Odd, oversized cards of NHL superstars
Not much is known about these two hockey cards. The backs are blank, and there is no copyright date on them. The cards measure 4″ x 6″ and feature former NHL superstars Mark Messier and Pat Lafontaine. Each is in an All-Star Game uniform, and at the bottom it reads “Louisville” – the manufacturer of the hockey sticks that Messier and Lafontaine are using in the pictures.
The dealer that I bought these cards from didn’t know much either. He used to get them in the early 1990s from an acquaintance who worked for the printer that made the cards. My best guess is that these were promotional cards used for autograph appearances in shops that carried Louisville sticks. This is evidenced by a rectangular, slightly brighter and less glossy area on the card right below the player’s photo.
The cards were most likely released during the latter half of the 1990-91 season, or perhaps during the summer of 1991. Two details support this notion:
- Lafontaine and Messier are in uniforms from the 1991 NHL All-Star Game, which was held in Chicago on January 19, 1991.
- Lafontaine’s card lists him as a member of the New York Islanders, while Messier’s lists him with the Edmonton Oilers. Both were traded to new teams in October 1991.
Had these cards been made after 1991, they would have reflected the trades to their new teams.
It is unknown if Louisville had more cards made featuring different players.
These are more of interest to those who collect cards of Messier or Lafontaine. They’re neat to own if you like oddball cards too. But while the shiny silver borders look snazzy, without autographs on them the cards look noticeably empty.
NOTE: If anyone has any Louisville cards of different players, please Contact me.