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”

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”

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”

The Hockey-Mask of Death!

Strange Sports Stories, Volume 2, Number 5, May–June 1974

Strange Sports Stories, Volume 2, Number 5, May--June 1974

One afternoon, my former roommate Dave — who played floor hockey with me in college — came home from his job at the local comic book store. “Sal, I found something you’d love,” he said as he handed me a beat-up old comic book from the 1970s. But this was not your typical Superman or Richie Rich.

ALL NEW! Strange Sports Stories exclaimed the title. Underneath it was a picture of two men playing hockey, and asking us the question “What was the sinister secret of the goalie who wore a hockey-mask of death?”

Dying to know? Then read on. Continue reading “The Hockey-Mask of Death!”