1989-90 Procards AHL/IHL #22 – Gordie Walker
You probably could not help but notice that the flaming hockey stick on the card above–a gimmick you most likely would not see today. But back in the 1990s, minor league hockey cards were a great source for all things wacky and tacky. From stupid mascots (hello Buzz the Beaver) to showboating for the camera, if it was a bad idea, it probably graced the front of a minor league hockey card.
New Haven Nighthawks left wing and alternate team captain Gordie Walker is the player brandishing the burning stick. He smiles nicely for the camera while silently hoping that the open flames don’t reach his Aqua Net-coated hairdo.
Walker “enjoyed” a 21-goal, 25-assist performance in 60 AHL games the previous season–his best offensive output since junior hockey, but nothing to write home about. All things considered, holding a flaming hockey stick seems a bit hammish. It is something you’d expect of someone like Jeremy Roenick or Alexander Ovechkin, not a career minor-leaguer.By 1989, Walker’s career was pretty much extinguished–31 points in 46 games over the next two seasons in the minors, then a year in Germany before retiring.