Puck Junk’s Top Articles of 2022

Hello Puck Junk readers, and Happy New Year! Before getting into new content for 2023, I wanted to give my annual list of the previous year’s top stories, as well as a recap of what’s going on with the Puck Junk website and podcast.

In October 2022, PuckJunk.com celebrated its 15th Anniversary. Thank you. all for your support! This site has come a long way — from a fun little blog that had zero traffic, to the blog and podcast that it is today. If I did not have readers like you, reading this right now, I probably would have quit doing this a long time ago. 

Speaking of support, readership was pretty even from 2021 to 2022. Even though card collecting cooled off a bit, die-hard collectors were still coming here in 2022 to read about hockey cards, collectibles, and culture.

I guess we can add conventions to that list, too, since a lot of our articles and podcasts have been about the National Sports Collectors Convention and the Toronto Sport Card Expo. 

Surprisingly, it isn’t just Americans and Canadians who visit this site. Readers from 139 different countries visited Puck Junk in 2022. Most of our visitors comes from (in order) Canada, followed closely by the United States, with Finland, Sweden, and Czechia rounding out the top five. 

Listenership of the Puck Junk Podcast grew a bit in 2022. Most of our podcast listeners are from the United States, then Canada, Germany, Finland and — checks notes — Australia? Yep, we have listeners from “Down Under.” 

Although I fell short of my goal of releasing a new podcast episode every week, we still put out 31 episodes during the 2022 calendar year. That’s five more than the 26 podcasts we released in 2021, so that’s improvement I can live with. Our most-popular podcast episode for 2022 was about the 2021-22 Upper Deck Series Two Hockey cards, followed by our ’90-91 Retrospective about the groundbreaking 1990-91 Upper Deck Hockey card set.

Even though I love podcasting, my number one passion is writing. Fortunately, Puck Junk has several contributors who are willing to share their own perspectives on hockey cards, collectibles, and culture. Below is the list of Puck Junk’s most-read articles that were published in 2022. 

Continue reading “Puck Junk’s Top Articles of 2022”

Clemente’s Corner: Card Shows You Must Attend in 2023

National Sports Collectors Convention

What makes collecting cards most fun is meeting others who share the same interests. There’s no better way to do that than attending card shows. It’s also a great place to meet other hockey collectors.

I got to attend a good number of shows in 2022. I went to my first National Sports Collectors Convention last summer in Atlantic City, N.J. A few weeks prior to that, I attended my first Sport Card Expo in Toronto.

Sure, buying hockey cards on eBay or other platforms is easy, but card shows bring people together, spark debates about the hobby and help create friendships. As a result, I hope to get to more shows in the new year.  

So many shows, both local and regional, have popped up just as the hobby has grown in popularity since the pandemic. There’s more demand for such get-togethers and that’s a great thing. The explosion in “Trade Nights” is another example of how the demand for get-togethers (as well as the chance to buy and sell cards) has also gone up in popularity.   

There’s yet a date for the 2023 Toronto Sport Expo (typically held in the spring and fall), but here are five other shows you should circle on your calendar scheduled for the first half of this year.  

Continue reading “Clemente’s Corner: Card Shows You Must Attend in 2023”

Puck Junk Podcast: Alex Ovechkin Passes Gordie Howe with Goal 802

Plus: Collecting Ovie’s Rookie Cards
Episode #138: January 2, 2023

In the first Puck Junk Podcast of 2023, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk all about Alex Ovechkin moving to second all-time in goals, and when he might pass Wayne Gretzky to become the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer. Then, they discuss Ovechkin’s rookie cards, from the surprisingly affordable to the ridiculously expensive. It’s 96 minutes of hockey goodness! 

Show Notes, Links and Images: 
Blake’s Takes Can Ovie Top Gretzky? (Puck Junk)
Martin Brodeur “Scores” Goal Against Canes’ Goalie Dan Ellis (YouTube)
Where in the World is Patrice Bergeron? (Puck Junk)
Patrice Bergeron Substitution Card (Puck Junk)

The best Alex Ovechkin card Sal got in a pack was this dual patch card of Crosby and Ovechkin, numbered 04/40. 

Follow
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Podcast music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard (Instagram @flyingV2112)

Subscribe
Subscribe to the Puck Junk Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicCastboxDeezeriHeartRadioOvercast,  
PlayerFMPocketCastsPodcast AddictPodchaserSpotifyStitcher,
or Transistor. Subscribe to the Puck Junk Channel on YouTube.  

Connect 
Connect with us and other hockey fans on the Puck Junk Facebook Group.

