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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

This Week's Puck Junk Podcast: The one in which we Christmas!

On this week's Puck Junk Podcast, Sal and I discuss giving hockey related gifts for the holidays. We regale you with stories of our own Christmas past and share many stories from our listeners and social media followers. It was a fun show to record and we hope you enjoy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and to all a good night.

Check us out and if you like it, subscribe to the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast. You can find us on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play MusicSpotify,iHeartRadioStitcherPodchaserPocketCastsCastbox , CastroOvercastTuneInand SoundCloud.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

This Week's Puck Junk Podcast; The One In Which Redemptions Are Discussed

Check out this week's Puck Junk Podcast where Sal Barry and I discuss the new Walmart/ePack only release of 2019-20 Parkhurst, as well as dive into the pros and cons of redemption cards.  Are they evil?  Maybe. Are they necessary? Also maybe.

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You can find us wherever you get your podcasts including:  iTunes, Google Play Music,  iHeartRadio,  StitcherPodchaserPocketCastsCastbox , CastroOvercast, and SoundCloud .

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Today in Penguins History (12/17/2011)

Today in 2011 marked milestones for a number of players on the Penguins roster.  In a home game at Consol Energy Center, the Penguins skated to an 3-8 win over the Buffalo Sabres.  But that wasn't the highlight of the evening as a few feats were completed.

1.  Current KHLer, Simon Despres scored his first NHL goal of his career, a power play goal at that, making the game 0-2 Penguins in the first and assisted by Jason Williams and Tyler Kennedy. 

2.  Evgeni Malkin scored his 7th NHL hat trick with his third goal, a power play goal, coming midway through the third period.  Malkin scored his 12th hat trick mid way through the 2018-19 season (he has two others in the playoffs).

3.  With the 3-8 victory over Buffalo, Marc-Andre-Fleury earned his 200th win of his career, with 16 saves on 19 shots.  As of this posting, he has 452 all time regular season wins.

4.  Brooks Orpik picked up his 100th point in the NHL, assisting on Evgeni Malkin's first goal of the game in the first period. Not known for his scoring prowess, Orpik would put 15 more apples on the board that year.

5.  This game marked the 700th NHL game for Pascal Dupuis and with his assist on Deryk Engelland's goal in the second period, he also notched his 300th career point.  He finished his career with 871 games and 409 points, retiring in 2015 due to complications with blood clots. 

6.  Carl Sneep recorded his first point with the assist on Evgeni Malkin's second goal of the game in the first period.  Interestingly enough, this would also be his last point.  Sneep never played another NHL game for the Penguins, or any team for that matter.

Monday, December 9, 2019

What's Wayne Looking At? The Iconic RC Photo.

Ever wonder where the photo came from for the iconic 1979-80 Topps/OPC Wayne Gretzky RC?  You might be surprised.  Check out this video from HockeyDocs YouTube channel with an interview from the original photographer Steve Babineau.  

Monday, December 2, 2019

Today in Penguins History (12/2/25)

While this wasn't necessarily a Penguins historical event, it was historical nonetheless.  On this day in 1925, the first NHL game ever to take place in the city of Pittsburgh happened.  The Pittsburgh Pirates lost in overtime to the New York Americans, 2-1.  Back then, the team played at the old Duquesne Gardens in Oakland (a city neighborhood for those not familiar with the Burgh).  When you don't have the means, you make due.  The Gardens was not an entertainment venue at all, but rather a trolley barn that had been converted to hold about 5,000 people.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New Puck Junk Podcast 11-27-19; The One In Which We Discuss Coaching Miscues

So much has been going on in the hockey world, we wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't discuss.  Check out the latest Puck Junk Podcast where Sal and I talk about the happenings around the league and the 3 B's...the brewing Bill Peters issue, the Babcock drama, and Bortuzzo's suspension, and all the other goodies you love.

