Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My New Collecting Project - Blackhawks Stanley Cup 8x10's

As a lucky hockey fan whose team has won three Stanley Cups' in six years, I have had the joy of watching the iconic image of some of my favorite hoisting the iconic trophy.

I have loved collecting these photos over the past six years, but I am now making it an official goal of my collection to acquire as many of Blackhawks Stanley Cup photos as I can. I am trying to buy the licensed photos when possible, and I will of course be trying to get as many of these photos signed as possible. For most players I'll be seeking 8x10 photos, but for the core Hawks I'll be trying to get 16x20's.

Totaling up all of the players that had a significant role on the Blackhawks' 2010, 2013, and 2015 teams, there are 51 photos to collect (including coach Joel Quenneville). Right now I have twelve 8x10 Stanley Cup photos, 7 of which are signed, so I am off to an okay start.

Here's a look at my collection right now:

 Nick Boynton

Andrew Shaw

Bryan Bickell 

Jordan Hendry (signed)

Joel Quenneville (signed)

 Bryan Campbell (signed)

 Andrew Ladd (signed)

 Troy Brouwer (signed)

Brandon Bollig (signed)

Tomas Kopecky (signed)

Brandon Saad

Johnny Oduya

Sorry for the crappy scans; most of these I just scanned while there were in a frame.

I also plan on placing an order from to get a few 8x10's of some significant Hawks players as well as 16x20's of the core guys.

Blackhawks Stanley Cup Photo Project Progress: 12/51

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago Cubs Game: Blackhawks Stanley Cup Night

After celebrating the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup victory Monday night (and into Tuesday morning), my friends and I decided to go to the Cubs game Tuesday evening. Later on Tuesday, we learned that the typical Cubs game we planned on attending suddenly got a lot cooler.

Yep, the Blackhawks and the Stanley Cup would be making an appearance before the game!

We got tickets in the outfield bleachers, and ended up sitting in the second row of right-center field, so we had a pretty good view of all the festivities. About 20 minutes before the start of the game, the Blackhawks came out of the right field tunnel and paraded around the outfield. Here's the view from our seats:

After their victory lap, the Cup was placed on the mound and Toews later threw the game's first pitch.

Despite the Cubs' 6-0 loss to the Indians, we all had a great time, and getting to see the Cup was a nice treat.

In addition, we got to see Cubs prospect Kyle Schwarber's MLB debut. Schwarber was the Cubs' first round draft pick (fourth overall) in 2014, and has been on an absolute tear in the minor leagues over the past year. He is a product of Indiana University, so obviously I am a big fan. The big-batted Schwarber came up this week to pinch hit and be a designated hitter in interleague play. Schwarber came into the game in the 9th greeted by cheers from the crowd and he... struck out looking. Not exactly the first big-league at-bat we were all hoping for. Oh well; over his week-long stint in the majors, he went 8-22 with a homer and a triple. Not too shabby.

Look forward to seeing the Cup again very soon, and more of Schwarber in the future.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of the great dads out there!

I am celebrating today with my family at my grandma's house, so I'll keep the post short and sweet, but I'd like to say thank you to my dad for being such an awesome supporter over the past 18 years.

Here's a picture of my dad and I at the Blackhawks-Oilers game this past year.

Love you dad!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Coming Back (Again!)

It has been a very long time since I've been active on the blogosphere, and I am happy to announce that I will be back around here regularly!

This past school year was my senior year at Bartlett High School, and between football, schoolwork, college/scholarship applications and the obligatory senior year social engagements, I did not have too much time for blogging. But there are times when I really missed it and I am glad I can be back to blogging and reading about everyone else's sports adventures.

Since the last time I blogged, I also made a pretty significant decision. This August I will be attending Indiana University. I will be studying finance at the Kelley School of Business, with plans to attend law school afterwards.

Also exciting is that Blackhawks fans will have another Summer of Stanley to celebrate this year. This playoff run was extremely suspenseful, and as much frustration that went into this season it is great to end the year with Lord Stanley's Cup back in Chicago.

It was also very rewarding to see the Blackhawks lift the Cup on home ice this time (perks of being a worse seed?). I had a few friends that were able to attend the game live, and they said it was an incredibly moment and that they had never experienced anything like it before. Blackhawks fans are truly lucky to have a mindful owner, intelligent front office, experienced coaching staff, talented superstars, and a deep roster that can form one cohesive organization that has been able to lift our team from the deepest depths of embarrassment and irrelevance to a modern-day dynasty.

During the summer I would love to be able to post about three times a week. I have a lot of new collectibles I would like to share, and I am sure I will have plenty of new events to blog about with Cubs and Sox games, the Blackhawks Convention, the National Sports Collectors Convention, Bears Training Camp, and hopefully multiple Stanley Cup experiences to look forward to,

Glad to be back!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Doug Wilson TTM

Today I received my first successful TTM return of 2014 from former NHLer Doug Wilson.

Wilson played defenseman in the pros for 16 season, 14 of them with the Blackhawks. He had a great career with the Hawks in the late-70's, the 80's and the 90's. He combined with Chris Chelios to form one of the best defensive duos the league had seen. During the span of his career he played in 8 NHL All-Star games and won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman in 1982. He is currently the GM for the San Jose Sharks.

