Monday, December 31, 2007

Worst Ever Hockey Cards #11

Patrick Roy, 97-98 Collector's Choice, Colorado Avalanche
#316 - Patrick Roy (Chippy's Checklist)
97-98 Collector's Choice

Yeah, this card was more fun than a barrel full of monkeys until I used it as a dart board and then stuck it in my bicycle spokes. I don't understand why any company would encourage people to keep their cards in good shape. They should make it as hard as possible for people to keep their cards in mint condition so that those collectors who are really anal about their cards can at least be have something of value to show for their lack of a soul. Topps got it right with the scratch off names in their 80-81 set. Next year, I'd like to see a set that has a scratch and win on every card and gum back in packs of O-Pee-Chee.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Parkhurst Santa Claus!

Santa Claus, 91-92 Parkhurst, Pro-Set, hockey cardWorst Ever Hockey Card Set #9
No# - Santa Claus
91-92 Parkurst

Even Santa thought Pro-Set cards were crap. I can understand why he'd throw away that 90-91 Pro-Set hockey card, but why is he getting rid of the Vanilla Ice rookie card?

The back of the card is a bit of a bummer.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #24

Dennis Kearns, 71-72 O-Pee-Chee, Vancouver Canucks, hockey card#231 - Dennis Kearns
71-72 O-Pee-Chee

He may look like a midget with a beer gut, but look closely at the marks on his neck and his self-satisfied grin-- the ladies loved him.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Worst Ever Hockey Cards #9

Markus Naslund, Pittsburgh Penguins, 91-92 Classic Four-Sport, hockey cardWorst Ever Hockey Card Set #9
#13 - Markus Naslund
91-92 Classic Four-Sport

Classic knew how to squeeze every penny out of the trading card fad of the early-90's. This card from Classic's 91-92 Four-Sport set features the exact same photo as Naslund's card in Classic's Draft Pick set from the same year. The big difference between the two cards is the horrible marble border they slapped on the Four-Spot card, which is one of the worst I've ever seen on any card. The back of the Four-Sport card is like an uglier version of the Draft Pick card as well, with an near identical design, but without the photo and, for some reason, only with two of the four sentences that its counterpart has.

The Four-Sport set was called that because it was where Classic combined all the draft picks from the big four North American sports into one easy to collect set. The only problem is that the fifty hockey cards included in the Four-Sport set were the same as their previously released draft pick set. I haven't seen the rest of the set, but I can only guess the other 49 hockey cards also have the same photos as the ones in the draft pick set. It's unfortunate, but Classic probably didn't have too many problems finding suckers to invest in a near identical draft set.

The Naslund card above was the cheapest hockey card for sale on, so it has proven to have been a very good investment (just click on the google ad about selling your cards for $0.20 and I'll earn back the three cents I spent on the card).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Teemu Selanne Bobbing Head

Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, 98-99 Collector's Choice Bobbing Head, Bobble Head, hockey card#BH15 - Teemu Selanne
98-99 Collector's Choice Bobbing Head

Bobble heads don't float my boat, but I definitely appreciate cards that have to be destroyed to be enjoyed. Cards like these are a nice little 'fuck you' to what is really a stupid hobby where value is based on how sharp a card's corners are (as well as artificial demand created by the extremely limited production runs of cards like the ugly Sidney Crosby rookie card in this article).

I'm happy to say that this Selanne bobble head card just went up in value by as much as 3/100000ths of a cent because here's what it looks like when it's all put together-- kind of pathetic. Maybe if a few thousand more people pull their Selanne bobble cards out of their industrial strength protective plastic cases, in a few decades it might be worth something.

Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, 98-99 Collector's Choice Bobbing Head, hockey card

Monday, December 17, 2007

Worst Ever Hockey Cards #8

#18 - Felix Potvin
01-02 Pacific Adrenaline - Power Play

Pacific's other insert sets featured players eating chicken mcnuggets and flaccid old-timers with boxes of viagra.

felix potvin, los angeles kings, 01-02 pacific adrenaline, power play magazine, hockey card

Friday, December 14, 2007

Eric Lindros Baseball

Eric Lindros, Toronto Blue Jays, 1990 Score Rookie and Traded#100T - Eric Lindros
1990 Score Rookie & Traded (Baseball)

If I was the Quebec Nordiques' manager back in 1991, I'd have sent him to the Toronto Blue Jays for Pat Borders and Joe Carter in a second.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wayne Van Dorp

Wayne Van Dorp, Chicago Blackhawks, O-Pee-Chee 90-91, hockey card#527 - Wayne Van Dorp
90-91 O-Pee-Chee

The local paper usually sits in the rain for a few days in front of my house before someone moves it, but today while I was stepping over it, Wayne Van Dorp's name caught my eye. I've always liked his 90-91 O-Pee-Chee card; the back is one of the best I've seen on any hockey card, it has a typo and talks about a pre-game blowup with Basil McRae. I thought Wayne Van Dorp had dropped off the face of the earth, but apparently he plays pick-up hockey with other retired pros at the same rink that I play at. They had this nice photo of Wayne.

Wayne Van Dorp, trucker

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

95-96 Collector's Choice - You Crash the Game

Bernie Nicholls, Alexei Zhamnov, 95-96 Collector's Choice, You Crash the Game, Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets, hockey cards
I remember these inserts being really exciting back when they first came out. If the player scored on the date listed on the front of the card, you could send it in (with $3 postage) and get the full 30 card You Crash the Game redemption set. The set had the same photos and design as the cards you sent in, but instead of the ugly purple and teal border, the redemption cards had either silver or gold foil bars that said "Silver Set" or "Gold Set" really large so that you knew what colour it was. In addition to the 30 card set, you got two bonus cards which were the same as the regular card, except the background was tinted gold and the bar on the left side of the card said "Bonus Card" so that you knew that it was not part of the regular set.

Pavel Bure, Paul Coffey, 95-96 Collector's Choice, You Crash the Game, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, hockey cardsThe backs of the cards were a little different, the redemption cards (the ones you sent in) just had the contest rules and skill-testing question, while the redemption set (the cards you got back) had a very poorly thought out double spaced blurb about the player. The silver, gold, and bonus cards all had the exact same backs.

I probably should have just kept the winning cards I pulled from the packs and saved myself the postage; the full 30 card You Crash the Game Set recently did not get a single bid at $3.99 on eBay.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wayne Gretzky Rookie

Wayne Gretzky rookie, Edmonton Oilers, 79-80 O-Pee-Chee, Hockey Card#18 - Wayne Gretzky
79-80 O-Pee-Chee

Dented, creased, stained, torn and taped. The most badass Gretzky rookie card you will ever find.

Wayne Gretzky Rookie, Edmonton Oilers, 79-80 O-Pee-Chee, Hockey Card

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Canucks We're With You

Vancouver Canucks, Canucks We're With You, Don Cook, hockey musicVancouver Canucks, Canucks We're With You, Don Cook, hockey musicDon Cook
Canucks We're With You (1975)

The Canucks' 86 points wouldn't have put them any higher than third place in any other division, but it was good enough to earn them their first Smythe Division championship and a bye to the second round. Although they were beaten by Montreal in five games, the team's first division championship and playoff appearance earned them this fine two-verse masterpiece by Don Cook released by Paperback records, who, three years later, also released the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team's single, White is the Colour.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #20

Esa Tikkanen, 91-92 Topps Team scoring leaders, insert set, edmonton oilers, hockey card, hockey cards#6 - Esa Tikkanen
91-92 Topps Team Scoring Leaders

Topps was always second banana to O-Pee-Chee when it came to hockey cards, but I will give them credit for being a very close second banana with their 91-92 insert cards. O-Pee-Chee's Sharks & Russians inserts featured some rad cards of the Central Red Army, Dynamo Moscow, and Khimik teams, as well as players from the expansion San Jose Sharks, while Topps' team scoring leaders featured players people had heard of, as well as a nice design that includes a hockey stick. It's tough to pick a favourite of the two, but O-Pee-Chee is tops again because you can't beat the hammer and sickle on a simple two-colour back.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #19

Jerry Toppazzini, Boston Bruins, Ultimate Original 6, 1992, NHL 7th anniversary, hockey card, hockey cards#55 - Jerry Toppazzini
1992 Ultimate Original 6

There are solutions.

