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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

1988-89 OPC Don Cherry

  Sad news that Don Cherry, a polarizing tv personality, has been let go of his long-time gig, The Coach's Corner, on Hockey Night in Canada.  Don's Coach's Corner was a Saturday night fixture on Canadian TVs on since 1986.  While considering today's change in sensitivity, it was only a matter of time before Cherry shared a opinion outside of Hockey that would get him canned.  It seems his relevancy has been increasingly questioned over the past decade.  Although it was his willingness to be controversial that made him relevant compared to the other analysts the networks used.  It was like discussing hockey with a friend.  More feelings than analysis, warts and all.
  I have mixed feelings over what he said and I won't delve into that situation.  Cherry wore his heart on his sleeve, was unapologetic, and a proud Canadian.  While I certainty didn't always agree with what he said, about hockey or other issues, I feel the moral discords he has caused over the years were beneficial to get people talking.  I am fairly certain that there is already a greater awareness, by all, of the sacrifices Soldiers have made and there will be more poppies worn next year.

  On a side note, I have been in the process of moving.  I am beginning to settle in and plan on being back to weekly Lost Cards posts next week.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Lost Cards: 1986-87 OPC Jimmy Mann

  I am not sure why, but for some reason I equate Jimmy Mann to being the ultimate draft bust.  Mann was the first player ever selected by the Winnipeg Jets in a NHL Entry draft.  The Jets joined the NHL after the WHA folded, and lost many of their stars to NHL teams, who had owned their NHL rights.  The Jets got to restock via an expansion draft but Jets and the other ex-WHA teams were shuffled to the end of the draft order for the NHL Entry Draft.  The Jets got the 19th overall pick in the 1979 draft and selected Jimmy Mann of the QMJHL's Sherbrooke Canadiens.
  It's odd that I considered a player selected 19th overall, who played over 200 career games, the ultimate draft bust.  It's true that the next two players selected were Michel Goulet and Kevin Lowe.  It's true that Mann's 30 career points is about 130 less than the second lowest total of players drafted in the first round.  It's true that Mann is only one of two players selected in the first round that played less than 590 career games.  Although it's also true there are many players in other drafts years selected higher than 19th overall whom never played a single game in the NHL.  So I really have no idea how I equated Jimmy Mann as the ultimate draft bust.  It's a notion that formed as a child and I can't remember why.
  Mann put up some decent numbers in junior to backup his high draft position.  He had back-to-back 80+ points and 260 PIM with the Sherbrooke Castors.  He was a QMJHL First Team All-star in 1979 and had 14 goals and 26 points in 12 play-off games.
  Mann joined the Jets for the 1979-80 season.  He scored his first career goal against Curt Ridley of the Vancouver Canucks.  It was a powerplay goal and the game winner in a 5-3 victory.  It was the last time he scored a powerplay or game-wining goal in his career.  Mann led the NHL in PIM, 287, during his rookie season.  Mann had career highs across the board in his rookie season with 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points, and 287 PIM in 72 games played.  In his second season, Mann led the Jets in PIM, 105, while playing in 37 games.
  Mann would become infamous in 1982.  On January 13, 1982, Mann sucker punched Paul Gardner.  Gardner missed 21 games due to a broken jaw.  Mann was suspended 10 games and charged, and convicted of assault.  At the time, it was one the sixth longest suspension in NHL History.  Gardner had earlier cross-checked the Jets Doug Smail in the face.  In retaliation, Jets coach, Tom Watt, send Jimmy Mann over the boards to send Gardner a message.
  Mann's reputation was tarnished as he had gone from prospect to enforcer to goon.  Mann spent another season and a half with Jets, scoring one goal, 2 assists and 134 PIM in 68 games after the incident.  He was sent down to the minors in November of 1983 and stayed there until he was traded to the Quebec Nordiques for a 5th round draft pick.  Mann would be used sparingly with the Nordiques.  Although part of the team, he was not dressed during the infamous Good Friday brawl between the Nordiques and Canadiens in the second round of the 1984 play-offs.
  Mann suffered a serious abdominal injury in December of 1984.  He returned to the team late in the season but the injury nagged him for the next few seasons and was severe enough for him to miss the entire 86-87.  Mann signed as free agent with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 87-88 season.  It was an injury plagued season as Mann missed time due to elbow and groin injuries.  He accumulated 53 PIM in 9 games the Penguins and also 61 PIM in 10 games in the minors.  After spending the 88-89 season in the minors, Mann retired.
  Certainly looking back, Mann did not live up to his potential but I also feel he doesn't live up to my labeling him as the ultimate Draft Bust.  There are some top 10 picks who never played a NHL game and plenty of top 5 picks never played a full season.
  Mann's career in cards turned out to be a bust.  After getting cards in his first two seasons, the 80-81 and 81-82 set, Mann disappeared from OPC.  Mann took notice of this and actually blamed Alan Eagleson, NHLPA head and agent for Paul Gardner, for blackballing him from the hockey sets.  The story is also covered in Hockey Card Stories.  I agree that Mann was not cardboard worthy after the 81-82 release, but that's where I come in.  I couldn't find a decent picture of Mann as a Penguins so his Lost Card will be him as a Nordique.

