Blake’s Takes: The 2021 NHL Playoffs Are Underway

We are in the midst of the first round of the 2021 NHL Playoffs. Some teams have already been eliminated, and some teams are still fighting for their playoff lives. Regardless, this is what we’ve been waiting for. 

This week’s takes will focus on a few of the most notable postseason storylines, including a noteworthy suspension, a serious injury, and an unsurprising playoff standout.

Happy Tuesday.

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Puck Junk Podcast #91: May 20, 2021

Target Stops Selling Sports Cards
Plus NFTs, COMC & New Hockey

Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about Target’s decision to stop selling sports trading cards in its retail stores. Is the end of retail flipping? And does the hobby need retail packs, anyway? The guys also discuss NFTs, new hockey card releases and Tim FINALLY getting his order from COMC six months later. It’s 80 minutes of hockey goodness.

Show Notes and Links:
Dapper Labs Lawsuit Story (Coindesk)
New Jersey Devils NFT coins (Twitter)
Topps Now Hockey Sticker Archive (Topps)
President’s Choice Trading Cards “Roots” cards (PCTC)
Dispute Over Cards Leads to Gun… (Sports Collectors Daily)
Target Stops Selling Cards, Citing Safety Concerns (NY Times)
Rate our show and write us a review on Apple Podcasts

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG.
Podcast opening and closing music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.

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Blake’s Takes: Regular Season Wrap Up

We have finally reached the NHL playoffs. In this week’s column, I’ll deliver a few takes that will tie up some loose ends from the regular season. After this week, playoff hockey will be priority number one.

This week’s set of takes are still top-tier. The NHL celebrated a few major milestones last week. I’ll give you all my two cents about each of those and one notable player’s return from injury.

Happy Monday!

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Regular Season Wrap Up”

No Stanley for Old Men: 2021 Edition

Which of these “Old Men Without a Cup” Will Go All the Way in 2021?

The NHL Playoffs start Saturday, which raises an inevitable question in my mind: who is the oldest active player on each team to not win the Stanley Cup?

Then, I always think back to the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals. Twenty years ago, it seemed that the whole hockey world was rooting for the Colorado Avalanche to win so that veteran all-star defenseman Ray Bourque, then 41, could finally lift the Stanley Cup. Bourque had led the Boston Bruins to the Cup Finals in 1988 and 1990, but lost both time to the Edmonton Oilers. Fortunately for Bourque, he was traded to the Avalanche in 2000 and won the Cup with Colorado in 2001, so he got to cap his 22-year career as a champion. 

But not all veteran players get to go out like Bourque did. Some play nearly two decades and/or reach their 40th birthday and never come close to winning the Cup. Here is a look at the oldest player on each team in the 2021 NHL Playoffs who has yet to win hockey’s ultimate prize. Which veteran on this list are you hoping will finally lift the Stanley Cup this year? 

Continue reading “No Stanley for Old Men: 2021 Edition”

Blake’s Takes: The Week of Tom Wilson

This was one of the more exciting weeks in the NHL. The main headline was the drama surrounding Tom Wilson wreaking havoc on the New York Rangers. Wilson was a one-man wrecking crew, cross-checking and punching guys every chance he got. I’ll go into detail about his high-profile week and why his wallet isn’t as light as it should be.

Outside of Wilson, some of the league’s brightest stars reached historic milestones. If you think hard enough, you can guess who those players are. Keep reading for a great edition of Blake’s Takes.

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President’s Choice Trading Cards to Release “Roots” Hockey Card Set

President’s Choice Trading Cards will release a new hockey card set this Friday called “Roots.” The cards picture Original Six Era players — like Eddie Shore, Glenn Hall and Gordie Howe — and have a piece of game-worn memorabilia on them. Roots cards are serial numbered to 1, 2 or 3 copies each. 

The full press release is below: Continue reading “President’s Choice Trading Cards to Release “Roots” Hockey Card Set”

Quinton Byfield and Upper Deck Sign Exclusive Autograph Deal

Upper Deck announced today that they have signed L.A. Kings first-round draft pick Quinton Byfield to an exclusive autograph deal. Upper Deck will sell memorabilia autographed by Byfield, who was picked second overall in the 2020 NHL Draft. He is the highest-drafted black player in NHL history. Byfield made his NHL debut on April 28, 2021 when he suited up for the Kings against the Anaheim Ducks. 

“We are proud to have Quinton as an exclusive spokesman,” says Gabriel Garcia, Director of Upper Deck Authenticated. “He’s already made NHL history and we look forward to being a part of his journey as he continues to break barriers. We couldn’t be more excited to offer his fans a collection of new and authentic memorabilia.”

Some of the autographed items bearing Byfield’s signature are signed L.A. Kings hockey pucks, signed Sudbury Wolves jerseys and signed prints varying in size from 16″ x 20″ to 16″ x 24″. Items are available for purchase at the Upper Deck’s online store and range in price from $399 to $999. Upper Deck Authenticated is also selling prints autographed by Byfield and fellow 2020 Team Canada teammate Alexis Lafreniere, who was selected first-overall by the New York Rangers in 2020. 

The full press release from Upper Deck is below: Continue reading “Quinton Byfield and Upper Deck Sign Exclusive Autograph Deal”

Blake’s Takes: 2 Goals, 2 Retirements and a Milestone

This was an action-packed week in hockey. Two notable players decided to retire, which was sad. However, we did see a milestone from a veteran and a first goal by a rookie. As usual, I’ll highlight one of my favorite plays from last week, provided by one of our usual suspects.

Happy Monday!

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Blake’s Takes: Marleau Makes History

It was a rather quiet week in the hockey world. That gave me the opportunity to write about some of my favorite random things I saw throughout the week. That includes Stanley Cup championship rings, NHL records being broken, and very difficult goals to swallow.

Happy Monday!

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Marleau Makes History”

Blake’s Takes: Big Moves at the Trade Deadline

The dust has settled and the 2021 trade deadline is behind us. Two major trades occurred during the deadline in addition to a plethora of other smaller deals that will surely pay dividends come playoff time. Other than the deadline, last week we saw three NHLers play in their 1,000th game, the Frozen Four champion was crowned, and the Memorial Cup was canceled. Read all about it here.

Happy Monday!

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