Rookie Cards of Every NHL Head Coach for the 2018-19 Season

Becoming a coach in the NHL may arguably be harder than becoming a player in the NHL. While the NHL has roughly 700 jobs for players — not counting call-ups from the minors — there are only 31 jobs for head coaches. Making the task even more daunting is that there is no clear path to become an NHL coach.

Sometimes, an accomplished NHL player is given a shot as an assistant coach when they retire. Other times, a player might spend their entire career in the minor leagues, retire from playing, and then work their way up through those same ranks again, finally appearing in the NHL, but as a coach. Some NHL head coaches never even played minor pro, instead opting to coach once their junior careers wrapped up. 

But all of these men have been involved in hockey before they became an NHL head coach, and therefore have at least one card chronicling their career. So, here is a look at every 2018-19 NHL head coach’s rookie trading card. 

For you non-collectors out there, a little bit of elaboration is necessary. A player’s “rookie card,” or RC for short, is generally understood as a player’s first trading card that pictures him with an NHL team. Of course, there are exceptions, like if a player appears in an international team jersey but in a mainstream NHL set. And sometimes, what does and does not count as an RC gets a little fuzzy. However, some of these coaches never played in the NHL, or did very briefly, and never got a true rookie card. In those cases, I tried to show their earliest-known hockey card.

 Anaheim Ducks – Randy Carlyle

Rookie Card: 1978-79 O-Pee-Chee #312
Average Value: $3
Age in Picture: Around 22 years old.
Age Today: 62 years old.
Fun Fact: Carlyle was traded to Pittsburgh over the summer of 1978, so O-Pee-Chee changed the team logo and added the text “Now with Penguins” to update his card. It sucks when your first-ever hockey card basically says the team that you are pictured with didn’t think you were good enough to stay with the team you are pictured with. Also, this card is tied for being the oldest card on this list. 

Arizona Coyotes – Rick Tocchet

Rookie Card: 1987-88 Topps #2 (above) & O-Pee-Chee #2
Average Value: $2 (Topps) and $4 (O-Pee-Chee)
Age in Picture: Around 23 years old.
Age Today: 54 years old.
Fun Fact: It took Tocchet three full seasons in the NHL (and 751 penalty minutes) before the card companies noticed him and deemed him worthy of a trading card. 

Boston Bruins – Bruce Cassidy

First NHL Card: 1985-86 Chicago Blackhawks Team Issue Set
Average Value: $3 to $5, but only because it is hard to find. 
Age in Picture: Around 20 years old.
Age Today: 53 years old.
Fun Facts: Cassidy never had a mainstream rookie card (Topps, O-Pee-Chee or otherwise) during his NHL career, but he was included in the 1985-86 Blackhawks team-issued set, despite playing one game for the ‘Hawks in 1983-84 and then spending the entire 1984-85 season in junior. The ‘Hawks had high hopes for their former first round pick, but injuries limited him to just one NHL and four AHL games in 1985-86. 

Buffalo Sabres – Phil Housley

Rookie Card: 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee #65
Average Value: $6
Age in Picture: 18 or 19 years old.
Age Today: 54 years old.
Fun Fact: This card was issued midway through Housley’s second season, when he was put at center for some games, so O-Pee-Chee listed his position as DEF/CENTER.

Housley only played seven games at center, then returned to his usual place on defense. 

Calgary Flames – Bill Peters

First-Ever Card: 1999-2000 Spokane Chiefs #25
Average Value: $1
Age in Picture: 34 or 35 years old.
Age Today: 53 years old.
Fun Fact: Peters never had any cards issued during his short playing career, but has appeared in several minor league team sets; this being his earliest card. 

Carolina Hurricanes – Rod Brind’Amour

Rookie Cards: 1990-91 Bowman #23, O-Pee-Chee #332, Pro Set #259 (above), Score American #131, Score Canadian #131, Topps #332, Upper Deck #36 & Upper Deck French #36
Average Value: $1 for his Upper Deck RC — and that might be pushing it — and 25 cents each for the others. 
Age in Picture: 19 years old.
Age Today:  48 years old.
Fun Fact: Brind’Amour’s rookie cards came out during the 1990-91 season, and were so overproduced that they have virtually no value today. 

Chicago Blackhawks – Joel Quenneville

quenneville

Rookie Card: 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee #336
Average Value: $2 to $3.
Age in Picture: About 20 years old.
Age Today: 60 years old.q-stache
Fun Fact: While this is Joel Quenneville’s rookie card, more importantly, it is also the rookie card of Joel Quenneville’s mustache — a.k.a. The Q-Stache — which is arguably pro sports most popular mustache. Don’t believe me? The Q-Stache has its own entry on Urban Dictionary, and a Twitter account with over 44,000 followers. (If you’ll excuse me now, I’m gonna go cry myself to sleep.)

