The Avco Cup winning Whalers of the WHA were a distant memory for the Hartford Whalers teams of the earlier 1980s. The 1979-80 Hartford Whalers had four future Hall of Famers on its roster. Unfortunately, three of them were well past their prime. Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull would retire after the season. Dave Keon would play a few more season before calling it a career. The fourth HHOFee was Mark Howe, who still holds single season records for most goals, 24, assists, 56, and points, 80, in a season by a Whaler/Hurricane defenceman. Records he set in the franchises first NHL season.
Rk Player Pos Age GP W L T/O GA GAA SO MIN 1 John Garrett G 29 54 15 27 12 241 4.59 0 3152 2 Mike Veisor G 28 29 6 13 6 118 4.46 1 1588 3 Ken Holland G 25 1 0 1 0 7 7.00 0 60 Team Total 80 21 41 18 366 4.58 1 4800
|1981-82 OPC #134 Greg Millen|
|1981-82 OPC #137 John Garrett|
|1981-82 OPC Mike Veisor|
If you have reading all the reboots, you'd know that Tony Esposito played in 83% of the Black Hawks games from 1972 to 1981. Who was the man stuck behind Tony O? For the most part, it was Mike Veisor. Veisor only played in 52 NHL games from 1973 to 1979. Veisor would get three NHL cards, none of them had him in full equipment. He also never had a Whalers card.
|1981-82 OPC Ken Holland|
Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings of the late 1970s was a team that had potential but was never able to get to the next level. In the 1980-81 season, it appeared the team was at the cusp once again. The Kings had 99 points and finished 4th overall in the NHL. The Triple Crown Line, Dionne, Simmer and Taylor, each scored 100 points. Hopes were high for the play-offs. Unfortunately, the Kings would fall flat, losing the opening series in four games, 3-1, to the New York Rangers. It was the fourth straight season the Kings lost in the opening round. In the off-season, head coach Bob Berry would leave for greener pastures and become the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. Berry would guide the Canadiens to the play-offs the next two seasons, each time losing in the first round. The Kings would end the 1981-82 season with one of the greatest upsets in hockey history.
Rk Player Pos Age GP W L T/O GA GAA SO MIN 1 Mario Lessard G 26 64 35 18 11 203 3.25 2 3746 2 Jim Rutherford G 31 3 3 0 0 10 3.33 0 180 3 Ron Grahame G 30 6 3 2 1 28 4.67 0 360 4 Doug Keans G 23 9 2 3 1 37 4.89 0 454 5 Paul Pageau G 21 1 0 1 0 8 8.00 0 60 Team Total 80 43 24 13 286 3.57 2 4800
|1981-82 OPC #146 Mario Lessard|
Mario Lessard had a short career. He spent his entire six season career with the LA Kings. 1980-81 was his best season. He led the NHL in wins and was a second team All-star. Lessard would get three OPC cards, all with mask on. Strangely, OPC did not make a Lessard card for 1980-81 set, in fact no Kings goals were included in that set. Lessard card is one of the few action shots in the 1981-82 set. I'll give the win to the original
|1981-82 OPC Doug Keans (RC)|
|1981-82 OPC Jim Rutherford|
The Kings was Jim Rutherford's third team in 1981-82. He also played with the Red Wings and Maple Leafs. Rutherford's time playing with the LA Kings would be short. He would play in a total of eleven games with the Kings before moving on. Rutherford had eight cards with OPC, none of them had him in full equipment. He had three head shots, two full body studio poses, and three warm-up skate cards. Today, Rutherford is best known as the GM of the Carolina Hurricanes, a post he has held since 1994.
|1981-82 OPC Paul Pageau (RC)|