By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor
The playoff race is in full swing, but hockey card collectors at certain NHL rinks are getting a special bonus as they come through the gates in the form of a pack of trading cards produced by Upper Deck.
While Beckett Hockey has reported on some of these promotions thus far this season, the company has provided further details and images for the most recent and upcoming giveaways.
Back on March 5, the Arizona Coyotes gave out thousands of packs with six of the team’s top players before a tough 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. It was small consolation to the die-hards that witnessed the defeat, but members of Howler’s Kids Club are also going to receive a pack containing the same players (Shane Doan, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Max Domi, Mike Smith, Alex Goligoski, and Tobias Rieder). The twist with these cards is that while they still have the 2016-17 Upper Deck flagship design, they also have different photos to go along with the kids club logo.
Just six days later, the Buffalo Sabres held a giveaway night as well – but with sponsorship from Dave & Adam’s Card World. The first five cards (Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen, Ryan O’Reilly, Robin Lehner, and Kyle Okposo) have this year’s design, but the Jack Eichel card actually utilizes the previous season’s base card look.
The St. Louis Blues are getting in on the action as well with two different card giveaways. The first, to be held on March 27 when the Coyotes are in town, features active members of the club (Jake Allen, Alex Pietrangelo, Jaden Schwartz, Paul Stastny, Alex Steen, and Vladimir Tarasenko). Flash forward to April 5, and six of the club’s top alumni members are remembered as the team faces the Winnipeg Jets. The checklist for this set is small, but impressive, with local legends like Bernie Federko, Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, Chris Pronger, Brian Sutter, and Bob Plager.
Finally, the Hurricanes are giving out seven cards to their fans on April 6 before taking on the New York Islanders. The set has Jordan Staal, Victor Rask, Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk, Noah Hanifin, and Jaccob Slavin. However, the seventh card is of rookie Sebastian Aho and features him on the standard 2016-17 design instead of having the Young Guns look.
There is also speculation that the Tampa Bay Lightning will also be holding a trading card night before the end of the season as well.
Stephen Laroche is the editor of Beckett Hockey, Beckett Basketball, and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Stephen_Laroche.