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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