Hockey Card of the Day #18

Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, NHL Aces Playing Cards, Bicycle, hockey card, hockey cardsNo# - Teemu Selanne
96-97 Bicycle NHL Aces Playing Cards

It's bad enough that the Mighty Ducks were named after a cheesy Disney movie, but they really hit rock bottom in 95-96 when their third jersey was an ABC television logo away from being an ad for the Saturday morning Mighty Ducks cartoon.

The Mighty Ducks cartoon had nothing on Pro-Stars.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #17

Bobby Hull, Chicago Blackhawks, Ultimate Original six, 1992, nhl 7th anniversary, hockey cards, hockey art#90 - Bobby Hull
1992 Ultimate Original 6

Someday I will have an art show featuring all these awful hockey paintings.

Worst Ever Hockey Cards #7

Sid Abel, Detroit Red Wings, 1992, Ultimate, Original Six, NHL 75th Anniversary, hockey cardWorst Ever Hockey Card Set #7
#66 - Sid Abel
1992 Ultimate Original 6

Let's be honest, no one wants to look at pictures of old people. Most of the other cards in the set show the players in their prime, but I guess they couldn't find a photo of 'Alzheimer' Abel from his playing days.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #16

Norm Maciver, Ottawa Senators, Team Point Leader, Upper Deck, 93-94, hockey card#299 - Norm Maciver (Team Point Leader)
93-94 Upper Deck

This is the saddest team leader card I've ever seen. I think it would have been nicer if Upper Deck had just listed the team's most inspirational player, or most improved player rather than showing that the team's plus/minus leader was a minus-16 and the team's wins leader had just eight of them.
Upper Deck, 93-94, Ottawa Senators, Team Leaders, back

Sunday, November 25, 2007

95-96 Upper Deck Collector's Choice

Eric Lacroix, Los Angeles Kings, Upper Deck, 95-96, Collector's Choice, hockey, hockey cardsThe foil lettering and full-bleed photos on 95-96 Upper Deck cards meant that regular Upper Deck was out of my price range, so I collected the second best Upper Deck set. 95-96 Collector's Choice is actually more like the Upper Deck sets of the early-90's than the regular Upper Deck set: it has a simple white and gray border and action photos on both the front and back. The size of the photo of on the back depends on how long the player had been playing in the NHL: since Blaine Lacher had just finished his rookie season, you get to see a nice large photo of him doing the splits in his boxer shorts, but since Gretzky had just finished his 16th NHL season, you only get to see a thumbnail sized photo. For some the cards it is hard to understand why they chose to put the less exciting photo on the front when they have pretty awesome photos on the back.

Since the regular Upper Deck set already included all the World Junior Championship player cards, and you couldn't have a set in the mid-90's without some kind of international junior tournament, Collector's Choice made cards for the European Junior Championships, a tournament that no one in North American had noticed before or has cared about since. The set only includes the Finnish and Swedish teams, but even with two of the stronger European hockey countries, there are very few notable players, with Vesa Toskala probably the best of the bunch. The set finished off with some ugly 'What's Your Game?' cards that explain to the lay-hockey fan the roles of various players such as scorers and grinders.

Five of my favorites:

#8 - Gary Suter - It always looks like Suter's face is melting off.

- Keith Tkachuk - Kirk McLean is obviously making another highlight reel save.

#281 - Brent Gretzky - Tampa Bay was a pretty terrible team for its first few years in the league, but at least they knew how to get some easy publicity: first they put Manon Rheaume in net for a few minutes in a couple of pre-season games, then they drafted Wayne's lesser brother, Brent.

- Brett Lindros - Doesn't this photo just warm your heart?