You can check us out at the link below or find us on all the great podcast platforms including iTunesiHeartRadioStitcherPocketCastsCastbox or SoundCloud.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Today In Penguins History (11/26/1991)

"It's A Great Day For Hockey"

1990-91 Pro Set Bob Johnson NHL Coach

That's been a mantra of the Pittsburgh Penguins since "Badger Bob" took the helm behind the bench in the 1990-91 season.  On this (sad) day in Penguins history, Bob Johnson passed away from brain cancer that had gone un-diagnosed until three months earlier when he suffered a brain aneurysm while working with Team USA in preparation for the Canada Cup tournament.  Scotty Bowman took over coaching the team, eventually leading them to their second and consecutive Stanley Cup victory.  But Bob Johnson's legacy would live on in Pittsburgh and the world of hockey forever.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

New Puck Junk Podcast 11/21/19 - "The one in which we discuss the Hockey Hall Of Fame"

Check out the lastest Puck Junk Podcast where Sal and I discuss the 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame Class.  It's a lengthy discussion that twists and turns and you won't want to miss it.  Tune in on the link below or check us out and subscribe on iTunes.  OR!!! You can now check us out on iHeartRadio, Stitcher, PocketCasts, or Castbox.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Puck Junk Podcast 11/13/19 "The one in which we discuss the Hockey Don"

This weeks episode spends some time on everyone's favorite topic, the Don Cherry Controversy.  Sal and I discuss what happened, the fallout, and our opinions as hockey collectors/fans.  Check out the show, now on iTunes, too.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Puck Junk Podcast 11/7/19 "The one in which we discuss autographs"

This week on the Podcast, Sal and I discuss the dangers of in-person autographs that you don't get yourself as well as many other hockey topics.  Check it out.  Now on iTunes.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Today in Penguins History (11/7/19)

Hockey fans, especially those in southern California, will probably remember the first game played by the Ducks on October 8, 1993 against the Detroit Red Wings.  But on this day in 1993, the newly created Mighty Ducks of Anaheim played their very 1st NHL game against the mighty Penguins.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

New Episode of the Puck Junk Podcast

On this week's Puck Junk Podcast, Sal and I discuss this years 2019-20 O-Pee-Chee release as well as the latest in the instant cards/stickers by Upper Deck and Topps.  I also go through a few high ticket items that sold this week on Ebay.  Check it out for your HOCKEY HOBBY FIX!!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Today in Penguins History 10/18/2014

Today in Penguins history back in 2014, Sidney Crosby scored his 500th NHL assist on home ice against the New York Islanders.  The Penguins won the game 3-1 at Consol and Crosby was the first star of the game.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Puck Junk Podcast 10/15/19

This week on the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal and I discuss some new releases and what I consider a debacle on the release of Panini Score Hockey in their direct to consumer format. 

We also review the 2019-20 Upper Deck Artifacts release and get to talk with Upper Deck Brand Manager, Tony Siriani.  He brings some great insight into the creation and design of the product. 

Check it out over here...

Friday, October 11, 2019

Today in Penguins History (10/11/67)

1988-89 Panini Sticker #322

On this day in Penguins history, the first ever game by the newly christened expansion Pittsburgh Penguins was played at the Civic Arena.  While not part of the Original 6 franchises, the Penguins were one of the Next 6 brought into the league to start the 1967-68 season.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Puck Junk Podcast - Yes, That's Two In A Row

The new episode of the Puck Junk Podcast is live and ready to share.  In this weeks episode, Sal and I discuss our favorite hockey card set that we wish could make a comeback (just like we did last week).  We also tackle the new Topps NOW stickers, the 2019-20 Leaf Superlative set, and some "too rich for my blood" sales of hockey cards online. 

Check this weeks' episode out. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Today in Penguins History (10/5/2005)

On this date in 2005, Sidney Crosby made his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game versus the New Jersey Devils.  Crosby skated 15:50 in that game and fed Mark Recchi in front of the net to get his first NHL point.  The Penguins went on to lose the game 1-5 but it would be the start of one of the greatest careers in NHL history.

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Puck Junk Podcast is Back!!

The wait is over.  In honor of National Podcast Day, the Puck Junk Podcast has come out of hibernation.  Our first episode in a long time hit the airwaves early this AM.  If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, give it a listen.

