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Category Archives: Hockey

National Hockey Card Day Is Back Again In 2015


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The celebration continues for Upper Deck‘s 25th season of making trading cards licensed by the NHL and NHLPA and collectors on both sides of the border will reap the benefits when they visit their local hobby shop for the 2015 editions of National Hockey Card Day.

Canadian hobbyists will get to obtain free packs first with a purchase on February 14 and the set will be comprised of 15 cards. A week later, American collectors are able to take advantage of the free packs and will have a unique group of 15 cards to track down.

Both promotions will also have a special 16th Memorable Moments card that is available as a gift with purchase and it is the only way to complete the set. As expected, there will also be random autograph cards inserted much like previous years. Read More »

Sunday Conversation: Chris Chelios

Chelios Overtime

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Beckett Hockey recently had the chance to speak with Hockey Hall of Fame member and author Chris Chelios about his career and thoughts about collecting sports memorabilia. Be sure to look for a complete feature on him that will be published in the February, 2015 issue.

You have recently released your autobiography with respected hockey writer Kevin Allen, which has been titled Made In America (Triumph Books) in the United States and Overtime (HarperCollins) in Canada. What spurred you to make the decision to tell your story?

“The biggest reason that I wanted to do it was, after the Hall of Fame, I had abut 100 people up there. It was pretty much as many tickets as I was able to get. The book was a way of acknowledging people and thanking them for helping me along the way, from basically my childhood and through hockey and everything. From what I have heard so far, the feedback has been good. People that I have mentioned in it have contacted me and said how grateful they were and for them, it was exciting to be a part of it.”
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Brodeur’s Back


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Last night, Martin Brodeur returned to NHL action as a member of the St. Louis Blues and while the league’s all-time leader in wins and shutouts looked a bit rusty between the pipes, fans were excited to see him back on the ice. While facing the Nashville Predators in his new mask and sweater, he made 20 saves in a tight 4-3 loss.

This afternoon, Upper Deck revealed the future Hall of Famer will be featured on his first cards with the Blues in 2014-15 SPx Hockey. They will be a part of the regular base set and also the holographic tribute to their 1997-98 SPx set.

One of the most collectible goaltenders in the hobby, Brodeur has appeared in trading card sets since the 1990-91 season and appears on over 7,000 different cards in the Beckett.com database with a total value of over $177,000 (excluding rarities). Read More »

Jean Beliveau Leaves A Cardboard Legacy

Beliveau RC

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Late last night, millions of hockey fans were shocked by the news that the legendary Jean Beliveau had passed away at the age of 83. One of the greatest players of the Original Six era, he was an iconic captain of the Montreal Canadiens for a decade and was a part of 10 Stanley Cup championships during his Hall of Fame career.

However, it was the legacy he left behind off the ice that made a greater impact with countless individuals as he carried himself with a tremendous amount of class and grace that has rarely been matched. For collectors, the loss is devastating as he was a link to one of the greatest eras in hockey history and he was praised by many for his willingness to sign autographs and often connect with his fans on a personal level.

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NHLPA Auctions Off Jerseys for Goals & Dreams


 By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

For the past 15 years, the National Hockey League Players’ Association has helped thousands of children worldwide have an opportunity to play hockey through its NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund. As part of this celebration, fans and collectors have a fantastic opportunity to help out through a series of special auctions featuring some historically significant game-used jerseys.

The NHLPA will be holding a multi-city tour over the next few months and the first stop took place in St. Paul, MN on November 18. Each stop of the tour includes a visit from current players and ambassadors and a donation is made to local programs. The first group of auctions, which are being held via the Frozen Pond website, will benefit Defending the Blue Line and Hastings Minor Hockey and includes memorabilia from local heroes Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Mike Modano.

This season, the Goals & Dreams fund anticipates donating a projected $750,000 in new hockey equipment that will benefit grassroots hockey programs throughout the world. Since its inception, more that $22,000,000 in donations have played a big part in helping 70,000 children participate in the game. Read More »

Top 5: Martin St. Louis Cards To Own

St Louis 15

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor | Commentary

The New York Rangers got a big 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday and Martin St. Louis made history that day by becoming the 81st player in NHL history to reach the 1,000 point plateau with a second period goal on netminder Steve Mason.

