Puck Junk Podcast: March 6, 2020

How the 1994-95 NHL Lockout Forever Changed Hockey Cards

Nothing had a bigger effect on hockey trading cards than the 1994-95 NHL Lockout. Because of the lockout, companies could make more hockey sets, hockey cards became more expensive and autographed cards became more commonplace. However, the 1994 NHL lockout was not without casualties, as some card sets — as well as other licensed NHL collectibles — were cancelled, while some contests and promotions were ruined. Sal Barry and Tim Parish take a look back at the 1994-95 lockout and how it forever affected hockey cards. They also talk about the forthcoming David Ayres rookie cards and answer more listener questions.

Show Notes and Links:
Johnny Boychuk gets hit in the face with a skate (YouTube)
Jim Little responds to being fired by Ottawa Senators (Twitter)
The “Saved By the Bell” design of 1994-95 Score boxes (Trading Card DB)
Robin Lehner shows off a bruise from stopping a shot (Twitter)

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

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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”

The 1990’s Weirdest Hockey Cards

Hockey cards have changed significantly since their inception and even more so since the “modern era of collecting” which began in 1990. Despite all of these changes, not every set issued was a hit from a collector’s standpoint. In that vein, there have been a ton of flat-out weird cards produced, especially towards the end of that decade.  These cards were believed by overzealous manufacturers to be exactly what collectors wanted, only to receive a not-so-wanted reception. With that I would like to share with you some of the weirdest and most unique cards that I have come across from the 1990s:

Continue reading “The 1990’s Weirdest Hockey Cards”

Deja Vu Tuesday: Patrick Kane

The exact same photograph of Patrick Kane was used on two different hockey cards during the 2011-12 season. At first, I thought this could have been an honest mistake. But then my research led to an unusual conclusion: what if one card company deliberately decided to use the same photograph to troll their competitor? 

Continue reading “Deja Vu Tuesday: Patrick Kane”

Puck Junk Podcast #16 – August 31, 2016

…with Sal Barry and Jim Howard.


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Sal Barry and guest host Jim Howard revisit the 1990s with the 1996-97 Pinnacle Mint set, which was a set of hockey cards and hockey coins. Yes, coins.

Here are a few pictures of the various cards and coins found in this set.

13_Teemu_Selanne_bronze

13_Teemu_Selanne_bronze_back

1996-97 Pinnacle Mint Bronze card (front and back)\

28_Jim_Carey_Bronze

28_Jim_Carey_Silver1996-97 Pinnacle Mint Bronze card and Silver card

13_Teemu_Selanne

13_Teemu_Selanne_back

1996-97 Pinnacle Mint card with hole (front and back)

22_Chris_Chelios

22_Chris_Chelios_back1996-97 Pinnacle Mint card with coin inserted (front and back)

sundin_coin

1996-97 Pinnacle Mint Mats Sundin bronze coin

jagr_coin

1996-97 Pinnacle Mint Jaromir Jagr bronze coin

bure_coin

1996-97 Pinnacle Mint Pavel Bure bronze coin

milton_berle

bure_coin

Milton Berle and Pavel Bure coin

checklist

rules1996-97 Pinnacle Mint checklist and sweepstakes rules

rules_large

1996-97 Pinnacle Mint sweepstakes rules card (large)

Total Time: 33:30

Theme music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.

Did you collect Pinnacle Mint back in the day? Or are you collecting it now? Did you unearth one of the elusive gold coins? Do you like or dislike this set? Leave a comment and let us know. ■

Patrick Kane’s “First” Hockey Card

1994-95 Pinnacle #288: Sylvain Turgeon

1994-95_pinnacle_turgeonNo NHL players can boast appearing on a hockey card 12 years before their career began — except Patrick Kane. On Sylvain Turgeon’s 1994-95 Pinnacle hockey card, you see the Senators winger trying not to fall flat on his face in a game against the Sabres from the previous year. This photo actually makes for a pretty good metaphor for the Senators’ 1993-94 season, when they went 14-61-9 in 84 games.

Now, take a closer look at the wide-eyed kid in the stands.

Continue reading “Patrick Kane’s “First” Hockey Card”

Review: 1992-93 Team Pinnacle

6 cards, 12 illustrations of 90s greats

1992-93 Team Pinnacle Ed BelfourInserted in packs of 1992-93 Pinnacle hockey trading cards, Team Pinnacle featured twelve of the greatest men to lace up skates in the 1990s. Two centers, two left wingers, two right wingers, two goalies and four defensemen are depicted in these action-oriented illustrations. While you’d think these dudes were starters in the NHL All-Star Game, or named to the NHL All-Star Team (as selected by the sports writers), that is not the case here. These guys are “Team Pinnacle”, as selected by Pinnacle (a.k.a. Score) Trading Card Company. Continue reading “Review: 1992-93 Team Pinnacle”