The Beckett Blog

Box Busters: 2010-11 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey by Chris Olds

Join Beckett Hockey‘s Andrew Tolentino and Tim Trout as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Upper Deck Series 1 hockey cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

ITG President Dr. Brian Price answers a few questions on 10th edition of Ultimate Memorabilia by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In the Game is coming out with a very special release next month — the 10th anniversary of ITG Ultimate Memorabilia, a cornerstone of its hockey line.

The line will consist of 1,500 five-pack boxes and each pack will include a base card, memorabilia card and an autograph.

Some of the preview images released so far have caused hockey collectors’ heads to turn. The patch cards have been particularly exceptional, but that’s not all the product has to offer. View galleries here and here.

The base design is inspired by the original hockey set, 1910-11 C56, and is celebrating 100 years of hockey trading cards.

In The Game president Dr. Brian Price took time to answer a few questions about this exciting line.

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Live from the Ice: An Update from the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

The afternoon session at the 2010 NHL Rookie Photo Shoot included a lunch for the players and gathered media (which disseminated fairly quickly after the morning skate). There is a pick-up hockey game that will end the afternoon events before the rookies take the bus back to the host hotel.

A most curious and interesting scenario, however, occurred as the rookies were taking their photos and video rolls. A bunch of young kids were using the ice for a practice. The awe in the eyes of the children as they saw their dreams and aspirations personified walking among them made for a much more spirited effort in training sessions.

Inspiration, it seems, comes from the most unlikely places and surprise times. These kids didn’t expect to see actual drafted NHL players in what was surely just a routine practice. Their surprise and elation will form a deeper root in their commitment.

Lunch intersected the sessions and the ’95-born Toronto Marlboros took to the ice for their own practice. While the interaction wasn’t as extensive as they likely preferred with the potential NHL Rookies, similar to the younger kids, the practice was high energy and focused.

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Real-Time Photo Gallery from the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

TORONTO — After this morning’s media scrum cleared, the next phase of the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase had players on a brief skate for action photos. As the players skated away and toward the camera, taking various shots, some rookies started showing off shooting skills on Nashville netminder Chet Pickard after Milwaukee Admirals teammate Jonathan Blum fired some preliminary warm up cannons from between the face off circles.

The cold arena, coupled with heat-wave-like conditions surrounding Toronto set up a thick fog across the ice surface that even skating players couldn’t lift. Skating through the fog gave the appearance of waif-like creatures emerging in battle fatigues, ready for action.

Players lined up in their respective organizations’ uniforms and participated in a small video roll. Florida Panthers rookies Eric Gudbranson and Jacob Markstrom participated in a hilarious video shoot, set up with various comical situations (including a funny bit with two dolls and a proposal of a female assistant on the ice) set up through the NHLPA.

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NHL Executive: ‘This Was a Difficult Decision’ by Tracy Hackler


While the move may have lacked the controversy and surprise of other trading card announcements in recent months, the NHL’s decision to add Panini as a second licensee beginning with the 2010-11 season was a headline-maker.

Today’s news signaled the effective end to Upper Deck’s five-year exclusive on the category and turned Panini into a three-sport manufacturer.

In this exclusive interview, Dave McCarthy, NHL Enterprises’ Vice President of Integrated Marketing, addresses, among other things, Upper Deck’s exclusivity, Panini’s potential and the 10 things that helped shape the decision.

Beckett Media: What does adding a second manufacturer say about the vibrancy or popularity of the NHL as a “trading card sport?”
Dave McCarthy: The NHL brand has tremendous momentum behind it, and all of our vital signs are good – attendance, TV ratings, web traffic to the network, corporate sponsor appeal and, ultimately, consumer product sales. This decision will allow two companies the opportunity to put their resources to work to fully capitalize on this momentum while offering both passionate and new collectors products that appeal to them.

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*** NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (11/13) CONTEST No. 2 — A 2002-03 UD Artistic Impressions hockey set of Beckett Promos by Chris Olds


NOW CLOSED. Click here for the latest contests.

We’re  starting off Free Stuff Friday with these cards that can be yours right now

logoHow can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. (Also note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that does not indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the questions after the jump …

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Revealing Pics: ITG Unwraps More Ultimate Memorabilia 9 Eye Candy by Tracy Hackler


With the ninth – and most limited – installment of In the Game’s Ultimate Memorabilia product set for release in just days, ITG revealed additional images this week of what quickly have become the product’s calling cards: The ridiculously sweet Ultimate Emblem, Number, Tag and Glove singles.

Check out the eye candy after the jump.

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