1986-87 OPC #275 Jimmy Mann

1986-87 OPC #275 Jimmy Mann

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1984-85 OPC Dave Richter

  At 6'5" and 220lbs, Dave Richter was a big man.  He was the classic clear the front of the net defender.  He was on the ice for his truculence and to stick up for his teammates, not speed or offense.  He played 365 games over 9 seasons but only got a single NHL card.
  Drafted by the Minnesota North Stars in the 10th round, 205th overall, only 5 players were drafted after Dave in the 1980 draft.  Dave graduated from Michigan University and made his NHL debut on March 13, 1982 against the St. Louis Blues.  He spent the majority of the 82-83 season in the minors but became a semi-regular with the North Stars in 1983-84. On December 12, 1983, he scored his first career NHL goal against Glen Hanlon (a previous Lost Card recipient) of the New York Rangers in a 6-4 loss.  Richter finished the season with 2 goals, 5 points, and 132 PIM in 42 games.  Richter had another semi-regular season with the North Stars, playing in 55 games, netting 10 points and was second on the team with 221 PIM.
  Ritcher, who misses games every season due to minor injuries, started the season injured but finally became a regular with the North Stars until he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers at the end of November, 1985.  The trade brought Todd Bergen to the North Stars, who was covered in a previous Lost Rookies.  Richter's style seemed like a perfect match for the Flyers, as he become the resident tough guy on defence.  Instead, his time with the Flyers was short.  Richter had 2 assists, and 138 PIM in 50 games.  The Flyers were the top team in Wales conference, 110pts, but were upset by the New York Rangers, 78pts, in the first round of the play-offs.  Richter was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in the off-season.
  Richter had a career year with the Canucks in 86-87, setting career highs in games, 78, assists, 15, and points, 17, while tying a career high in goals with two.  He also let loose on offensive by setting a career high with 35 shots, including a four shot outburst against the New York Rangers.  OPC took notice of the burly dman accomplishments and bestowed a rookie card upon Richter.
  Richter returned to earth the next season with 6 points in 49 games.  He did set a career high in PIM, with 224.  His season was cut short when he was suspended 10 games for leaving the penalty box to join a fight.  After getting into a fight earlier in the period, Richter was still in the box when the period ended with a skirmish breaking out in the Islanders end.  Richter joined the fray, instead of staying in the box or headed to his team's bench.  Richter got into a fight, got suspended and then got traded in the off-season.
  Richter was traded to the St. Louis Blues for defenceman Robert Nordmark and a 2nd round draft pick in the 1990 draft, which seems a lot to trade for a third pairing defenceman. Although the Blues were desperate to toughen up.  The 1990 draft pick later went back to the Blues in a multi-player trade that sent the Blues 1991 2nd round draft pick to the Canucks.  So they basically traded the Blues back their 1990 2nd rounder for the Blues 1991 2nd rounder.  The Canucks then traded the 1991 second round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for Jyrki Lumme.  So the Canucks basically traded Richter for Nordmark, and Lumme.   It's amazing how much, and the many ways, the Blues contributed to the Canucks 1994 Stanley Cup run.

1989-90 OPC Dave Richter
  Richter Played a season and two games for the Blues.  He made his final NHL appearance in the 1989-90 season and retired after spending 1990-91 in the minors.  He never had a card made of him during the 1990 junk wax boom.
  To rectify an OPC omissions of the Dave Richter, I mocked up this 1984-85 OPC Dave Richter Lost Rookie card.  I also made a 89-90 OPC card of Richter as a Blue above.  I couldn't find any reasonable Flyers pictures of Richter, so I wasn't able to add a Flyers card as well.

1984-85 OPC #403 Dave Richter

1984-85 OPC #403 Dave Richter

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Lost Cards: 1986-87 OPC Lucien Deblois

  Lucien Deblois has a fun name to say.  At least it was when I was a kid, and when I say it out loud today as an adult, yeah, it's still a fun name.  Deblois finished his career 7 games shy of 1000.  He had 552 points over 15 seasons.
  Deblios was drafted in the first round in both the WHA and NHL drafts in 1977.  He was selected 8th overall by the New York Rangers in the NHL and 9th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the WHA.  Deblois chose the NHL and began the season wit the Rangers.  He scored his first NHL goal against Doug Favell of the Colorado Rockies, November 2nd, 1977.  Deblois would go on to be a Cy Young award finalist scoring 22 goals and 8 assists.  This effort was also enough to garner Deblois with a rookie card in the 1977-78 set.
  Deblois, along with four other players, were traded by the Rangers early in the 1979-80 season in a deal with the Colorado Rockies for Barry Beck.  After two more 20 goal seasons, three in his first four seasons, Deblois was traded to the Winnipeg Jets for Brent Ashton.
  Lucien had a pair of 50 points seasons before a career year in 1983-84, setting career highs across the board with 34 goals, 45 assists and 79 points.  The following offseason, Deblois and the Jets had a contract dispute which led to his trade to the Montreal Canadiens for Perry Turnbull.  Deblois was never able to find his scoring touch in Montreal, netting 54 points in 112 games over two seasons.  He did win a Stanley Cup in 1986, but after netting 0 points, and a -4 in 11 games, Deblois never played a minute in the Finals.
  By this time Deblois was more of a depth piece as he began a journeyman's journey by signing up for a second tour of duty with the New York Rangers.  Three years, 184 games and 74 points later, Deblois returned to La Belle Province of Quebec, this time signing as a free agent with the Quebec Nordiques.
  Deblois played a role in the Eric Lindros sweepstakes in 1991.  The Toronto Maple Leafs had infamously traded away their 1991 1st round pick to the New jersey Devils for Tom Kurvers the previous season, assuming their fortunes were going nowhere but up; turns out they were quite wrong.  20 games into the season, the Leafs and the Nordiques were the two worst teams in the league, so a deal was worked out to benefit both clubs.  The Leafs traded a prospect and draft picks to the Nordiques for three veterans, including Deblois.  The trade solidified the Nordiques tank job, finishing last overall, and the Leafs improved to 2nd last overall and saved themselves the embarrassment of trading away the golden ticket in the Lindros sweepstakes.  Instead the New Jersey Devils were stuck with selecting future HHOFer Scott Niedermayer.
  Deblois was traded from the Leafs during the following season, 1991-92, to the Winnipeg Jets.  Deblois retired at the end of the season, with the franchise he had the most personal success with.
  OPC seemed to forget about Deblois after his trade to the Montreal Canadiens.  He did get a horrific airbursh job for the 1984-85 set but didn't reappear until in a card until the 1990 junk wax boom.  So before getting to his "official" Lost Card, I thought I would throw in a 1988-89 OPC of Lucien during his second stint as a NY Ranger.

