An Interactive Look at Men’s Olympic Hockey Records, 1920 to 2014

The Men’s Ice Hockey tournament at the 2018 Winter Olympics starts on Wednesday. Want a crash course on some Olympic hockey records to impress your friends — or just need a refresher? Then take a look at these interactive charts, which give a snapshot of the most important records in men’s Olympic ice hockey over the past 98 years. 

 


While compiling this information, I found two records particularly eye-opening. First, the United States has been the runner-up in men’s Olympic ice hockey more than any other country. The U.S. lost the gold medal game — thus earning the silver — eight times in 23 Olympic tournaments. Six of those losses were to Canada, and two were to the USSR. 

Speaking of which, the other stat that gave me pause was that goaltender Vladislav Tretiak of the USSR has played in 18 games at the Olympics — and won 16 of them! Both of those marks are records as well. 

Did you find any of these records surprising or interesting? Leave a comment and let me know. ■

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

 

1983 History’s Greatest Olympians

In 1983, Walter Hill had a big idea. The 1984 Summer Olympics was set to take place in Los Angeles and baseball cards were experiencing a sharp rise in popularity. Hill and his company, Finder Image International, wanted to capitalize on the interest in both.

“I was pursuing an Olympic license for various products,” Hill said. “My friend at the Coca-Cola Company and I talked about trading cards, and I thought it was a good product, so we worked together to get a license from the Los Angeles Olympics Organizing Committee. Once the proposal was approved, we contracted Topps to manufacture the cards.”

With production help from Topps, Finder Image International issued a set of cards called “History’s Greatest Olympians” in 1983 and 1984. Actually, make that three sets.

One set, consisting of 99 cards, was sold in packs and as a boxed set. A variation of the set, using a different logo, was sold at 7-Eleven convenience stores. A third set, smaller in size at only 48 cards, was printed on packages of Coca-Cola products.

“History’s Greatest Olympians” reads like a who’s who of the quad-annual games from the 20th century: Cassius Clay, Jerry West, Jessie Owens, Jim Thorpe, George Foreman, Dorothy Hamill, Mike Eruzione and more. The back of each card gives a short story about that athlete’s feat of Olympic heroism. With the 2018 Winter Olympics taking place in February, collectors might want to give “History’s Greatest Olympians” another look. The set has enough legends, variations and oddities to make for a challenging – but not impossible-to-complete – series to collect.

Read the full article at Sports Collectors Digest

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

Book Review: Father Bauer and the Great Experiment

“Father Bauer and the Great Experiment: The Genesis of Canadian Olympic Hockey” chronicles the life of Catholic priest David Bauer, who forever changed Canada’s international ice hockey program. Bauer, the younger brother of former Boston Bruins star Bobby Bauer, was himself a star player in junior hockey. But the younger Bauer decided against turning pro, and instead became a priest and then a hockey coach soon after. His decision wouldn’t just change his life, but the landscape of Canada’s Olympic Team for 30 years. 

Continue reading “Book Review: Father Bauer and the Great Experiment”

Career in Cards: Eric Lindros

lindros_header

Yesterday, Eric Lindros was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame — and deservedly so. If you look at Lindros’ entire body of work — from his days as a phenom in junior hockey, to competition on the international stage, to his eight years in Philadelphia — he belongs in the Hall. Sure, his productivity sharply declined at the end of his career, but the same could be said of many other Hall of Fame players. Lindros wasn’t just awesome in his prime; he was awesome from day one. Here we will take a look at the career, illustrated with some of his best hockey cards, of one of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2016 inductees.

Continue reading “Career in Cards: Eric Lindros”

Puck Junk Podcast #17 – Sept. 12, 2016

…with Sal Barry and Tim Parish.


Player not working? Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud.

In today’s podcast, Sal and Tim (@TheRealDFG) talk abut the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, including some of the preliminary matches, as well as the upcoming tournament games. They also discuss ESPN’s coverage — or lack thereof — in the United States, the uniforms and the World Cup Trophy that no one likes very much.

Speaking of unlikable trophies, here is the World Cup Trophy, which was designed by Frank Gehry and first awarded in 2004.

current_wch_trophy

And here’s the original World Cup of Hockey Trophy, that was only used in the 1996 tournament.

original_wch_trophy

Finally, here’s a picture of the O’Brien Trophy, which might make a more suitable award than the current World Cup Trophy.

O-Brien-Cup

(You can learn more about the O’Brien Trophy here.)

Total time of this podcast is 47 minutes 15 seconds.

Theme music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.

Are you excited about the 2016 World Cup of Hockey? Have you watched any of the preliminary games yet, or do you plan on watching the actual tournament? What do you think of the uniforms? The trophy? Leave a comment and let us know. ■

Top Ten Hockey Player Pick-Up Lines

Where were you today in 1998?

Me? I was parked in front of my television, excitedly anticipating the start of the hockey games in the 1998 Winter Olympics. This was the first time that the NHL would allow its best players to compete in the Olympic Games, which were held in Nagano, Japan that year. Many Americans, including myself, had high expectations for Team USA, especially considering that they won the World Cup of Hockey tournament in 1996.

But, the Men’s Ice Hockey Team performance — and off-ice conduct — was nothing short of a disaster in those games. (Fortunately, the Women’s Team redeemed the U.S. and won the Gold.) A few hours before their first game, against Sweden on February 13, 1998, David Letterman featured a hockey-themed Top-Ten List.  Below is the transcript, Continue reading “Top Ten Hockey Player Pick-Up Lines”