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Sunday, January 13, 2013

1981-82 OPC Reboot: Wings and Oilers

Detroit Red Wings

  The Detroit Red Wings were still mired in the Dead Wings era, but change was a-comin.  Mike Illitch would buy the team in 1982 and Steve Yzerman would be drafted in 1983.  It would still take several more season before the Red Wings would become perennial Cup contenders, as they are known as today. The Red Wings used five goalies in the 1980-81 season.  The two main goalies, Gilles Gilbert and Larry Lozinski both got cards in the OPC set.  Jim Rutherford would be traded in midseason.  Al Jensen, who played only one career game with the Red Wings, would go to win William Jennings trophy with the Washington Capitals.  I couldn't find a picture of Al Jensen in a Red Wings uniform.  Claude Legris played four career NHL games, all with Detroit.  There are no cards or usable pictures for Claude Legris as a Detroit Red Wing.

Rk           Player Pos Age GP  W  L T/O  GA  GAA SO  MIN
1    Gilles  Gilbert   G  31 48 11 24   9 175  4.01  0 2618
2    Larry  Lozinski   G  22 30  6 11   7 105  4.32  0 1459
3    Jim  Rutherford   G  31 10  2  6   2  43  4.30  0  600
4         Al  Jensen   G  22  1  0  1   0   7  7.00  0   60
5     Claude  Legris   G  24  3  0  1   0   4  3.81  0   63
         Team Total         80 19 43  18 334  4.17  0 4800

1981-82 OPC #88 Gilles Gilbert

  Gilles Gilbert is another poster boy for OPC's pathetic goalie pictures.  His first three cards are studio poses and his next 7 cards are all pre-game.  That would make OPC 0-for-10 with Gilles Gilbert.  The stars on Gilles Gilbert mask is up for debate.  It is told that Gilbert said it represents shutouts.  Gilbert had 21 career NHL shutouts, but the mask has well over 21 stars.  From the best I can count, and as others have counted, there are 34 stars on the mask.  The mystery continues.

1981-82 OPC #99 Larry Lozinski (RC)

  The "Big Lozinksi", okay, not really.  He was 5-11 and 175lbs.  Lozinksi was coming off a solid year with the Kalamazoo Wings in the IHL.  He helped the Wings win their second straight Turner Cup in 1979-80.  His NHL career only lasted a single season.  He would play three more seasons in the Red Wings farm system before retiring.

Red Wings Update

There are no bonus Red Wings since I could not find any usable picture for Jensen or Legris, but if OPC had put out an update set, these two may have been included.

1981-82 OPC Update Bob Sauve

  I already talked about Bob Sauve when I posted the Buffalo Sabres reboot.  Notice the patch on his jersey.  The patch is celebrating 50 years of Family Ownership by the Norris family.  It's funny since they sold the team in the following off season.

1981-82 OPC Update Corrado Micalef (RC)

  Corrado Micalef would play parts of five seasons with the Red Wings.  He got two OPC regular cards, both are lame.  Although he did get a half-decent Highlight card in the 1983-84 set.  I didn't realize until after wards, that I had used the same picture.  I cropped it a bit different but it's still the same.  One thing I find odd is the patch on his shoulder.  Is that not the same patch on Bob Sauve above? And how big is Corrado's forehead?  Dude must have a huge brain.

Edmonton Oilers

  By 1981, the Edmonton Oilers were not yet a powerhouse, but they had served notice.  They only had 74 points in the regular season but a 6 game unbeaten streak vaulted them into the play-offs.  Then the Oilers swept the Montreal Canadiens, who finished 29 points ahead of them in the standings.  The Oilers would lose to the eventual Stanley Cup champs, the New York Islanders.  The names were starting to build on the Oilers offence; Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, and Anderson.  While between the pipes, the 1980-81 season would be a list of who's that? With the exception of a late season call-up.