1988-89 OPC Lucien DeBlois

  And here is the Deblois Lost Card, a 1986-87 OPC while he was a member of the Stanley Cup Champions, the Montreal Canadiens.  Bon Appetit.

1986-87 OPC #274 Lucien Deblois

1986-87 OPC #274 Lucien Deblois

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1985-86 OPC Todd Bergen

  Todd Bergen burst onto the scene with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1985, but a combination of an abdominal injury, and a combustible relationship with head coach Mike Keenan, had Bergen out of the league by the following season.
  After going undrafted in 1981, Bergen was drafted in the 5th round, 98th overall, by the Philadelphia Flyers.  Bergen's tier 2 junior team, the Prince Albert Raiders, had won the Centennial Cup two seasons in a row and was promoted to the WHL as an expansion team for the 1982-83 season.  Bergen broke out in the 83-84 season, scoring 57 goals in 43 games for the Raiders.  He started the following season with the Hershey bears of the AHL.  After scoring 39 points in 38 games, the Flyers called Bergen up.
  In Bergen's first career game, January 8, 1985, he scored two goals, including the game winner.  The following game, he injured his abdominal muscles and missed the next 25 games.  Upon his return on March 10th, Bergen had a goal and two assists in a 11-4 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Bergen finished the season with 11 goals and 5 assists in 14 games.  Bergen started the play-offs hot, netting 10 points in his first 7 games, but cooled off dramatically, with only 3 points in his final 10 games.  
  Bergen refused to report to the Flyers 1986 training camp and was suspended from the team.  Originally the story was Bergen refused to report due to personal reasons and planned on retiring to play professional golf.  Rumours swirled about that Bergen wanted a better contract and refused to play for Flyers coach Mike Keenan.  In November of 1985, Bergen was traded in a four player trade to the Minnesota North Stars.  Upon being traded, Bergen told reporters he left the Flyers due to refusing to play for Mike Keenan.  Bergen was upset at the way Keenan treated him in the press, his usage under Keenan, and also how the team, particularly Keenan, treated his injury, as if he was faking it.
  Bergen's injury trouble followed him to Minnesota.  He showed up in Minnesota with a pulled abdominal muscles and wouldn't accept convention treatment.  He missed the entire 85-86 season and a large part of the 86-87 season.  Bergen played in the AHL in 86-87, scoring 23 points in 27 games with the Springfield Indians of the IHL.
  Bergen once again refused to report a training camp, as he held out of the North Stars camp in 1987.   Bergen claimed he was owed $130k backpay.  The North Stars claimed the Flyers owed it.  Before a ruling was held, Bergen decided to retire for good from professional hockey and once again try professional golf.  I can't find any results on his golf career.
  Bergen was quoted in The Hockey in 2004 as claiming "I didn't disappear, I got disappeared."  While Bergen was a very gifted player, and also 6'2', many questioned his desire to play and decisions he made during his short NHL career. As such, he never had a NHL card, or even a team issued card.  If OPC was aggressive as today's card companies, this is what a Todd Bergen rookie card may have looked like.

1985-86 OPC #274 Todd Bergen (RC)

1985-86 OPC #274 Todd Bergen (RC)

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Fan Requests 2: Mike Bossy 50 in 50

  Bossman22 suggested I do something to spotlight Mike Bossy's record tying 50 goals in 50 games.  Bossy was the second player in NHL history to score 50 goals in 50 games.  The first was Maurice Richard, 36 years earlier in 1944-45.  Only three other players have accomplished the feat since, with Wayne Gretzky smashing the it the next season with 50 goals in 39 games, including 15 in the last five games!
  I did a four card subset for Bossy but struggled with deciding which template to go with.  First, I used the base card and switched the team name to 50 in 50.  I really like the design of the base card.  Although the 1981-82 OPC set had a Record Breakers subset.  So I tried that design as well.  I am a bit torn between the two, so I decided I will post both side-by-side and let you guys be the judge.

1981-82 OPC Mike Bossy 50 in 50

1981-82 OPC Mike Bossy 50 in 50

1981-82 OPC Mike Bossy 50 in 50

1981-82 OPC Mike Bossy 50 in 50

And then I went with a suggestion of using the Super Action subset for the 50th goal.  I cheated on the font for the "SUPER ACTION".  Usually I find the correct, or close enough, font but I wasn't able to match it up with a (free) font from the internet.  So I used the Paint Bucket and then touched up the stray pixels the best my patience could.  Can you find the puck in the picture?  Took me a while.

