Happy Monday and welcome to Snap Shots. This week, we will look at two NHL milestones that were reached, a recap of hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and the long-awaited return of one of the league’s star players.
The day we’ve been waiting for is almost here. The 2021-22 NHL season starts on Tuesday at 7:30 pm EST when the puck drops in Tampa Bay as the Lightning take on the vising Penguins. In addition to looking at the upcoming season, I’ll also look at a massive contract extension, and a few very notable injuries.
Happy Monday and let’s get this season started.
The Kirill Kaprizov standoff has ended. The Russian-winger will suit up with the Wild this season after signing a massive extension. That will be my first take of the week. I’ll also report on new jersey patches, the league’s outlook on full arenas, and a few other interesting tidbits.
Last week was perhaps the most exciting week of the NHL season. The league hosted two outdoor games at Lake Tahoe. The broadcast was incredible and the league might have created one of the most-attractive made-for-TV sporting experiences we’ve seen yet. I’ll share my thoughts on the Lake Tahoe experiment in this week’s column.
In addition to the outdoor games, the past week wasn’t short for headlines. New Jersey named their newest captain and a few other milestones were achieved. As usual, I’ll also share with you one of my favorite plays of the week.
Football season is over, which means hockey season is officially in full swing. Last week we saw a major front-office move. With the lack of other major storylines, I’m bringing you some of my favorite highlights I saw across the NHL last week. Buckle up because you’re in for some fun.
There wasn’t any monumental news around the league this week. At least none that forced me to edit my column at the last minute. This week, I’ll tie up a few more loose ends and highlight a few former GMs that made headlines. I’ll also share with you one of my favorite uniform concepts and a few special goals.
After everything that’s happened since the league paused for COVID-19 back in March, the Stanley Cup will be lifted this week. Tampa Bay won three straight games, but couldn’t close it out against Dallas in Game 5. They’ll face off again in Game 6 tonight with Tampa up 3-2 in the series.
The Stanley Cup Finals has provided its share of storylines, from the return of Steven Stamkos, the dominance of Joe Pavelski, and bad luck of Tyler Seguin.
Outside of the Stanley Cup, the other 30 teams have been busy handing out extensions and making trades.
You can find five of my favorite storylines below.
Also, here’s the best song I heard last week!
Continue reading “Blake’s Takes: Lightning One Win Away”
Episode 66: Collecting Mario Lemieux
In Episode #66 of the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish focus on the greatest “Number 66” ever: Mario Lemieux! They discuss the many, many different Mario Lemieux insert and tribute sets that were issued over the years, as well as some of the more offbeat Super Mario cards. Sal and Tim also talk about the new “Red Penguins” hockey documentary, the NHL playoffs so far and new hockey cards released this week.
Show Notes, Links and Images:
Profile on CBC announcer Jim Hughson (CBC)
“Red Penguins” streaming links (iTunes & Amazon Prime Video)
Topps Now Hockey stickers (Topps)
Panini hockey cards at the Panini online store (Panini)
Upper Deck Game Dated Moment card for Week 43 (Upper Deck Blog)
More about the LeBron James card that sold for $1.8M (Sports Byline USA)
The card that Randy Carlyle won’t autograph (Puck Junk)
Career In Cards: Mario Lemieux (Puck Junk)
More about Warren Young, Mario Lemieux’s teammate (Puck Junk)
Tim’s list of Mario Lemieux insert and tribute sets (PDF)
Images and set reviews of various Mario Lemieux cards.
1985-86 Topps #9 – Mario Lemieux (rookie card) – set review here.
1992-93 Clark Bun Mario Lemieux card – set review here.
1993-94 Leaf Mario Lemieux Collection #3 – set review here.
1997 Mario Lemieux Moments Card #13
1997 Mario Lemieux Moments Empty Wrapper for Pack #6
1983 Canadian National Junior Mario Lemieux postcard – set review here
2001-02 Topps #328 – Mario Returns
1996-97 Metallic Impressions Mario Lemieux Set
1997-98 Pacific #66 Mario Lemieux (found in packs of 2001-02 Pacific)
Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop. ■
Sal Barry was a guest on Titillating Sports with Rick Tittle to discuss the new hockey documentary “Red Penguins,” which is about the strange business partnership between the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Russian Red Army hockey team and the Walt Disney Corporation. They also talk about the NHL playoffs “in the bubble” thus far.
“Red Penguins” is a new hockey documentary about the strange partnership between the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Russian Red Army hockey team and the Walt Disney Corporation. Back in the early 1990s, the famed Red Army hockey team was broke, so it reached out to NHL teams for help. The Pittsburgh Penguins answered the call, and for two seasons co-owned the Red Army team, re-branding it as the Russian Penguins.
Things went well at first. Pittsburgh Penguins ownership brought in a marketing team that introduced “North American Hockey” to an unsuspecting Russian fan base — from opening-night theatrics, game-night giveaways, strippers (seriously), bears drinking beer and more. It was nothing like Russian hockey fans had ever seen. Unfortunately, this also drew the attention of the Russian Mob, who wanted a piece of the action, too. And that’s when things really go off the rails.
If this story sounds familiar to you, it is because I wrote about it last year for The Hockey News. Last fall, “Red Penguins” was featured at the Toronto International Film Festival and received strong reviews. The film was set to be released in theaters this spring, but then the COVID-19 pandemic swept the continent and closed theaters.
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.