The dominos continue to drop around the league as another few RFAs finally broke their respective stalemates. I’ll give my takes on those deals, the great, the good, and the decent. There was also some huge news that could prevent another lockout. The NHL offseason is exciting once again!
How many synonyms can I use for the word extension? You will have to keep reading to find out because this edition of Blake’s Takes is all about extensions. Mitch Marner finally signed an extension. Many of the other big-name RFAs followed suit, making last week one of the most memorable weeks of the summer in the hockey world.
Last week, a few big-name players signed contract extensions, and superstars were traded. The NHL Awards and the NHL Draft also took place. Here are a few of the biggest headlines from one of the craziest weeks in hockey.
The St. Louis Blues did it. They won their first-ever Stanley Cup. This week’s Blake’s Takes looks at how the Blues conquered hockey’s Mt. Everest and who the key players were along the way. I also highlight the first few major moves of the offseason.
This is the Eric Lindros card that flew under most hockey card collectors’ radar. While seasoned collectors are familiar with Lindros’ rookie card from the 1990-91 Score set, or the numerous other Lindros cards from the early 1990s, this one is a hidden gem. It is the first-ever card to picture Lindros in a Philadelphia Flyers uniform and was both a giveaway and an insert, but not particularly easy to get either way.
Thirty years ago, in the summer of 1988, Wayne Gretzky was traded to the L.A. Kings. While no move made during this offseason could ever top that, some NHL GMs were nonetheless working on blockbuster deals of their own. Here are the five biggest moves of the 2018 offseason.
Dave “The Hammer” Schultz was many things during his hockey career: a Stanley Cup Champion, a Philadelphia Flyers legend and a member of the “Broad Street Bullies” of the 1970s. No one would ever mistake him for the King of Pop or the Thin White Duke. Nevertheless, in 1975, Schultz released a 7-inch double-sided record called, appropriately enough, “The Penalty Box.”
Life came full circle for Eric Lindros when the Philadelphia Flyers retired 88 – his number for eight seasons in Philly – on January 18.
After more than a decade of icy feelings between him and the Flyers, he received the highest honor a team could bestow upon one of its former players. Lindros joins Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, Barry Ashbee, Bill Barber and Mark Howe as the only Flyers to have their numbers retired in the team’s 50-year history.
“This evening has given me a chance to reflect and remember special moments, special people, and of course you, the amazing fans that support the Flyers of Philadelphia,” Lindros said to the sold-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center, moments before his number was raised to the rafters.
Lindros was an offensively gifted physical player who was just as likely to bring fans to their feet by scoring as goal as he was by delivering a bone-crunching hit. Nicknamed “The Big E” for his 6’4”, 230 lb. frame, Lindros was the Flyers’ team captain for six seasons and was the most dominant forward in the NHL in the mid-to-late 1990s. He was also hockey’s first “investible” player; that is, the player that collectors and speculators would want cards of because of potential future value – much like Shaquille O’Neal was to basketball card collecting around the same time.
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Eric Lindros will have his number 88 retired by the Philadelphia Flyers tonight in a pregame ceremony. He made the double-eight famous during his eight seasons with the Flyers. Lindros had a lot of hockey cards made during his career — many even before he even skated in an NHL game. I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of his more offbeat cards. So, here are 10 Eric Lindros hockey cards that are strange, odd or just downright ridiculous.
…with Sal Barry & Tim Parish
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In the newest Puck Junk Podcast, Sal and Tim (@TheRealDFG) discuss the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees: Sergei Makarov, Rogie Vachon, Pat Quinn and Eric Lindros. Did you know that each of these inductees all were at the center of controversy, at one time or another, during their careers? We talk about that too.
Also in this episode:
Upper Deck’s exclusive autograph deal with Auston Matthews.
Playing fantasy hockey on the Topps NHL Skate mobile app.
Martin Brodeur playing in the upcoming Blues alumni game.
Tim’s kids opening packs of 1991-92 Stadium Club Hockey.
Podcast #19 is SUPERSIZED at 1 hour and 1 minute — and it’s totally free! What a bargain! Theme music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.
Oh, and here are the two articles mentioned in the podcast:
So, what are your thoughts on the 2016 Hall of Fame inductees, on Topps Skate, the Auston Matthews-Upper Deck agreement, or anything else? Leave a comment below. ■