Thursday, March 3, 2016

Opening a 1980/81 Hockey Card Pack

A while back I bought a few unopened packs of hockey cards from the era of my childhood. I'll  do a few posts of what I find inside over the next while. This 1980/81 Topps pack I got for $15 Canadian on eBay. Growing up in Canada,  I of course collected the O-Pee-Chee version of this release, not Topps. The Topps had a strange scratch-off over the player's name on the front of the card and was also a smaller set than its Canadian counterpart (264 cards to 396). Due to the smaller set, Topps misses out on the Mark Messier Rookie card but still has a the Ray Bourque Rookie and Wayne Gretzky Second year issues. Below are the cards in order from the pack I opened.
Borje Salming
First out of the pack, Maple Leafs Hall of Fame defender Borje Salming. He also has an All-Star card in this year's set, gaining a 2nd Team berth even though he finished second to Larry Robinson in Norris Trophy voting. After collecting 71 points in 79/80 he barely lost the 1st Team nod to rookie Ray Bourque. Good looking first card indeed, worth a couple of bucks.
Al MacAdam 
Minnesota North Star Al MacAdam was coming off a career year with 42 goals, 93 points and a Masterton Trophy win. Card is worth a buck.
Dale McCourt
McCourt was coming off a 30 goal, 81 point season (who wasn't in 1980?) The year before he had cost Detroit the draft pick that became Hall of Famer Larry Murphy in a compensation dispute with Los Angeles after the Red Wings signed free agent Rogie Vachon. Card worth a buck maybe.
Rich Leduc
Rich Leduc scored 21 goals and posted a minus 35 for the expansion Nordiques in his only full NHL season. Card worth a couple quarters.
George Ferguson 
Like Leduc, Ferguson potted 21 goals and his card is worth about 50 cents.
Larry Robinson 
Speaking of Larry Robinson, here's his All-Star card from this season. His 75 points was second among D-men to Mark Howe's 80, yet he still won the Norris and 1st Team All-Star. Card worth a couple bucks.
Lars Lindgren 
Canuck defender Lindgren had a career best 35 points in 79/80 anchoring a bullion that included Harold Snepsts, Kevin McCarthy and Dennis Kearns. Card worth 50 cents.
New York Rangers Leaders
Phil Esposito led the Rangers with 34 goals and 78 points in his last full NHL season. The next year he would drop to 20 points in 41 games before retiring as the second highest scorer in league history. Card worth a buck and a half.
NHL Assist Leaders
Boom, here we go. Gretzky, second year assist leader card. It's only worth about three dollars, but the memories of collecting this card as a nine year old kid are fantastic. The Great One would lead the NHL is helpers for a seriously ridiculous THIRTEEN straight seasons starting with this one. The other two guys on this card weren't too bad either.
Gilles Gilbert
Gilbert looks as shell-shocked as one would expect after being traded from powerhouse Boston to outhouse Detroit. Exchanged for Rogie Vachon, Gilbert had a 155-73-39 record with the Bruins with a GAA under 3.00. His three years with the Red Wings weren't quite as fruitful, going 21-48-16 with a GAA well over 4.00. His card here is worth about a dollar.
Philadelphia Flyers Poster
Here's probably the coolest thing about the 80/81 Topps set, they came with a foldout team photo poster. O-Pee-Chee did not have these. I sadly pulled the Flyers from this pack, every Leaf fan's least favourite team in the late 70's, early 80's. Even still, these go for about two dollars.

Overall, a real good vintage pack of cards, lot's of fun to open up. More to come!

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