Sal and I get back into it, discussing Upper Deck's first release of the 2019-20 NHL season, MVP.  We also discuss Topps re-entry into the NHL sticker market.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Lucky 13

It's Friday the 13th and I wanted to take a look at who I feel are the top 10 NHL players that chose to buck tradition and go against their superstitions to wear the unlucky number #13.  Compared to many other number combinations, athletes traditionally have shied away from the #13.  In generally, I think that is because athletes tend to be creatures of habit and quite a bit superstitious.  That's not to say there haven't been any takers.  Across the other sports, players like Dan Marino, Wilt Chamberlain, A-Rod, and Roberto Clemente come to mind as famous #13s.

But in hockey, there had always been a long tradition of staying away from that fateful number.  From 1950-1980, there had only been six players to wear the number in an NHL game.  In the 1980s, there wasn't a season with more than five players donning the #13 and many of those players frequently changed their numbers.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Today In Penguins History (9/10/2009)

2009 Pittsburgh Penguins trip to the White House
Today in 2009, the Pittsburgh Penguins made the trip to Washington D.C. and visited President Barack Obama after winning their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.  Accompanied by the team owner, Mario Lemieux, as well as team management, coaches, and staff, the players flanked the President during his brief, 10-minute speech.

President Obama congratulated the team on their victory and commented on how hard it is to win the Stanley Cup.  He also credited the Penguins for the charity work, including their hockey clinic they put on earlier as part of the President's "United We Serve" campaign.  Probably the most interesting comment the President made was regarding the playoff beard phenomenon.  "All of you look pretty good without your playoff beards," he claimed. "They're pretty good looking guys without all that."  He also made a comment about how Sidney Crosby is small so he must make up for that in speed.

That photo above would later serve as the inspiration for the sketch used by Upper Deck to adorn the 2012 Goodwin Champions card of Sidney Crosby.  I'm only speculating here but I would be shocked if it wasn't.  You decide.
2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Mid-Week Hockey Top 10 (9/5/19)

Here's The Real DFG's weekly look at the Top 10 selling hockey cards (prices in US$).  There is a deluge of collectors out there (or investors) with cash to spend.  With the hype around other sports, prospecting, and speculative buying, we're shedding some light on the key cards that have been moving in the hockey world.

This weeks sales are dominated by more modern era cards than in past weeks.  Check it out.

BO = Best Offer Price


2015-16 Upper Deck The Cup Connor McDavid RPA RC Patch Auto/99 BGS 9.5 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price  $37,500 BO (August 31, 2019)


2005-06 Upper Deck Ice Premiers Sidney Crosby RC #/99  BGS 10 (sold by dumpkoph)

Closed Auction Price  $18,000 BO (September 1, 2019)


2015-16 Upper Deck Ultimate Connor McDavid RC Auto #/99  PSA 10 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price $10,000 BO (August 31, 2019)


2015-16 Upper Deck Exquisite Connor McDavid Rookie Auto Patch #/97 BGS 9.5 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price $8,000 BO (August 28, 2019)


2015-16 SPX Retro Connor McDavid RC Patch Auto #/10 PSA 10 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price $7,877 (August 25, 2019)


1911 C55 George Vezina PSA 5 (sold by can_collect)

Closed Auction Price $6,426 BO (August 31, 2019)


1966-67 Topps Bobby Orr RC PSA 5 (sold by martin-sports)

Close Auction Price $5,750 (August 31, 2019)


2015-16 SP Authentic Future Watch Connor McDavid RC Patch PSA 10 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price $5,000 BO (September 2, 2019)

1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky RC  KSA 9.5 (sold by

Closed Auction Price $4,200 (August 31, 2019)

1951-52 Pankhurst Gordie Howe RC  PSA 4 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price $4,061 (September 2, 2019)

Some other notable sales this past week...

-A notable Sidney Crosby RC collection with at least 18 graded cards sold for $7,400

-An unopened 1972-73 Topps Rack Pack showing Alex Delvecchio, Phil Esposito, and Tracy Pratt on the front sold for $6,999.  It was certified by BBCE.

-A fairly banged up 1979-80 Topps Wax Box which was said to contain 30 packs sold for $5,100.01.  That extra penny was the winner.

