Puck Junk Podcast: March 24, 2020

1986-87 Topps & O-Pee-Chee Hockey Cards

This week, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about the cancellation of the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships and two Ottawa Senators players testing positive for COVID-19. They discuss Wayne Gretzky breaking the all-time goal record 26 years ago, and how Coronavirus disease has affected the trading card hobby. Finally, they take a long look at the 1986-87 Topps and O-Pee-Chee Hockey card sets.

Show Notes and Links: 
NHL Provides Q&A Regarding Coronavirus Pause (NHL)
IIHF Worlds cancellation FAQ (IIHF)
Possible Names for Seattle’s NHL Team (Puck Junk)
Every 1993-94 Hockey Card Set Ranked (Puck Junk)
Video: Wayne Gretzky breaks Gordie Howe’s goal record. (SportsNet)
Picture: 1993-94 Pinnacle Wayne Gretzky Card #512 (Trading Card DB)
Picture: 1993-94 Upper Deck Wayne Gretzky “802” card (Trading Card DB)
Sport Card & Memorabilia Expo – Response to COVID-19 (Sport Card Expo)
1986-87 Topps Hockey Card Checklist (Trading Card DB)
1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Card Checklist (Trading Card DB)
Custom Joel Otto and Moe Lemay “Corrected” cards (Puck Junk)
Puck Junk Facebook Group (Facebook)

Here are some images from the 1986-87 Topps and O-Pee-Chee sets:

1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Patrick Roy rookie card

1986-87 Topps Mario Lemieux – 2nd major card

1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Gary Suter rookie card

1986-87 Topps John Vanbiesbrouck rookie card

1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Wendel Clark rookie card

1986-87 Topps Dirk Graham rookie card

1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Steve Thomas rookie card

1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Roberto Romano rookie card – love the alliteration!

1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Joel Otto rookie card – ERROR – pictures Moe Lemay

1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Moe Lemay – ERROR – pictures Joel Otto

1986-87 Topps Murray Bannerman – dig that mask!

1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Box Bottoms Wayne Gretzky

1986-87 Topps Insert Stickers Michel Goulet All-Star

1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Goals Against Leaders Bob Froese

1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Save Percentage Leaders Bob Froese

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

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Puck Junk Podcast: February 7, 2020

1985-86 Topps & O-Pee-Chee Hockey Cards

In this episode of the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish take a long look back at the 1985-86 Topps and O-Pee-Chee Hockey Card sets. They also talk about some new releases, including 2019-20 Upper Deck Allure. This podcast weighs in at 90 minutes, so get ready for an extra-large helping of hockey goodness!

Show Notes and Links:
2019-20 Upper Deck Allure Hockey Checklist (Beckett)
Mike Mondano making “Modano Face” (image)
That rare Zdeno Chara Day with the Cup card (image)
Some images from the 1985-86 O-Pee-Chee set:

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

Subscribe to the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play MusicSpotifyiHeartRadioStitcherPodchaserPocketCastsCastbox , Castro,
OvercastTuneIn and SoundCloud.

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

Every 1993-94 Hockey Card Set Ranked

The 1993-94 season was my favorite year to collect hockey cards. Everything about that season was just so right for me. I was living with my Grandmother and going to a local junior college, so my cost of living was low. I was working full-time at a card and comic book shop, so I could buy new cards at a deep discount. I had just gotten my drivers licence, so I could drive around Chicago to other card shops or local shows to find the last few inserts I needed for a given set. Plus, I was still promoting a monthly neighborhood show, so a lot of times people would bring me cards that I needed. My situation in life made collecting easy for me that year.

As for the cards themselves, the 1993-94 season was the last year before hockey card collecting got out of hand. Packs were still affordable, with most between $1 and $3. (The 1994 NHL Lockout would change that, but that’s a story for another time.) There were really no short prints, other than the odd insert, so sets were fairly easy to complete. There were some great insert sets, but not so many different insert sets like it is today, where you can buy a box of cards and get 40 different inserts across 10 different insert sets. There were five different card companies competing with each other, so they had to try hard to do better than one another.

For example, Topps finally got with the program and printed its flagship set on quality card stock, with gloss coating and full-color backs. The company also issued the set in two series, so it could include rookies and traded players in their new uniforms later on that season.

Unfortunately, there were some casualties. Pro Set had gone bankrupt in 1992-93, and while it tried to issue a set for the 1993-94 season, its license was revoked by the NHL. The NHL also mandated that companies could only issue two sets per season, so Topps had to jettison its unpopular Bowman Hockey set, while O-Pee-Chee stopped making its own smaller, premium “Premier” set, as the “Premier” name would be used by both Topps and O-Pee-Chee that year for their large, two-series card sets.

One addition to this year’s ranking is how each company included Alexander Daigle in their sets. Daigle was selected first-overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Pinnacle Brands — which made the Score and Pinnacle hockey card sets — had worked out a deal with Daigle, so that only they could picture him in a Senators uniform until he played in an NHL game. The other companies could not use a “Draft Day” photo, nor could they use photo manipulation to put his head on a different Senators player’s body. Thus, they had to get a little creative in how to picture that season’s hottest rookie in their hockey card sets that year.

As I have done with the 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 sets, here is my retrospective and ranking of every hockey card set issued in 1993-94.

