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Category Archives: Hockey

First Look: 2014-15 Upper Deck SPx Hockey

SPX Ekblad

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

One of the hobby’s flashiest sets is back again in action as preliminary details about 2014-15 SPx Hockey from Upper Deck have surfaced. For many years, this has been a huge release for many collectors as it offers up autographed memorabilia cards of the hottest rookies along with many other eye-catching hits.

This year, the new class of prospects will be appearing on Light FX Precious Metal Gems-style cards and the 60-card subset is tiered to ensure long-term interest. There will be 18 Top Prospects autos that are numbered to 249 and the remainder are Auto Jersey cards which have 30 players limited to 499 copies while the other 12 will be limited to just 249. To top it all off, there will be Blue (numbered to 50) and Green (limited to 10) parallels that will include some inscriptions.

Set to arrive in January, 2015, this product is expected to make some waves once again and you can find more information after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2014-15 Upper Deck Artifacts hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Upper Deck Artifacts in this edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …


Upper Deck Reveals Fall Expo Priority Signings Plans


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The 48th Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo in Toronto is less than a month away and Upper Deck has delivered some early details regarding what collectors can expect from their popular Priority Signings program at the latest installment of the long-running show.

Since 2014-15 Upper Deck Series One will be released that weekend, hobbyists in attendance will have an opportunity to open boxes at the company’s booth and receive a special Priority Signings card that pays tribute to the Young Guns cards from their landmark 1990-91 release.

“For the semi-annual Sportcard & Memorabilia Expos we have the opportunity to say, ‘thank you’, to our most savvy collectors and also to engage some new fans,” said Upper Deck’s Senior Marketing & Social Media Manager, Chris Carlin. “The best way to do that has been to share autograph cards with them through an experience that provides the same thrill of opening a pack. Upper Deck has been running the Priority Signings autograph redemption program for years at the show and it remains a major reason for attendance. It’s not every day you can buy a box of cards for less than $100 and get a free autograph card of top NHL players and legends.” Read More »

Canada Post Issues Collectibles of Legendary Defensemen

Canada Post Defensemen

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Collecting stamps and hockey cards may seem like vastly different hobbies on some levels, but the two will occasionally intersect and create a small buzz in both markets.

This season, Canada Post has released a new series of stamps featuring a legendary defenseman from each of the Original Six clubs – Doug Harvey, Tim Horton, Harry Howell, Red Kelly, Pierre Pilote and Bobby Orr. All of these players skated during the six-team era and their accomplishments on the ice eventually took them to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Issued on October 3, these souvenir sheets are almost the same size as conventional trading cards and prominently feature an oversized version of each stamp on the front. Due to the presence of NHL logos, it is possible that they avoided dubbing them cards for legal and licensing reasons, but hobbyists are likely to accept them in their collections.

How can you obtain these new collectibles? Find out after the jump. Read More »

First Look: Leaf In The Game Ultimate Memorabilia 14th Edition

Vezina Rare Materials

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

One of the hobby’s original premium brands, Ultimate Memorabilia was originally released at the end of the 2000-01 season and gathered a loyal following over the years due to its offering of a limited base set, desirable autographs and pieces of game-used memorabilia from the past and present.

Many collectors hoped that the product was going to carry forward following the merger between Leaf Trading Cards and In The Game and preliminary details have come to light showing that Ultimate Memorabilia 14th Edition is going in a much more limited direction than ever before.

For a gallery of pre-release images and more information on this highly-anticipated release, read on after the jump. Read More »

Upper Deck Announces Limited Rookie Cards For The Cup

 Cup MacKinnon ARP

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Each year, Upper Deck ensures that there are several limited Autographed Rookie Patch cards for collectors to track down and since the product debuted in 2005-06, the lineup has boasted such stars as Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares, Taylor Hall and many more.

In tins of 2013-14 The Cup, the hunt will be on for six of last season’s biggest names from the Dual Rookie Class and the Level Two cards will once again be limited to 99 copies each. The chase for these cards will be intense and command serious attention on the secondary market.

Who made the cut this season? Find out after the jump. Read More »

New Fleer Ultra Hockey Release Features Surprise Parallel Cards

UV Redemption Card

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Sometimes a redemption card can be a bit of a disappointment for a collector. After pulling one from a pack, there is often a wait associated with it and what is ultimately received might not live up to expectations.

