Showing posts with label bobby orr. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bobby orr. Show all posts

Thursday, March 3, 2016

6 Must Have 1968-69 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Cards

The 1968-69 O-Pee-Chee NHL hockey card set was significant for a few important reasons. It marked the first O-Pee-Chee set since the very early 1940’s. It also marked the first time players from the 1967 NHL expansion teams were featured on cardboard.
The set consists of 216 cards, 84 than the Topps sister set. The book value for a full set of 216 is $2,500 while a common card is valued at $8. Like all sports card set, this one celebrates the season before, in this case, the 1967-68 National Hockey League season.

While the whole set is important to any hockey card collector, there are six must have 1968-69 O-Pee-Chee cards. Not surprisingly, three of the six feature Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins.

Bobby Orr - 2

bobby orr boston bruins 1968-69 opc hockey card
The number 2 card is the most valuable with a book value of $350 and is the regular card of Bobby Orr. $350 is great but a far cry from the $3,000 his 1966-67 Topps rookie card is valued at but still one of the more valuable Bobby Orr hockey cards. 1967-68 was Orr’s second year in the league and, due to injury, played just 46 of Boston’s 74 regular season games. The star defenseman scored eleven goals and assisted on 20 for 31 points.

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, Orr played all of Boston’s four games as the Bruins were swept in the opening round by the Montreal Canadiens. This was significant as it was Boston’s first playoff series since 1958-59 when they fell in the opening round to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It meant that the building of a championship team had begun and in just two short years, the team would hold the Stanley Cup.


Checklist - 121

1968-69 o-pee-chee checklist hockey card
The number 121 card is a simple checklist. Yet, this hockey card is valued at $250. Checklists first appeared as part of the 1961-62 Topps set. Often, checklists from vintage hockey card set are valued high.
In some cases, they are the most valuable cards in the set. Why? The checklist was a booby prize. These unwanted cards were often thrown away without a second thought. It is due to shear scarcity that they are sought after cards decades later.

Bernie Parent - 89

bernie parent philadelphia flyers 1968-69 opc rookie card
The number 89 card is the highest valued rookie card in the 1968-69 O-Pee-Chee set. Also valued at $250, this card features goaltender Bernie Parent of the Philadelphia Flyers. Bernie’s NHL career started in 1965-66 with the Boston Bruins. Despite being the number one goalie on the team and playing in 39 of Boston’s 70 regular season games, Topps did not release a hockey card with his mug on the front.

1967-68 was Bernie’s third year in the NHL. He probably would have been part of the 1967-68 Topps set but, as mentioned, players from the six expansion teams were not included for some reason. Parent played in the NHL until the end of the 1978-79 season. In 1973-74 and 1974-75, he helped the Flyers win consecutive Stanley Cup championships. In each of those seasons, Bernie was awarded the Vezina Trophy and the Conn Smythe Trophy. He is now a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Bobby Orr - 200

bobby orr boston bruins 1968-69 opc all-star hockey card
The number 200 card shows Bobby Orr as a First Team All-Star. This card is valued at $150 and is the highest valued of the all-star cards. 1967-68 was the first of eight consecutive years that Orr was named a First Team All-Star defenseman.

The other defenseman on the First Team was Tim Horton of the Toronto Maple Leafs. None of Bobby’s Boston teammates were on the first squad but Phil Esposito was Second Team centre and Johnny Bucyk was Second Team left wing.

Bobby Orr - 214

bobby orr boston bruins norris trophy 1968-69 opc hockey card
The number 214 card is yet another belonging to Bobby Orr of the Bruins. This time, Orr is being honoured as the recipient of the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman. Like his all-star selections, this marked the first of eight consecutive times he would win the award.

This is the highest valued of the special trophy cards in the set. The next most valuable belongs to a teammate of Orr. Derek Sanderson is on the front of card number 213 as the Calder Trophy winner as rookie of the year. Bobby Orr won the same award the year before.

Gordie Howe - 29

gordie howe detroit red wings 1968-69 opc hockey card
The number 29 card belongs to the great Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings. This card is valued at $100 and is a long, long way from the 1951-52 Parkhurst Gordie Howe rookie card that has a book value of $3,000.

In 1967-68, Howe scored 39 goals and assisted on 43 for 82 points while playing all 74 regular season games for Detroit. He placed third in the NHL for goals, behind Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita of the Chicago Blackhawks. Howe was eighth in the league for assists and third in the race for the Art Ross Trophy behind Mikita and Phil Esposito.

Gordie did this all on a Red Wings team that finished last in the six team Eastern Division and second last overall in the 12 team NHL. Detroit had the second most goals scored in the league but they also allowed more goals than any other team in the NHL in 1967-68.

Friday, August 22, 2014

In An NHL Without Wayne Gretzky And Mario Lemieux

wayne gretzky edmonton oilers 1985-86 o-pee-chee
There’s no question that the National Hockey League’s record books are dominated by Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Between the two, they own the top 12 single season performances in total assists, the top 13 point totals and three of the top four goal totals. What if neither had existed? What would the record books look like today?

