This is the Eric Lindros card that flew under most hockey card collectors’ radar. While seasoned collectors are familiar with Lindros’ rookie card from the 1990-91 Score set, or the numerous other Lindros cards from the early 1990s, this one is a hidden gem. It is the first-ever card to picture Lindros in a Philadelphia Flyers uniform and was both a giveaway and an insert, but not particularly easy to get either way.
Trading card companies continued to raise the stakes during the 1992-93 season, as the hockey card market continued to boom. Fleer entered the marketplace with its premium “Ultra” set, while Score doubled down, making truly unique sets for the U.S. and Canadian markets. Coincidentally, for the first time in their 25-year partnership, Topps and O-Pee-Chee released hockey sets that were different in design from one another. Meanwhile, Upper Deck continued to thrive, while Pro Set barely limped to the finish line. A lot happened with hockey cards 25 years ago.
However, the biggest news in hockey collectibles at the time was that 19-year old rookie Eric Lindros was going to make his NHL debut. Up until that point, only Score could legally include Lindros in its sets, due to an endorsement deal he signed with Score in 1990. That deal expired once Lindros became an active NHL player. With his debut imminent, but no photo of Lindros in a Flyers uniform readily available, the card companies had to figure out how they were going to include “The Next One” in its hockey card sets.
Here are my rankings of all 13 major hockey card sets released during the 1992-93 season. I count Score Pinnacle “U.S.” and “Canadian” (or “English” and “Bilingual,” if you prefer) as separate sets for reasons I’ll explain later. Also, this list does not include Panini stickers, because most collectors don’t consider those as “cards.” Nor does this list include small sets like McDonald’s, or oddball stuff like Season’s Action Patches.
So, will Upper Deck be number one for three years in a row?
Former NHL defenseman Greg Smyth passed away earlier this month after a long battle with cancer. He was 51 years old. While many remember “Bird Dog” for his tough play and willingness to drop the gloves, there is a little-known fact about Smyth that truly made him unique. For a short time during the 1992-93 season, Smyth opted to play without a helmet.
The Los Angeles King gave a collectible holiday greeting card to their season ticket holders in December of 1992. How do we know that it is collectible? Because it has the Upper Deck logo and a serial number. In your face, Hallmark!
By the way, I should start serial-numbering all of the Christmas cards that I send out so that people save them for future collectibility and/or investment value. Of course, that would mean that I would have to actually send out Christmas cards in the first place.
Anyway, the front of the card shows a group of Kings celebrating a win at the old Great Western Forum. Robb Stauber (#35) looks eager to mess up fellow goalie Kelly Hrudey’s hair some more, as if that was possible. But the other side of the card is way better. It has a detailed illustration of Continue reading “1992 Los Angeles Kings Holiday Card”
Back in the 1990s, many unlicensed hockey cards were made by those looking to quickly — and illegitimately — cash in on the booming sports trading card industry. Some of the more notable fake cards that circulated include a card of Wayne Gretzky as a member of the WHA’s Indianapolis Racers, and another that featured Eric Lindros, Sergei Fedorov and Ed Belfour.
Allegedly, a men’s clothing store called “Man In Black” put out a cheap-looking, six-card set that featured popular Pittsburgh Penguins players. While the Penguins in the 1990s were great, these cards of them are awful.
Editor’s Note: Rob Joncas is a new Puck Junk contributor. Please welcome him with a comment below.
The 1992-93 NHL season stands as one of the greatest in history for several reasons:
- The Stanley Cup celebrated its 100th Birthday
- Wayne Gretzky made his last appearance in a Stanley Cup Final
- Mario Lemieux battled cancer and put on a scoring clinic, claiming an Art Ross Trophy that Pat Lafontaine had all but secured.
- Teemu Selanne terrorized goaltenders around the league scoring, 76 goals and adding 56 assists for 132 points.
Today we are taking a look at the 1992-93 Kraft NHL Set, which came with a special album. To some it was a perfect marriage Kraft products and hockey cards.
…with your hosts, Sal Barry & Tim Parish!
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In Puck Junk Podcast #2, Sal and Tim discuss:
- The not-so-new, but still-relevant 2014-15 Upper Deck MVP Hockey set (0:00 to around 10:30)
- The 1992-93 Fleer Ultra Hockey set, which was groundbreaking in many ways (10:31 to 19:05)
- If Las Vegas would be a good city for an NHL expansion team, and what other cities should be considered. (19:06 to 37:45)
Card images, as well as a map of the NHL teams, after the jump. Continue reading “Puck Junk Podcast #2 – May 20, 2015”
6 cards, 12 illustrations of 90s greats
Inserted in packs of 1992-93 Pinnacle hockey trading cards, Team Pinnacle featured twelve of the greatest men to lace up skates in the 1990s. Two centers, two left wingers, two right wingers, two goalies and four defensemen are depicted in these action-oriented illustrations. While you’d think these dudes were starters in the NHL All-Star Game, or named to the NHL All-Star Team (as selected by the sports writers), that is not the case here. These guys are “Team Pinnacle”, as selected by Pinnacle (a.k.a. Score) Trading Card Company. Continue reading “Review: 1992-93 Team Pinnacle”