Review: 2015-16 Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins Team Set

Almost every season since 2000-01, Choice Marketing has issued a team set of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 2015-16 Wilkes-Barre Penguins set is worth a look from hockey card collectors because of the nice design and, more importantly, because many of the players in this set went on to play in the NHL. 

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Puck Junk Podcast #24 – May 12, 2017

…with Sal Barry & Tim Parish

It’s been two weeks, so get ready for a super-sized podcast. In this episode, Sal and Tim talk about the second round of the 2017 NHL playoffs, including the Penguins-Capitals series, Upper Deck’s new Bounty program with SP Authentic, and Goon: Last of the Enforcers finally getting a U.S. release date. Other topics discussed include Grandeur Hockey Coins, and Sal’s long-unfulfilled wish for a Youngblood sequel.

Podcast #24 is 1 hour and 23 minutes of hockey goodness. 

Follow Sal on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim on Twitter @TheRealDFG

Puck Junk Podcast #23 – April 25, 2017

…with Sal Barry & Tim Parish


Player not working? Listen to this podcast on SoundCloud.

Sal & Tim talk about the craziness that was the first round of the 2017 NHL Playoffs, playing daily fantasy playoff hockey on the Topps Skate mobile app, building sets on the cheap with Upper Deck E-Pack, Dennis Wideman gettin’ sued and more. 

Podcast #23 is an hour long, so grab a tall one, kick back and hit play.

Follow Sal on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim on Twitter @TheRealDFG

Custom Hockey Card: Irwin the Penguin

While sorting through a box of old hockey memorabilia, I came across this “custom card” that I made many years ago of Irwin the Penguin.

Of course, you have no idea who Irwin the Penguin is, so allow me to explain. Back when we were kids, Irwin was my sister’s favorite stuffed animal. One day during the summer of 1989, I decided to make a drawing of her toy penguin as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, since that seemed like an obvious team to put him on.

But it wasn’t *just* a drawing — it was a hockey card, complete with statistics on the back.   Continue reading “Custom Hockey Card: Irwin the Penguin”

Pittsburgh Penguins “Man In Black” Promo Cards

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Back in the 1990s, many unlicensed hockey cards were made by those looking to quickly — and illegitimately — cash in on the booming sports trading card industry. Some of the more notable fake cards that circulated include a card of Wayne Gretzky as a member of the WHA’s Indianapolis Racers, and another that featured Eric Lindros, Sergei Fedorov and Ed Belfour.

Allegedly, a men’s clothing store called “Man In Black” put out a cheap-looking, six-card set that featured popular Pittsburgh Penguins players. While the Penguins in the 1990s were great, these cards of them are awful.

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Review: 1993-94 Pittsburgh Penguins

1_Mario_LemieuxDuring the 1990s, Pittsburgh-area grocery chain FoodLand sponsored an annual set of Penguins trading cards. Children in and around the Pittsburgh area could get a card for free by from an on-duty police officer, who probably stored the cards in their back pockets, forever keeping them from a BGS 10 rating.

But I digress. The 1993-94 Penguins set looks good and has cards of many star players who went onto Hall of Fame careers.

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Puck Junk Podcast #11 – June 22, 2016

…with your hosts, Sal Barry and Tim Parish.


Player not working? Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud.

It’s long overdue, but Puck Junk Podcast #11 is finally here. In today’s episode, Tim and Sal talk about the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup Championship — on Tim’s insistence, of course. Then they go retro and talk about the 1990-91 Upper Deck Hockey set.

Before you click that play button, be sure to check out the images after the jump.   Continue reading “Puck Junk Podcast #11 – June 22, 2016”

Building the 2016 Pittsburgh Penguins: An Interactive Timeline

Click the above image to activate timeline. Not working? Click here.

It has been a long seven years, but the Pittsburgh Penguins have finally reclaimed the Stanley Cup. The Pens team that made back-to-back Finals appearances, losing in 2008 and winning in 2009, seemed poised to be an annual contender. Yet, the Penguins faltered, being adequate enough to make it into the playoffs, but not great enough to win it all.

That changed when Jim Rutherford was hired as the Penguins General Manager in 2014. He started re-building the team around cornerstones Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury. He made a blockbuster deal for Phil Kessel, as well as other trades, and made the controversial decision to fire Pens’ head coach Mike Johnston and replace him with their AHL coach, Mike Sullivan. It all worked out in the end.

For a more in-depth look at how the Penguins rebuilt themselves into a championship team, plus a recap of every players’ contributions, take a look at this interactive timeline. ■

Sidney Crosby’s First Hockey Card

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Before Sidney Crosby was “Sid the Kid,” he was…well, just a kid. Crosby was touted as an elite prospect long before he was drafted, and even had several hockey cards released before he went onto NHL stardom.

This is Crosby’s earliest known card, though price guides will usually omit it because it was not found in a pack with other cards. Instead, this came inside of a magazine called Rookie Review during the 2002-03 season. The photo shows Crosby when he was tearing it up for the Dartmouth Subways in Midget AAA Hockey as just a wee 14-year old phenom.

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G.I. Joe-inspired file cards of NHL players

Like many kids growing up in the 1980s, I played with G.I. Joe action figures. Each figure had an interesting code name like Snake-Eyes, Shipwreck, Roadblock or Cobra Commander, had a ton of poseability  — including swivel-arm battle grip! — and came with some pretty cool weapons.

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The back of each G.I. Joe figure’s toy packaging had a file card. Flint here has a degree in English literature.

Another great thing about G.I. Joe action figures was that each one came with its own file card on the back of the toy packaging — a small profile about the character that you were supposed to cut out and save for future reference. Believe it or not, these file cards many times became a factor when deciding which figure to buy. As a nine-year old, standing in the toy aisle of K-Mart, with only enough scratch in my Ghostbusters wallet to get one figure, I had to make a tough choice each week. All the figures looked awesome, so the file cards told you what kind of character the toy was supposed to be, which made picking one easier.

So this got me thinking, what if NHL players had file cards that summed up what you needed to know about them? It would quickly get you up to speed if you haven’t been following their career, and help you decide if you were going to like them or not.

I imagine they’d look something like these.

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