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”
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”
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”
Al 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”
2014-15 In The Game Ultimate Memorabilia #UJ-2 – Chris Chelios
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”
1983-84 O-Pee-Chee #131 – Ken Solheim
Look at the back of this card of Ken Solheim, and you will see that he was traded from the Minnesota North Stars to the Detroit Red Wings near the end of the 1982-83 season.
Flip the card over to the front, and you’ll notice that Solheim’s North Stars uniform has been airbrushed over, so as to look like a Red Wings uniform.
However, the card still has a North Stars name and logo at the top, as well as an annoying little bit of text that reads “Now with Minnesota”.
Now with Minnesota? And yet, Solheim’s North Stars jersey has been painted over to look like a Red Wings jersey. What’s going on here? What team is he on? Continue reading “Card of the Week: Return to Sender”
1979-80 Topps / O-Pee-Chee Dale McCourt – Card #63
One 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”