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Thursday, December 26, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1984-85 OPC Claude Loiselle

  Claude Loiselle was a feisty competitor who played 616 career games over 13 seasons.  He was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings 23rd overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft.  Loiselle scored a powerplay goal in his first career game, besting Mike Liut of the St. Louis Blues on February 7th, 1982.  Claude spent the majority of his first two seasons playing in junior while sporadically playing with Red Wings.  Loiselle netted 88 points in 46 games in his last season in the juniors.
  Loiselle split the 1983-84 season between the NHL and AHL.  He also was suspended six games for slashing Bobby Clarke in the head.  Loiselle continued to bounce between the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL and the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL for the remainder of his time as a Red Wing.
  The Red Wings traded Loiselle to the New Jersey Devils in the 1986 offseason.  Loiselle stuck with the Devils and responded with a career high of 40 points.  He scored 96 points over 216 games during three seasons with the Devils.  Although this was not enough for Loiselle to get onto cardboard.  It took the junk wax boom of 1990 and a season in Quebec before Loiselle garnered a bevy of rookie cards.
  The following season at the trade deadline, the Quebec Nordiques put Loiselle on waivers, and then traded him to the Calgary Flames for a prospect.  Except, before the trade went through, multiple teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, had placed a claim on Loiselle.  Loiselle had already landed in Calgary when he learned of the NHL voiding the trade and of becoming a Maple Leaf.  This tidbit actually made the back of Loiselle's 91-92 Score card.  The prospect in the original deal, Bryan Deasley, would later be traded to the Nordiques for future considerations, but never made it to the NHL.
  The Leafs traded Claude to the New York Islanders the following season and he took part in the Islanders Cinderella play-off run, including the game seven overtime victory over the heavily favourite Pittsburgh Penguins.  Loiselle's career was cut short the next season by a knee injury suffered against the Dallas Stars.
  Since Loiselle never had a card as a New Jersey Devil, I drafted up a pair since I the 87-88 and 88-89 sets were the first two OPC sets I collected seriously as a child.  So I enjoy making cards for those sets.

1987-88 OPC Claude Loiselle

1988-89 OPC Claude Loiselle

  Although for the Loiselle's Lost Rookie, let's go back to 1984-85.  I choose this season since it would match with Loiselle's jersey number 21 in the picture.  Also the 84-85 set is classic.

1984-85 OPC #405 Claude Loiselle (RC)

1984-85 OPC #405 Claude Loiselle (RC)

  And the last footnote, several years ago I received a TTM return from Mr. Loiselle.

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