Review: 2012 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Giveaway Set

2011-12 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Finals #4 - Dustin BrownThe special hockey card treatment Stanley Cup-winning teams have gotten in recent years makes this Blackhawks’ fan jealous.The ‘Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, but no commemorative sets or arena giveaways marked the occasion. A year later, the Boston Bruins got their own 30-card commemorative set, while Los Angeles Kings fans received this 6-card giveaway during the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.

Wow…Kings’ fans got to go to a Stanley Cup Finals game AND got a special set of hockey cards. The only thing that would make that scenario better is free nachos at the concession stand.

The cards are printed on thinner stock than normal Upper Deck hockey cards. They are devoid of gloss or foil. For a freebie, though, that really does not matter.

2011-12 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Finals - Sealed Set
The set came sealed in a cellophane wrapper.

Player Selection
Six cards of the Kings’ best players during the first two rounds of the playoffs are in this set.  The players included are Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty and a second card of Dustin Brown. So, while this isn’t a comprehensive team set, each card has relevance.

Front Design – 3 out of 5
The design of these cards is a bit confusing. The cards have a Stanley Cup Final logo on the front, but the photos used are either from Round 1 or Round 2 of the playoffs, and not the finals.

Also confusing is that the last card in the set–the second card of team captain Dustin Brown–lacks the Stanley Cup Final logo and the little black diamonds, and instead says “Stanley Cup Memorable Moments.”

2011-12 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Finals #6 - Dustin Brown
Card #6 does not have the Stanley Cup Finals logo on it.

Why the last card looks different is anyone’s guess. My theory is that all the cards were originally supposed to say “Stanley Cup Memorable Moments,” but a decision was made to use the Finals logo instead.Given the fact that this set was produced rather hastily, I think the last card somehow got overlooked during production.

Back Design / Stats & Info – 3 out of 5
The design of the back of cards 1 to 5 looks very sharp. The white text against the black background is very easy to read, and explains a particular feat the pictured player accomplished in the playoffs. Below that are the player’s stats for the 2011-12 regular season and their career totals. Season stats seem unnecessary here, as the focus of this set is the playoffs.

2011-12 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Finals #4 - Dustin Brown (back) 2011-12 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Finals #6 - Dustin Brown (back)The last card is a mess, though–black text superimposed over a gray background with the Stanley Cup ghosted behind it. It is an unnecessarily complicated design that is hard to read.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5The set is a unique collectable for Kings fans who like hockey cards. Putting the Stanley Cup Final logo on cards that were given out at the Finals–but actually have nothing to do with the Finals–is a bit of a misguided design choice.

Here are images of the entire set.

2011-12 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Finals #1 - Anze KopitarSC-1 – Anze Kopitar – Kopitar is included because he scored 2 goals in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals. (back)

2011-12 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Finals #2 - Mike RichardsSC-2 – Mike Richards – He had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semis, scoring the game-winning goal. (back)

SC-3 – Jonathan Quick – The Kings ace netminder had a shutout against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of the first round. (back)

2011-12 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Finals #4 - Dustin BrownSC-4 – Dustin Brown – Scored the game-winning–and series-clinching–goal against the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of the second round. (back)

SC-5 – Drew Doughty – Doughty had 1 goal and 2 assists in the third game of the Western Conference Semifinals. (back)

SC-6 – Dustin Brown – Brown scored 2 shorthanded goals against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2 of the first round. (back)

Review: 2010 WHA Hall of Fame

Remembering 12 of the rival league’s greatest players

2010 WHA Hall of Fame #2 - Pat StapletonFounded in 2009, the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that honors and remembers the defunct league and its players. In July 2010, the WHA HOF released a 10-card set commemorating 12 of the league’s former players and one trophy. Continue reading “Review: 2010 WHA Hall of Fame”

Review: 2009 National Hockey Card Day

15 cards of Canada’s most beloved players

2009 National Hockey Card Day #11 - Wayne GretzkyGiven away in 5-card foil packs on February 21, 2009, the National Hockey Card Day set by Upper Deck focused on some of Canada’s most beloved players. Packs were handed out, free of charge, at card shops, Toys R’ Us, and Wal-Mart stores across Canada as an effort to increase interest in hockey card collecting. This is similar to Free Comic Book Day, when numerous comic books – made especially for the event – are given away at comic shops across the U.S. The 2009 National Hockey Card Day set has 15 cards: 5 are of rookies, 5 of popular current superstars and 5 of retired greats. Continue reading “Review: 2009 National Hockey Card Day”

Review: 1980-81 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Super Photos

Four times the size and almost twice the fun of regular hockey cards

1980-81 OPC Super Photos #5 - Lanny McDonaldBigger is better, or so they usually say. The O-Pee-Chee Super Photos set, released in 1981, features cards that are 5″ wide by 7″ tall – four times the size of a standard hockey card. Twenty four portrait-type photographs comprise the set. As cool as these jumbo cards are, the bland, almost blank backs, leave something to be desired. Continue reading “Review: 1980-81 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Super Photos”

Review: 1988-89 Frito Lay Hockey Stickers

A “snack-sized” set.

1988-89 Frito Lay Stickers - Steve Yzerman

At a glance:
– 1988-89 Frito Lay Stickers
– 42 stickers (1 3/8″ wide x 1 3/4″ tall)
– 1 poster (30″ wide x 20″ tall)
Download Checklist

Quite the small set – both in set size and size of the stickers themselves. Each of these mini-stickers came wrapped in a clear cellophane wrapper, and were inserted in specially marked bags of Frito-Lay potato chips during the 1988-1989 season. These stickers are unnumbered, and all feature the same back-a removable backing with the NHL and NHLPA logos, as well as a copyright date of 1988. Continue reading “Review: 1988-89 Frito Lay Hockey Stickers”