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”

Fight Card

1973-74 Topps card #151 – Phil Roberto

Phil Roberto 1973-74 Topps Hockey CardMost hockey card photography from the late 1960s and early 1970s consisted of either portraits or posed shots. By the mid-70s, Topps and O-Pee-Chee started to use game action photography. And nothing says ACTION like two hockey players fighting. Phil Roberto, of the St. Louis Blues, is shown here fighting  New York Islanders’ goaltender Billy Smith while two linesmen attempt to break them up. Continue reading “Fight Card”

Great Save, Great Shot

1990-91 Upper Deck Mario Gosselin – card #91

Mario GosselinAction speaks louder than words. Upper Deck took that meaning to heart when they started making hockey cards in 1990. This card you see here, of Los Angeles Kings backup goaltender Mario Gosselin, was one of many cards that demonstrated that Upper Deck was serious about becoming the best hockey card company out there, with their blend of high quality products and exciting action photography.  Continue reading “Great Save, Great Shot”

Bespectacled Blueliner

1969-70 O-Pee-Chee Al Arbour – card #178

Al Arbour 1969-70 O-Pee-Chee hockey cardOn November 3, 2007, longtime hockey coach Al Arbour came out of retirement to step behind the bench for the New York Islanders for just one more game. This game – a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins – brought his total number of games coached for the Islanders from 1,499 to an even 1,500. And at 75 years of age, Arbour is now the oldest man to have coached in an official NHL game.

Arbour holds another interesting notoriety, though. He is the last NHL player to take to the ice while wearing eyeglasses. Continue reading “Bespectacled Blueliner”

Card of the Week: King for a Day

1979-80 Topps / O-Pee-Chee Dale McCourt – Card #63

Dale McCourtOne day while thumbing through my extra hockey cards, I came across this odd card – 1979-1980 Topps #63, Dale McCourt. This card featured McCourt in his L.A. Kings Jersey.

However, Dale McCourt was never a member of the L.A. Kings. And yet, this card clearly shows him as one. The back of the card even says “AQUIRED: Awarded from Red Wings”. But later cards never mentioned him playing for the Kings. Intrigued, I did some research, only to find that McCourt’s place of employment was, in the end, determined in a year-long legal battle. Continue reading “Card of the Week: King for a Day”

Card of the Week: Garf Gruntsky

1992 Skybox Garfield Trading Cards #78

Garfield Hockey CardThis is a card that I just randomly lucked into finding. In the early 1990s, I worked in a comic book store, and in 1992, Skybox released a set of Garfield trading cards. Containing 100 cards, the set consisted of random illustrations of Garfield, Odie and other characters from the comic strip. A few of the cards would parody something. This was one such card. Continue reading “Card of the Week: Garf Gruntsky”

Card of the Week: The Fake One

Wayne Gretzky Indianapolis Racers “pre-RC” from the 1990s

Wayne Gretzky Indianapolis RacersIn the early 1990s, a different kind of fake Wayne Gretzky card surfaced. Instead of counterfeiting Gretzky’s 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee rookie card, an enterprising crook decided to take things one step further, and make a card of Gretzky as a member of the Indianapolis Racers. Continue reading “Card of the Week: The Fake One”