Colorado Avalanche – Jared Bednar

bednarFirst-Ever Card: 1991-92 11 Seventh Inning Sketch WHL #11
Average Value: 50 cents
Age in Picture: 19 years old.
Age Today: 46 years old.
Fun Fact: Bednar grinded out a nine-year career playing minor league hockey, followed by another 14 years of coaching before getting a shot as an NHL coach. He played for three different teams — Spokane Chiefs, Medicine Hat Tigers and Prince Albert Raiders — during his final year of junior hockey.

Columbus Blue Jackets – John Tortorella

1988-89 ProCards - John Tortorella

First-Ever Card: 1988-89 ProCards New Haven Nighthawks
Average Value: $1
Age in Picture: 30 years old.
Age Today: 60 years old.
Fun Facts: “Torts” only played pro in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League — a league known more for its fighting than issuing trading cards. Thus, his first card is from the awesome 1988-89 ProCards AHL/IHL set, when he was an assistant coach with the New Haven Nighthawks. The back of the card offers absolutely no information whatsoever.

Dallas Stars – Jim Montgomery

Rookie Cards: 1993-94 Donruss #300, Fleer Power Play #431, Fleer Ultra #413, O-Pee-Chee Premier #488, Parkhurst #176, Pinnacle #438, Score American #621 (above), Score Canadian #621, Topps Premier #488 & Upper Deck #472 
Average Value: 25 cents
Age in Picture: 24 years old.
Age Today: 49 years old. 
Fun Fact: Montgomery had 10 different rookie cards issued during the 1993-94 season, which was his rookie year. He has the most rookie cards of any coach on this list. However, there are also parallel versions of his Topps, O-Pee-Chee, Score American, Score Canadian and Parkhurst cards, for a total of 15 different Montgomery RCs to collect. 

Detroit Red Wings – Jeff Blashill

First-Ever Card: 2017 By Cards IIHF World Championships Team USA #25
Average Value: $2
Age in Picture: 43 years old. 
Age Today: 44 years old.
Fun Fact: Last year, when I wrote about the rookie cards for every NHL coach for the 2017-18 season, Blashill did not have a card. Since then, a company in Europe called By Cards made a set of trading cards for the 2017 IIHF World Championships, and included Blashill, who coached Team USA. This is his first card after seven years of playing (three years junior and four years college) and 19 years of coaching. It took forever, but Blashill finally got a card. 

Edmonton Oilers – Todd McLellan

First-Ever Card: 1983-84 Saskatoon Blades Team Issue Set #14
Average Value: $1 to $2.
Age in Picture: Well, the card does state on the front that he is 16.
Age Today: 51 years old.
Fun Facts: McLellan played in only five games with the Islanders, so he never had an NHL card. Funny thing is, in four years of junior hockey, two years of minor-pro hockey and 25 years of coaching at the various ranks, McLellan has exactly three hockey cards; one from juniors (pictured), one as a minor league player and one as a minor league coach. 

Florida Panthers – Bob Boughner

Rookie Card: 1996-97 Pinnacle Be A Player #178
Average Value: 50 cents (standard), $2 (autograph), $5 (silver autograph)
Age in Picture: 24 or 25 years old. 
Age Today: 47 years old. 
Fun Facts: This card was actually issued in three variations: a standard version, an autographed version (pictured above) and an autographed version printed on shiny silver cardstock. That makes Boughner the only coach on this list to have an autographed version (actually, two versions) of his rookie card. 

Los Angeles Kings – John Stevens

First American Hockey League Card: 1988-89 ProCards Hershey Bears
Average Value: $1
Age in Picture: 23 years old. 
Age Today: 52 years old. 
Fun Facts: OK, so technically, Stevens had a card in the 1983-84 Oshawa Generals team set, but I don’t own it. So here is his second-ever card, and his first to picture him as a pro. However, what is really odd is that Stevens should have had a card issued during his NHL career, but didn’t. He played 14 games in 1990-91, 21 games in 1991-92 and 9 games in 1993-94, all with the Hartford Whalers. This was at a time when trading card companies were practically tripping over each other to be the first to picture a player on a hockey card. The fact that Stevens played 44 games in the NHL during the early 1990s and did’t get a card is pretty strange. 

Minnesota Wild – Bruce Boudreau

1978-79 O-Pee-Chee #280 - Bruce Boudreau

Rookie Card: 1978-79 O-Pee-Chee #280
Average Value: $3
Age in Picture: Around 23 years old.
Age Today: 63 years old. 
Fun Facts: Boudreau appeared in 40 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1977-78, which was enough to earn him a rookie card in the following season’s O-Pee-Chee set. This card is tied with Randy Carlyle’s rookie card for being the oldest on this list. 