One of the most under-appreciated and perhaps undervalued stars in the hobby, St. Louis has quietly made a case for eventual enshrinement in the Hockey Hall of Fame with a lengthy list of accomplishments that includes three Lady Byng Trophy nods, a scoring title, a Hart Trophy win and a Stanley Cup championship.

Since making his debut in the 1998-99 season, the six-time NHL All-Star Game participant has been featured on over 2,300 cards that appear in the Beckett.com database with a total value of $27,383.54 (excluding rarities). Read on after the jump to discover five of the best. Read More »

Upper Deck Offers NHL Team Patches in Blasters


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

While it has been out for a few weeks now, 2014-15 Upper Deck Series One keeps on delivering surprises as it was announced earlier this week that certain blaster boxes of the product would contain special Team Logo patches that have not only added some strong value, but they also have created a definite buzz for team collectors and those trying to make a master set.

Available only through NHL team stores, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and online through the UpperDeckStore.com website, each specially-marked blaster box will contain two patches along with packs of the recent release. No matter if you are a casual collector or an intense hobbyist, putting together a set of all 30 patches is sure to be a big challenge. Read More »

First Look: 2014-15 Fleer Showcase Hockey


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Fleer Showcase is back again for the 2014-15 season and it has brought a few old friends along in an attempt to make an impact with hockey collectors.

With more of us looking back fondly at products that were big in the mid-to-late 1990s, the March release of 2014-15 Fleer Showcase will be an interesting one as it will also contain some familiar Fleer names from that era in Flair, Metal Universe and SkyBox Premium that will be attached to supplemental sets that can be put together by busting packs.

There will also be plenty of modern twists as well and this may be the year that hockey hobbyists finally embrace the brand, which intends to deliver a hit in every pack.

What is expected to be found in boxes? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Top 5: Pat Quinn Hockey Cards to Own

Quinn Coach

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor | Commentary

The hockey world lost one of its greatest coaches and personalities last night as Pat Quinn passed away at Vancouver General Hospital. In recent years, Quinn had served as Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame and had been the bench boss in Philadelphia, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Toronto and Edmonton – winning the Jack Adams Award on two occasions.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Pat Quinn”, said Jim Gregory, Vice-Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame in a statement issued by the National Hockey League. “Pat is one of hockey’s most respected individuals whose lifetime involvement as a player, coach and executive has made an indelible mark on the game, and our thoughts and prayers are with Sandra and all of Pat’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”

Quinn appeared on several trading cards during and after his playing days and there are just 49 in the Beckett.com database which includes nine certified autographs with a total value of $372.25 (excluding rarities). Read on after the jump to discover five of the best. Read More »

Surprise NCAA Young Guns in Upper Deck Series 1


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Collectors breaking open boxes and packs of 2014-15 Upper Deck Series 1 may have received a special and rare 1990-91 Young Guns tribute card of one of three collegiate hockey legends and the company has confirmed that they were a special unannounced addition to the product.

Since Upper Deck presently holds a Collegiate Licensing Company license along with its exclusive on NHL and NHLPA-licensed trading cards, it was only natural that the properties intersect at some point. Savvy hobbyists noticed that there were some cards in 2013-14 The Cup showing some players in their collegiate uniforms and the inclusion of these tribute cards in their flagship product has generated a small buzz.

What players were included in this rare insert set? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Expert Opinion: Too Many Cooks

Cook Lloyd

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

At the recent Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo in Toronto, I was walking by one of the many booths with showcases full of vintage hockey cards and noticed an anomaly that needed to be investigated once the show was over. Sitting among the dealer’s cardboard treasures was a 1924-25 Maple Crispette card depicting an original member of the Boston Bruins, but something seemed off.

A few days later, I received a message from collector Hart Stoffman which confirmed my suspicions. For many years, the hobby had incorrectly assumed that the card of “Cook, Boston” was of Hockey Hall of Fame member Bill Cook. However, it instead depicted a man named Lloyd Cook who played four games for the first-year club that season after a lengthy career with Vancouver and Spokane in the old Pacific Coast Hockey League.

