On Monday, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced its 2017 class of inductees: players Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi and Dainielle Goyette; Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs; and former Canadian collegiate coach Clark Drake.
Neither Jacobs or Drake had any hockey cards made of them, for somewhat obvious reasons: most colleges do not make cards of their athletes, let alone coaches, while owners aren’t popular enough to be included in trading card sets. (And if Jacobs ever had a trading card with his picture, what awful things would Bruins fans do to it?)
Obviously, Selanne, Kariya, Andreychuk and Recchi had hundreds of hockey cards made during their illustrious careers, since they all played in the 1990s and 2000s, when cards were printed like money. Even Goyette had over a dozen trading cards, which is surprising since there really are not many cards made of women hockey players.
Here’s a quick look at each player’s rookie cards — along with a few interesting cards thrown in for fun:
Rookie Card: 1991-92 Upper Deck #21
Upper Deck was ahead of the game (as usual) when it featured a Canada Cup subset in its 1991-92 hockey card set that included Teemu Selanne a full year before he would make his NHL debut. (view back)
Bonus Card: 1994-95 CoaStars prototype
A company called Action Packed was going to make a collectible set of drink coasters, but the 1994 NHL Lockout pretty much quashed that. Six promo coasters were released, including this one of Selanne. (view back)
Rookie Card: 1992-93 Upper Deck #586
Kariya’s rookie card pictures him from the 1993 World Junior Championships. He wouldn’t make his NHL debut for another two seasons. (view back)
Bonus Card: 1991-92 Upper Deck World Junior Championships #50
Upper Deck released a 100-card World Junior Championships set that was sold in Czechoslovakia in 1992. This set included a card of Kariya, which pre-dates his rookie card by one year and his NHL debut by three.
Rookie Cards: 1984-85 Topps #13 (pictured) & 1984-85 O-Pee-Chee #17
Unlike Selanne and Kariya, who had “rookie cards” before their NHL careers even started, Andreychuk had to play two full seasons in the NHL before he got a card. (view back)
Bonus Card: 1983 Team Canada National Junior Team Set
This card pictures Andreychuk as a 19-year old playing for Canada’s Junior Team. It pre-dates his rookie card by two years. The set also included early cards of Mike Vernon, Pat Verbeek, Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux.
Rookie Card: Various 1990-91 sets. Pictured is 1990-91 Pro Set #239
Recchi had cards in seven of the eight hockey card sets made in 1990-91. Pro Set was the first hockey set out of the gate in 1990-91, so you could consider this Recchi’s “first” rookie card.
Bonus Card: 1988-89 ProCards AHL/IHL
This card pictures Recchi in his first season of pro hockey as a member of the Muskegon Lumberjacks. It pre-dates Recchi’s rookie card by two years. The back of the card has an advertisement for Burger King.
Rookie Card: 1997-98 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice #285
Upper Deck included players from the Canadian Women’s Hockey team in their 1997-98 set. Since Collector’s Choice was a mainstream set, this is considered Goyette’s rookie card.
Bonus Card: 1994-95 Classic “Women of Hockey” #W7
However, Goyette actually had a card made three years earlier, when Classic included a “Women of Hockey” insert set in its 1994-95 Pro Hockey Prospects set.
Everyone’s rookie cards, except Andreychuk, were produced in massive quantities, since they came out in the 1990s — so don’t overpay for them. A Selanne rookie card might cost $2, while everyone else’s might cost up to a whole $1. Andreychuk’s card came out in 1984-85, but both the Topps and O-Pee-Chee sets that season were produced in larger amounts than most other hockey cards from the 1980s, so his RC shouldn’t cost you more than $5 or so. ■