Editor’s Note: Rob Joncas is a new Puck Junk contributor. Please welcome him with a comment below.
The 1992-93 NHL season stands as one of the greatest in history for several reasons:
- The Stanley Cup celebrated its 100th Birthday
- Wayne Gretzky made his last appearance in a Stanley Cup Final
- Mario Lemieux battled cancer and put on a scoring clinic, claiming an Art Ross Trophy that Pat Lafontaine had all but secured.
- Teemu Selanne terrorized goaltenders around the league scoring, 76 goals and adding 56 assists for 132 points.
Today we are taking a look at the 1992-93 Kraft NHL Set, which came with a special album. To some it was a perfect marriage Kraft products and hockey cards.
The set consisted of 48 cards and was broken into three subsets.
Cards 1-24 are team photos, found on the backs of Kraft dinner boxes, and contained a beautiful team photo on the front and franchise historical information on the back.
The cards are large, measuring 5 3/16″ wide by 2 1/2″ tall.
My only criticism is that there is no separation between the English and French text. A break between the languages would have made it look a bit cleaner. I would love to see Team photo cards make a return in a vintage-themed set (Hint, hint, Upper Deck.)
Cards 25-36 focused on goalies. The 12 double-sided discs featured 24 goalies and were found under the lids of Kraft Peanut Butter. They measure 2 3/4″ in diameter.
They had a sharp color photo of the goaltender against a team color-coded background. Cumulative career statistics through the 1991-92 season are included on the disc.
The final 12 cards, 37-48, were focused on All Stars. These cards were found in packs of four and packaged in packs of Kraft Singles cheese slices. At 1 3/4″ wide by 2 1/2″ tall, these cards are smaller than standard-sized cards.
You really get the cream of the crop of stars with these cards. Each card contains a facsimile autograph in a light blue color. I find the autographs are nicely visible against the white borders of the card.
A couple of gripes here are the autographs tend to be a little small and in some cases it is difficult to read them as they bleed into the photo on the card. The back of the card features stats and career highlights.
My favorite aspect of the All Star set is the players are pictured in their All Star jersey. Love them or hate them, I always enjoy seeing players in all star jerseys instead in their regular team jersey with the words “all star” slapped somewhere on the card.
The only distraction from this subset is that Kraft used photos from the 1991-92 All-Star Game. I understand why they used those photos; however I feel it takes away from the 100 year Stanley Cup Anniversary theme Kraft was pushing with this release.
If you did not fancy yourself eating 28 Boxes of Kraft Dinners, at least 12 jars of peanut butter and three packages of cheese, Kraft had a couple of different options for you.
Collectors who did not complete the series by purchasing the products could obtain any combination of eight cards or discs by sending eight UPC symbols, $3.00 CDN, plus shipping and handling charges.
To store the set, a Stanley Cup 100th Anniversary album could be purchased by sending in three UPC symbols from Kraft Dinner, one UPC symbol from both Kraft Peanut Butter and Kraft Singles, and $12.99 CDN along with sales tax and shipping and handling charges.
Collectors could also purchase a factory-sealed set. I tried to find an example of the order form online but was unsuccessful. I remember my grade 6 Science teacher bringing his albums in to show the class and him mentioning that it cost close to $100 to order the whole set.
Now to the Album itself. Kraft always did a fantastic job with these albums and the 1992-93 season is no exception.
In the first few pages, you get a great history of the Stanley Cup and a list of all the teams that had won it up until that season. It serves as a nice introduction into the historical significance of the Cup and it sets up the rest of book nicely.
In the teams section, you get two teams per page, with the goalies in the center and the team photos are broken down row by row, so you can put names to faces of the players.
One of greatest features of this album is the team autograph pages. They may be facsimile autos, but it is still fun looking, trying to match names with the autographs.
In the All Star section you get a nice writeup on the game, and again it serves as a nice lesson on the history and legacy of the All-Star Game. The cards here are organized alphabetically by Conference.
I would highly recommend that you add this to your collection. It stands as a great reference for one of the last truly great NHL seasons before the “Dead Puck Era” took hold. With only a couple of minor distractions this release is nearly perfect. ■
About Rob Joncas: I am just a common man, living in a short print land. Card collector and Penguins obsessor since ’89. You can find me on Twitter @PensHistorian.