What’s hot in the shop? This Saturday, there’s no doubt the answer to that question will be hockey cards.
Fellow puckheads, one of the coolest promotions of the year is upon us. 2017 Upper Deck National Hockey Card Day is this Saturday, February 18 in both the US and Canada. Your local card shop will (hopefully) be distributing free five-card packs all day long and be sure to look closely at your singles since Upper Deck will be randomly inserting autographed cards as well. I have not seen the checklist of signers from this year, but in the past, players like Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Brian Leetch, Johnny Gaudreau, Martin St Louis and others have inked cards for this set and I cannot wait to see what surprises Upper Deck has up their sleeves.
This year, the US set offers singles of Auston Matthews, Tyler Motte, Zach Werenski, Ivan Provorov, Jimmy Vesey, Dylan Larkin, Jack Eichel, Joe Pavelski, Jonathan Quick, Patrick Kane, Jeremy Roenick, Bill Guerin, Brian Leetch, Ed Olczyk and Mike Modano. Collectors who drop $10 or more on Upper Deck NHL packs or boxes will also score a free bonus card of Auston Matthews in a draft day photo.
Should you be north of the border, your list of players is pretty darn good as well – Auston Matthews, Lartick Laine, Matthew Tkachuk, Mikhail Sergachev, Mitch Marner, Jonathan Toews, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Bobby Orr, Patrick Roy, Mike Bossy, Joe Sakic and Wayne Gretzky. I’m not sure what you Canadians have to spend, but when you get above that amount, you get a free chase card of Auston Matthews from his opening night four-goal game.
Canadian collectors can also snare special eight-card sheets that will be available at retailers like London Drugs, Toys ‘R’ Us, Forzani and the Hockey Hall-of-Fame.
Upper Deck encourages store owners to include their own promotions to take advantage of the added traffic that always walks in on National Hockey Card Day. At my shop, we are also giving away a dual signed Patrick Roy and Ray Bourque single and each collector gets a free shot to win just for showing up. You may also get entries by wearing your favorite team’s hockey gear, purchasing Upper Deck NHL boxes, being part of our 15/16 Upper Deck Ice case break and I’m sure I’ll come up with something else to improve your odds.
I will also be giving away some of the support prizes I received when I attended the Upper Deck Diamond Dealer event earlier this year in Arizona.
Props to Upper Deck for stepping up to support stores and collectors with this awesome annual promotion and I hope you score a hat trick of fun at your LCS this Saturday.
You can whet your appetite with a look at some cards from past NHCDs here.
Below is a list of participating shops in the USA and Canada.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO. His column focuses on what products are selling best in hobby shops. He’s got thousands of cards for sale on COMC.com under the ID cardmn5150. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter. Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook and you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.