How did this confusion arise? Find out after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2014-15 Upper Deck Series 2


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Even though the first series has barely hit store shelves, plans for 2014-15 Upper Deck Series 2 have just been released and hockey collectors can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that a Young Guns card of Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin is on the way.

Hitting the hobby in February, this release will also be bolstered by the presence of several other top freshmen which should include Andre Burakovsky of the Washington Capitals and recent debut Bo Horvat of the Vancouver Canucks. The popular Rookie Materials cards are set to return as well along with O-Pee-Chee Update Rookies that will help finish off that well-loved set.

There is much more than just rookie content expected in packs, however. Find out more after the jump. Read More »

Upper Deck Brings Gretzky To Private Expo Function


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Throughout this year, Upper Deck has been celebrating its 25th anniversary in fine fashion and the company has gone to great lengths to ensure that collectors have been a part of the festivities. During their recent visit to the 48th Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo in Toronto, they held a small private function which served to thank some of their supporters in a memorable way – by bringing them a rare chance to meet and interact with the legendary Wayne Gretzky.

For nearly a quarter of a century, the man known as “The Great One” has been a spokesperson for Upper Deck and a true constant throughout their run to date. When they decided to enter the hockey card market for the 1990-91 season, his endorsement gave their brand a major edge in a suddenly crowded market and collectors still love pulling his cards today. Read More »

Show Recap: Toronto Expo Edition

Stratus Expo

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Another successful Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo came to a close Sunday evening and thousands of hockey collectors from all over have gone home after three days of hunting for cards and collectibles at the International Centre in Toronto.

Beckett Media was once again on hand for this semi-annual extravaganza and in addition to offering the latest issues of our price guides and annuals along with raw card grading services, managed to bring a lot of folks to our booth on Friday evening with a special appearance by World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer Trish Stratus.

What else was going on at the Expo? Read on after the jump for an extensive recap. Read More »

Ripping Retro with Author Ken Reid

YouTube Preview ImageJoin Beckett Hockey editor Stephen Laroche and Ken Reid, author of Hockey Card Stories as they break open packs of 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee Hockey. Will they try to eat 30-year-old pieces of gum? Find out at the end of this video!

Upper Deck Brings CFL Players, Author to Toronto Expo


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The 48th Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo is less than 48 hours away, but Upper Deck has added even more to attract collectors to their booth by announcing that three CFL players and Ken Reid, author of Hockey Card Stories, will be making appearances during the three-day extravaganza in Toronto.

There will be plenty of collectors at the show who are fans of the Canadian Football League and due to the response from hobbyists to the set, it makes sense that they bring in a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and two players from the Toronto Argonauts to participate in free signing sessions.

Which players will be appearing at the Expo? Find out after the jump. Read More »

CHL Cards Return to Post Cereals in 2014-15

POST-14006 Hockey_Cards_OHL

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Over the years, Post has produced a variety of hockey-related premiums ranging from plastic marbles to trading cards. Some of these items have grown in value over time, but regardless of investment potential, there is something to be said about sitting down to watch your morning sports highlights while munching on a bowl of cereal and getting some hockey cards as well.

Last season, the company partnered with the Canadian Hockey League to create a special offer where fans could redeem a special code printed inside of the box and they would receive four trading cards in the mail. For 2014-15, the promotion has changed slightly as consumers will be able to cut out the cards off the backs of the boxes and not have to wait to get them. Naturally, this makes the cards condition-sensitive but most collectors are likely to leave the panels intact.

For a complete checklist and gallery, please read more after the jump. Read More »

Upper Deck Reveals 2014-15 Young Guns Checklist


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

With the release of 2014-15 Upper Deck Series One barely a week away, hockey collectors everywhere have been wondering about which players are going to make the cut for the Young Guns subset as many of these cards will be the first of some of the game’s biggest rookies in their NHL uniforms.

The company released this hotly-anticipated information this afternoon and as expected, there are some big names like 2014 draftees Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl included along with 46 other prospects that are poised to make an impact in the future. Seeded at a rate of 1:4 packs, Young Guns have been highly collected for many years and this release marks the 25th straight season that Upper Deck has produced hockey cards.