In the case of the redemption cards for Ultra Violet parallels coming out of 2014-15 Fleer Ultra Hockey packs from Upper Deck, the cards collectors will receive will certainly be worth the temporary inconvenience. These flashy pieces of cardboard are limited to one copy each and are going to be highly coveted by player collectors.

“We made the Ultra Violet one-of-one parallels as a component of the group of high end chase cards that are available in Ultra,” said Upper Deck’s Senior Marketing and Social Media Manager Chris Carlin. “We strategically fashioned this product to highlight an array of chase cards that more often than not, are devoid of autographs and memorabilia. We offer plenty of those cards in other brands and we wanted to give Ultra a distinct profile in our hockey calendar lineup. The Ultra Violet cards help contribute to that effort.” Read More »

Upper Deck Becomes Exclusive American Hockey League Licensee


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Back in July, Upper Deck released its first product featuring players from the American Hockey League and the boxed set was the precursor to a new exclusive deal between the NHL’s top development league and its lone licensed trading card producer.

Over the years, a mind-boggling number of future stars have played at the AHL level and were able to develop their skills before making the transition to the NHL game. With a current membership of 30 teams located throughout North America, there are strong regional followings which have supported clubs for decades.

“The AHL is thrilled to be able to bring the excitement of our league to fans though AHL trading cards and collectibles,” said David Andrews, the league’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “I know Upper Deck will be a great licensee to work with both now and in the future.” Read More »

Box Busters: 2014 Upper Deck Canada Junior hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Upper Deck Canada Junior in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2014-15 Upper Deck SP Game-Used Hockey

SPGU Quincey

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Back in 2000-01, Upper Deck was one of the first hockey card manufacturers to embrace the concept of having a game-used memorabilia card included in every pack of a product. Their debut SP Game Used release hit store shelves that season and it was an instant smash hit.

In recent years, however, the brand has had to fight an uphill battle at times despite adding some new features and facing added competition from products offering increased ratios for pulling a memorabilia card. Critics may need to reconsider their opinion in the near future, though, as the configuration has changed dramatically and it looks to offer more variety and value in every five-card pack.

What can collectors expect to find in 2014-15 SP Game Used Hockey? Find out after the jump… Read More »

You want our rare cards? We want to see your SuperCollector submissions & your deadline is Dec. 8

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We pulled a pretty sweet 1/1 Craig Kimbrel Relic booklet out of Triple Threads and a rare rookie parallel of Teddy Bridgewater out of Rookies & Stars (/5) and we want them to be yours.

BridgewaterTwo collectors will get their hands on them if they submit their SuperCollector stories for the upcoming annual SuperCollector showcase issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

Your deadline is Dec. 8.

We run SuperCollector nearly every month in the magazine, setting aside space for your stories, your photos and your information. This time, though, it’s our annual showcase issue where we highlight 15 to 20 collectors for the world to see.

Perhaps it’s because of your massive collection of Larry Bird cards — or perhaps it’s for your stash of hundreds of through-the-mail baseball autographs. Whatever it is that you collect, we want to hear about it, whether it’s baseball, football, basketball or hockey — or any other sport … or non-sports … or whatever you can imagine.

After the jump, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to enter — what to say, what to send and where.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

NHL great Phil Esposito to sell collection

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Hall of Fame hockey player Phil Esposito is selling his personal collection, which includes awards, portraits and even a signed leg cast from a playoff injury.

Esposito’s collection will be sold through Legendary Auctions in November.

Esposito kept a vast collection of items through his 18-year playing career with the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

“Through the years, I collected items that meant something to me personally,” Esposito said in a release. “They represent pieces of me and I want to leave that legacy in good hands. I wanted to be the person who decided what happened to my collection.”

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UD adds Crosby/Lemieux dual signed cards to The Cup

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Sometimes companies can’t get the cards they want in time for a product before it’s packed out. That’s why collectors end up with redemptions.

Recently, Upper Deck took a different approach. If the company had been unable to get specific cards in time, it didn’t include them in a product. That includes redemptions.

