by Patrick Hoffman on 09/09/10 at 10:07 AM ET
Justin 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, what it was like to cover the World Hockey Summit and more.
PH: How did you get into the game of hockey?
JK: I like that you ask “how” not “when”. How I got into hockey is a very typical Canadian kid answer. Street hockey was always being played by the older kids in my street when I was growing up. I would watch and hope one day I would be asked to grab a stick and play. That day of course came as they could not deny my pure talent…I mean they needed someone in net. Road hockey is where I learned the game, and where I learned how to play. I never played organized hockey growing up, I was far to busy playing hockey on my Nintendo and SNES (NHL 94 FTW) instead.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
JK: Growing up outside of Toronto, I was of course a Leafs fan (stop rolling your eyes). The first jersey I ever got was on my 13th birthday, it was a Doug Gilmour home jersey (white back then). I wore that baby proud. He was the best in my eyes, just untouchable. Once he was traded my fandom took a sideways turn as Darby Hendrickson of all people became my under dog that I would cheer for every night.
PH: Why and when did you begin collecting hockey cards?
JK: I started collecting cards as a kid, maybe 9 or 10. I actually started with Hoops basketball cards, and slowly made my way over to hockey. My brother and I would go to our local card shops and hunt for missing cards from the sets. I remember it not being so much about the value of a specific card but about whether or not our set was complete. Things have changed a lot since then as now a lot of collectors focus in on key players or teams to collect. I was always a “set” guy.
PH: How did you come up with the site The Hockey Card Show?
JK: The idea started as a thought from Gary Vaynerchuk. He suggested basketball but that sport is horrible. I stuck with what I knew, hockey. I started shooting shows on my couch solo then brought in some help and a different personality in Darrin Reynolds. The first box of old cards I bought was off Ebay; 93-94 Topps Premiere, the year I really started to get in to hockey. We have drinks on the show (some times MANY drinks) and shots. We like to have fun with it.
PH: What are you trying to provide readers/viewers who come to your site?
JK: A feeling…I remember growing up and every Saturday my friends and I would get together at the local tennis court and play hockey. That night we would gather again to watch the games CBC was playing. We would sit in a basement and talk about hockey. The players, the teams, the fans, the rinks. We would yell at each other we would fight, we would just hang out and enjoy the best game going. We all had different teams and players we would cheer for and that sparked the nights as well. I wanted the show to have that feel. That you were sitting around with your buddies, having a beer (or 3) and talking about hockey. The packs of cards just give us a starting point for conversation. We never know where the conversation will go.
PH: How do you think hockey card collecting will continue to evolve?
JK: The biggest thing that is happening and has been happening are the signed cards, the patch cards, the equipment cards. Taking a goalie pad and cutting it into a million pieces and being able to hold that in your hands is amazing. When ever we pull a patch/fabric card it’s cool. It’s a great way for fans of the game or fans of a certain player to feel connected.
PH: You also got a chance to cover the World Hockey Summit. How did you get selected to do that?
JK: Molson wanted hockey fans covering the event, they knew it would make for the most authentic and honest coverage of the meetings. For anyone that watches the show (or is new to it), Darrin and I don’t really hold back and they were hoping for that view point. There is nothing worse than reading about an event and everything is just so peachy, and asses are being kissed all over the place. We had worked with Molson in the past and I guess they liked how we roll. That or we were drawn from a hat.
PH: What was it like covering the event?
JK: Covering the Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit was surreal. I’m just an average Joe that loves hockey and likes to hear himself talk once in a while. It was a trip to be thrown into the hockey world for those days. Rubbing elbows with NHL GM’s (Brian Burke) or players that you idolized (Steve Yzerman) or players that you absolutely SLAM every time we pull their card (Daniel Alfredsson). It was also great to be able to represent a hockey community, to engage with fans that were at home and help communicate the Summit. Very cool.
PH: Any last words for Kukla’s Korner readers?
JK: Last words eh…Just a big thanks for the interest in the show and the kind words about our often drunk ramblings about current and former players, the women they would screw and the drugs they may or may not have done. And of course the memories they left with us. I love this game, every bad hit, great goal, broken piece of glass, snow shower, saucer pass and glove dropped. Thanks for the time guys, enjoy this seasons shows. Cheers!
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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.