1981-82 OPC Super Action Mike Bossy

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1984-85 OPC Marty McSorley

  Marty McSorley will most likely be remember for one of three things, being Wayne Gretzky's bodyguard, an illegal stick, or his career-ending slash on Donald Brasheur.
  McSorley was passed over in the 1981 and 1982 NHL drafts, allowing him to sign a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent.  McSorley made his debut on October 8, 1983, and had his first career NHL fight against Tom Laidlaw of the New York Rangers, 3 minutes into the game.  On Januray20th 1984, McSorley scored against Steve Weeks of the New York Rangers for his first career NHL goal.  He finished the season with 2 goals, 9 points and 224 PIM in 74 games.  Marty started the 1984-85 season, the Penguins' Mario Lemieux era, with the club but was sent down after a month.  He finished the season playing 15 games, 0 points and 15 PIM.
  Marty's big break came the following offseason when he was traded as part of a package to the Edmonton Oilers for goalie Gilles Meloche.  Marty joined Dave Semenko and Kevin McClelland as a Wayne Gretzky bodyguard.  On January 2nd, 1986 against the Calgary Flames, McSorley and McClelland combined for a unique Gordie Howe Hat Trick.  They both achieved Gordie Howe Hat Tricks, from the same plays.  McSorley and McClelland had an assist on the other's goal, and then both got fighting majors at the same time during a line brawl.  McSorley spent the next three seasons with the Oilers, wining Stanley Cups in 1987 and 1988.  During his time with the Oilers, McSorley was often employed as a winger.
  When Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in August of 1988, his bodyguard, McSorley was part of the package.  McSorley had his best seasons in Los Angeles.  He led the league in +/- in 1990-91 with a +48, and set career highs in goals, 15 in 89-90 and 92-93, and points, 41pts in 92-93.  McSorley had the all-time 5th highest PIM total for a single season in 1992-93, with 399.  Marty assisted on Gretzky's record setting 802nd career goal.  Unfortunately, McSorley's time with the Kings would end on a low note.  With the Kings up one game to none in the series, and also up 2-1 in the game two of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Montreal Canadiens, McSorley was penalized for using an illegal stick.  The penalty was called with less than two minutes left in the game.  Eric Desjardins scored the game tying goal on the powerplay, and then scored the winner in overtime.  The Canadiens swept the rest of series and won the Stanley Cup.
  The Kings traded McSorley in the 1993 offseason to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Shawn MacEachern.  Several months into the season, the same players returned to their teams as part of a four player trade.  McSorley played two seasons with the Kings during his second tour of duty with the team before being traded to the New York Rangers at the 1996 trade deadline.  The following offseason McSorley signed with the San Jose Sharks as a free agent.  Two seasons later, McSorley made his return to Edmonton, again as a free agent.  Marty spent a single season in Edmonton before moving on via free agency to the Boston Bruins.
  On February 21st, 2000, McSorley played his last NHL game.  McSorley and Donald Brashear were regular combatants, having fought against each other six times during their careers.  McSorley and Brashear had a fight in the 1st period of the Bruins and Vancouver Canucks games of February 21st.  McSorley attempted to start another fight with Brashear a few times during the game, but Brashear did not want to fight.  As the game was able to come to an end, a 5-2 loss for the Bruins, McSorley followed Brashear up the ice looking for a fight, as Brashear continued to skate away from McSorley, Marty slashed Brashear on the side of the head.  The slash, combined with his head hitting the ice, knocked Brashear out.  Brashear missed 20 games due to injury, while McSorley was suspended for the remainder of the season, 23 games, and play-offs.
  McSorley was also charged by the RCMP for assault with a weapon.  McSorley claimed he was trying to hit Brashear on the shoulder and not the head.  McSorley was found guily and given a 18 month conditional discharge.  After the trial, the NHL increased McSorley's suspension to a full year, ending on February 21, 2001.  It is the longest suspension for an on-ice incident in NHL history.  The suspension was honoured by the IIHF as McSorley attempted but failed to gain employment overseas in 2000. McSorley joined the Grand Rapids Griffiths of the IHL in February of 2001, and was ejected for fighting in his first game.  Marty retired at the end of the season.
  McSorley was a tough competitor and a good teammate.  He played with three franchises twice, Penguins, Oilers, Kings, showing he was welcomed back by his teams.  Although McSorley has the fourth highest total career PIM in history, 3381, he was more than just a goon.  Unfortunately, McSorley will be best remembered for his illegal stick and slash to Brashear's head.
  Marty's rookie card was part of the 1987-88 OPC set.  His next cards wouldn't be until the 1990 junk wax explosion.  I am not a big fan of the 87-88 picture used for McSorley as it is a warm-up picture, sans helmet.  Although McSorley was also know for his blonde surfer's haircut during his career.  So I did up a quick 86-87 OPC for Marty with an action shot.

1986-87 OPC Marty McSorley
  Back to the main event, McSorley's Lost Rookie.  From the 1984-85 OPC set, McSorley as a rookie during his first tour of duty with the Penguins, with a cameo by long-time NHL linesman, Kevin Collins.  Collins was a NHL Linesman from 1977 to 2004.

1984-85 OPC #402 Marty McSorley (RC)

1984-85 OPC #402 Marty McSorley

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Fan Requests

  Okay, maybe I am exaggerating by saying fan requests, but on my Lost Page: 85-86 OPC, Mike said if he could add a card to the 85-86 set, it would be Petri Skirko.  Petri led the Canucks in points in his sophomore season and had four straight season of 30+ goals.  His rookie card was in the 86-87 OPC set, which was a very peculiar picture.  He's not even looking at the camera.  For the card I made below there is an fairly big issue.  The Canucks had the Flying V jerseys until the 1984-85 season, so this picture is from sometime after the set was actually released.  I originally had the perfect picture for the card but things didn't quit look right.  First off was the helmet on Petri was different than anything else he had worn and next was the mask on the goalie in background.  Turns out I almost posted  Lars Molin as Petri Skriko card.  So the card below is a bit of a cheat.  I actually believe, based on the patch on the hip, this picture is from the 1986-87 season.  I could not find a suitable picture of Skriko in a Flying V jersey.  Mike also suggested a Todd Bergen and Mats Thelin.  The Bergen will posted as a Lost Rookie in the upcoming weeks.  Thelin is in the queue for a Lost Rookie.

1985-86 OPC Petri Skriko (RC)

  Bossman22 commented on a few posts, basically any post that had Mike Bossy and wanted more Mike Bossy.  Since the Islanders and Bossy were my favourites as a child, I actually had one in the queue already.  Been working on a few more Bossy's to celebrate his 50 in 50 accomplishment but can't quite decide on the frame.

