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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Lost Cards: 1987-88 OPC Harold Snepsts

  The Man.  The Legend.  The Moustache.  Harold Snepsts.  A clean cut Snepsts started out with the Vancouver in 1974.  Somewhere along the way, Snepsts found his inner Henry Boucha, sans headband, and rest became legend.
  Although somewhere along the way O-Pee-Chee and Topps lost their way.  Snepsts was traded to the Minnesota North Stars in 1984 and then signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings in 1985.  Snepsts received the dreaded airbrush treatment in back-to-back sets before taking a hiatus until the 1989-90 OPC set.

1984-85 OPC and 1985-86 Airburshed Harold Snepsts
  So I decided to rectify the situation and reskin the 1984-85 and 1985-86 OPC cards.  While I was doing it, I considered how Snepsts switched teams during the offseason, so I made a design for the teams Snepsts player for the previous season, and the team he began the season with.

1984-85 OPC Harold Snepsts 1984-85 OPC Harold Snepsts
  During the 1984 off-season, the Canucks traded Snepsts to the North Stars straight up for Al McAdam.  McAdam would play a single season for the Canucks.  The following season, McAdam failed to make the Canucks out of training camp and would retire after playing a dozen games in the AHL.


1985-86 OPC Harold Snepsts

  Snepsts would lead the North Stars in PIM during his single season in Minnesota.  During the 1985 off season, Snepsts would be a free agent and signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings.

1986-87 OPC Harold Snepsts

  Snepsts' time with the Red Wings was plagued by injuries, as he only played in 120 regular season games during three seasons with the Wings.  What he did bring, was veteran leadership to a young Red Wings team, that included Steve Yzerman.  Snepsts best season with the Wings was 1986-87, in which he played 54 games and had 14 points.  So I would put his exclusion from the 1987-88 set as the most glaring omission during Snepsts time as a Red Wing, and thus the most deserving of a Lost Card.


1987-88 OPC #268 Harold Snepsts


1987-88 OPC #268 Harold Snepsts

  Snepsts would return as a free agent to the Vancouver Canucks for the 1988-89 season.  The following season the Canucks traded Snepsts to the St. Louis Blues, in a deal that saw Adrien Plavsic, who was 15 years Harold's junior, head to Vancouver.  The injuries continued to mount as Snepsts creeped up and played his 1000th career game on December 8th, 1990.  Snepsts retired at the end of the 1990-91 season with 1054 career games played.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1987-88 OPC Anders Carlsson

  Anders Carlsson was the first Swedish player to be drafted in the 1986 Entry Draft, 66th overall by the New Jersey Devils.  Anders, whom had played professionally in Sweden since 1979, was 25 years old when he was drafted.  In the spring before the draft, Anders led Team Sweden to a Silver medal in the World Hockey Championships.  Anders led team Sweden, and finished 7th overall, with 12 points.
  Anders started the season on the second line with Aaron Broten and John MacLean but did not produce as expected.  He was held pointless until Nov 6th, and did not score a goal until Jan 26th, which occurred after a brief demotion to the AHL.  Anders spent more time in the minors than the NHL the two following seasons.  He did see action in 3 play-offs games during the Devils Cinderella run to the Conference Finals in 1988.  He was credited with the game-winning goal against the Washington Capitals during Patrik Sundstrom's NHL play-off record 8 point game.
  Anders was never able to secure a full-time position in the NHL, and would return to play in Sweden in 1989.  He retired in 2000, at the age of 40.
  While Anders Carlsson had a few cards produce of himself in 90s while in the Swedish hockey league, he never had a NHL hockey card during his short NHL career, or after.  Below is my version of a 1987-88 OPC Anders Carlsson rookie card.