- Mikko Markkanen - I can't figure out why a player would have a duffel bag on the ice at any time for any reason.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Worst Ever Hockey Cards #6

Randy Cunneyworth, Winnipeg Jets, O-Pee-Chee, 89-90, hockey, hockey cards, bad airbrushing#63 - Randy Cunneyworth
89-90 O-Pee-Chee
Worst Ever Hockey Card Set #6

This will soon be the top Google Image search result for the term "bad airbrushing."

Hockey Sock Rock #2

Dionne and the Puck-Tones, Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor, Charlie Simmer, Los Angeles Kings, Please Forgive My Misconduct Last Night, record, 45 rpm, cover, hockey, songsDionne and the Puck-Tones
Please Forgive My Misconduct Last Night (1979)
(right click and choose "save link as" to download)

Dionne, Taylor, and Simmer are three of the ugliest dudes you'll ever see on a record cover, but they managed to make one of my favorite songs by professional athletes. That may not seem like it's saying very much, but they get some stiff competition from the Saskatchewan Roughriders' Milk Song, and the song off Shaquille O'Neal's Shaq Fu: The Return where he rhymes "I drive a Suzuki like David Suzuki."

Hockey Blog in Canada posted a sweet song about Bobby Hull here.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

93-94 Pinnacle

Curtis Joseph, St. Louis Blues, NHL, Pinnacle, 93-94, hockey, hockey cardsIt's too bad Pinnacle blew their load on one card. The photo of Grant Fuhr making an airborne kick/glove save is one of the best I've ever seen on a hockey card, but of the other 219 cards in the first series of 93-94 Pinnacle, I counted four action shots. The rest of the set is a write-off; the black border is boring and the Pinnacle logo is ugly, but at least they put that ugly bar on the back of the cards so you can be sure your Ben Hankinson rookie card is not a counterfeit.

Four of my favourites:

#109 - Evgeny Davydov - This wouldn't make my favourites list for most sets, but since it's Pinnacle, it's in.

#163 - Mike McPhee - Gino Odjick better have given McPhee a two-hander across the back of the head for spraying Whitmore like that.

#138 - Kay Whitmore - Speaking of Whitmore, what would you bet that that puck is going in the net?

#207 - Mike Lenarduzzi - I think the most effective way to deter counterfeiting is to make cards for players like this.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #15

Daren Puppa, Tampa Bay Lightning, Kraft Dinner, hockey cards, 94-95, masked defendersNNO - Daren Puppa
94-95 Kraft Dinner

I guess it is better than being called the 'turd burglar'.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #14

#112 - Manon Rheaume (Hockey Art)
93-94 Classic Draft Picks
Worst Ever Hockey Card Set #5

Classic made 26 Manon Rheaume cards between 1992 and 1995. That's one card for every regular season professional and major junior ice hockey game she played (she also played some professional roller hockey games in the RHI), plus a bonus card for the pre-season publicity stunt with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

I'm sure that many of the other Rheaume cards are bad, but nothing tops Classic's hockey art. The only thing this card is missing is a dolphin jumping in the background.

And also, what is that on her left hand-- an oven mitt?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #13

Tony Esposito, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL, hockey cards, O-Pee-Chee, 79-80#80 - Tony Esposito
79-80 O-Pee-Chee

Chicago's logo was way tougher in the 70's. Their current logo looks so positive with its nice smile and straight nose. The logo on this card looks way more like someone who would beat you up in a back alley, the way hockey logos should be.

Tony Esposito, Chicago Blackhawks, hockey card, NHL, O-Pee-Chee, 79-80, card backThe back of 79-80 O-Pee-Chee cards are the best of any set. They have all the stats perfectly placed in a skate with enough room left over for a fact and illustration.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hockey Sock Rock #1

The first of my occasional posts on hockey music!

Phil Esposito and the Ranger Rockers, John Davidson, Ron Duguay, Dave Maloney, Pat Hickey, New York Rangers, Hockey Sock RockPhil Esposito & the Ranger Rockers
The Hockey Sock Rock (1979)
(right click and choose "save link as" to download)

Not the first or best song ever recorded by NHL players, but thanks to Phil Esposito's name, a B-side by L.A. Kings players Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer, and Dave Taylor, the writing and producing talents of Canadian C-list actor Alan Thicke, and the fact that it was a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Hockey Sock Rock managed to avoid being the kind of regional novelty song that disappears faster than you can say "killer mustache, Davidson."

