Blake’s Takes: We Have Hub Cities!

Our hub cities have finally been leaked. The NHL season will continue in two cities in Canada: Edmonton and Toronto. There was also big news reported on a possible return to the Olympics for NHL players. Overall, last week offered a lot of positive in the hockey world. Which is something we all need badly right now.

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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: 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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Collectors Corner #50: Moving My Collection

In this episode of the Collectors Corner, Sal Barry discusses the difficulties of moving his sports memorabilia collection to a new home. Plus, the postponement of the Chicago Sports Spectacular, the cancellation of the Chicago Blackhawks Convention…and a pair of goalie skates that fetched top dollar at a recent auction. 

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

Custom Card: 1978-79 Topps Bobby Orr

It’s the 50th anniversary of Bobby Orr’s most memorable goal —  the one where he’s flying through the air and celebrating after clinching a Stanley Cup victory — and that got me thinking. Bobby Orr, the greatest defenseman to ever play the great game of hockey, never had a decent hockey card when he played for the Chicago Black Hawks. All of his card from 1976-77 and 1977-78 use photos that have been crudely repainted, while his final card from 1978-79 used a photo of Orr in a Team Canada uniform. 

That always bothered me. So, I decided to give Orr a final card that is more fitting for a player of his magnitude.  Continue reading “Custom Card: 1978-79 Topps Bobby Orr”

Blake’s Takes: American League Flirting

Last week was a busy one for the NHL. It was the first week in more than a month where I had backup takes (more on those next week). This week, I’ll touch on the interesting dynamic between AHL and NHL teams. Also, the Blackhawks made a huge move in their front office which warrants a look. Plenty more, too. Stay safe everyone!

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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

Book Review – Chris Chelios: Made in America

Chris Chelios is the greatest American-born defenseman to play in the NHL. He may be the greatest American to ever play hockey at any position. Chelios spent 26 seasons in the NHL, breaking in with the Montreal Canadians at age 22 in 1984, winning numerous accolades along the way, and finally retiring at age 48 in 2010.

Also, Chris Chelios is my favorite hockey player of all-time. So, I am not sure why it took me this long to review “Chris Chelios: Made in America,” penned by Chelios and former USA Today hockey writer Kevin Allen in 2014. Nor can I guarantee that this will be a totally unbiased review of his book.

Regardless of how you feel about Chelios — hockey fans either loved him or hated him for his physical, almost reckless style of play — his book is an enjoyable memoir of his storied career.

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Puck Junk Podcast: January 22, 2020

The Upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star Game, plus Patrick Kane and Gerard Gallant

In this week’s episode of the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about the upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star Game — including the 3-on-3 women’s game that will take place during the Skills Competition. Plus, Gerard Gallant’s firing, Patrick Kane joining the 1000-point club, and more. This podcast is 1 hour and 5 minutes of pure hockey goodness!

Show Notes and Links:
Here is what the 2020 NHL All-Star Game jerseys look like (picture).
And here is a visual history of NHL All-Star Game jerseys (pictures).
Did you see Dougie Hamilton’s leg injury? Ouch! (video)

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

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Blake’s Takes: Milestone Watch

Last week, we saw two of the game’s best players reach tremendous milestones. We also saw a milestone reached off the ice. And, as is tradition this season, another team in the hunt for the playoffs fired their coach. Read all about it below!

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