National Hockey Card Day Will Ignite North America

On Saturday February 9th hockey fans across Canada will collectively cheer because “National Hockey Card Day” will be in full swing. Here is the skinny on who is in the Canadian set and who is in the long awaited American set.

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Many U.S. fans have been jealous of this day since Upper Deck rolled it out. Now they finally can collect some of their heroes. The wait is over.

“Good news! This is the year it’s debuting in the US, and it will hit shops Feb 16 (it’s the Saturday before for Canada). Collectors can get the list of stores participating in the US from UD (listed in the link above). Two separate sets, so I’m sure there’ll be a lot of cross-border trading the Monday after the 16th. That’s NAFTA at work, right there,” said McQuaig, Manager, Retail Licensing, National Hockey League Players' Association. “Upper Deck has got some pretty positive feedback from shop owners in the past, but I think the best kind of feedback they get on the program is constructive advice on how to improve the promotion. And from what I’ve seen, UD and their distributors have put a lot of those suggestions in action without breaking away from the core purpose of the promotion which is to get cards into the hands of fans who have never collected, or who have been away from collecting for a while and might want to come back to it when they see this set.”

Hockey Weekend in America will be in full swing by the time the American sets reach collectors. Here is that information:

USA Hockey will lead the nation in the sixth annual Hockey Weekend Across America presented by CCM, Feb. 15-17.

"Hockey Weekend Across America has become a signature event on the hockey calendar," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "This weekend is about celebrating our great game and those involved at all levels and also about exposing our game to new audiences as we continue to expand the reach of our sport."

Each of the three days of Hockey Weekend Across America features a special theme, including Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey, sponsored byShopUSAHockey.com on Friday; Try Hockey Day, sponsored by the National Hockey League on Saturday; and Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes on Sunday.

Now through Feb. 17 fans can enter the CCM "Pick Six Sweepstakes" to win one of three grand prizes -- the choice of six of 12 CCM products, including a hockey stick, hockey gloves, helmet/facemask combo, hockey pants, shoulder pads, shin pads, hockey bag, elbow pads, winter jacket, mini-hockey set, sports bag or golf bag. In addition to the grand prize winners, three "Pick Six" daily prize winners (one per day of Hockey Weekend Across America) will receive a CCM "Strap a Rocket to the Puck" hockey stick and 30 consolation prizes of a USA Hockey custom hat will be awarded (10 per day of Hockey Weekend Across America).

VisitHockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com and click "Sweepstakes" in the top right corner to enter.

The HockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com website contains a list of activities across the country for hockey fans and players to get involved in. Associations and teams celebrating Hockey Weekend Across America are encouraged to submit their event plans to USA Hockey on this site too. Promotional materials, like posters, logos and dasherboards are also available for dowload.

"Wear Your Favorite Jersey Day" on Friday, Feb. 15, is the day for fans to show off their hockey pride by wearing their prized hockey jerseys. USA Hockey's Facebook and Twitter pages will accept photos from families, friends, and colleagues in search of the most passionate hockey fans.

On Saturday, Feb. 16, hundreds of rinks nationwide will host "Try Hockey for Free" clinics, allowing thousands of children to experience hockey for the first time. Arenas interested in hosting an event and players wishing to take part should visit HockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com for more details.

To cap off the weekend, "Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes" day on Sunday, Feb. 17, encourages hockey programs nationwide to develop ways to honor their local hockey heroes. USA Hockey invites all to post pictures and stories on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The day also includes NBC's Hockey Day in America coverage, which includes an NHL doubleheader on NBC (Buffalo at Pittsburgh; Los Angeles at Chicago) and coverage of a third NHL game that evening on NBC Sports Network (Washington at New York Rangers). Along with its game coverage, NBC will also produce content in and around the games showcasing hockey at all levels in the United States.

"National Hockey Card Day will provide a nice bump for our traffic especially with the season ramping up now. The US checklist has a couple of New York superstars in Lundqvist and Leetch, so our customers should be very pleased,” said Mark Rubin, owner of American Legends in Scarsdale, New York.

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