Not only was this song released as a single, there was also a music video which I was very disappointed to find out has not been put on YouTube yet. The video can be found on the 1989 VHS, Super Dooper Hockey Bloopers, which you can likely find at your local thrift store or flea market.

In case you are wondering why it says "oops" beside Pat Hickey's name, he was traded to the Colorado Rockies early in the 79-80 season, before the single was released. I guess that means he no longer qualified as a Ranger Rocker.

Phil and the Ranger Rockers' career in music wasn't finished with the Hockey Sock Rock, the group (minus Davidson because he's too ugly and Pat Hickey because his new coach, Don Cherry, would've benched him for the rest of the season) also sang in this Sasson Jeans commercial posted below.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #12

goalmouth, 7th inning sketch, seventh inning sketch, whl, 90-91, tri-city americans, spokane chiefs, hockey, hockey cards, western hockey league#340 - The Goalmouth
90-91 7th Inning Sketch
Worst Hockey Card Set Ever #4

How did this get made without someone pointing out that the back of the card sounds more like a description for a porno than a battle in front of the net?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #11

Link Gaetz, San Jose Sharks, O-Pee-Chee, 91-92, Sharks and Russians, NHL, insert, goon, hockey enforcer, hockey, hockey cards#1S - Link Gaetz
91-92 O-Pee-Chee - Sharks & Russians

Link Gaetz was a badass. The first time I really remember hearing anything about him was when he was arrested back in the early-90's. Though I couldn't remember exactly what he was arrested for, an old Link Gaetz fan site had this quote:
His low point came in 1993, when he was arrested for breaking into his old roommate's apartment, stealing his television, and urinating on his bed. Said the victim of the crime, "I came home and the television was gone and there was urine in my bed. The mark of Link."
Link played 68 games over three seasons in the NHL, collecting 14 points and 412 penalty minutes before a car accident in 1992 derailed his career. He spent the next seven years fighting his way through the minor-pro leagues, never playing more than 26 games in one season with any one team.

Link's fan site posted updates on his activities from 1998 to 2003. Here are a few of the highlights:
  • December 1, 1998: . . . he began the 1998-99 season with the Toledo Storm of the East Coast Hockey League. However, after playing only one or two games, he was kicked off the team. Reportedly, team management had problems with his attitude, as well as his speed and conditioning.
  • January 19, 1999: Link was arrested in Huntsville, Texas on January 10th and charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. His bond, which was raised from $10,000 to $100,000 after he taunted the arraigning judge and reportedly told him to "f--k of," was later reduced to $5,000, but the last we heard, he was still in jail.
  • February 2, 1999: The [Madison] Monsters were in town to play the Winston-Salem Icehawks, and Link (a former Monsters player) was in town to try out for the Icehawks. Apparently, Link won't be playing in North Carolina, however, as the commissioner of the United Hockey League has "outlawed" him.
  • November 23, 1999: . . . he has joined the Eston Ramblers in a senior league, the Saskatchewan Wild Goose League. He received a league record 68 penalty minutes in one shift. . .
  • December 12, 2000: Link's stint in Eston came to an end last Christmas, as he was kicked off the Ramblers and reportedly banned from all bars within a 35-mile radius of Eston.
A very overweight Link Gaetz made his final appearance in the hockey world as a marquee name in the Battle of the Hockey Enforcers, a boxing-style hockey fight contest where he had obvious trouble staying on his feet and had to withdraw after one fight with concussion-like symptoms.

On a side note, I'd like to point out that O-Pee-Chee made a big mistake in not including gum with their cards in their final year, 92-93. The gum residue on this card makes it even more awesome.

