Saturday, February 2, 2013
by Tom Bartsch: Upper Deck is helping to celebrate the return of hockey with National Hockey Card Day in the U.S. on Feb. 16. Upper Deck will be working with the company’s network of Certified Diamond Dealers to give out hundreds of thousands of exclusive “National Hockey Card Day” NHL trading card packs for free throughout the U.S. All puck fans need to do is head out on Saturday and visit a participating retailer to receive a free National Hockey Card Day pack. “The only thing better than Upper Deck NHL cards is free Upper Deck NHL cards,” said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck’s sports marketing and social media manager. “On Saturday, Feb. 16, hockey fans throughout the United States are invited to get involved in the great hobby of collecting NHL trading cards on National Hockey Card Day. All fans have to do is drop in on a participating shop that day to receive a free National Hockey Card Day pack that feature some of the top stars in the NHL!” The main draw for collectors to visit participating retailers is the National Hockey Card Day set itself. The 16-card set with the special “National Hockey Card Day” logo on the front consists of three subsets that pay tribute to American-born players and international players on U.S. based NHL franchises. On the “America’s Franchises” set fans can find cards of Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins), Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils), Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers) and Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings). In the “Stars in Stripes” set look for American-born players like Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings) and Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres). And in the “American Icons” set collectors can capture cards of legends like Mike Modano, Brett Hull, Neal Broten, Tim Thomas and Brian Leetch. Packs will yield five randomly assorted cards featuring the aforementioned players, while a special limited 16th card featuring Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick celebrating his 2012 Stanley Cup victory last season can be had as a gift with purchase from shop owners while supplies last. Some lucky collectors may also find some other special surprises in National Hockey Card Day packs like rare autograph cards. “Of all professional sports leagues, the NHL has the most passionate fan base,” said Mike Fruitman, owner of Mike’s Stadium Sports Cards in Aurora, Colorado. “Being able to offer collectors free National Hockey Day packs with a bonus card of Jonathan Quick will be the perfect complement to hockey’s return. We have lined up hundreds of packs and we will be sure to stock up on loads of great Upper Deck hockey cards to make sure we have enough to go around.” For more information on National Hockey Card Day in the U.S. and to view a list of participating retailers, visit www.upperdeck.com. Also, Upper Deck has set up a Facebook page for the event and will be running a variety of promotions and giveaways on the page so make sure to “like” it today: http://www.facebook.com/NationalHockeyCardDay. National Hockey Card Day will take Feb. 9 in Canada, with the same principles in play.