by Patrick Hoffman on 01/22/11 at 11:45 AM ET
Today, I am proud to present an e-mail interview I did with the other host of The Hockey Card Show, Darrin - Dink Reynolds. Darrin was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into the game, how he got involved with The Hockey Card Show as well as what are some of his favorite hockey card items.
PH: How did you get into the game of hockey?
DR: Well, when I was a kid growing up in Corbyville, Ontario (which is just outside of Belleville Ontario and a couple hours east of Toronto) I would watch Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday religiously. This started in the ‘79-80 season when I was 6 years old. At times my Dad would watch with me but he wasn’t a huge hockey fan so I was usually by myself. I was lucky that we had a small TV in our kitchen so while watching I would either be on the counter, sitting right up against it, or on the floor pretending to be one of the NHL players.
Living in the country, I spent hours either at the school I attended (which was right across the road), in my driveway, or on the ponds behind my house playing hockey. Like any Canadian kid (or hockey loving kid regardless of the country)
it was a passion from the first time I watched and played the game. I started playing organized hockey when I was 9 years old and truthfully wasn’t the greatest. Despite all the free ice time behind my house I wasn’t the strongest skater,
but I was constantly working on it. The next year I decided to try playing between the pipes and the rest as they say was (and definitely IS) history.
As I have stated in other interviews, I played from age nine unitl I was 21. Started as a your typical house leaguer. Made my way on to the select team and eventually went on to play AA right through until Midget, then Juvie when the dream was over. Played all my years out of Belleville except for my overage year in Juvie where I played in Lakefield while attending College in Peterborough. Obviously not good enough to make the show … but the game when I was young was my passion and still is to this day. I received a scouting letter to attend a Junior A (Tier 2) camp in Oshawa for the old Legionaires (now Whitby Fury), who played in the now-defunct Metro League. I thought it was a joke at first … one of my buds pulling a fast one as there was no letterhead on the actual invite, plus I was 18 at the time. Then a second one came and I knew it was the real deal. I did not go as I went off to college instead and figured I would play in the OCAA. Well, my first year the college kept the two goalies from the past years’ team and that was that. Other things then got in the way as the thought of any thing serious in hockey had faded long before. When I say other things, I mean the usual college stuff like studying and planning my career haha.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
DR: Growing up I was a fan of the Lea. At age six (the start of the 79-80 season) when I started watching hockey and of course due to the location, all we had were Leafs games. They did play the odd Habs game, or you could watch them on the French channel. I would study the players, started collecting cards that my dad would buy for me and studied them. It was a religion every Saturday night for me (very cliche I know for so many Canadians … but oh so true). So, obviously I was a Leafs fan, who, like many kids my age, found it tough to watch them as they were always losing.
My grandfather would blame Harold Ballard and so would I. I had fallen hard for Wayne Gretzky as well, also like many my age as he had just entered the league and was taking it by storm. Still my favourite player to this day.
My dad would take me to the Belleville Bulls games their first few seasons (after they joined the OHL for the 81-82 season). This is where I got to see Steve Yzerman play. I thought he was pretty good and, truth be told, his name also stuck out to me as a kid. So, as you can guess I started following the Red Wings the best I could after he joined them. Obviously pre-internet days or satellite TV, so I would just wait for the Wings to play the Leafs to actually get to see Stevie play. He was a Leaf killer. On a side note … obviously still a diehard Wings fan and yes a closet Leafs fan as long as they are not playing Detroit.
PH: What are some of your favorite hockey cards? Why?
DR: My favorite hockey cards are my early Oiler Gretzky cards. Even though I don’t have his rookie card as I think I lost it tossing it up against the wall (IDIOT!). I do have his second year and many many other cards from his Edmonton days.
They are all protected and I look at them from time to time and remember when I first got them out of a pack, or bought them (as some I purchased in high school when I was really collecting).
The nostalgia for me is why I love them. Sure some of them are worth a few bucks but I don’t plan on selling them. I remember when I was a kid I would look at my cards for hours and truly believe that I learned how to read from looking at those cards and going over their stats and bios. I would organize into teams, put all the goalies together, sort them as they should be by number in the set, basically just play with them all the time. I would get the guys out that would be playing every Sat. night and put them on the counter so I could pick the best players of the game (or my own Molson Cup 3 stars if you will).