Friday, November 2, 2007

90-91 7th Inning Sketch WHL

jason fitzsimmons, moose jaw warriors, whl, western hockey league, goalie, 7th inning sketch, 90-91I've already covered part of this set in a previous post, but since I found an unopened box of these cards in the back of a dingy card shop under a pile of old Playboys and New Kids on the Block cards, I decided it was worth another post.

There are more errors in 7th Inning Sketch's WHL set than in a little league baseball tournament. The errors range from spelling mistakes (Brian Sakic's card says "Buan Sakic", Turner Stevenson plays "Ring Wing" and Corey Schwab was drafted in the "nonth round"), to putting the wrong backs on cards (Jeff Calvert's stats and info are on the back of Paul Dyck's card, and Paul Dyck's stats and photo are on the back of Paul Calvert's card), to leaving out cards 121, 150, and 262 (they partially made up for it by having two cards numbered both 149 and 284), to messing up countless players' stats and info (Dean Tiltgen is listed as a goalie even though both photos clearly show him as a skater, and his stats say he scored 117 goals and 202 points, which couldn't be possible since a trivia question on another card asks you to name the only WHL player to score 200+ points in one year (the answer is Rob Brown)).

Skipping over the few hundred other mistakes, here's a sample of the rest of the set:

Hockey Card of the Day #10

For your convenience, the worst ever hockey cards will now be compiled in one easy to view set. Click on the 'Worst Ever Hockey Card Set' tag to see the two past 'Cards of the Day' that have already been added to the set, and collect along at home!

Cornelius Rooster, Kellogg's, hockey, hockey card, score, 91-92, nhl#24 - Cornelius Rooster
91-92 Score Kellogg's
Worst Ever Hockey Card Set #3

This is the card I'd have been bummed to get from the Corn Flakes box when I was little. Sure, I could have gotten Trevor Linden or Patrick Roy, but instead I end up with a gimpy drawing of Cornelius Rooster. They couldn't draw him holding a stick properly, but they at least had lots of clever puns on the back of the card.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #9

paul baxter, pittsburgh penguins, 82-83, 81-82, o pee chee, penalty minute leader, nhl, hockey, hockey card#238 - Paul Baxter (Penalty Minutes Leader)
82-83 O-Pee-Chee

I don't understand why they don't make penalty minute leader cards anymore. Sure, players don't rack up the minutes like they used to (last year's leader wouldn't have even made it into the top ten on the back of this card), but I'd trade my plus/minus leader or Selke Trophy winner cards for a good goon any day.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #8

Calgary Flames, Mike Vernon, Leaf, 93-94, NHL, goalie, calgary, ugly#83 - Mike Vernon
93-94 Leaf

Calgary is the ugliest city I've ever seen. The background of this card should have shown the 200 kilometers of urban sprawl surrounding the four tall buildings in downtown Calgary.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #7

Antti Aalto, Finland, Hockey card, Classic Draft Picks, 93 94#35 - Antti Aalto
93-94 Classic Draft Picks

He won't be remembered for much in his NHL career, but at least he'll have the distinction of being the first player listed in the alumni section in every NHL record book. He better cross his fingers that Vitalij Aab doesn't get signed by an NHL team.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #6

Peter Bondra, Washington Capitals, NHL, hockey card, skybox impact, 96 97#242 - Peter Bondra
96-97 Skybox Impact (back)

Putting advertisements on cards is pretty low. You can't see all of it on this card, but behind Bondra it says "The Official Magazine of the Players and Teams of the National Hockey League." The ad for PowerPlay magazine is nothing compared to their 'NHL on Fox' insert set featuring, for some reason, third-liners like Roman Oksiuta.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #5

Peter Sidorkiewicz, Hartford Whalers, NHL, hockey card, o pee chee, sticker, 88-89#42 - Peter Sidorkiewicz
88-89 O-Pee-Chee Stickers

Things were "golden" for Sidorkiewicz back in 88-89. He took over Mike Liut's position as the Whalers' top goaltender and was named to the NHL's all-rookie team. Three seasons later, however, the Ottawa Senators claimed him in the expansion draft and Sidorkiewicz went on to an 8 win, 48 loss season. Although he was the Senators' representative in the '93 all-star game, he was traded at the end of the season to the New Jersey Devils and played just three games in the NHL over the next five seasons which were split between Fort Wayne of the IHL and Albany of the AHL.

If you've ever wondered how you could easily carry 40 of your favourite hockey or baseball cards on your belt, you missed the boat.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #4

Sandis Ozolinsh, San Jose Sharks, Topps Stadium Club, NHL, hockey card, 94-95#203 - Sandis Ozolinsh (Rink Report)
94-95 Topps Stadium Club
Worst Ever Hockey Card Set #2

By 'Rink Report' they mean 'bad caricature of Ozolinsh playing go-cart hockey report'.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #3

Boston Bruins, team card, hockey, hockey card, nhl, o pee chee, 77-78#323 - Boston Bruins
77-78 O-Pee-Chee

I think this is the simplest card ever made. It's just a logo on a piece of cardboard; no background, no words, no messing around. Other companies have tried making similar cards, but they just don't have the class of O-Pee-Chee.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #2

Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings, Upper Deck, 90-91, hockey, hockey cards, nhl, hologram NNO - Steve Yzerman
90-91 Upper Deck Hologram Stickers
Worst Ever Hockey Card Set #1

Usually when you look at these holograms you just have to take Upper Deck's word that there's a hockey player somewhere in the blur. But today I found out something exciting: if you hold the card at just the right angle, with perfect lighting (indirect light that's not too dark or too bright) and then close one eye and squint with the other, you can not only see the number on the player's arm clearly enough to positively identify him as Steve Yzerman, but you can see another player behind Yzerman who I think may be Brett Hull! And to think that Upper Deck was considering pulling these cards from production for lack of quality!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hockey Card of the Day #1

Starting today, I'm switching the format of my blog to one hockey card a day.

Ronnie Stern, Calgary Flames, Score, 93-94, nhl, hockey, hockey card#409 - Ronnie Stern
93-94 Score
(larger version)

If I'm ever going to fulfill my dream of being the guy who writes the blurbs on the back of hockey cards, I'm going to have to learn to write the most obviously cheesy things. When I'm able to write a line like "Ronnie issued another stern warning to his opponents. . ." without choking on my own vomit, then I'll know that I'm ready.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hockey Card of the Week #4

Don Burgess, Vancouver Blazers, WHA, o pee chee, 74-75, hockey, hockey card#32 - Don Burgess
74-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA

The Blazers were Vancouver's other major-pro hockey team in the 70's. The franchise that became the Vancouver Blazers was originally supposed to be based out of Florida and called the Miami Screaming Eagles, but due to money and arena problems they never played a game in Miami and moved to Philadelphia instead where they lasted one year (72-73) before Vancouver bajillionaire Jim Pattison bought the team and moved them to Vancouver. In need of a star to replace Andre Lacriox, the WHA's all-time leading scorer who left the Blazers for the New York Golden Blades, Pattison apparently offered Phil Esposito $2.5 million to join the Blazers. Even though this was significantly more than Esposito was making in Boston, the offer was rejected and even the Blazer Belles, the team's dance squad that dressed in hot pants, couldn't keep fans interested in the two losing seasons that the team produced. Pattison relocated the team to Calgary for the 75-76 season and renamed them the Cowboys. The Cowboys lasted two years before the Miami Screaming Eagles/Philadelphia Blazers/Vancouver Blazers/Calgary Cowboys franchise finally folded. The WHA itself lasted until the 78-79 season, with the Winnipeg Jets defeating Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers to win the final Avco Cup.

Other Vancouver Blazer cards:
#6 - Bryan Campbell (back)
#19 - Mike Pelyk (back)
#25 - Danny Lawson (back)
#42 - Ron Chipperfield (back)
#48 - Don McLoed (back)
#62 - Claude St. Sauveur (back)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

06-07 Upper Deck

Kari Lehtonen, Atlanta Thrashers, Upper Deck, 06-07, nhl, hockey, hockey card, goalieI took my own advice from my post on 06-07 cards and bought the complete set of Upper Deck (both series') for $10. For some reason the rookies aren't counted as base cards even though they are numbered as part of the set, so I received cards 1 to 200 and 250 to 450. Having seen all the cards in the set now, I still think it's the best set of the year, and perhaps the last several years, but it's still far from a perfect set.

