Puck Treasures

Puck Treasures: The Mario Lemieux candy bun

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Puck Treasures is all about showcasing unique pieces of hockey memorabilia. Have an interesting item? Send us an email at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

You know you’ve made it when you get something named after you. It could be a street, a school, a beer… maybe even a candy bar.

We know the famous “Reggie” bar named after baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson in the late 1970s.

Those “Reggie” bars were produced by Standard Brands’ Curtiss Candy Company. After several ownership changes, the D.L. Clark Company, based in Pittsburgh, decided in 1992 to honor the captain of the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

Behold, the Mario Lemieux Bun!

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Each bun, which featured chocolate, peanuts and caramel, contained one Lemieux hockey card. Select packages included cards autographed by Le Manifique. Check out Sal Barry’s review of the three-card set.

According to the Post-Gazette, Lemieux became the first Pittsburgh athlete with his own candy since the Bubby Bar, named after Steelers quarterback Bubby Brister. It was also the first time an NHL player was featured on an internationally marketed candy bar.

There are still some Mario Buns available on eBay, if you’re interested in collectibles or eating 27-year-old candy.

Too bad they couldn’t have teamed up with Jaromir Jagr peanut butter a few years later for a mega-powers bar.

PREVIOUS PUCK TREASURES:
The 170-year-old hockey stick valued at $3.5 million

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Puck Treasures: Remembering the unplayed 2005 NHL All-Star Game

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Puck Treasures is all about showcasing unique pieces of hockey memorabilia. Have an interesting item? Send us an email at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

In January 2004, the NHL announced that Atlanta would play host to the 2005 All-Star Game. The Thrashers were in the middle of their fifth season since joining the league, which would be their most successful to date.

The only concern? That dark cloud of Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations that hovered over the 2004-05 season. We know what happened, and the league ensured the Atlanta would not lose out if there were any sort of work stoppage. If the 2005 All-Star Game were to be canceled, the Thrashers would get the event in 2008.

A similar situation happened in 1995 when that lockout cost San Jose the All-Star Game that season. The Sharks would eventually host two years later.

That turned out to be a good contingency plan as Philips Arena played host in 2008, which saw the best introductions in All-Star Game history featuring The Hives.

It wasn’t until early November 2004 when the NHL finally canceled the 2005 All-Star Game due to the lockout. Preparations were already under way, which included pumping out merchandise to generate revenue and buzz for the event. A few pieces still remain out there if you’re interested in memorabilia from events that didn’t happen.

Stay warm in the fall with this pullover as you ponder who would have joined Ilya Kovalchuk as the Thrashers representatives. Marc Savard? Slava Kozlov? Patrik Stefan?

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(For the record, Kovalchuk, Savard and Marian Hossa were the three Atlanta reps in 2008. GM Don Waddell served as an assistant coach for the Eastern Conference.)

Maybe you’re just a regular collector and pucks are your sort of thing.

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Like a Super Bowl champion shirt featuring the losing team that gets shipped away, these are some unique items that are pretty rare. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, we could be seeing this happen again with 2021 All-Star Game merchandise. The Panthers are set to host, but with the 2020-21 schedule likely to be altered, the midseason event seems likely to be pushed back a season.

PREVIOUS PUCK TREASURES:
The 170-year-old hockey stick valued at $3.5 million

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Puck Treasures: The 170-year-old hockey stick valued at $3.5 million

Goldin Auctions

Puck Treasures is all about showcasing unique pieces of hockey memorabilia. Have an interesting item? Send us an email at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

Hockey sticks have evolved greatly over generations. From the flat blade, to the banana curve, to aluminum shafts to one-piece composite sticks.

If you’d like to own a different kind of hockey stick than we’ve ever seen, behold the “Morse stick,” which is currently up for auction through Goldin Auctions. It’s been dated to be between 150-170 years old and started with a $100,000 bid.

From the item description:

“This offered hockey stick is an artifact that dates to the mid-to-late 19th century, having been narrowed to the timeframe circa 1850s to 1870s and is possibly the oldest known hockey stick in existence.

“With the first recorded hockey game being played in Montreal in 1875, this stick dates as much as 25 years prior that game.”

Owned by Germaine and Gary Morse, the 43-inch stick was kept in in their Vermont home for decades. It was originally discovered by Germaine’s brother, Tony, in his grandmother’s home in 1980. He thought the item could be a conversation piece and gave it to his sister, who put it in an umbrella stand until the couple were contemplating selling their farm.

Goldin Auctions

When Germaine came upon a story about the “Rutherford stick,” which is believed to be from the 1850s and has been valued at $4.25 million, she noticed it looked like the one her brother had given her. She began to research, spoke with experts, including Hockey Hall of Fame curator Phil Pritchard, and had wood analysis and carbon dating done.

“I think we’re just kind of in awe, not really knowing what to think,” Germaine told Vermont Public Radio in April when the couple found out the stick was appraised at $3.5 million. “It’s a wonder that the kids didn’t play with it.”

The Morse’s told Seven Days newspaper that they plan to split the proceeds evenly with Germaine’s brother.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.