Rk          Player Pos Age GP  W  L T/O  GA  GAA SO  MIN
1        Eddie  Mio   G  27 43 16 15   9 155  3.89  0 2393
2     Gary  Edwards   G  33 15  5  3   4  44  3.62  0  729
3          Ron  Low   G  30 24  5 13   3  93  4.43  0 1260
4        Andy  Moog   G  20  7  3  3   0  20  3.83  0  313
5    Pete  LoPresti   G  26  2  0  1   0   8  4.57  0  105
        Team Total         80 29 35  16 320  4.00  0 4800

1981-82 OPC #119 Eddie Mio

  While many look at the Edmonton Oilers and Indianapolis Racers trade as the Gretzky trade, I am sure there is someone out there who thinks of it as the Mio trade.  Not sure why they would think that way but Eddie Mio was one of three players the Oilers acquired that day in exchange for $700,000.  Mio was the Oilers #1 goalie for their first two seasons in the NHL.  Aftewards, he made stops with the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings before retiring in 1986.  Mio had 5 OPC cards, with only two of him in full gear.  His 1982-83 OPC is one of the better goalie cards in the set.

1981-82 OPC #120 Andy Moog (RC)

  When you talk about goalie cards from the 1981-82 OPC set, this is the card that come to mind.  Moog was a beneficiary of late season injuries to incumbents Mio and Low.  Moog got into seven games in the regular season before being the starter in the play-offs.  While Moog was tremendous in the series against the Canadiens, 6 GA in 3GP, he couldn't hold off the Islanders attack, 26 GA in 6 games  Moog was expected to compete for the starting job the following season, but another surprise rookie took the job.  This is a close call between the original and the reboot.  When I think about 1981-82 OPC, I think about Moog's rookie card.  Rare win for the original.

Bonus Oilers

1981-82 OPC Gary Edwards

  Gary Edwards was a back-up goalie almost his entire career.  He spent the majority of his time in the NHL backing-up Rogie Vachon while playing for the Los Angeles Kings during the 1970s.  Gary had eight OPC cards and not a single card has him wearing his mask.  Even worse, in each of his first five cards, you can barely see any goalie equipment.  His blocker barely makes the crop in two of his cards. He had a pretty funky mask during his last few season with the Kings. 

1981-82 OPC Ron Low

  Ron Low wasn't around when the Edmonton Oilers starting winning Stanley Cups, but he was around when the Oilers won Cups in 1987, 1988 and 1990.  Low was traded from the Oilers in 1983, prior to the Oilers first Stanley Cup appearance.  He would play a few seasons on some horrendous New Jersey Devils teams before retiring and moving into coaching.  He won three Stanley Cups as an assistant coach for the Edmonton Oilers and was head coach from 1995 to 1999.

1981-82 OPC Pete LoPresti

  Pete LoPresti played two NHL games for the Edmonton Oilers.  I debated about making him a card, since this was the only usable picture I found and then figured why not.  It is an improvement on his 1981-82 OPC card since he never had one.  (Update:  I found a low quality picture of Lopresti in uniform, so I included that card.  Then I decided just to keep both on the blog)  LoPresti played five seasons for the Minnesota North Stars.  In the 1977-78 season, the North Stars finished last in the NHL and LoPresti led the league in losses, with 35.  In the off-season, the North Stars would merge with the Cleveland Barons.  LoPresti found himself as the odd man out as the Baron's tandem of Gilles Meloche and Garry Edwards took over the crease.

Oilers Update

1981-82 OPC Update Grant Fuhr (RC)

  The rookie that came out on top of the Oiler's training camp battle in 1982 was not Andy Moog, but Grant Fuhr.  Fuhr stepped straight out of juniors and was a Vezina trophy runner-up in his rookie season.  Fuhr would have a RC in the 1982-83 OPC set.  Fuhr wore a variety of masks, and helmets, early in his career.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely great job on these goalie cards from my favourite era of hockey! Keep up the great work.