This return took about three months (I do not remember the exact date I sent it out) and came just in time for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Who knows, maybe this will bring some luck to the Blackhawks? Either way, thanks Mr. Wilson!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Men’s Hockey Tournament Qualification Round Preview

Group play for men’s hockey ended Sunday in Sochi, with the preliminary phase of the competition going pretty much as expected. Sweden, the United States, Canada, and Finland all earned first-round byes, while Russia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Latvia, and Norway all must play in the qualification round. Each one-game series will be played on Tuesday, February 17 (games starting from noon to 9 pm, Sochi time).

Here is the tournament bracket, tweeted by James Mirtle (@mirtle).

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

So I watched quite a bit of college football this year and have also been study this draft class for a few months now, and I would like start writing about the upcoming NFL Draft and making more mock drafts and share them on my blog. Here is my first mock of just the first round. This one is only picks and not any justification for each one, but in my later mocks I will be providing more analysis. Enjoy!

1. Houston Texans - Blake Bortles, QB Central Florida

2. St. Louis Rams - Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

4. Cleveland Browns - Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M

5. Oakland Raiders - Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Collecting Resolutions for 2014

Better late than never, here is my list for my hobby resolutions that I hope to accomplish in 2014. Most of these are not concrete goals, but just general ideas that I would like to strive for.

1. Start working on some PC's
Most collectors have specific Personal Collections that they like to work on, and I suppose my main "collecting purpose" is to collect cards of my favorite Chicago sports teams. However, I also want to start some more specific PC's. Here are some ideas I have:

Marian Hossa PC

Friday, January 3, 2014

Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks 12/27/13

For Christmas, my mom (or was it Santa?) surprised my dad and I with Blackhawks tickets for the December 27 game against the Colorado Avalanche.

We drove down to the United Center about two hours before the start of the game. Normally we live about an hour outside of the city, but traffic and weather have been crazy in Chicago lately, and once we walked into the UC there was only about 20 minutes left before puck drop.

We were still able to catch the tail end of the warm-ups, so my dad and I headed down by the glass to watch the Hawks get ready for the game.

One of the many cool things about going to the Blackhawks game is that no matter what seats your tickets are for, you can sit as close as you want for warm-ups.

After grabbing a quick bite we headed upstairs to our seats. Here is our view from section 302:

Before the game we also walked by where Steve Konroyd and Pat Boyle do the pre-game and intermission analysis for TV broadcasts.

As for the game itself, wow. The Blackhawks totally outplayed the Avs, and the scoreboard showed it. The final ended up being 7-2 Chicago. Patrick Sharp got a hat trick in the game, and captain Jonathan Toews scored 4 points (2g, 2a). Patrick Kane also assisted on a Michal Handzus goal, extending his point streak to a career-high 13 games. Duncan Keith assisted on three goals. Nine different Blackhawks finished the game with at least 1 point, and six has mutli-point games. Rookie netminder Antti Raanta also had a good-but-not-great game for the Hawks, stopping 16 of 18 shots. Raanta really has me excited this year. Going into the season, my biggest concern is would the Hawks have a viable replacement for Ray Emery at backup goalie, but Raanta has done a great job of filling that role.

Here is a picture of the team saluting the fans after the game:

Also, during the second intermission I was able to get an autograph from former Hawks forward Dave Mackey. Another great thing about Blackhawks games is they always have a former player signing autographs before the game and during intermissions. Mackey played 56 games for Chicago over 2 seasons.

Mackey signed for me one of the pictures they were giving out. He asked who to make the autograph out to, and I said, "Sean," but he must have misheard, as he wrote "To John" on the picture. Oh well -- I think it's kind of funny. He also put his number 26 and wrote "All the Best". While he was signing I asked who his favorite teammate to play with was, and he said, "Denis Savard, he was so talented." We then talked about how the both left Chicago at about the same time. After signing my picture he added "Eddie Belfour was a really good guy too, I liked him a lot." I asked him if he could also sign a picture for my cousin Logan, and he happily complied.

Overall, an awesome night with my dad and a great win for the Hawks!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

USA Hockey Announces 2014 Sochi Games Roster

Happy New Year everyone!! Hope everybody had a safe and happy time over the past week, and all were able to enjoy the Winter Classic and some of the Rose, Fiesta, Outback, Gator, and Capital One bowl games on New Year's Day.

Along with the Winter Classic broadcast on New Year's Day (and what a better way to start the new year than with a Red Wings loss?) came the announcement of Team USA's men's hockey roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.

Here is the roster, courtesy of Pro Hockey Talk:

Forwards (14): David Backes, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, T.J. Oshie, Max Pacioretty, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Paul Stastny, Derek Stepan, James van Riemsdyk, Blake Wheeler

Defensemen (8): John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Suter

Goalies (3): Jimmy Howard, Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick

Thoughts on this year's team:

While it came as no surprise, I'm happy to see Blackhawk Patrick Kane making the roster again. However, I am bummed that Brandon Saad did not make the team. I would have also liked to see Dustin Byfuglien make the squad as well, as he barely missed the cut for the team for the 2010 Vancouver games as well, back when he was on the Blackhawks.