Return to Sender

1983-84 O-Pee-Chee Ken Solheim – Card #131

Ken SolheimLook at the back of this card of Ken Solheim, and you will see that he was traded from the Minnesota North Stars to the Detroit Red Wings near the end of the 1982-83 season.

Flip the card over to the front, and you’ll notice that Solheim’s North Stars uniform has been airbrushed over, so as to look like a Red Wings uniform.

However, the card still has a North Stars name and logo at the top, as well as an annoying little bit of text that reads “Now with Minnesota”.

Now with Minnesota? And yet, Solheim’s North Stars jersey has been painted over to look like a Red Wings jersey. What’s going on here? What team is he on? Continue reading “Return to Sender”

Eric Lindros Hallmark Keepsake Ornament

Hallmark Hockey Greats, 2000

2000 Eric Lindros Ornament - box frontDuring the holiday season of 2000 Hallmark continued its line of “Hockey Greats” Keepsake Ornaments. Philadelphia Flyers forward Eric Lindros was chosen to be this year’s tree decoration. At that time, Lindros was at the top of his game, and was one of the best players in the NHL. However, he was not established as one of the all-time greats of hockey. Perhaps Bobby Orr or Patrick Roy would have made a better choice of players, but that’s neither here nor there. Lindros was still a superstar. Continue reading “Eric Lindros Hallmark Keepsake Ornament”

Gordie Howe Hallmark Keepsake Ornament

Hallmark Hockey Greats, 1999

1999 Gordie Howe Ornament - box frontFor their third ornament in the “Hockey Greats Series”, Hallmark decided to pick a long-retired hockey legend: Gordie Howe. Howe last played pro hockey in 1980, so I never saw him play. I still bought this ornament back in 1999, partially because I had the previous two (typical collector mentality, eh?).

This ornament feels very different than the prior two – Wayne Gretzky in 1997 and Mario Lemieux in 1998 – in that Howe was from a different time, having played the bulk of his career in the “Original Six” era. In a way, that makes this ornament feel more old-timey, like something you would hang from a Christmas tree. Continue reading “Gordie Howe Hallmark Keepsake Ornament”

A One Horse Open Skate

1990 7th Inning Sketch OHL Promotional Christmas Card

Crashing through the snow…
In a one horse open skate…

In December of 1990, I received a different kind of Christmas card. This card measured 2 1/2″ by 3 1/2″, and showed Santa Claus abandoning his familiar red sleigh in lieu of a giant hockey skate. (Could you call it an ice skleight?) Continue reading “A One Horse Open Skate”

Mario Lemieux Hallmark Keepsake Ornament

Hallmark Hockey Greats, 1998

1998 Mario Lemieux Ornament - box frontHallmark debuted its line of Hockey Greats Keepsakes Ornaments, releasing Wayne Gretzky as their first hockey ornament around Christmas of 1997. The next season, Hallmark continued the series, issuing a Mario Lemieux holida ornament in 1998. Lemieux had just retired (for the first time) at the end of the ’96-97 hockey season, so his achievements were still fresh in people’s minds. Like the previous year, this ornament also included an exclusive hockey card. Continue reading “Mario Lemieux Hallmark Keepsake Ornament”

Bobby Hull exclusive figure in Phoenix

On January 19, 2008, every fan attending the Phoenix Coyotes game will receive an exclusive SportsPick figure of Bobby Hull in his Winnipeg Jets jersey. The figure will be of the miniature variety, standing about 3 inches tall.

Both Todd McFarlane (the owner of McFarlane Toys) and Bobby Hull will be in attendance at that game, and will sign autographs during the first intermission. According to the article on Spawn.com, only the first 75 people or so will get an autograph.

This particular game will be special for Hull, as the Coyotes play the Chicago Blackhawks that night. Hull spent 15 years playing for the ‘Hawks, followed by seven years with the Winnipeg Jets. In 1996, the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes, but still honor former Jets players.

More photos of the figure can be seen here.

I am interested in acquiring one of these figures. If anyone would like to trade one, please Contact me.

Wayne Gretzky Hallmark Keepsake Ornament

Hallmark Hockey Greats, 1997

Wayne Gretzky Ornament - box frontDuring the 1997 holiday season, Hallmark debuted its “Hockey Greats Series” of Christmas tree ornaments. Not surprisingly, The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky, was the first player to be featured. Measuring about 4 1/2″ inches tall, this handcrafted, well-detailed ornament has Gretzky decked out in his New York Rangers jersey. Also included was a special Upper Deck trading card that was only available with this ornament. Continue reading “Wayne Gretzky Hallmark Keepsake Ornament”

Distorted Defenseman

1972-73 Topps Keith Magnuson – Card #87

Considering that the 1972-73 Topps Hockey set was comprised mainly of posed shots – with a few grainy game-action photos here and there – this stands out as the strangest card from that set…and quite possibly the 1970s. I mean, what could possibly top this distorted photograph of hockey tough guy Keith MagnusonContinue reading “Distorted Defenseman”

Review: 1993-94 Leaf Painted Warriors

Ten-card set a must for goalie collectors

1992-93 Leaf Painted Warriors Kirk McLeanOne of the coolest things that makes hockey so different is the uniqueness of the goaltender. Not only do hockey goalies wear padding all over their body to stop flying pucks, but they can have their mask painted any way they want – a tradition that started with Gerry Cheevers in the 1970s and continues to this day. You would never see a football quarterback paint his helmet differently than his teammates, or a baseball power hitter emblazon his batting helmet with his nickname. But in hockey, this is perfectly normal – hell it’s almost expected. From Cheever’s “stitches” to John Vanbiesbrouck’s “Panther”, custom goalie masks are as much a part of the game of hockey as an open ice hit, the slap shot or the Zamboni itself.

In 1993, Leaf Trading Card company released “The Leaf Set”, a high-quality hockey card set which featured several insert sets. One of these was a ten-card set called “Painted Warriors”, which keyed in on ten of the best goalies of the 1990s. Continue reading “Review: 1993-94 Leaf Painted Warriors”

Don’t Mess With Messier

1990-91 Score Canadian Mark Messier – Promo Card

Every now and then, trading card companies release promo cards to dealers and distributors, to show off what a new card set will look like, and hopefully increase orders for the product.

In the late summer of 1990, trading card manufacturer Score issued several such promo cards for their 1990-91 Score Hockey set. The promo cards were almost identical to the actual cards that were issued in the set a few months later.

But not this card.

Continue reading “Don’t Mess With Messier”