One of my biggest problems is the inappropriate use of the word 'score' in the blurbs on the backs of several cards. I'll use Brian Gionta's card as an example: ". . . his 24 power-play scores set a team record." Was that written by a four year old? Do the people at Upper Deck also say that a team won "three scores to two"? Probably not. Scoring is the action, goals are the results.

Other than Upper Deck's poor grammar, the first series is quite amazing. There are more action shots than I've seen in any other set, including net battles, body checks, slapshots, saves and goals. The second series, however, feels a lot more thrown together. Upper Deck would have had to move fast to get all the photos of players on their new teams in time to release the set before the season was over, and the quality suffers for it. Instead of action shots there are a lot more photos of guys just skating around, not doing much and goalies stretching. The lamest thing Upper Deck did was to include two Gretzky cards. It's not like these were special cards celebrating some special achievement, one is a checklist which might not have been too big of a deal, but the other is a regular card just like every other one in the set, except that the last stats shown are for the 98-99 season. Adding a retired superstar like that just so you can put his picture on the box and sell a few extra to people who don't know anything about hockey is the lamest gimmick I've seen since the terrible pre-NHL Eric Lindros cards in 91-92 Score.

Five of my favourites:

#32 - Darren McCarty - Two minutes for stupid facial hair and generally acting like a jackass.

#45 - Nikolai Khabibulin - This is a nice horizontal card with an interesting angle showing a glove save, but the real reason I like it is that it is the closest Anson Carter got to having a card. I know Carter didn't do much in Columbus or Carolina and he's out of a job now, but if his 33 goal season with Vancouver didn't earn him a card, didn't his hair?

#98 - Derek Boogaard - I read in an old Beckett that the NHLPA doesn't allow companies to use photos of players fighting. I think that's stupid. They can show goalies making saves, and players scoring, why can't they show fighters fighting? Look at this card-- they don't even give Boogaard a stick when he plays. He just runs around elbowing guys until someone fights him.

#104 - Andrei Markov - Frank Musil's little brother?

#181 - Mats Sundin - Living in Vancouver, where you can barely afford to sniff the air around GM Place when the Canucks are playing, it's hard to believe that in other NHL cities the seats are as empty as this.

You can watch a guy open a box of 06-07 Upper Deck on an internet show called Rip & Pull. I don't suggest it. It's just a chubby nerd opening packs of cards, but I wanted to point that out so I could post the video of a later episode where he gets a stripper named Dejah Vu to help him open a box of basketball cards. It's as embarrassing as it is depressing.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hockey Card of the Week #3

Ryan Loxam, Vernon Lakers, BCJHL, bchl, junior a, hockey, hockey card, 92-93#210 - Ryan Loxam
92-93 BCJHL

How did I get cards like this in my collection? It's the most random player from a very random set. As far as I can tell, Ryan Loxam didn't go on to a professional hockey career and the Vernon Lakers folded after the '93 season (another team from Vernon called the Vipers joined the league a few years later (three other Vernon teams have also played in the BCJHL: the Canadians, Vikings, and Essos)).

This card is one of a surprisingly ambitious 246 cards in the league-issued BCJHL set. Of those, I counted four players who went on to play in the NHL for any amount of time: three were drafted by the Canucks (Bill Muckalt, Dieter Kochan, Robb Gordon) and the other is a current Canuck (Brendan Morrison). I'd like to see the rest of the set to find out if the photos got any better than this cellphone quality picture.

Other than the ugly maple leaves, I like the back in a sweet-budget-set kind of way. I realize they only put the Lakers logo so prominently on the back so that they wouldn't have to put another picture and drive up printing costs, but it's a nice touch. On top of that they have some stats, a couple sentences about the guy who probably now is an assistant manager at Mr. Lube, and a pretty cool BCJHL logo. This card gets an 'A' for effort.