Who will collectors be pulling out of packs next week? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Leaf Releases Expo Redemption Details

UM Red 1

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

With the 48th Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo just a little over a week away, hockey collectors are fervently preparing for the semi-annual show and many of them will be taking advantage of the redemption program that will be held at the In The GameLand section of the corporate area.

For the past 15 seasons, In The Game has held a redemption program at their booth for their customers and the tradition will continue following their amalgamation with Leaf Trading Cards. This time, they will be undertaking their largest redemption ever and there will be some additional surprises as well.

What can collectors expect at In The GameLand? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Beckett Book Review: Hockey Card Stories


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

This fall, readers have once again been treated to another great selection of hockey books, but there is one that has been standing out for collectors and that is Ken Reid‘s Hockey Card Stories.

Delivering the tales behind some of the most iconic hockey cards from the 1970s and 1980s, the author takes his audience back to their youth in an entertaining way.

Reid, the co-anchor for Sportsnet Central, is no stranger to collecting as he avidly broke open packs of hockey cards as a youth. Even as a teen, he remained close to the industry as a part-time dealer alongside his brother in their native Nova Scotia. He talked with Beckett Hockey about his roots in the hobby and what inspired the book.

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Upper Deck Reveals Complete Fall Expo Plans


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The 48th Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo is just two weeks away and Upper Deck has just revealed their elaborate plans for this semi-annual event that draws in hockey collectors from all over the world.

Recently, Beckett delivered news about the company’s tried-and-true Priority Signings promotion and these 25th Anniversary Young Guns Tribute cards share the same design as those that were found in high series packs back in 1990-91. The lineup for signers is quite impressive and the redemption program will be running all three days of the show (November 7 to 9, 2014).

What cards could collectors potentially receive and what else does Upper Deck have planned? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Leaf Announces ITG Draft Prospects Redemption


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Leaf Trading Cards has released details regarding a special redemption set targeted to collectors of 2014-15 In The Game Draft Prospects, the first product released after they began producing hockey cards under the In The Game banner.

Once a collector mails in five barcodes that can be found of the bottom of boxes, they will receive a complete set of 15 cards depicting the brightest young stars taken in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Some of these players have already made their professional debuts, including Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl.

“I think that it’s an interesting thing and will allow collectors, especially those who want to revisit Draft Prospects now that it’s more affordable in the marketplace, a new entry point and I think it gives them an encouraging reason to revist that product,” said Leaf’s President Brian Gray.

For a complete gallery and further information on this program, please read on after the jump. Read More »

Hot Prospect Drouin Makes NHL Debut

SPX Drouin

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and in the case of Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin, there are a lot of good things coming his way.

The third overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, he took a longer road than expected to the pro level as he spent last season back in junior with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads and a thumb injury caused him to miss some action and have a late start this year with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.

Promoted on Sunday following a short but successful two-game stint in the minors which saw him score his first professional goal, he hit NHL ice for the first time last night as the Lightning surprisingly fell to the Edmonton Oilers by a score of 3-2. Drouin managed to fire one shot on net during 16:10 of playing time and is expected to be in the lineup again tonight in Calgary. Read More »

Sneak Peek: 2013-14 The Cup

ARP MacKinnon Tag

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The highly-anticipated release of the 2013-14 edition of The Cup from Upper Deck is almost upon us and the company has been busy on social media showing off some of the pulls collectors could potentially find in tins.

While Beckett provided a First Look at the product several weeks ago, the images provided at that time were merely a tease compared to what has been revealed as of late.

Stay with us after the jump for an extensive gallery featuring autograph, memorabilia and booklet cards of some of the biggest names from the past and present. Read More »

Introducing … the game-used wallet?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

“What’s in your wallet?” has a very different meaning now.

Thanks to Berkeley, Calif.-based Tokens & Icons, there is a whole new line of game-used memorabilia out there with the practical in mind for the sports collector with everything from stadium seats to game-used jerseys making their way into high-end everyday objects that can be used.

Or should we save them to be collected?

Either way, the creativity from the company goes far beyond the $150 Alabama Crimson Tide game-used football jersey wallet seen above — in fact, Tokens & Icons is producing items for MLB, the NHL, selected college football and basketball teams, golf, tennis, the PGA Tour, vintage arenas and even the famed horse-racing venue Churchill Downs.

Read More »