This Carolina Hurricanes team set was issued during the 2003-04 season. The cards are quite large, measuring 4.25″ wide by 5.5″ tall and have an unusual matte finish on the front. The 23 cards in the set give us a good look at many of the players who would win the Stanley Cup two seasons later.
Teemu Selanne has a stellar hockey career. He scored 1,457 points in 1,451 games, won the Stanley Cup and had his number retired by the Anaheim Ducks. When he becomes eligible, he will undoubtedly be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. But despite all the goals, assists, awards and other accolades, The Finnish Flash could not get through his career without having at least one awful hockey card — the result of a free-agent signing while overseas and a hockey card company that refused to use Photoshop.
At first glance of Selanne’s card from the 2003-04 In The Game Action set, he appears to be underwater in one of those giant fish tanks you would find at a fancy restaurant; Continue reading “Teemu Selanne’s Worst Hockey Card”
What if Topps didn’t always play it safe?
What if Topp was not such a boring company when it came to hockey cards in the 1980s? While Topps made epic-sized, 792 card baseball sets that featured practically every player on a team, including bit players and first round draft picks before they even suited up for a game, their hockey sets were seriously lacking,
In that decade, Topps hockey sets were not much bigger than most non-sports sets, sometimes weighing in at a scant 165 cards. That is, if they even bothered to make a hockey set at all.
Those of us who started collecting hockey in the 1980s will remember when NHL players had to EARN a rookie card. While some exceptional players in the 1960s and 1970s got rookie cards during their rookie season–like Bobby Orr and Guy Lafleur–the 1980s were a different story. A player had to play a full season before they were granted cardboard. Even Mario Lemieux, who rewrote the record books in junior hockey and was drafted first overall, had to play in the NHL for a year before getting a card.
In 2003-04, Topps released an insert set called The Lost Rookies. Found 1 in every 12 packs of Topps Hockey, The Lost Rookies is a “what if” set that depicts 11 superstars on cards from their rookie year–such as Lemieux on a 1984-85 Topps card or Joe Sakic in the 1988-89 set. It is a very cool idea, and a great set for anyone who enjoyed hockey in the 1980s, 1990s or 2000s.