However, when UD finally did get the cards back, it included them in the product’s release. It recently happened with SP Authentic, and it did it again with The Cup.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2012-13 Score hockey cards

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Chris Olds, Dan Hitt and Dave Sliepka as they rip into a box of 2012-13 Score from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Dave Sliepka, Dan Hitt and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee cards from Upper Deck in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011-12 Ultimate Collection

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Chris Olds, Dave Sliepka and Dan Hitt as they rip into a trio of 2011-12 Ultimate Collection boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Panini shows off NHL rookie sketch cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

As the hockey world awaits for the owners and NHL Players Association to come to an agreement and avoid a lockout, a couple of hundred people have descended in Toronto for the NHLPA Rookie Showcase.

It was a great way for these groups to get their minds off a potential shortened season.

Much like football and basketball, the rookies for the upcoming season get together for the card companies. They take dozens of pictures and sign autograph cards and memorabilia for Upper Deck and Panini America, the companies with both NHL and NHLPA card licenses for 2012-13.

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With lockout looming, Kreider leads early NHL rookie class on cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Every day that passes without an agreement between the NHL owners and the NHL Players Association, it seems hockey is heading closer to a lockout.

Of course, this will effect cards. Specifically, you won’t be able to collect all those rookies you were hoping to see. There’ll be no Nail Yakupov or Ryan Murray on trading cards anytime soon if there is a lockout.

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Black & White surprise in 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Upper Deck included a surprise insert in 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee NHL that wasn’t on the checklist.

The insert set is called O-Pee-Chee Black & White. As the name suggests all the picture are black and white, in addition to a deckled edge with a facsimile autograph on the front of the card. There are no real autographs version of these cards, according to Upper Deck.

The cards are tough to grab, and prices on eBay are certainly indicating the scarcity.

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Product Preview: 2012-13 Upper Deck Artifacts

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

In just a couple of short months – and the hopes of no lockout – 2012-13 Artifacts Hockey is scheduled to hit the shelves.

The newest Upper Deck product comes with a number of low-numbered cards and memorabilia cards beyond jerseys.

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Orr autos seem plentiful in Ultimate

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Have you ever wanted a Bobby Orr autograph, but couldn’t afford to get one of the best hockey players of all time?

It seems as though 2011-12 Ultimate Collection is making it a little easier for collectors to get their hands on one. Collectors opening the Upper Deck product have noticed Orr autographs falling at a pretty decent rate, which is usually unheard for a player of Orr’s caliber.

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Collectors remember 2004-05 NHL lockout

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Eight years ago, the NHL had an unprecedented season – one that didn’t happen.

After the NHL and NHLPA couldn’t come to terms for a new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL had a lockout that resulted in a cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season and the Stanley Cup was not given out for the first time since 1919.

It could happen again.

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AT THE NATIONAL: A post-show mega-gallery

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A week has gone by since the close of this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention and there’s plenty that could be said, that could be written, about what could be found under one roof during the hobby’s showcase event.

From “extra” DNA Relics found in the bottom of one collector’s Allen & Ginter box (a Texas lizard in the wrong place at the wrong time at the printing plant) to countless vintage gems, from vintage wax to priceless auction items, from kids sorting soccer cards with their grandmas to kids walking the show floor in movie-used Jack Parkman jerseys, there was plenty to see.

If you followed me on Twitter during the show, you’ve undoubtedly seen a few of these already. But with the deadline clock ticking and more to do for your next magazines, this chapter of the NSCC — all except for some video still to come — is closing with a massive 97-image gallery after the jump.

It’s just a small glimpse at much of what was seen at the show — check them out and let us know what you think. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words — so there’s plenty that could be said.

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Panini VIP event offers experience beyond show


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

We’re about a week removed from the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore and since then a couple of things have resonated with me about the hobby and its premiere event.

It’s still pretty strong — but it could still be stronger.

Not stronger in practical ways like more dealers, more space, more education and more discussions. That’s easy, and it’s stuff that could be done — by NSCC organizers or others attending the event (some companies did). But it could also be stronger as in potentially bringing in more of corporate America, more star power in different ways and making it feel more like The Event of All Events — something that can raise the profile of the hobby beyond just those in it, a way to ensure that those who used to collect can realize that it’s all still around and that the cardboard is better than it was in the past, too.

Panini America‘s VIP party on Aug. 4 showed how a bit of that might be possible as the company put on a show beyond the card show.

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