Montreal Canadiens – Claude Julien

1983-84 Fredericton Express #16 - Claude Julien

First-Ever Card: 1983-84 Frederiction Express #16
Average Value: $1
Age in Picture: 23 years old.
Age Today: 58 years old. 
Fun Fact: Julien only played 14 games in the NHL, so he never got a proper rookie card. But he had cards in 10 different minor league team sets during his career. This is his earliest-known card.

Nashville Predators – Peter Laviolette

Rookie Cards: 1993-94 Fleer PowerPlay #508 (above) & Fleer Ultra #488
Average Value: 25 cents
Age in Picture: 29 years old. 
Age Today: 53 years old. 
Fun Fact: P-Lav played 12 games with the Rangers in 1988-89, but did not get a rookie card until the 1993-94 season, when he captained Team USA at the 1994 Winter Olympics. That year, card company Fleer included players from Team USA and Team Canada in its PowerPlay and Ultra sets. He had earlier cards in minor league team sets, but this is considered his NHL rookie card, even though he’s pictured in an Olympic jersey. Blame the price guides for the stupidity! 

New Jersey Devils – John Hynes

First-Ever Card: 2009-10 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins #28
Average Value: $2
Age in Picture: 34 years old. 
Age Today: 43 years old. 
Fun Fact: Born February 10, 1975, Hynes is the youngest head coach currently in the NHL. 

New York Islanders – Barry Trotz

1981-82 Regina Pats #21 - Barry Trotz

First-Ever Card: 1981-82 Regina Pats #21
Average Value: $1 to $2.
Age in Picture: 19 years old.
Age Today: 56 years old. 
Fun Facts: Trotz played four years of junior hockey, but only appeared on one card during his playing days. Check out those sweet Cooperalls he’s wearing.

New York Rangers – David Quinn

First-Ever Card: 1992-93 Cleveland Lumberjacks #9
Average Value:
$1
Age in Picture: 26 years old. 
Age Today: 52 years old. 
Fun Fact: In three years of playing college, two years of playing minor pro and 19 years of coaching at the various ranks, this is actually the only trading card of Quinn ever made. 

Ottawa Senators – Guy Boucher

First-Ever Card: 2008-09 29 Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
Average Value: $1
Age in Picture: 38 years old. 
Age Today: 47 years old. 
Fun Facts: The 2008-09 Drummondville Voltigeurs team set was made by a company called Extreme Sports Cards. Also, Boucher is sporting a pretty extreme scar on his cheek. To this day, he never told anyone how he got that scar, other than it wasn’t from playing hockey. 

Philadelphia Flyers – David Hakstol

hakstol

First-Ever Card: 1992-93 Indianapolis Ice 
Average Value: $2
Age in Picture: 24 years old.
Age Today: 50 years old. 
Fun Facts: Although the Indianapolis Ice were affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks, Hakstol’s contract was one-way with the Ice. He played three seasons in Indianapolis, followed by two more with the IHL’s Minnesota Moose, before becoming the head coach of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers in 1996-97.

Pittsburgh Penguins – Mike Sullivan

Rookie Card: 1991-92 Parkhurst #383
Average Value: 25 cents
Age in Picture: 23 or 24 years old. 
Age Today: 50 years old.
Fun Facts: Despite playing in 64 games with the San Jose Sharks in 1991-92 — 6th most on the team — only Parkhurst bothered to make a card of Sullivan that year. The back of the card states that Sullivan “appears to be on his way towards a solid NHL career.” That turned out to be true, since he played in 709 NHL games; but even more so if you consider his back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships as the Penguins’ head coach. 

San Jose Sharks – Peter DeBoer

First-Ever Card: 1989-90 ProCards IHL #189
Average Value: $1
Age in Picture: 21 years old.
Age Today: 50 years old
Fun Facts: DeBoer was drafted by the Maple Leafs in 1988, and traded to the Canucks in 1989, but didn’t crack the lineup for either team. His earliest card pictures him with the Milwaukee Admirals of the old International Hockey League.

St. Louis Blues – Mike Yeo

First-Ever Card: 1990-91 7th Inning Sketch OHL #396
Average Value: 50 cents
Age in Picture: 17 years old.
Age Today: 45 years old.
Fun Facts: Yeo was never drafted by an NHL team, so here is his earliest junior-league card, which refers to him as “Michael” instead of “Mike.” Also, the card back erroneously lists his birthday as 10/31/1973 (Halloween) instead of 7/31/1973.