1987-88 OPC #266 Anders Carlsson (RC)


1987-88 OPC #266 Anders Carlsson (RC)


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1986-87 OPC Sergio Momesso

  Sergio Momesso played 13 seasons in the NHL.  A player with a mean streak, Sergio was a highly touted, and scoring, junior hockey player who never lived up to lofty expectations in the NHL.
  After picking an American, Alfie Turcotte, in the 1st round, 17th overall, in the 1983 Entry Draft, the Montreal Canadiens drafted Quebecois with back-to-back picks with the 26th, Claude Lemieux, and 27th, Sergio Momesso, overall selections.
  Momesso made his debut as an 18 year old in 83-84, but only played a single game, getting to play on a line with Guy Lafleur and Bobby Smith.  Momesso would return to the NHL in 85-86 but suffered a season ending knee injury against the Boston Bruins after playing 24 games for the Habs.  Momesso's time with the Habs would be injury plagued, never playing more than 59 games in a season.
  Sergio would eventually be traded to the St. Louis Blues, in a deal that netted the Habs, Claude Lemieux's brother, Jocelyn.  After another injury plagued season, 53 gp, he set career highs with 24 goals and 56 points in 1989-90..  He had a career night on October 18, 1989, scoring 2 goals and 4 assists in a 9-3 St. Louis Blues thrashing of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  Sergio was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in a very lopsided trade deadline deal.  Sergio, Cliff Ronning and Geoff Courtnall would be part of the 1994 Canucks team that reached game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.  On the other hand, the key player going to the Blues, Dan Quinn, would be involved in another significantly one sided deal during the subsequent off season.
  After the Canucks, Momesso would play briefly with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers before returning to the St. Louis Blues to finish his NHL in 1997.
  Sergio's official rookie cards would come in the 1990-91 sets as a St. Louis Blues.  Below is my version of a 1986-87 OPC Sergio Momesso rookie card.

1986-87 OPC #268 Sergio Momesso (RC)


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1984-85 OPC Marc Behrend

  Marc Behrend was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets, 85th overall, in the 1981 NHL Entry draft.  Behrend was the 10th goalie taken in the draft.  At one point, three of the goalies taken before Behrend were in the top ten for career wins by a goalie.  Those goalies were drafted by the Oilers, Flames, and Rangers.
  It took a few years for Behrend to make it to the NHL.  Behrend played college hockey for the Wisconsin Badgers, and won NCAA championships in 1981 and 1983.  Each time, Behrend was selected as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.  He is the only player to win the award multiple times by himself.  Lou Angotti also won the award twice, in 1960 and 1962, but shared the award with two other players in 1960.  Marc would make another stop before joining the Jets in 1984.  Behrend played for Team USA in the 1984 Olympics.  There was no medal for Behrend, as the team finished seventh.
  Behrend made his NHL debut a week later and his first NHL start was a 6-5 overtime lose to the Edmonton Oilers.  About another week later, he recorded his first win, a 7-3 pounding of the Los Angeles Kings.  Teammate Dale Hawerchuk set a NHL record that night by recording 5 assists in a single period.
  In his NHL career, Behrend would play 39 regular season games and 7 play-offs games, including the first ever series clinching victory for the Jets, vs the Calgary Flames in 1985.  In Winnipeg, Behrend found himself stuck behind Brian Hayward on the depth chart.  After leaving the Winnipeg Jets, Behrend would take over the starting job from Patrick Roy...  for the Sherbrooke Canadiens of the AHL. (Okay, so Roy only played 14 games for Sherbrooke, including 13 in the playoffs, and albeit the claim is a bit melodramatic, it has a nice affect.)
  Marc would retire from professional hockey in 1987 and become a firefighter in his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.  He never received an NHL card, and only had a single team issues card while with the Jets.  Below is what a 1984-85 OPC Marc Behrend rookie card may have looked like.


1984-85 OPC #401 Marc Behrend (RC)

  I also decided to through in a bonus card.  A 1984-85 OPC Olympic subset of Marc Behrend.

1984-85 OPC Olympians - Marc Behrend