1989-90 OPC Mike Bossy

  If you have a player you would like to see in a 80s set, or another set I have already posted, comment below.  If it inspires me, it will likely show up on the blog at a later date.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1986-87 Joe Paterson

  Joe Paterson was a 5th round draft pick, 87th overall, by Detroit Red Wings in the 1978 NHL draft.  Paterson was a rugged winger who was never able to find a full-time gig in the NHL.  Over nine seasons, Joe played with four teams, 291 games, with 56 points and 829 PIM.
  Joe made his NHL debut on January 8th, 1980 and stuck with Red Wings until the season's end.  He scored his first career goal against Don Edwards of the Buffalo Sabres, in a 7-3 loss on February 6, 1981.  Paterson struggled to make the Wings roster the next three seasons and spent more time in the minors than the NHL.  In the 1983-84 season, Paterson started to rack up the PIM in an effort to stay with the team.  Joe accumulated 61 PIM in his first seven games and led the team with 148 PIM while only playing 41 games.  While Joe had success with the Adirondack Red Wings in the AHL, 25pts in 20 games, he only netted 7 points during 41 games in 1983-84.
  The following season he was part of a youth for experience trade, as the Red Wings traded Joe, and Murray Craven to the Philadelphia Flyers for future HHOFer Darryl Sittler.  Paterson only played 6 games during the 84-85 season but he was part of the roster in the play-offs.  Joe's role was expanded when Tim Kerr went done to an injury and Joe led the Flyer in scoring, 6pts in 6 games, during their Stanley Cup semi-final against the Quebec Nordiques.  He had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick in Game 3 of the series.  It was by far his best series as only scored 7pts in 16 total play-off games that year.
  Joe started the 1985-86 season with the Flyers but was sent down after the first game to the AHL.  After another brief stint with the Flyers in December, Paterson was traded to the Los Angeles King for a 4th round draft pick.  Paterson found himself on a line with future HHOFer Marcel Dionne and Dave Taylor.  In his first 31 games, Paterson had 8 goals and 27 points.  And then the wheels came off.  I assume Paterson was dropped off the top line.  During March and April, Paterson had 0 points in 16 games.  At the same time Dionne had 15pts in 18 games and Taylor had 9pts in 16.  When checking the scoring logs, I couldn't find any obvious replacement for Paterson on the Dionne-Taylor line. I wonder what happened.
  Paterson's exile from the top line continued in 1986-87.  Injuries shortened his season and Paterson did not record a point until March 26, when he went on a small 3 points in 4 games streak.  Paterson finished the season with 3 points and 148 PIM in 41 games.  Paterson stayed in the same role the following season with the Kings, scoring 3 pts, 113PIM, in 31 games before being traded to the New York Rangers.  Paterson made an immediate impact scoring a goal and two assists in a 6-3 victory against the Vancouver Canucks.  Paterson added a fight in that game to achieve a Gordie Howe Hat Trick in his first game with his new team.  He went on to score one point in the remaining 20 games that season.  1988-89 would be Paterson's final NHL season.  Limited to only 20 games due to injuries, Paterson had an assist and 84 PIM.  He also played 9 games in the IHL and would return to the minors for good the 89-90 season.  Paterson retired in 1992.
  During his career Paterson had 5 Gordie Howe Hat Tricks, including three with the Kings during a 10 game span in 1985-86.  After retiring Paterson went into coaching and would eventually become a Scout with the Los Angeles Kings, winning a Stanley Cup with the team in 2014.
  Joe never had any cards made of him during his playing days, nor in any of the retro sets made since his retirement.  I am surprised that he never made any of the enforcer sets.  He did have a few cards from team sets, as well as minor league cards.  Quality pictures of Joe Paterson are hard to come by.  I couldn't find any for him as a Red Wing or Flyer.  So his rookie card will be as a Los Angeles King.  I did find a decent one of him as a Ranger, so I figure I will add a Ranger card as well.  I was also able to match this picture with the fight on youtube.  This exact moment appears to be 15 seconds into the video as Paterson switches hands and surprises Diduck.

1989-90 OPC Joe Paterson

  And then we have the Lost Rookie of Joe Paterson.  It's amazing that almost half of his career points, 27, came in a stretch of games, 31, that accounts for about 10% of his career total.

1986-87 OPC #273 Joe Paterson (RC)
1986-87 OPC #273 Joe Paterson (RC)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Lost Cards: 2000-01 UD Vintage Zarley Zalapski

  Zarley Zalapski was drafted 4th overall in the 1986 NHl entry draft.  What is particular interesting is that he never played college or major junior hockey.  He was drafted from the Canada National team.  Prior to 1988, professionals were not allowed to compete at the Olympics.  The lure of the 1988 Olympics on home soil was enough for a few top prospects to join Team Canada.  There was also coach Dave King who was beginning to make a name for himself.  Three players from the Canadian National team were drafted in the 1st round in 1986.
  While 1988, was the first year professionals were allowed to participate in the Olympics, the NHL did not schedule a break in thier schedule, so few NHLers were able to join.  The roster for the Olympics was a mixture of amateurs, prospects, ex-NHLers, NHL hold-outs and a few players who were granted leave by thier teams.  Hopes were high for Team Canada, who had performed well in tournaments prior to the Olympics.  Unfortunatley, the last-minute influx of a few NHL players, did not boolster the team as expected.  Team Canada finished in 4th place.

1988-89 OPC Olympians - Zarley Zalapksi
  After the Olympics came to an end, several of the amateur players, including Zalapski, made the jump to the NHL.  Zalapski had an assist in each of his first two NHL games and had a 4 point night, including his first career goal against Ron Hextall and the Philadelphia Flyers.  Zarley finished the season with 11 points in 15 games.  In 1988-89, Zarley scored 45 points in 58 games and was selected to the All-Rookie team.  It was enough to get Zarley his first OPC card in the 89-90 set.  I wasn't very impressed by it so I created a 88-89 OPC rookie for Zarley.

