Blake’s Takes: NHL to Play Outdoor Games in 2021

Outdoor games will be played this season. It won’t be the Winter Classic or Stadium Series, but the NHL will travel to Lake Tahoe to provide us with some outdoor entertainment. That was the biggest news of the week but not the only news. A new captain was named and a few legends of the game switched teams. I’ll fire off takes about all of those topics and more.

Happy 2021 everyone!

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: NHL to Play Outdoor Games in 2021”

Puck Junk Podcast #80: Dec. 29, 2020

Bobby Hull Interview

In this special episode of the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast, Sal Barry interviews Chicago Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull, a.k.a. “The Golden Jet.” Hull, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, talks about how he and Stan Mikita invented the curved hockey stick, his heated rivalries with John Ferguson and Bryan “Bugsy” Watson, playing advice he gave to his son Brett Hull and the time he suited up for the New York Rangers in 1959 to play in a European exhibition tour. This episode is 23 minutes long. 

Show Notes, Links and Images:
Bobby Hull career statistics (HockeyDB)
Bobby Hull official website (link)
The famous photo of Bobby Hull with a bloody nose:

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG.
Podcast opening and closing music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.
Interlude music “Here Come the Hawks” performed by Frank Pelico (YouTube)
Special thanks to the Sport Card Expo for providing the audio for this podcast. 

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Blake’s Takes: Gretzky Breaks Another Record

Another week of 2020 is in the books. There weren’t many notable headlines last week, though I dug deep and ended up finding some of my favorite stories from the past year — all of which are random and offbeat. I think you’ll like them. This week, I write about what you all care deeply about: hockey cards. I also get into a bit of social justice and investigate another photo of Connor McDavid looking awkward. 

And I almost forgot, Happy Hannukkah!

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Gretzky Breaks Another Record”

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.

Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: We Have Hub Cities!”

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.

Continue reading “What if…the Quebec Nordiques Drafted Denis Savard?”

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.

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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. ■

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