claims that he (or someone else) got signed and is now selling. They also discuss the 2020 Winter Classic jerseys for the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars. Plus, Chris Carlin from Upper Deck tells us about the upcoming Upper Deck Singles Day trading card promotion. It’s 80 minutes of hockey goodness!

Do you buy in-person autographs? Did you enjoy the latest Puck Junk Hockey Podcast? Is there a topic you would like us to talk about in an upcoming episode of the Puck Junk Podcast? Leave a comment and let us know!

Follow Sal on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim on Twitter @TheRealDFG.
Podcast intro music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.
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Collectors Corner #33 – NCAA Collectibles & Bootleg Sports Jerseys

In this episode of Collectors Corner, Ron Barr and I talk about how the NCAA’s decision to allow student athletes to make money might impact sports collectibles. We also discuss the pros and cons of bootleg sports jerseys.

Collectors Corner airs Friday nights at 9:25 p.m. CST. Find a nearby radio station that carries Sports Byline USA here, or stream online here.  You can also listen to past episodes here.Special thanks to Sports Byline USA for providing the audio clip.

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Sports Byline USA on Twitter @SportsBylineUSA

Blake’s Takes: Big Goals and Huge Surprises in the Standings

This week’s Blake’s Takes highlights two things, big goals, and huge surprises in the standings. This past week featured two of the best goals in the NHL over the last few seasons.  Also, I’ll dive into two teams that are playing above and below their offseason expectations.

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Big Goals and Huge Surprises in the Standings”

Puck Junk Podcast: October 31, 2019

2019-20 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Cards

In this episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about the new 2019-20 O-Pee-Chee Hockey card set. Plus, the latest about Topps Now Hockey stickers and Upper Deck Game Dated Moments, and Tim finds more outrageous hockey items on eBay. It’s one full hour of hockey goodness.

Did you enjoy this podcast? Is there a topic you would like us to talk about in an upcoming episode of the Puck Junk Podcast? Leave a comment and let us know!
Follow Sal on Twitter @PuckJunk.

Follow Tim on Twitter @TheRealDFG.
Podcast intro music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.
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Blake’s Takes: Nashville Locks Up Josi

For this week’s Blakes’ Takes, I share my thoughts on Roman Josi’s monster contract extension. I take a look at a few teams that have lost their stars due to injuries. Also, you can find my takes on the most surprising teams of the year and one scorching hot start.

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Nashville Locks Up Josi”