Continue reading “Every 1993-94 Hockey Card Set Ranked”

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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Box Break: 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee Premier

During The National last month, I purchased a box of 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee Premier Hockey cards for $5. It seemed like a fun retro break to do. The set is small, at just 198 cards, and seemed relatively easy to put together. Plus, I already had some doubles in my collection, so I thought if anything, I’d get a set out of the deal. I was wrong.

Continue reading “Box Break: 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee Premier”

The 10 Best Hockey Cards from 1988-89

Thirty years ago, the 1988-89 hockey season was winding down. Wayne Gretzky was in his first season with the Los Angeles Kings, while the Calgary Flames would go on to win their first Stanley Cup Championship. Hockey legends Marcel Dionne and Lanny McDonald retired at the end of the season, while Guy Lafleur successfully started his three-year comeback.

It was also a simpler time for hockey card collectors. There were only two mainstream hockey sets to collect — Topps and O-Pee-Chee — and there were not yet any Eric Lindros cards for speculators to hoard. In fact, the word “hockey cards” and “investments” weren’t even uttered in the same sentence back then.

The 1988-89 season was also when I first discovered hockey — and thus started collecting hockey cards. So, here is a look at the 10 best hockey cards from the 1988-89 season. These are not necessarily the most valuable or most-rare hockey cards from that year; rather, these are cards that have significance and should be in any serious hockey card collection.

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A Closer Look at 10 Hockey Card Blunders

In the 100-plus years that companies have made hockey cards, countless mistakes have been made – from spelling a player’s name wrong, to getting a stat incorrect, to picturing the wrong guy. But every now and then, a card company gaffed so egregiously that you wonder if anyone was even paying attention. Here are the ten biggest hockey card blunders. Read the full article at Sports Collectors Digest.

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

Box Break: 2018-19 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

At last! It’s finally here! The annual hockey set builders dream release, better known as 2018-19 O-Pee-Chee. Upper Deck has had the O-Pee-Chee brand back in circulation since the 2006-07 season and shows no signs of letting up. The annual monster set features 500 base cards plus an additional 100 short-printed cards that feature Marquee Rookies, League Leaders, Team Checklists, and Season Highlights. With a selection of 600 cards, you are bound to get a card of your favorite player — even if it happens to be Scott Foster.

For 2018-19 O-Pee-Chee, hobby boxes feature 24 packs of cards with ten cards in each pack. 240 cards isn’t bad when you consider a box will generally run you about $70 (so roughly $.30/card). This year’s design actually uses quite a bit of real estate devoted to the player photo, unlike some other years. The fronts feature an action shot of the player with the team logo on the bottom corner. The borders on the base cards is a light gray/white color with an interior border around the photo that features a cut out on top for the team name and on the bottom for the O-Pee-Chee logo and the player name. The position is also located on the bottom above the brand logo but is very small.

The backs (assuming anyone cares) are dominated by that corrugated cardboard color with black text. There is another inset border like the front that surrounds the player name, vitals, card number, and statistics. If you are looking for career stats, you will find most of them in their entirety on the back of O-Pee-Chee cards.

Enough about the design — lets get to the good stuff. 

Continue reading “Box Break: 2018-19 O-Pee-Chee Hockey”

Every 1992-93 Hockey Card Set Ranked

Trading card companies continued to raise the stakes during the 1992-93 season, as the hockey card market continued to boom. Fleer entered the marketplace with its premium “Ultra” set, while Score doubled down, making truly unique sets for the U.S. and Canadian markets. Coincidentally, for the first time in their 25-year partnership, Topps and O-Pee-Chee released hockey sets that were different in design from one another. Meanwhile, Upper Deck continued to thrive, while Pro Set barely limped to the finish line. A lot happened with hockey cards 25 years ago.

However, the biggest news in hockey collectibles at the time was that 19-year old rookie Eric Lindros was going to make his NHL debut. Up until that point, only Score could legally include Lindros in its sets, due to an endorsement deal he signed with Score in 1990. That deal expired once Lindros became an active NHL player. With his debut imminent, but no photo of Lindros in a Flyers uniform readily available, the card companies had to figure out how they were going to include “The Next One” in its hockey card sets.

Here are my rankings of all 13 major hockey card sets released during the 1992-93 season. I count Score Pinnacle “U.S.” and “Canadian” (or “English” and “Bilingual,” if you prefer) as separate sets for reasons I’ll explain later. Also, this list does not include Panini stickers, because most collectors don’t consider those as “cards.” Nor does this list include small sets like McDonald’s, or oddball stuff like Season’s Action Patches.

So, will Upper Deck be number one for three years in a row?

Continue reading “Every 1992-93 Hockey Card Set Ranked”

Gretzky’s Trade to Kings Changed Hockey – and Collecting – Forever

Thirty years ago, on August 9, 1988, the biggest trade in sports was made when the Edmonton Oilers sent Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in a multiplayer deal that included draft picks and $15 million.

It was the biggest trade in history because it proved that no one was untouchable – not even a superstar player who topped the league in scoring seven of the previous eight seasons, led his team to four championships, won 23 individual awards, held 49 league records and was on the verge of breaking many more.

Gretzky’s move to the second-largest market in North America not only accelerated the growth of hockey in the United States, it sparked the eventual explosion in popularity for hockey cards and collectibles.

Read the full article at Sports Collectors Digest

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk