70-71 Topps is a pretty nice, simple set-- not the most exciting or attractive of all the 1970's sets, but it's definitely not the worst. The 132 cards in this set are almost exactly the same as the first 132 cards from O-Pee-Chee's set from the same year, though it is a little confusing why Topps would take the first 132 cards and have career minor-leaguers in the set (like Wayne Hicks and Dave Amadio, who hadn't played in the NHL since 67-68 and 68-69 respectively and would never play major-pro again) instead of players like Tony Esposito and Alex Delvecchio.
The back of the cards have a nice ugly-green background complete with an illustration and a few player stats. I always prefer to see career stats on cards, so it's especially disappointing when cards don't even list complete stats for the previous season. At least the write-ups have lots of unnecessary quotation marks.
Since the late-60's, early 70's were the era of the first two expansions and lots of players were changing teams, Topps (or OPC) decided to either crop out as much of the player's jersey out of the photo as possible or just take the logo off the jersey itself. I always disliked that in the past. Taking a logo off a jersey just makes it look like a budget set that couldn't afford the proper licensing, but now I would kind of like to see a new set do that on some those 'vintage' cards. Maybe they could bring back some airbrushing too!
Five of my favourites:
#69 - Gary Smith - It would take just a few more years for this respectable-looking young man to turn into this.
#90 - Jim Morrison - Not the oldest, but the oldest-looking man to ever play in the NHL.
#6 - Johnny McKenzie - The creepiest-looking man to ever play in the NHL?
#40 - Gump Worsley - Gump does not find that very amusing. #105 - Bruce Gamble - Floatin'.
I got many of these images from the great Hockey Card Cyber Museum. They have all the 70's Topps sets and are starting to work on the 80's O-Pee-Chee ones. You have to get a (free) guest pass to enter the site, but it is definitely worth it.
Thanks to Jeremy and Nitzy for bringing the Hockey Card Cyber Museum to my attention. Check out their hockey blogs by clicking on their names.
I also took one image from checkoutmycards.com, which also has lots of 70-71 Topps cards for your viewing and purchasing pleasure.