Book Review: The Red Kelly Story

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Leonard “Red” Kelly had four careers. He spent roughly the first half of his 21 years in the NHL as a defenseman, and the latter half as a forward. Kelly also served in Canadian Parliament for two terms and later coached in the NHL for a decade.

So, it is hard to believe that it took 50 years since Kelly’s final shift — he was on the ice when the Maple Leafs won their last Stanley Cup in 1967 — for a book to be written about him. While there was a short children’s story about Kelly in the 1970s, “The Red Kelly Story” gives the eight-time All-Star the all-star treatment that he deserves.

Now 89 years old, Kelly has done more in one lifetime than most people could do in four. Continue reading “Book Review: The Red Kelly Story”

Career in Cards: Gordie Howe

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When Gordie Howe passed away earlier this month, he left behind a legacy that will never be matched. Sure, Wayne Gretzky surpassed Howe in points, but even Gretzky has repeatedly stated that Howe was the greatest. No other player has skated 26 seasons in the NHL. And while Jaromir Jagr may surpass that record, he would be hard-pressed to play until he was 52 years old.

Howe was the power forward that all other power forwards want to be. He could score and intimidate. He was mean on the ice, and yet his opponents have nothing but kind words to say about Mr. Hockey.

Because his career was so long — 26 years in the NHL and 6 years in the WHA — Howe had many trading cards released during his wonderful career. Here we take a look at some of Mr. Hockey’s best hockey cards.

Continue reading “Career in Cards: Gordie Howe”

Career in Cards: Andy Bathgate

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Andy Bathgate, the Hall of Fame forward known best for his years with the New York Rangers, passed away on Friday at the age of 83. He spent 17 seasons in the NHL, scoring 973 points (349 G, 624 A) in 1.069 games. Bathgate was named to the NHL All-Star Team four times, won the Hart Trophy as league MVP and appeared in the annual NHL All-Star Game each year from 1957 to 1964. Here we take a look at Bathgate’s career, illustrated with some of his best hockey cards.  Continue reading “Career in Cards: Andy Bathgate”

A History of Enforcers in All-Star Games

John Scott’s selection to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game is not without precedent. Having a guy known more for punching than puckhandling play in the NHL All-Star Game, while rare, has happened on several occasions.

Then there is the curious case of Chris Nilan, whose near-appearance in the 1991 All-Star Game was, until now, the most controversial selection ever made.

But neither Scott, or Nilan before him, would have been the first pugilist to play in an NHL All-Star Game. Continue reading “A History of Enforcers in All-Star Games”

Career In Cards: Al Arbour

Arbour_HeaderAl Arbour, who passed away at age 82 on August 28, had a long career as a professional hockey player, and an even longer career as an NHL coach. Arbour broke into the NHL during the Original Six Era and played pro for 18 seasons between the NHL and the minor leagues. But he is best known for his success behind the bench: 22 seasons, one Jack Adams Award, second all-time in wins and four consecutive Stanley Cup Championships.

Here is a look at both of Arbour’s careers — as a player and as a coach — illustrated with various hockey cards and collectibles issued over six decades. Continue reading “Career In Cards: Al Arbour”

Chris Chelios Ultimate Journey Card

2014-15 In The Game Ultimate Memorabilia #UJ-2 – Chris Chelios
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This Chris Chelios “Ultimate Journey” jersey card card is an enigma. It has two swatches of jerseys worn by my favorite player of all time. The left side of the card shows him with the Chicago Blackhawks; the right side, with the Detroit Red Wings.

As a lifelong Blackhawks fan, you can see why I have some problems with this card. Continue reading “Chris Chelios Ultimate Journey Card”

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”