Review: 1992-93 Team Pinnacle

6 cards, 12 illustrations of 90s greats

1992-93 Team Pinnacle Ed BelfourInserted in packs of 1992-93 Pinnacle hockey trading cards, Team Pinnacle featured twelve of the greatest men to lace up skates in the 1990s. Two centers, two left wingers, two right wingers, two goalies and four defensemen are depicted in these action-oriented illustrations. While you’d think these dudes were starters in the NHL All-Star Game, or named to the NHL All-Star Team (as selected by the sports writers), that is not the case here. These guys are “Team Pinnacle”, as selected by Pinnacle (a.k.a. Score) Trading Card Company. Continue reading “Review: 1992-93 Team Pinnacle”

Black ‘n’ Belushi

1991-92 Pro Set Platinum Card #300 – James Belushi, Celebrity Captain

Jim BelushiIn 1991, the National Hockey League celebrated its 75th Anniversary. The Original Six teams wore throwback jerseys, harkening back to the 1920s. Another part of this celebration was that each of the 22 teams had its own “Celebrity Captain”. Some teams named former players as their Celebrity Captain – such as Terry O’ Reilly (Boston) and Maurice Richard (Montreal). Other teams chose instead to name a personality or actor as their captain. For the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago-born actor and Second City alum James Belushi served as the team’s Celebrity Captain. Continue reading “Black ‘n’ Belushi”

Review: 1987-88 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

Overlooked set has many good rookie cards

1987-88 OPC #53 - Wayne GretzkyLike the previous year, this season’s O-Pee-Chee set contained 264 cards. The first 198 cards were identical to the 1987-88 Topps Hockey set – both Topps and O-Pee-Chee use the same photographs. Cards of players traded in the off-season differ slightly in this set. Players who got traded have a short text blurb mentioning the player’s new whereabouts (“Now with Black Hawks”, “Now with Maple Leafs”, and so forth). The team name on the front of the card is also changed to reflect the player’s new digs. Continue reading “Review: 1987-88 O-Pee-Chee Hockey”

Kodak Moment

\1987-88 O-Pee-Chee Leaders card #14 – Glen Hanlon

We’ve all had to live down an embarrassing photo at least once in our lifetime. These “Kodak moments” we’ve had to endure were usually the byproduct of too much alcohol or a lousy haircut. My eight grade class photo was forever ruined by a bad case of “bed head”. Later on in my life, me and a college buddy got drunk one particular time, and pretty much fell all over the kitchen, knocking things down while a third roommate got photos of the whole spectacle. Not much you can do about that, just laugh it off. Besides, it’s not like our own embarrassing photographs get printed in the thousands, and distributed in packs of hockey cards like this little gem.  Continue reading “Kodak Moment”

Card of the Week: Return to Sender

1983-84 O-Pee-Chee #131 – Ken Solheim

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 “Card of the Week: Return to Sender”

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”

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”

Review: 1987-88 Topps Hockey

Robitaille and Oates stand out in this sleeper set.

1987-88 OPC #15 - Mario LemieuxDuring the 1986-87 season, Topps increased its hockey set from 165 cards to 198 cards. This year continued the trend of 198 cards, as that seemed to be a comfortable number of cards for Topps to handle. Hockey cards were not popular in the United States in the 1980s – remember, there were no Topps hockey card sets for 1982-83 or 1983-84. So, it would not make sense to make their hockey sets as large as say, their annual Football set, which was usually around 396 cards. Continue reading “Review: 1987-88 Topps Hockey”