Don’t let the release date fool you. The 2021-22 Synergy Hockey set was released in February 2023, about a year later than it should have come out. Part of the reason for this is that the plastic used to make Synergy cards was in short supply during the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, things are starting to normalize again — at least with trading cards, which are coming out, *ahem*, less than a year late instead of over a year late.
Two features make Synergy base cards unique. The cards are twice as thick as normal cards, with a top layer that is printed on die-cut foil board and a bottom layer printed on Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG) plastic, usually referred to as acetate. Synergy cards are similar to the “two-layer thick” Fleer EX cards from the 1990s and in various retro-themed sets over the past decade. Synergy base cards, and even more so the insert cards, feel like they would fit right in with the zany, overdesigned hockey cards from the 1990s.
This is the fifth year that Upper Deck has released Synergy as a hockey card set. A box costs about $100 and contains eight three-card packs, for a total of 24 cards. I recently broke a box of 2021-22 Synergy. Let’s see what’s inside.