Review: 2010 WHA Hall of Fame

Remembering 12 of the rival league’s greatest players

2010 WHA Hall of Fame #2 - Pat StapletonFounded in 2009, the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that honors and remembers the defunct league and its players. In July 2010, the WHA HOF released a 10-card set commemorating 12 of the league’s former players and one trophy.

2010 WHA Hall of Fame #8 - Mark & Marty HowePlayer selection 4 out of 5
The set highlights 11 WHA Hall of Fame members, one non-member and the Avco World Trophy. WHA stalwarts Pat Stapleton, Ron Grahame, Andre Lacroix, Joe Daley, Robbie Ftorek and Al Smith get their own cards. Superstars Mark and Marty Howe are featured together on one card, while the “Hot Line” of Bobby Hull, Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg are shown together on the set’s only horizontal card.

Interestingly, goaltender Paul Hoganson also has a card in this set – the first and only hockey card ever made of the 5-year pro. (Better late than never, right?) Hoganson is not in the WHA Hall of Fame, but did win the longest game in WHA history.

Sadly, Gordie Howe is omitted from this set due to contractual reasons. Currently, only Upper Deck can produce cards with his likeness. And though he only played one season in the league, a Wayne Gretzky card – either with the Edmonton Oilers or from his 8-game stint with the Indianapolis Racers – would have put this set over the top. But more Hall of Fame sets are planned, so hopefully those two will appear in a future release.

Front Design 5 out of 5
Simple, effective…dare I say old school? Full-color photos are surrounded by white borders, while blue and red stripes at the top and “swooshes” at the bottom add a dash of color and motion. Some of the photos look a bit grainy or fuzzy, but that is acceptable given that many of these shots are over 35 years old.

2010 WHA Hall of Fame #5 - Joe DaleyThe only drawback is the WHA logo itself, which “floats” over the photograph instead of anchoring off in a corner. The problem with this is that it covers up some of the photograph. Granted, it does not obscure anything important – but these are old, rare photos, and the more we see of them the better.

Back design / stats & info 5 out of 5
Anyone who grew up watching the WHA will appreciate the information on the back of each card. A black-and-white headshot accompanies biographical information (height, weight, DOB, etc.) as well as a summary of their career. Only one line of stats is given – showing only their WHA totals – but that’s OK because numbers don’t always tell the story.

2010 WHA Hall of Fame #5 - Joe Daley (back)Retail Notes
The set is only available for online purchase. It can be bought at the WHA HOF site for $19.95 plus $4 shipping $10 plus $5 shipping (as of 2012).

2010 WHA Hall of Fame Card SetThe set’s packaging is nothing special – just a clear cellophane wrapper.

Rating 4 out of 5Sure, the set lacks Gordie Howe, and $24 $15 is a bit steep for a 10-card set. But so what? Spend that on a “blaster box” or two, and you probably won’t get 10 cards as cool as these. The set has cards of some great players and gives us a rare look at a bygone era. With hockey cards being a bit bland over the past 5 years, it is refreshing to see the release of a small, grass-roots set like this.

BONUS
Five cards that I found particularly interesting:

2010 WHA Hall of Fame #7 - Al Smith 2010 WHA Hall of Fame #7 - Al Smith (back)

7 – Al Smith – Great shot of the eccentric WHA netminder.

2010 WHA Hall of Fame #6 - Robbie Ftorek 2010 WHA Hall of Fame #6 - Robbie Ftorek (back)

6 – Robbie Ftorek – Grainy photo on the front looks like a screen grab from an old VHS tape, though it is still cool to see some game action.

2010 WHA Hall of Fame #10 - The Winnipeg Hotline2010 WHA Hall of Fame #10 - The Winnipeg Hotline (back)10 – The Winnipeg Hotline – Cards showcasing an offensive line are a unique touch The front shows a photo of Bobby Hull, Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson, while the back shows their combined statistics for the 4 years they played together.

2010 WHA Hall of Fame #9 - Paul Hoganson 2010 WHA Hall of Fame #9 - Paul Hoganson (back)

9 – Paul Hoganson – The back of the card reads “…this is his first-ever hockey card.” There’s something oddly postmodern about a hockey card being self-referential.

2010 WHA Hall of Fame #1 - The Avco World Trophy 2010 WHA Hall of Fame #1 - The Avco World Trophy (back)

1 – The Avco World Trophy -The light reflecting off of the cup and the out-of-focus background gives an air of mystique, making this the nicest photo of a trophy I’ve ever seen.

NOTES
10 card set
Card size: 2 1/2″ wide x 3 1/2″ tall
Click here to download a printable checklist

Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

5 thoughts on “Review: 2010 WHA Hall of Fame”

  1. Price is steep, which is one of the reasons I gave it a 4 out of 5.

    But if enough of these sell, then there's a good chance that they will make future sets.

    FYI Shane, there is only one Whaler in the set (Smith). The Howe brothers appear as Houston Aeros.

  2. Lenny Ruben For The Win!

    Great observation. I guess I'll have to change a bit of my review, given this new information.

    Plus, the Ftorek photo is actually from a slide, and not a screen grab from a VHS tape like I thought it was.

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