PH: Tell us about how the Hockey Card Show is doing this season.
DR: I think the Hockey show is doing quite well this season. As you know we are technically in season #3 although we really just go by episodes. We just finished doing Episode #92 and our views are up all the time.
This to me is great as people are enjoying the content. Justin and I have a blast doing it and it is good to know that others are joining in on the fun I guess you could say. I would like to think I have had fans my entire life but who am I kidding…although now when people from different parts contact or know you from the show what can I say it is flattering and we always appreciate the support.
By no means do we try to come of (or at least I hope not) as people who think they are hockey experts. We just have fun with it and try to remember as much as we can on the spot or something interesting to talk about. I seem to have a knack for remembering the odd obscure trade or something from back in the day of the 80’s players (probably studying those cards as a kid) and Justin seems to have some good or relevant story on some of the newer players. We have always said the cards are really a conversation piece on a hockey talk show. We try to spice it up now and again with a location shoot but for us it is usually on the couch where we can have a beverage or 2. We have a few ideas up our sleeve for some point during the remainer of the season, but we are pretty simple which I believe is what the fans like.
PH: What are you trying to provide readers/viewers who come to your site this season?
DR: Well, we have noticed the drinking seems to be almost as popular as the hockey content as we are taking bets from people all the time for shots or chugs. It definitely adds a fun, simple and real like feel (you know hanging with your buds talking hockey over a drink).
This is really what we are trying to provide, a fun, light show that is entertaining, sometimes informative, sometimes funny, and just enjoyable all around. We are not sure of the perfect recipe for that is but we enjoy doing what we do and hope the more people that tune in will too.
We also don’t have a problem if we receive a comment or a message that we botched a fact during the show. That is great feedback. Now in saying that, I always tell the person that we are winging it off the tops of our heads with no idea who is coming and thinking of something on the spot. Plus after several shots at times you are bound to mix a few things up. We laugh about it after we shoot as it it camera on - one take.
PH: How do you think hockey card collecting will continue to evolve?
DR: Hockey card collecting today is nuts. This show has me back buying cards, a lot of times boxes and packs of stuff that isn’t worth that much as it was/is more just for a certain year as it would be fun to see who we get.
The value of some of today’s patch cards and other great cards is mind blowing. I honestly don’t know where it is headed but it can only get better with today’s technology. The cards look so much better than the old cards (which is all relative) and like I said have so much more value. I watch some online videos of box breaks and it is amazing the cards that are out there.
I do believe serious collecting is costly and is still the group of diehards that do it. When I was younger or even in high school in the late 80’s early 90’s everyone was collecting. We were buying packs for less than a dollar and those cards (some anyway) are worthless. Now you have packs that are upwards of $4 and $5. I realize you have the chance to get some of the high value cards like I said but it makes it difficult for a Father to go out like my Dad did and come home with 10-15 packs.
It will be interesting to see how the collecting and hobby world evolves.
PH: You also got a chance to cover the World Hockey Summit. How did you get selected to do that?
DR: As for the Summit we are lucky to have a wonderful relationship with the great people at Molson who were the main sponsor of the World Hockey Summit. They wanted an unfiltered view from some real people/bloggers that talk hockey all the time. Thankfully for Justin and I and the other 2 great people on our media team they chose us.
PH: What was it like covering the event?
DR: It was a blast and Molson’s treatment was spectacular! We had full media access and it was amzing to meet and greet some of the hockey powers from around the world.
Getting right in there in the media scrums was an interesting experience for not only the actual interviewing but to see all the mainstream media men and women practically step on each other for the best camera angle or sound bite.
The topics themselves were interesting and I personally think it was a great thing for the game. These events should happen more regularly to continuously improve or at least discuss ideas that will help make the game better all over the world.
If there is another one in the future I hope to be there.
PH: Any last words for Kukla’s Korner readers?
DR: I want to thank Patrick and all the readers at Kukla’s Korner for taking the time to read this and checking us out. Hopefully any new viewers we have will enjoy the show, spread the word and let Justin and I know what they would like to see from us in the future or how they think our show should evolve.
Cheers! - Darrin (DINK)
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.