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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.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Lost Bossys: Baseball Edition Pt 2

  The baseballification Mike Bossy's career in cards continues.  By this time, the Islanders Dynasty was in full swing and Bossy had solidified his place as the NHL's top sniper, who is not named Gretzky.
  The 1981 card was a bit of a pain since I had to swap out a baseball cap for a hockey helmet.  The 82 and 83 were fairly simply.  I switch to making them Topps cards since the Topps logo looks a lot better than the OPC in these sets.  I always loved the 1984 set but I couldn't find the right font for the team name so I actually cut and pasted each letter off other 1984 Topps cards, but then had to get them all the same colour.  Not the way I like to do it but the best font I could find would have cost $40.  I like making these cards but I am not up for buying fonts.
  Three more to go.

1981 OPC Mike Bossy

1982 Topps Mike Bossy

1983 Topps Mike Bossy

1984 Topps Mike Bossy

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Lost Cards: 1987-88 OPC Ric Seiling

  Ric Seiling was a solid two-way forward for the Buffalo Sabres for almost a decade before playing a single season for the Detroit Red Wings.
  Seiling scored 110 points for the St. Catherines Fincups of the OHMJL in 1976-77.  The junior team was selected to represent Canada in the 1977 World Hockey Junior Championship.  This was back when the team Canada sent to the World Juniors was an actual team from the junior leagues, plus a few ringers.  The team also added several other OHMJL stars.  Team Canada won a Silver medal, after losing to the Soviet Union in their final game.  Seiling was drafted 14th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft.  The next player selected was Mike Bossy.
  Seiling made the Sabres out of training camp and scored his first career goal, a game winner, against Michel Laroque of the Montreal Canadiens in a 4-0 victory on October 30, 1977.  Seling set career highs in points, 60, in 79-80 and goals, 30, in 80-81.  He was on pace to set new career highs in goals and points during the 1981-82 season.  Through 51 games, Seiling had 22 goals and 44 points.  He was on pace for 34 goals and 68 points.  On January 30th, 1982, Seiling was hit in the left eye by Phil Russell's stick.  The injury left Seiling with limited vision in his left eye and threaten his career.  After returning from the injury, Seiling's offence dipped.  His point total decline to 41, 35, 31, 25 and then 11 in five consecutive seasons.  Seiling also began wearing a visor, becoming one of the few players to do so in 1982.
  Seiling's role on the team declined and during the 1986 training camp, he was sold to the Detroit Red Wings.  OPC was quick to catch on and gave Seiling the airbursh treatment for the 86-87 set.  I gave it a quick fix, sending him back to the Sabres, as per the 85-86 season.

1986-87 OPC Ric Seiling

  Seiling scored a career low 11 points in 74 games during his lone season with the Red Wings.  The following season, 87-88, Seiling was sent down to the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL and performed as a player-coach.  It was his last season as a professional.  His airbrush job in the 86-87 set was his final card.  I created a career capping Lost Card for Seiling, giving him an action shot.

1987-88 OPC #271 Ric Seiling

1987-88 OPC #271 Ric Seilng

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Lost Mike Bossys: Baseball Edition Pt. 1

  What if Topps/OPC used their baseball designs for hockey?  I am not sure but it does give me an excuse to make some more cards of my favourite player, Mike Bossy.  I have the first three done, but hockeyizing the 1981 Topps gave some frustration switching the baseball cap into a hockey helmet that could have a position and team name on it.  So for now, just three Bossy on baseball designs.

1978 Topps Mike Bossy

1979 Topps Mike Bossy

1980 Topps Mike Bossy

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Lost Cards: 1990-91 OPC Robert Picard

  Robert Picard  had a bright start to his NHL career but eventually settled into a second pairing defenceman.  Picard, a highly touted prospect, won the Emile Bouchard trophy in 1977 as the QMJHL best defenceman of the year.  He had 92 points and 267 PIM in 70 games.  The Washington Capitals selected him 3rd overall in the 1977 NHL Amateur draft.
  Picard grew up, and played his junior hockey in Montreal and thus was an avid fan of the Montreal Canadiens.  The Capitals were able to secure his NHL rights before the Montreal Canadiens had a chance to select Picard.  Although there was one other possibility.  The WHA was still around and kicking, and there was a chance the Quebec Nordiques could draft and sign Picard.  The WHA held its draft a week after the NHL had theirs.  The Capitals signed Picard to a contract on the same day they drafted him.  This was not enough to scare the Nordiques away, as the Nordiques drafted Picard 37th overall in the WHA draft and then also signed Picard to a contract.  Picard was now under contract to the Capitals in the NHL and the Nordiques in the WHA.
  The Nordiques offer was about $50,000 more and they also had homefield, or provincial, advantage over the Capitals.  Picard was adamant about playing in Quebec and even stated "I would rather deliver pizzas in Quebec" than play for Washington.  The contract with the Quebec Nordiques was ruled void by WHA president Howard Baldwin, based on a 1974 agreement between the leagues that the WHA would not sign players under NHL contracts.  Picard reluctantly joined the Washington Capitals in time for the 1977 training camp.  As fate would have it, the Capitals visited the Quebec Nordiques for a cross-league exhibition on October 12, 1977.  During the game, a pizza was thrown on the ice.  No word if Picard delivered the pizza off the ice.
  Picard scored 37 points in his rookie season and then followed it up with a career best 21 goals and 65 points.  The next season his totals took a slight dip to 11 goals and 54 points.  He also set a career high of 122 PIM, which is surprising since his NHL career high was less than half of his QMJHL career low in PIM, 267.  The Capitals sold high on Picard in the 1980 offseason and dealt Picard in a package deal to the Toronto Maple Leafs for goalie Mike Palmateer.  OPC caught wind of the trade and Picard got the airbrush treatment for the 80-81 set.  Since it was Picard's only card as a Leaf, I decided to give Picard a proper card as a Leaf.