**I try to note sellers for each card since there have been allegations made regarding the current trimming scandal, shill bidding, etc.  This in no way, endorses, supports, or advertises any seller listed, nor does it make a claim on the authenticity of any item.  This is simply for entertainment, conversation starting, and general information.  Make your own informed decisions before purchasing cards or putting your trust in any dealer/seller.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Today In Penguins History (9/1/99)

Today in Penguins history marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most pivotal moments in franchise history.  On September 1, 1999, the NHL approved Mario Lemieux as the new owner of the team, making him the first ex-player in the modern era to own his former team, in any sport.

As a huge step to keeping the team in Pittsburgh, the NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to allow Mario and his ownership group the opportunity to own and operate the team.  Because the Penguins organization had filed for bankruptcy protection in 1998, the NHL approval marked a key moment in convincing the courts to allow a subsequent sale to go through.  Many hurdles had to be overcome in order to get this deal done including renegotiating lease agreements on the Civic Arena, fighting off creditors, working out sponsorships, and even finalizing a new TV agreement.

Mario worked night and day leading up to the meeting with the Board so that no questions would be left unanswered as to the viability of the franchise going forward.  In all, his ownership group paid $52M.  Lemieux agreed to convert his previously defaulted contract of $26M into a future interest in ownership of $20M, erased the remaining $6M in back pay, invested another $5M of his own money, and agreed to a salary of $750,000 to serve as chairman, president, and CEO.  Mario wanted this team to stay in Pittsburgh and the city owes him a debt of gratitude.  While there were quite a few rough seasons in his first 10 years of ownership, three Stanley Cups later, the Penguins continue to remain one of the most successful franchises in the NHL.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Today In Penguins History (8/29/1994)

1995-96 Leaf Freeze Frame
On this day in 1994, Captain Mario Lemieux announced to the world that he would be taking a one year leave of absence.  This occurred in the wake of his treatments after back surgery (not to mention his previous battle with cancer) had sidelined him the year before.  The treatments he was receiving had left him fatigued and unable to start training camp that was right around the corner.  Instead of risking another injury or something far worse, Lemieux decided to take the year off to recover from both the cancer and back problems.

That year was well spent getting fresh.  Lemieux went on the following season to win his third Hart Trophy and won the scoring title with 161 points.  Ironically enough, two days later Commissioner Gary Bettman would announce that the start of the 1994-95 season was going to be delayed due to the failure to agree to a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA.  The season was shortened from 84 to 48 games.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Mary Shelley's Hockey Cards

2006-07 Upper Deck Game Jersey Sergei Samsonov

Ah, the Franken-Card.  Or as some may affectionately refer to it...the Cardboard Abomination.

Those of you out there that collect trading cards are well aware of their existence and if I were to guess, mostly loathe them.  This is the trading card "phenomenon" where a player is pictured and has contradictory representation in their uniforms or team designation.  In my opinion as a "no-one ever proclaimed me to be a trading card expert" expert, I see there to be three basic levels of franken-cards.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Mid-Week Hockey Top 10 (8/21/19)

This weeks look at the Top 10 selling hockey cards sees completed auctions dominated by the two rookies of The Great One.  Gretzky's rookie card hits this list 7 out of 10 times.  The 1966 Bobby Orr RC shows up on the list as well, which usually occupies a few positions.  A pre-war Paddy Moran tops off the list along with the only contemporary card belonging to Mitch Marner.

eBay closed sales (8/14/19 - 8/21/19)


1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky RC #18 PSA 9 (sold by mandlcaards)

Closed Selling Price $40,000 (8/20/19)

Monday, August 19, 2019

What I Got With My #NSCC Free $10 From Ebay

If you attended the National Sports Collectors Convention a couple weeks ago, you may have encountered the booth run by Ebay that was located at the far side of the fancy red carpeting.  I'm guessing they were doing this all week but on Saturday, they were giving out free coupons for $10 toward any items on the site.

I took a look through things on my "wantlist" and came up with a way that I could get a few PC items on the cheap, using most of the coupon to pay for the items.  Here is how I fared.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Mid-Week Hockey Top 10 (8/14/19)

A new feature I hope to develop here on The Real DFG is going to be a weekly look at the Top 10 most recent highest selling hockey cards on various platforms.  There is a deluge of collectors out there (or investors) with cash to spend.  With the hype around other sports, prospecting, and speculative buying, I wanted to shed some light on the key cards that have been moving in the hockey world.