  After another injury shortened season in 89-90, Zalapski was finally healthy, but the addition of Larry Murphy to a blueline that already included Paul Coffey, made Zalapski expendable.  The Penguins had an excess of offence but a lack of grit on the backend.  Zalapski was part of the blockbuster deal at the trade deadline with the Hartford Whalers, than sent Ron Francis and Ulf Samuelsson to the Penguins and helped propel the Pens to two back-to-back Stanley Cup Championship.  Zalapski would have his best offensive season while with the Whalers, scoring 20 goals in 92-91 and 65 points in 92-93.  Zalapski was traded to the Calgary Flames at the 1994 trade deadline.  Zarley would slide down the depth charts with the Flames, before a knee injury caused him to miss almost the entire 1996-97 season.  Zalapski continued to struggle during the 97-98 season and was traded to the Montreal Canadiens to finish the year.  Zarley signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers in 1998 off-season, but failed to make the team out of training camp.  Although Upper Deck thought it would get a head start and included Zarley as Ranger in their 1998-99 set.
  Zarley went overseas in 1999 but returned to North America to play in the IHL.  During the season, the injury bug bite the Philadelphia Flyer's blueline and Zalapski was signed to fill in the gaps.  Zalapski began his Flyers career like he did his NHl career, notching assists in his first two games.  After that, Zalapski failed to score a point in ten more games.  As players returned from injury, Zalapksi's ice time disappeared.  While Zalapski would not play in the NHL again, he would continue to play pro hockey, either in North America or Europe, until 2008.
  In 2017, Zalapksi passed away due to a heart disease.
  Zarley's brief stint with the Philadelphia Flyers did not warrant a cart from any of the major card companies, so I decided to create one.  It was an easy choice as to which design to use.  The 2000-01 UD Vintage set was my favourite design from that season.  This was before retro or vintage sets were popular.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1986-87 OPC John Kordic

  I had this post sitting in the draft folder for a few months now.  Originally I was going to try to write a very short bit on John Kordic. With each Lost Cards post, I try to do a recap of a player's career and highlight anything significant or interesting.  While Kordic's career was short, it was long on significant and interesting.  So even with the intentions on keeping it short, I ended up writing several paragraphs on Kordic, even before we had traded to the Leafs.  I made a decision, I was either going to write it all, or nothing, about John Kordic.  So I will write (almost) nothing.
  If you want to do more reading I suggest the Sports Illustrated's article Death of a Goon and the New York Times piece on his Funeral as starting points.  There was also a book written, John Kordic; The Fight of his Life, which had its movie rights purchased, although never filmed.
  I will say that I would love to see a movie on Kordic.  It's the Canadian Dream turned nightmare.  The price Kordic paid for success would lead to his demise.  Kordic and his father Ivan, were at odds over Kordic's role in the NHL.  His father loved hockey, but disapproved of Kordic fighting.  The death of his father in 1989 was the straw that broke the camel's back.  Kordic's downward spiral accelerated.  His play and attitude soured, and his substance abuse increased.  In August of 1992, Kordic, after an evening of alcohol and drugs, died of a heart malfunction after resisting arrest.  It is truly a tragic story.
  Kordic's rookie card was a 1990-91 OPC, as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  He never had a card while with the Montreal Canadiens.  As a rookie, he won a Stanley Cup with the 1986 Canadiens, so I thought it'd be fitting to include him that's set.

1986-87 OPC #270 John Kordic (RC)

1986-87 OPC #270 John Kordic (RC)

  Since John would have preferred to be remembered for more than just his pugilism, here is another card of Kordic.

1987-88 OPC John Kordic

  While Kordic would have a card with the Quebec Nordiques, his final NHL team, his brief 7 game stint, and 101 PIM, with the Washington Capitals would go uncarded.  Below is what it could have looked like.

1991-92 OPC John Kordic

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Lost Cards: 1987-88 OPC Thomas Gradin

 In 1978 off-season, the Canucks delved into the European market.  Within three days, they signed Swedish leagues players Lars Zetterstorm, Lars Lindgren, and Swedish NHLer Roland Eriksson.  A week later they traded for their future team career points leader, Swedish player Henrik Sedin, I mean Thomas Gradin.
  Gradin was easily the best of the four Swedish players the Canucks acquired in the summer of 1978.  Originally drafted by the Chicago Black Hawks, 45th overall in 1976, Gradin never signed with the Black Hawks.  Two years later, the Hawks traded Gradin to the Canucks for a second round pick, with the Hawks option of 1979 or 1980.  The Hawks passed in 1979, Canucks drafted Brent Ashton, 26th overall, which left the Hawks with 28th overall pick in 1980 (Steve Ludzik).
  Gradin scored 51 points in his rookie season, including 3 points in his first career NHL game.  Thomas led the Canucks in points during the 80-81 season, 69pts, and the 81-82 season, 86pts.  During their surprising run to the 1982 Stanley Cup finals, he led the team with 19 points.

1986-87 OPC Thomas Gradin

  Gradin left the Canucks for the Boston Bruins as a free agent in the 1987 off-season.  At the time, he was the Canucks franchise leader in points, 550.  Gradin scored 43 points in 61 games during his only season with Bruins and his final NHL season.  Gradin left the NHL and returned to the Swedish league in 1988.  He retired in 1990, but made a brief return to professional hockey in Sweden in 1997.
  Gradin returned to the Canucks organization 1994, as a scout.  He was instrumental in the Canucks pursuit and acquisition of the Sedin twins in the 1999 NHL draft.
  Gradin's last NHL card was in the 1985-86 set.  I had a chance to rectify two oversights on OPC's behalf.  Gradin was never pictured in the glorious mustard yellow home jersey of the Canucks.  So I took artistic license and used an older picture of Gradin for the 86-87 OPC above.  If OPC can use old pictures, then so can I.  Second was giving Gradin a career capping card as a member of the Boston Bruins.

1987-88 OPC #270 Thomas Gradin

1987-88 OPC #270 Thomas Gradin

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1981-82 OPC Glen Cochrane

  Glen Cochrane played 411 games over 10 NHL seasons but never got a NHL card during his playing days.  His rookie card was part of the 2002-03 Fleer Throwbacks Set.
  Cochrane was drafted 50th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1978 Entry Draft.  He made his debut on November 24, 1978 against the Minnesota North Stars.  After registering a -2 in that game, Cochrane was sent back to the Maine Mariners of the AHL.  Cochrane led the Mariners in PIM and had seven points in 10 play-off games as the Mariners won the 1979 Calder Cup as AHL Champions.
  Cochrane returned to the NHL in the 1980-81 season, quickly amassing 219 PIM in 31 games, including back-to-back games with 42 PIM against the Los Angeles Kings and then 33 versus the Vancouver Canucks.  In the latter game, Cochrane earned a suspension for being the first man off the bench.  He scored his first career goal, and had a three point night, against the Winnipeg Jets, in a 10-1 victory.  Cochrane had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick Against the Calgary Flames in the play-offs.
  Cochrane led the Flyer in PIM for three consecutive seasons starting in 81/82 with totals of 327, 237 and 225 PIM.  The arrival of Mark Howe in 1982 helped Cochrane produce his two best NHL seasons.  He set career highs in points, 24, and was a +42, in the 82-83 season.  A season-ending knee injury late in the 83-84 season limited Cochrane to only 18 games in 84-85.  He was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for a 3rd round draft pick during the following offseason.

