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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

1981-82 OPC Reboot: Hawks and Rockies

Chicago Black Hawks

  The Black Hawks only used two goalies during the 1980-81 season.  Bannerman would eventaully ease Esposito out of the role of starter, a position he held with the Black Hawks since 1969.  Both goalies made the 81-82 OPC set.

Rk             Player Pos Age GP  W  L T/O  GA   GAA SO  MIN
1       Tony  Esposito   G  37 66 29 23  14 246  3.75  0 3935
2    Murray  Bannerman   G  23 15  2 10   2  62  4.30  0  865
           Team Total          80 31 33  16 308  3.85  0 4800

1981-82 OPC #54 Tony Esposito

  In an era of having a 1A and a 1B netminding tandem, Esposito had a monopoly on the Black Hawks net.  He finished in the top 3 in goalie games played in the NHL for 9 consecutive seasons, including leading the league four times.  From the 1972-73 to the 1980-81 season, Tony O played in 83% of the Black Hawks regular season games.  There's a bit more action going on in the original card, but I like the colours in the reboot.  Narrow win for the reboot.

1981-82 OPC #67 Murray Bannerman (RC)

  This is exactly the type of card that needed a reboot.  I like this reboot so much that I will even call this one a remastered edition.  Bannerman had one of the best masks of all-time.  It's a farce that OPC put out three cards of Bannerman before showing off the mask in the 1984-85 set.  Bannerman would have 6 OPC cards and only two have his mask on display.  This is a banner card for the reboot, man.

Colorado Rockies

  Like the Colorado Rockies pitchers of the 1990s, Colorado Rockies goalies of the 1980s were getting lit up.  The season was so bad for the Rockies goalies that all three goalies that started the season with the franchise, would never play again in the NHL after the season was over.  The team would finished the season, and start the next, with two goalies acquire via mid-season trades, Phil Myre and Glenn "Chico" Resch.  The gaggle of Rockies goalies finished the season with a 4.21 GAA, which wasn't even close to being the worst.  In fact, they were only the 5th worst.  Long live the 80s.
  Bonus question; Name the last team to have a team GAA of 4.21 or above.  Hint:  One of the players from that team scored his 1000th point last season.

Rk         Player Pos Age GP  W  L T/O  GA   GAA SO  MIN
1        Al  Smith   G  35 37  9 18   4 151  4.75  0 1909
2    Hardy  Astrom   G  29 30  6 15   6 103  3.76  0 1642
3       Phil  Myre   G  32 10  3  6   1  33  3.41  0  580
4    Jari  Kaarela   G  22  5  2  2   0  22  6.00  0  220
5     Glenn  Resch   G  32  8  2  4   2  28  3.74  0  449
       Team Total         80 22 45  13 337  4.21  0 4800

1981-82 OPC #80 Glen "Chico" Resch

 Poor Chico.  Chico had been splitting time with Billy Smith of the New York Islander since 1974.  He had finished in the top 10 in GAA in every season he qualified.  The Islanders, after years of coming up short, had finally won the Stanley Cup.  With the Islanders poised for another Cup run, life was good for Chico.  Then came March 10th, 1981.  Chico was traded to the Colorado Rockies.  His career stats before March 10, 1981, Chico was 157-69-47, 25 SO, 2.55 GAA and a .661 win percentage.  After March 10th, 1981, Chico was 74-155-35, 1 SO, 4.15 and a .357 win percentage.  Poor Chico.
  Although his OPC cards would get better after the trade.  For his seven cards with the Islander, zero had him with his mask on.  The 81-82 OPC is a bit of a painted monstrosity, but including it, four of his final six cards has him masked.  The 85-86 OPC is actually a really nice shot. 

Bonus Rockies

1981-82 OPC Hardy Astrom

   The man who got Don Cherry fired, or so says Don Cherry.  Dear Don, if he was the worst goalie you ever seen, why did you start him for 49 games in 1979-80?  Supposedly, Hardy Astrom is the root cause of Don Cherry tirades against Swedes.  Hardy had a single OPC card made of him.  It was from the 1980-81 set.

1981-82 OPC Phil Myre

   Like Chico, Phil Myre was an in-season acquisition.  In 1970-71, Myre had a winning record, 13-11-4 with the Montreal Canadiens.  He would not have a winning record in a single season until 1979-80, after being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers.  He would go 18-7-15.  Like Chico Resch, he was the back-up goalie for the game Bob Nystrom won the Stanley Cup for the New York Islanders in overtime of game six. While Resch celebrated, Myre lamented.  Less than a season, later, they would be creasemates in Colorado.  For OPC cards, Phil Myre is the picture boy for shit pictures.  He had eight OPC cards, and not a single card has him in his full equipment.
  He also had a really cool blog.  Unfortunately, he's not allowed to update anymore since he became a scout for the Montreal Canadiens. 

1981-82 OPC Al Smith

   The man who was getting the bulk of the starts before the Rockies made trades for Myre and Resch, was Al Smith.  Smith  played more games in the WHA than in the NHL, and had a lot more success in the rival league as well.  It was hard to find a decent picture of Al Smith with the Rockies.  He only played a single season with them.  Al Smith has some real lowlites when comes to OPC NHL cards.  He looks like a trainer in the 1971-72 set.  In the 1976-77 set, he just totally creeps me out.  Is that a mullet or a comb over?  Seriously, would you want your daughter bringing that home?

    Wings and Oilers are next in the Reboot.

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