46 greats from the ’93 All-Star Game
The 44th NHL All-Star Game, held at Montreal Forum on February 6 of 1993, was the end of an era for the league’s annual best-vs-best game. This was the last time the Wales Conference and Campbell Conference would square off; next season, they were renamed the Eastern Conference and Western Conferences, respectively. It was also the last time the All-Star Game uniforms would feature the familiar black, white and orange palette that had been the game’s color scheme since 1973.
The 1993-94 Stadium Club Hockey set featured a striking, 23-card insert set dedicated to the 1993 All-Star Game. The cards were seeded 1 in every 24 packs of Series One. One side of each card had a portrait of a Campbell Conference All-Star; the other side, his Wales Conference counterpart. Its combination of great players, good portraits and a timeless design makes for a cool insert set worth owning.
Player Selection 5 out of 5
Every player who suited up for the 1993 All-Star Game is in this set: 23 Campbell Conference players and 22 Wales Conference players. Mario Lemieux is also included. He did not play in the All-Star Game due to illness, but was honored at Montreal Forum in a pre-game ceremony.
Given that this is a set of cards based on an all-star game, it is not surprising that it has a lot of amazing players. Wayne Gretzky, Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque, Brett Hull, Jaromir Jagr, Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic are some of the more memorable names in this set. There are also some players who are necessarily NHL legends, but were still the best players from their respective teams at the time. Overall, they make a for great snapshot of the NHL’s elite that year.
Card Design 4 out of 5
Past card sets based on NHL All-Star games would use game action photographs, with a portrait or close-up here and there. This set uses all portrait photos–save for Lemieux–that have been then cut out and placed in front of a star-filled background?
The star motif is a bit of an overhanded troupe for an all-star set–punctuated by the large star at the top replacing the hyphen between the words “all” and “star.” The backdrop may seem more appropriate for a senior prom photo instead of a hockey card set. But this was normal for the 1990s, and actually kind of tame compared to sets that were yet to come. Even today, half of the card sets cut the player’s picture out and places him in front of some sort of imaginary, ice-and-chotchkie background. At least the black-and-blue star filled sky looks awesome.
Another cool design “feature” is that the player on one side of the card logically corresponds to the player on the other side. Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux share a card, as they should. But the other “matchups” make sense too. Other counterparts include: Jaromir Jagr and Brett Hull (two high-scoring wings); Brad Marsh and Randy Carlyle (two soon-to-retire defensemen); Jeremy Roenick and Rich Tocchet (two power forwards); and Ed Belfour and Patrick Roy (the league’s best two goalies).
One small detail that I always liked is that both sides of each card have the copyright text, along with the NHL and NHLPA logos. Thus, neither side is actually the “front” or the “back” of the card, since the copyright info appears on both sides. This is a minor detail, but it really makes the set feel neutral, since neither guy is on the “front” of the card.
Stats & Info n/a
With a player portrait on each side, there wasn’t any room for stats. And that is OK. Stats from all-star games are usually not very interesting (unless you were the MVP), so these cards are just fine without them.
There are O-Pee-Chee variations of these cards. I have never seen them, but I imagine the Stadium Club logo probably says “OPC” instead of “Topps.” There are also Members’ Only variations that were issued as a mail-away. These are embossed with a gold-foil “Members’ Only” logo.
Here are images of every card in the set for your enjoyment.
23 card insert set
Card size: 2 1/2″ wide x 3 1/2″ tall
Click here for a printable checklist