1986-87 OPC Glen Cochrane

  Cochrane who was never known for his mobility, became even slower due to a bad knee.  A local boy, born in Cranbrook B.C., Cochrane had a disappointing tenure with the Canucks.  For the Canucks he had 3pts, and 177 PIM in 63 games over two seasons.  Cochrane missed time due to his knee injury and also suffered back spasms, which required surgery.
  The Canucks left Cochrane unprotected for the 1987 Waiver draft and was subsequently picked up by the Chicago Black Hawks.  Cochrane played his last full season in the NHL with the Hawks in 87-88.  He had 9 points, and 207 PIM, while playing in 73 games.
  Cochrane was on the move again via waivers in 1988.  A month into the season, the Hawks placed Cochrane on waivers and the Edmonton Oilers picked him up.  Cochrane had 52 PIM in 12 games as Oiler.  As the calendar year came to a close, the Oilers sent Cochrane down to the minors.  Instead of reporting, Cochrane decided to retire.  Cochrane retired with 1556 PIM in 411 career games.

1989-90 OPC Glen Cochrane

  As mentioned Cochrane never had a NHL card during his playing days.  He had a few team issued cards and also was part of the 1986 Kraft set, which was an awesome set by the way.  Good pictures of Glen are surprisingly hard to find.  I was reluctant to do a Canucks card for him due to the picture quality but my searches didn't turn up any custom cards with Glen as a Canuck.  I did see a few as a Hawk.  I was surprised to find a few high quality pictures of Cochrane as an Oiler.  Although now onto the main event, the Lost Rookie of Glen Cochrane.

1980-81 OPC #399 Glen Cochrane (RC)

1980-81 OPC #399 Glen Cochrane (RC)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Lost Mike Bossy's: 90-91

  Mike Bossy was a gifted goal scorer, who retired early due to back issues.  He played 10 seasons in the NHL and scored 50+ goals in his first nine seasons.  He was the second player in history to score 50 goals in 50 games.  Bossy retired after scoring 573 goals in 752 games.  He holds the NHL career record for average .76 goals per game.  In his final NHL season, 1986-87, Bossy had 29 goals and 56 points in 41 games before missing two week due to his back injury.  He would only score 9 goals and 19 points in his final 22 regular season games.
  If Bossy had been able to play a few more seasons, could he had challenged Gordie Howe's 801 career goals?  If he could have played 6 more seasons and average 40 goals a year, he would have done it.  Granted, if all players had perfect health for their full careers, I am pretty sure the record book would look very different.
  Assuming Bossy's back held up until the junk era, here's his 1990-91 base cards.

90-91 Bowman Mike Bossy

90-91 OPC Mike Bossy

90-91 OPC Premier Mike Bossy

90-91 Pro Set Mike Bossy

90-91 Score Mike Bossy

90-91 Upper Deck Mike Bossy

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1986-87 OPC Lee Norwwod

  Lee Norwood played 12 seasons in the NHL.  It took him six seasons and four franchises until OPC paid him some love with a rookie card in the 1988-89 set.  He didn't much more love after that though.  Norwood had a total of nine NHL cards during his career.  A career that included the junk explosion of the early 90s.
  Norwood was drafted 62nd overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft.  Norwood started the 1980-81 season with the Nordiques and had a point in each of his first two career games.  Pointless in his next eight games, Norwood was sent to the minors.  After playing a pair of game with the Nordiques the following season, he was traded to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Tim Tookey, who was previously featured on The Lost Rookies.  Norwood had 17 points in 27 games after the trade, including a four point night against the Philadelphia Flyers, in a 4-4 tie..
  It wasn't enough to keep Norwood on the Capitals.  After spending the majority of the 82-83 season in the AHL, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Norwood never made the Leafs roster and spent a season with the Leafs AHL affiliates, the St. Catherine's Saints.
  Prior to the 1984-85 season, Norwood signed as a Free Agent with the St. Louis Blues.  He played the 1984-85 season with the Peoria Rivermen of the IHL.  Norwood was selected as the leagues top defenceman as he helped the Rivermen win the IHL Championship trophy, the Turner Cup.  Norwood made the Blues roster for the 1985/86 season and was part of the Blues 1986 play-off run.  The Blues played the maximum games in each of three series before losing to the Calgary Flames in the Campbell Conference Finals.  It was against the Calgary Flames in which the Blue performed their Monday Night Miracle.
  Norwood was traded in the offseason to the Detroit Red Wings.  He would play, and lose, in two more consecutive Campbell Conference Finals, both times to the Edmonton Oilers.  As a Red Wing, he would have a career year in 1988-89.  First, he received a rookie card in the 88-89 OPC set, and then he proceeded to set career highs with 10 goals, 32 assists, and 42 points.  Norwood played four and half seasons with Detroit and spent time as one of their assistant captains.
  Lee finished his career as an oft-injured journeyman.  He played for five franchises in his final four seasons, from 1990-1994.  The Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames.  He struggling to find ice time as on-ice injuries, and moving motorcycles out of Brendan Shanahan's garage related injuries, caused him to miss games. He retired after the 1993-94 season, but made a brief minor league comeback from 1995 to 1997.  He finished his career after having played 503 games over 12 seasons.
  I would have liked to have done a Lost Rookie of Norwood as a Nordique or Capital, but I could not find any usable pictures.  Norwood also did not have card issued of him as a Whaler or Flame.  If anyone can direct me to some quality pictures of Norwood in those uniforms, it'd be much appreciated.  He played with seven franchises and only had cards with three of them.  He played for the Blues twice but only got cards made during his second tenure.
  So the best I can do is a 1986-87 OPC Lost Rookie of Lee Norwood.