Support 
Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop

Puck Junk Podcast: Hockey for the Holidays

Plus: Unusual Hockey Gifts
Episode #137 – December 22, 2022

Sal Barry, Tim Parish, and Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard share stories — their own as well as those from show listeners — about giving and receiving hockey-themed gifts for the holidays. Jim also has a roundup of some of the most-unusual hockey gift ideas on the interwebz. It’s 70 minutes of holiday-themed hockey goodness.  

Show Notes, Links and Images: 
Boston Hockey Holiday Leg Lamp T-Shirt (ChowdaHeadz)
NHL Graphic Socks (Rock Em Socks)
NHL Bottle Openers, Billfolds, Bottle Stoppers, etc. (Tokens & Icons)
Ice Hockey Wine & Whiskey Decanter Set (The Wine Savant via Amazon)
Hockey Mug with a Net (MAX’IS Creations via Amazon)
Hockey Shaped Pasta (Pastabilities via Amazon)
The Day My Fart Followed Me To Hocky (Amazon)
“The Opposite of Hockey Gear” Candle (The Luna Gift Co via Etsy)
Hockey Puck Soap (Silly Soap Co. via Etsy)
“Making a Fist” Ugly Holiday Sweater (Threadrock via Etsy)
NHL Arena Map Pint Glasses (Uncommon Goods)

Finally ,here is a picture of that awesome hockey mug we all want:

Follow
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Podcast music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard (Instagram @flyingV2112)

Subscribe
Subscribe to the Puck Junk Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicCastboxDeezeriHeartRadioOvercast,  
PlayerFMPocketCastsPodcast AddictPodchaserSpotifyStitcher,
or Transistor. Subscribe to the Puck Junk Channel on YouTube.  

Connect 
Connect with us and other hockey fans on the Puck Junk Facebook Group.

Support 
Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop

Puck Junk Podcast: 2022-23 Upper Deck Series One Hockey Cards

This week, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about Connor McDavid and Upper Deck renewing their exclusive deal, the PSA and Whatnot partnership, and the top ten most-graded hockey cards. Then they discuss the 2022-23 Upper Deck Series One Hockey Set, including the myriad of inserts, the base set design, and of course the new crop of Young Guns to collect. It’s 84 minutes of hockey goodness. 

Show Notes, Links and Images
Connor McDavid “Sharpshooter” Autographed Print (Upper Deck Store)
Upper Deck and Connor McDavid Renew Exclusive Deal (Upper Deck)
PSA Partners with Whatnot (Sports Collectors Digest)
View images of 2022-23 Upper Deck Series One Hockey cards here 

Follow
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Podcast music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard (Instagram @flyingV2112)

Subscribe
Subscribe to the Puck Junk Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicCastboxDeezeriHeartRadioOvercast,  
PlayerFMPocketCastsPodcast AddictPodchaserSpotifyStitcher,
or Transistor. Subscribe to the Puck Junk Channel on YouTube.  

Connect 
Connect with us and other hockey fans on the Puck Junk Facebook Group.

Support 
Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop

2022-23 Upper Deck Series One Hockey Hobby Box Break

Each year, hockey card collecting really doesn’t heat up until the release of Upper Deck Series One. Sure, there are other sets released before Series One launches, usually in November. But it is Series One that gets everyone excited about hockey card collecting — from the casual collectors, to the die-hard hockey peeps, to the breakers, speculators and “hobby bros..” It’s the new crop of Young Guns rookie cards that gets everyone involved. 

Like it has been for over a decade, a box of Upper Deck Series One has 24 packs per box, with each pack containing eight cards. I recently got my hands on a hobby box of 2022-23 Upper Deck Series One Hockey. Let’s take a look at what I got. 

Continue reading “2022-23 Upper Deck Series One Hockey Hobby Box Break”

Puck Junk Podcast: Recap of the Fall 2022 Sport Card Expo Toronto

Episode #135 – November 17, 2022

In this episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry talks about going to the Fall 2022 Sport Card Expo in Toronto, including the cool hockey cards that he bought, the autographs he got, the interesting panel discussions he saw, and trade night. Meanwhile, Tim shares his experience of watching the Expo from afar via the Sport Card Expo mobile app. It’s 90 minutes of hockey goodness! 

Show Notes, Links, and Images:
Sport Card Expo Toronto website
Mintink – the sponsors of the Expo Trade Night – website
Some photos from the 2022 Fall Sport Card Expo Toronto

