1991-92 Stadium Club #391 – Stephane Matteau
Before he would score one of the most famous goals in New York Rangers history (“Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!“), Stephane Matteau was a young winger on a stacked Calgary Flames team. He played 78 games for the Flames in 1990-91, so there should have been plenty of photos of Matteau for Topps to choose from for Matteau’s 1991-92 Stadium Club hockey card. But for some reason, they picked this picture, which fails on so many levels that it’s kind of sad.
Where to even begin? Well, this is Matteau’s card, and here he is, getting splatted into the boards by New Jersey Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko. But even that action is partially blocked by Doug Gilmor, so it isn’t like it is all that great of a photo to begin with.
Matteau is looking down, so we don’t get a good look at his face. Trading cards are supposed to, you know, show us what the player looks like, but this card really doesn’t do that all too well. The back, which pictures Matteau’s first Topps card, actually does a better job of showing us his likeness than the front.
What really bothers me about this card, though, is the awkward angle that the photograph was taken from. It is almost as if the photographer was straddling the glass when he took this picture. About 25% of this photo is taken up by the glass, boards and audience in the front row. Heck, we get a better look at the guy in glasses, smiling at the hit — a Devils fan, no doubt — than we do of Matteau’s face.
One of the big selling points of Topps Stadium Club was that the set used “Kodak Technology” on its cards, whatever that means. Too bad that technology was used for lame photos like this one. ■
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.