Most sales will be from Ebay since it is the largest collection of auctions and BIN sales out there.  However, I am only searching hockey cards, singles, and final sales.  I am not verifying whether these transactions are 100% complete and paid for.  If there are other sales to note, I will list those here as well.

Source:  Ebay Closed Sales as of 8/14/19


2003-04 Upper Deck Premier Wayne Gretzky 1st Year Shield Auto 1/1 (sold by toddanthonymn)

Closed Selling Price:  $99,999 (8/12/19)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Error #NAME?

Those of you that have ever seen this error in the post title know that is the error you will usually see in Microsoft's Excel program when there is a typo in the formula.  That is very much applicable to this post.

Recently, newly acquired Blackhawk, Robin Lehner, received his Bill Masterton Trophy from the NHL, acknowledging him as this season's player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."  He had a heck of a season, overcoming his health issues at the start of the season and eventually finishing third in Vezina voting.  However, in what would seem their haste to complete the job, the engraver inscribed the trophy as "Robin Lehner, New York Rangers."  That's great...if only he hadn't played with the New York Islanders.

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Franchise Comes To the Steel City - or - The Trade That Broke The Whalers

A condensed version of this post originally appeared over on Puck Junk as part of the Most Lopsided Trades article.  This is the whole article in it's complete form if you wanted to read it.

March 4th, 1991, seemingly a typical Monday 28 years ago, will go down in history as one of the biggest, franchise defining moments for both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Hartford Whalers. While there were many other trades, draft picks, and acquisitions in those late 80s-early 90s years, this trade spawned a couple Stanley Cup Championships and many years of Penguin dominance in both their division and conference while assisting in the eventual demise of the brass bonanza in Hartford.

1992-93 Fleer Ultra
After an abysmal road trip to Western Canada, Penguins GM Craig Patrick worked a deal with (former Penguins GM) Whalers GM Ed Johnston to acquire Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings in exchange for John Cullen, Zarley Zalapski and Jeff Parker. If you can believe it AT THE TIME, the trade was seen as a benefit to both clubs and in some circles, people thought Hartford came out on top.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Quick Hits: Looking at the Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Deadline Moves

In my humble opinion, NHL Trade Deadline Day should be a national holiday in both the United States and Canada, no work and required TV, radio, and internet viewing for all (kids can still go to school though).  Unfortunately corporate America (and probably corporate Canada) won't allow that.
But I digress...

The NHL Trade Deadline is usually a frenzy of movement of many minor leaguers and role type players, with a few blockbusters occasionally thrown in.  This year, the Rangers trading Kevin Hayes to Winnipeg for Brendan Lemieux and picks was big.  Keith Kincaid to the Blue Jackets for a pick, Mark Stone to Vegas for a great defensive prospect, and Wayne Simmons to Nashville were all pretty note worthy as well.  

But, as a Penguins fan, I would like to focus on the recent moves in Pittsburgh, and there were two of them.  Keep in mind, if the Stadium Series game had not eroded into an on-ice debacle and safety failure that NBC refused to address and hurt their ratings, we may have not even see these trades by the Penguins.  Losing Kris Letang and Brian Doumolin, both ultimately as a result of a questionable hit by now Nashville Predator Wayne Simmons, that apparently won't be reviewed by the Dept of Player Safety, triggered these moves.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Box Break - - 2018-19 Artifacts

This article was originally posted over on Puck Junk. Thought I would post it here as well for posterity.

When it comes to new hockey card releases, I am frequently a late bloomer when it comes breaking boxes. This year, 2018-19 Artifacts was no different. Released October 4, 2018, Artifacts is usually one of the first products to hit the market at the start of the new season (as well as MVP and O-Pee-Chee). I hadn’t had a chance to pick this product up until recently and I wanted to share my break and thoughts with our readers.

Continuing in it’s annual tradition of including memorabilia options as well as rookie redemptions, Artifacts gives collectors a chance at a variety of “hits” without breaking the bank. For around $100, every hobby box features eight packs with four cards per pack. A break should expect to feature three premium cards which will include a combination of memorabilia cards, autographs or an Aurum insert, the all-gold foil printed cards that return for another year (which I will get to in a minute).