Tampa Bay Lightning – Jon Cooper

First-Ever Card: 2010-11 Norfolk Admirals #10
Average Value: $1 to $2.
Age in Picture: 43 years old. 
Age Today: 51 years old
Fun Facts: Cooper is in almost the exact same pose on his 2011-12 card. Check it out: 

Arms folded and frowning must be Cooper’s standard coaching pose. 

Toronto Maple Leafs – Mike Babcock

babcockFirst-Ever Card: 1991-92 Seventh Inning Sketch WHL #275
Average Value: 50 cents
Age in Picture: 28 years old.
Age Today: 55 years old.
Fun Fact: Mike Babcock hasn’t changed his hair style in 26 years. This card proves it.

Vancouver Canucks – Travis Green

Rookie Cards: 1992-93 Fleer Ultra #343 (above) & Parkhurst #343
Average Value: 25 cents.
Age in Picture: 22 years old. 
Age Today: 47 years old. 
Fun Facts: Green had two cards issued during his rookie year. The cards were released by competing companies, but coincidentally are both number 343 in each set. 

Vegas Golden Knights – Gerard Gallant

Rookie Card: 1987-88 O-Pee-Chee #67 (above) & Topps #67
Average Value: 50 cents to $1 (either version).
Age in Picture: 23 years old. 
Age Today: 55 years old. 
Fun Facts: Like Coyotes’ head coach Rick Tocchet, who also has rookie cards in the 1987-88 Topps and O-Pee-Chee sets, Gallant played three seasons in the NHL before he was “good enough” to get a rookie card. All he had to do was lead the Red Wings in goals with 38 during the 1986-87 season. And yet, the card companies could not get his first name right, misspelling it “Gerald” instead of “Gerard.”

Washington Capitals – Todd Reirden

Rookie Cards: 1999-2000 Be A Player Memorabilia #313 (above), Pacific Omega #200 & Upper Deck MVP Stanley Cup Edition #165
Average Value: 50 cents 
Age in Picture: 28 years old. 
Age Today: 47 years old. 
Fun Facts: Reirden was drafted in 1990. He then played four years of college hockey followed by another four years of minor league hockey — with seven different teams! — before making his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers in 1998-99. However, all of his rookie cards are from the 1999-2000 season, and picture him with the St. Louis Blues. Also, three of the coaches on this list played with the Blues, which makes me wonder what they put in the water in St. Louis.

Winnipeg Jets – Paul Maurice

First-Ever Card: 1993-94 Detroit Jr. Red Wings #23
Average Value: $1
Age in Picture: 26 years old. 
Age Today: 51 years old. 
Fun Facts: Maurice wore two hats, as both the head coach and general manager of the OHL’s Detroit Jr. Red Wings. 


A quick note about the so-called “average value” of these cards is that, like all collectible items, values of trading cards is extremely variable. These values that I came up with were based on recent Ebay sales, historical sale data from Check Out My Cards, the Beckett Marketplace, and Center Ice Collectibles, which specializes in team-issued cards. 

Thus, a Gerard Gallant rookie card might sell for $3 at a card shop in Las Vegas, but otherwise sell for 50 cents at shops and card shows around North America. Mainstream cards like Topps and O-Pee-Chee from the 1970s and 1980s are not hard to find, so while Phil Housley may be in the Hall of Fame, his rookie card is plentiful.

Now multiply that by 20 for cards from the early 1990s, which is why RCs of Rod Brind’Amour, Mike Sullivan and Jim Montgomery are “worth” only a quarter or so each. Early junior sets made by Seventh Inning Sketch were also produced in massive quantities, so there are probably enough Mike Babcock rookie cards to go around to make everyone happy.

However, it is the team-issued cards that sell for more than pocket change. It took me years to track down that Bruce Cassidy card from the 1985-86 Blackhawks team-issue set. Some minor league team sets are hard to find, and if the seller breaks up the set, most likely they will sell all the cards for $1 to $3 each, which is why most of the team-issued cards fall into that price range. There are less Regina Pats cards of Barry Trotz floating around than Rod Brind’Amour rookies, that’s for sure. 

Assuming that you read this far, leave a comment and let me know which of these RCs you like the best.

And if you have not seen it already, I did a showcase of the rookie cards of the NHL head coaches from last season, too. 

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.

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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

6 thoughts on “Rookie Cards of Every NHL Head Coach for the 2018-19 Season”

  1. Well hockey fans you think that’s cool all the head coaches what about there assistants that’s even cooler. There are more ex-players in that group who played in the NHL. Unfortunately I don’t have any to share.

  2. Was Paul Maurice a “coach extra” in Youngblood? Look at that card and you can practically smell the hair product and hear the bad synthesizer background music.

  3. Jon Cooper looks like he is even wearing the same suit jacket. This had to be planned…..or he is the thriftiest person I have ever seen!

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