The Marquee sign at the International Center.
The cast of Slap Shot held a short panel discussion.
Sal and Jerry Houser, who played Dave “Killer” Carlson in Slap Shot. He also did voice work on The Transformers and G.I. Joe.
Former Canucks goaltender Kirk McLean (left) was interviewed by Eric Norton of Beckett.
Saturday’s Trade Night was well-attended and a lot of fun.
Sal took part in a panel discussion about collecting with several other hockey card podcasters.
The awful Toronto Maple Leafs “Dream Donut” from Tim Horton’s.
The 1972 Summit Series panel. From left: Yvon Cournoyer, Phil Esposito, Ken Reid from SportsNet, and Paul Henderson.
Sal and Laudio from NHLHockeyStickers.com
Sal picked up some 1963-64 Parkhurst Hockey cards, including these beauties. Top Row (L-R): Terry Sawchuk, Frank Mahovlich, Eddie Shack. Bottom Row (L-R): Toe Blake, John Fergusson, Cesare Maniago.
Sal bought the four series of “Legends of Hockey” postcards that he needed to finish his set. (It was only five series, so this is 80% of the set right here.) These were sold at the Hockey Hall of Fame in the 1990s. The HHOF had a table at the show and had these postcard series for sale. They’re not cheap!

Follow
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Podcast music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard (Instagram @flyingV2112)

Subscribe
Subscribe to the Puck Junk Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicCastboxDeezeriHeartRadioOvercast,  
PlayerFMPocketCastsPodcast AddictPodchaserSpotifyStitcher,
or Transistor. Subscribe to the Puck Junk Channel on YouTube.  

Connect 
Connect with us and other hockey fans on the Puck Junk Facebook Group.

Support 
Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop

2022-23 Upper Deck MVP Box Break

Upper Deck MVP is usually the first new hockey card set to hit the shelves, and this year was no exception. The 2022-23 MVP Hockey set was released in early September, roughly one month before the season started. MVP is relatively-affordable and easy enough to put together, usually weighing in at 200 base cards and 50 short prints.

A hobby box of 2022-23 MVP costs around $60. Each box has 20 eight-card packs for a total of 160 cards. Although I reviewed this set in an episode of the Puck Junk Podcast last month, I thought you might like to see what is inside a hobby box of MVP.

So, as Mr. Owl once said, “Let’s find out!” 

Continue reading “2022-23 Upper Deck MVP Box Break”

Puck Junk Podcast: The Upcoming Fall 2022 Sport Card Expo Toronto

Special Guest: Expo Promoter Mikey Singer
Episode #133 – October 31, 2022

In this episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry is joined by Mikey Singer, promoter of the Sports Card Expo — which is THE ultimate hockey card show in North America. Mikey talks about all the cool activities planned for the upcoming Fall 2022 Sport Card Expo in Toronto, including autographs from former NHL stars, panel discussions with hobby experts, a hockey card trade night, and more. It’s 35 minutes of hockey goodness!  

Show Notes and Links:
Sport Card Expo website
Sport Card Expo Tickets page
Sport Card Expo Autograph Guests page 
Sport Card Expo Events page
Mikey Singer’s event promotions company MKEM website
The Strongville (OH) Vintage Sports Card Show website

Follow
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk & Instagram @PuckJunk
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG & Instagram @therealdfg66.
Podcast music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard (Instagram @flyingV2112)

Subscribe
Subscribe to the Puck Junk Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicCastboxDeezeriHeartRadioOvercast,  
PlayerFMPocketCastsPodcast AddictPodchaserSpotifyStitcher,
or Transistor. Subscribe to the Puck Junk Channel on YouTube.  

Connect 
Connect with us and other hockey fans on the Puck Junk Facebook Group.

Support 
Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop

The Best 2022-23 NHL Game-Night Giveaway Items

It’s the start of the 2022-23 NHL season, where 32 teams play a slate of 82 regular-season games, with the hopes of winning enough to make the playoffs — or losing enough to get a high draft pick. But what better way to draw fans to a meaningless home game on a frigid Tuesday night in February than by giving them some novel trinket that they’ll soon sell on eBay — be it a bobblehead, poster, or the ever-popular magnetic schedule? 

Surprisingly, nearly half of  the teams — 14 out of 32 — are not giving anything away this year. These tended to be either Canadian teams  or U.S. teams in large markets like New York or Boston. 

Of the 18 teams that are having at least one giveaway, nine of them are giving out magnetic schedules. In fact, the Penguins are giving out magnetic schedules TWICE. 

Some of the better items that hockey fans can hope to get at a game this season include a Trevor Zegras action figure,  a Devils-themed Marvel comic book, and a Gritty hula dancer figurine.

Both the Ducks and the Coyotes are giving away something called a “Dad Hat.” If you are a father and know what that is, please let me know. 

The Kraken are giving away a league-high five bobblehead figures this year, while the Red Wings will give away four. The Blues are also giving away four bobbleheads, but all on the same night. I bet that will cause a few fights amongst the kiddos on the drive home. (“No fair! I got the Colton Parayko bobblehad! Why can’t I have the Brayden Schenn bobblehead? Mom!”

Below is a list of the best promotional items that NHL teams will be giving away to help draw fans to games over the season. 

Continue reading “The Best 2022-23 NHL Game-Night Giveaway Items”