1986-87 OPC #271 Lee Norwood (RC)

1986-87 OPC #271 Lee Norwood (RC)

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Lost Cards: 1987-88 OPC Glenn Resch

  The best New York Islanders goalie in the 70s was not Billy Smith, but Glenn "Chico" Resch.  Chico consistently outplayed Billy in the regular season, but was part of a few disappointing early exits for the Islanders as the decade came to a close.  Which is why one is in the HHOF and the other is one of the most underrated goalies of the 70s/80s.
  Resch was property of the Montereal Canadiens, as one of the last players under the old sponsorship program.  Feeling his chances of making the NHL were not a guarantee, he opted to get educated and accepted a scholarship with at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.  Resch guided the university to it's first ever post-season win in 1971, and was selected to the WCHA 2nd All-Star team.  He attended the 1971 Montreal Canadiens training camp but the team was engorged with young goaltender talent, including rookie Ken Dryden, whom had led them to a Stanley Cup the previous spring.  Resch also found himself behind his idol Rogie Vachon, Phil Myre, Wayne Thomas and Michel Plasse.  The Canadiens had six goalies under contract who we all between the ages of 22 and 26.
  Resch was sent to the Muskegon Mohawks of the IHL to play the 1971-72 season.  Resch won multiple awards including top goalie and rookie of the year.  His play, and the voice of junior coach Bob Turner, drew the attention of New York Islanders GM Bill Torrey.  The Isles and Habs swung a trade that saw four players, including Resch and veteran goalie Denis Dejordy, head to the Island in exchange for a 2nd round draft pick, whom the Habs used to select Glen Goldup.
  Resch would spend two more seasons in the minors, including a brief call-up in 1973-74, before making the NHL for good in 1974-75 season.  Resch was in the back-up role for the regular season, but was given the starters gig in the play-offs.  Then he lost it to Smith, then Smith lost it to Resch.  Resch led the Islanders to an improbable run that included a 3-0 comeback against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the quarter-finals, and then almost duplicating the feat in the semi-finials, pushing the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Philadelphia Flyers, to seven games.  The Islanders lost in the Stanley Cup semi-finals in four out of five years from 1975 to 1979.

1974-75 OPC Glen Resch Variant (RC)

  In the six seasons leading upto the Islanders 1980 Stanley Cup victory, Glenn and Billy Smith posted remarkable similar regular season numbers.  Although Resch was twice selected as a 2nd Team All-Star.

Query Results Table
Rk Player Tm From To Active GP W L T/O GA SA SV SV% GAA GA%- SO MIN GPS
1Glenn ReschNYI197419806248138614260069386338.9142.4977221445057.3
2Billy Smith*NYI197419806248121665164868716223.9062.7484131421351.5
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2019.

  It was the play-offs, in particular the failings, that has Smith in the HHOF and Resch traded into wasteland of the Colorado/New Jersey franchise.  Looking at the five post-season runs leading up to the 1980 Cup win, Smith had been outplayed by Resch overall.

Query Results Table
Rk Player Tm Pos From To Active GP W L GA SA SV SV% GAA GA%- SO PIM MIN
1Billy Smith*NYIG19741979530161182863781.9052.88941381705
2Glenn ReschNYIG19741979534171574932858.9212.3780241874
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2019.

  After the play-off success of 1974, the inability to reach the Stanley Cup final the next four seasons were viewed as disappointments.  In particular was the 1978 play-offs, in which the Islanders didn't win a round.  Resch started all seven games against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  He allowed four in the first period of game 6 before being pulled, and then allowed the overtime series winning goal to Lanny McDonald, at home, in game 7 to complete the upset.
  The following post-season, Smith and Resch split starts.  Although their play was similar, Resch lost three games to Smith's one and was in between the pipes in the game six loss to the New York Rangers.  It was another shocking upset and yet another season the Islanders failed to advance to the Stanley Cup finals.
  The 1980 playoffs started off like the previous season, with Smith and Resch alternating starts.  Smith and the Islanders easily beat the Los Angles Kings 8-1 in the series opener.  Resch struggled in game two, allowing 6 goals in 20 minutes of play as the Islanders lost 6-3.  Resch would be benched as Smith started all but one of the remaining games in the Islanders play-off championship run.  The other game Resch started was a 2-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

1980-81 OPC Glenn Resch Variant

  The following season, the Islanders, convinced they would go with Smith in play-offs, and encouraged by the play of rookie Roland Melanson, traded Resch to the Colorado Rockies.  Billy Smith and Islanders would go onto win the Stanley Cup three more times.  Resch and the Rockies would move to New Jersey to become the Devils.  Resch played in the heyday of the Mickey Mouse Organization.  Resch went on to lead the league in losses twice, once as a Rockie and once as a Devil. His GAA with the Rockies/Devils would be 4.10.

1981-82 OPC Original and Reboot
  Glenn was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers late in the 1985-86 season.  In a season and a bit with the Flyers, in limited play, he posted a GAA of 2.97.  He still had it.
  In Resch's last NHL season, he backed-up Calder winner, Ron Hextall, and accompanied the team to the 1987 Stanley Cup finals.  Along the way, Resch played an integral part of play-offs pre-game brawl that would change NHL rules.  The Flyers lost the Finals in seven games to the Edmonton Oilers.
  Resch would get a sorry looking airburshed job in the 1986-87 OPC set.  As a Resch fan, it was not justice.  So created a career capping Lost Card of Glenn Resch for the 1987-88 OPC set.

1987-88 OPC #269 Glenn Resch

1987-88 OPC #269 Glenn Resch