1980-81 OPC Robert Picard

  Picard was selected to play in the 1981 All-Star game as the lone representative for the Leafs.  I found this very strange since the Leafs also had defencemen Borje Salming and Ian Turnbull, and neither were injured at the time of the All-Star game.  Picard had 25 points and a -32 by the all-star break compared to Salming's  58pts and +3, and Turnbull's 53pts and -7.  Why Salming or Turnbull didn't play instead is beyond me.  Picard would not return to Toronto as he was traded on the day of the All-Star game to the Montreal Canadiens for goalie Michel Laroque.
 Picard was finally a Montreal Canadien.  Unfortunately, it was not the homecoming Picard had hoped for.  The Canadiens entered the play-offs as the number three overall seed, but were swept by the coming-of-age Wayne Gretzky and Edmonton Oilers in the first round.  Picard had 72 points in 141 games over parts of four season with the Canadiens.  A month into the 1983-84 season, Picard was dealt to the Winnipeg Jets for a third round pick in the 1984 draft.  It is arguable the most important trade of the decade for the Canadiens.  They use the 3rd round pick to draft future HHOFer Patrick Roy.
  Picard played about two seasons with the Jets, scoring 12 goals in 84-85, it was his first time reaching double digits since 1980.  The following season he was dealt again, this time to the Quebec Nordiques.  The trade seemed to jump start Picard, as he collected 34pts in 48 games after the trade.  No reports of pizza this time.  He led the team in defenceman scoring even though he barely played half the season with the team.  Quebed won the Adams division but were promptly swept in the first round.  Picard spent three more full seasons with the Nordiques, scoring 28, 16, and 21 points.
  In his final season, Picard was traded mid-season once again, this time to the Detroit Red Wings.  Including his stats with Quebec, he finished the season with 0 goals and 8 assists in 44 games.  Even with the junk wax explosion of 1990, Robert Picard was absent from cardboard.  The Red Wings designated Picard to the minors at the end of training camp, instead Picard retired.
  Picard came out of junior as a top prospect who could score and fight.  Early in his career he did some scoring but never show the same truculence as he did in junior.  He had 1282 PIM in 282 games in the QMJHL, or 4.54 PIM per game.  In the NHL, he average 1.14 for his career and had a career high of 1.71 PIM per game with the Canadiens in 81-82.  It is interesting how he left that part of his game in junior and never returned to it during his career in the NHL, even after it was evident he would not be a top offensive defenceman.
  Picard's last card was part of the 1989-90 OPC set.  He never had a card as a Red Wing.  So here is the Lost Card of Robert Picard.

1990-91 OPC #529 Robert Picard
1990-91 OPC #529 Robert Picard

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Lost Rookies: 1985-86 OPC Mats Thelin

  Mats Thelin was a star defenceman in Sweden before making the move to play in the NHL.  The Boston Bruins drafted Thelin in the 7th round in 1981.  Thelin continued to play in Sweden until 1984.  Sweden had a big year in International hockey in 1984.  They won a bronze medal at the Olympics in Yugosalvia, and then shockingly won the silver medal at the Canada Cup.  Thelin had 4pts in 8 games during the Canada Cup.
  Thelin, 23 years old, stayed in North America after the Canada Cup and joined the Boston Bruins.  He set career highs in his rookie season with 18pts in 73 games.  He suffered through numerous lower body injuries during his short NHL career.  He missed games due to foot, knee and groin injuries.  Over the next two seasons, he played in 90 games our of 160.  He finished both the 85-86 and 86-87 seasons on the injured reserve.  After the 86-87 season, Thelin returned to Sweden to play professionally.  He retired from professional hockey in 1994.
  Thelin was a suggestion from reader Mike.  Thelin never had a NHL card.  He never made the 85-86 set and injuries limited him from making any subsequent sets.  So behold, the Lost Rookie of Mats Thelin.

1985-86 OPC #275 Mats Thelin (RC)

1985-86 OPC #275 Mats Thelin (RC)