·         Steve Yzerman would hold the points record with 155 points

·         Bobby Orr would still hold the record for most assists in a season

·         Brett Hull would hold the record for most goals

Of course, the butterfly effect would be in effect and guys like Jari Kurri, Bernie Nicholls, Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr and Paul Coffey, although stars, may not have had such great numbers without the help of the Great One and Super Mario. And, of course, this is purely hypothetical as time travel has not been invented yet.

Gretzky will most likely forever hold the record for goals, assists and points in a season. His 92 goals in 1981-82 are pretty much untouchable, although Brett Hull made a pretty good run at it in 1990-91. If the two greats had never played the game, the record for most goals in a single NHL season would belong to Hull at 86 while playing for the St. Louis Blues.

Following ten goals behind would be a trio of players at 76 goals. Phil Esposito owned the record before Gretzky with his 76 goal performance with the Boston Bruins in 1970-71, a mark that was at the time thought to be unbeatable. Alexander Mogilny of the Buffalo Sabres and Teemu Selanne of the Winnipeg Jets both scored 76 in 1992-93. Mogilny’s total is a Buffalo Sabres record. Selanne still holds the record for most goals by an NHL rookie.

Wayne Gretzky’s record of 163 assists in 1985-86 is 61 more than the next non-dynamic duo mark. Bobby Orr would be our record holder with the 102 assists he accumulated during the 1970-71 season. The 102 is still a team record and the most by any defenseman in NHL history. Orr is the only player other than Gretzky and Lemieux to top 100 assists in a single season.

Close behind with 97 assists is another Boston Bruin. Adam Oates achieved this total in 1992-93. Ironically, the third highest total belongs to Joe Thornton with 96. Joe played the first half of the 2005-06 season with the Bruins before being traded to the San Jose Sharks.

Take away the top thirteen point totals in NHL history, including Gretzky’s record 215 in 1985-86 and you’re left with Steve Yzerman as the leading man. Yzerman totaled 155 points in 1988-89 with the Detroit Red Wings. That was good enough for just third in the race for the Art Ross Trophy as Lemieux had 199 and Gretzky had 168.

Phil Esposito’s 152 points in that magic 1970-71 Boston Bruins season stands the test of time and would be the second best without the duo. Bring out the asterix for numbers three and four. Bernie Nicholls totaled 150 points in 1988-89 with the help of Wayne Gretzky and Jaromir Jagr had 149 in 1995-96 with the help of Lemieux. The next two on the list would be Pat Lafontaine with his 148 points with the Buffalo Sabres in 1992-93 and Mike Bossy with 147 with the New York Islanders in 1981-82.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

1974-75 NHL Season By The Numbers

washington capitals 1974-75 o-pee-chee
The 1974-75 National Hockey League season featured the Philadelphia Flyers finishing first overall and winning their second Stanley Cup championship in a row. It would be the end of a great run for the Broad Street Bullies as the following season would see the Montreal Canadiens enter their dynasty of four consecutive Stanley Cups.

1 – The Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals played their inaugural season in the National Hockey League. The Capitals stayed put and are a threat in the NHL today. The Scouts didn’t last long in Kansas City, moving first to Denver to become the Colorado Rockies then to the east coast to become the present day New Jersey Devils.

12Bernie Parent recorded twelve shutouts while leading the Philadelphia Flyers to the lowest goals against total in the NHL. The next best goaltender in the league had six shutouts. Parent earned the Vezina Trophy and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup playoffs MVP.

51 – The Philadelphia Flyers were the only team to achieve the 50 win plateau in 1974-75. Their 113 points tied put them in a three-way tie for first overall with the Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens. The Los Angeles Kings were the only other team to cross the 100-point threshold with 105. Philadelphia was the top team in the Clarence Campbell Conference and the Patrick Division.

67 – The upstart Washington Capitals lost 67 of 80 games in 1974-75. The Capitals won just eight, the lowest total ever recorded since the league moved to a 70 game schedule for the 1949-50 season. Expansion cousins, the Kansas City Scouts, fared a little better, winning 15, losing 54 and tying 11.

135Bobby Orr won the second Art Ross Trophy of his career with 135 points. Orr finished eight points ahead of teammate Phil Esposito and fourteen ahead of Marcel Dionne of the Detroit Red Wings. Orr won his first Art Ross in 1969-70 and is the only defenseman to win the award.

374 – The Montreal Canadiens led the NHL with 374 goals. Guy Lafleur was tops on the team with 53. Ten Montreal players had 20 or more goals and five scored 30 or more. The league leader in goals was Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins with 61.

1,047Eddie Shack, ‘The Entertainer’, played his 1,047th and final game in the National Hockey League. Shack played 26 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1974-75 before retiring. Eddie started in the NHL way back in 1958-59 with the New York Rangers. Along the way, he also played for the Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins.


Monday, May 26, 2014

3 Norris Trophy Winners From The Boston Bruins

bobby orr boston bruins norris trophy
The James Norris Memorial Trophy was introduced to the NHL in 1953-54, awarded to the league’s top defenseman. The inaugural winner of the award was Red Kelly of the Detroit Red Wings, a player who spent half his career as a defenseman and half as a forward. However, it has been the Boston Bruins that have dominated the award since. Just three Boston blue liners have won the Norris Trophy but those three account for 14 victories. By 2008-09, that accounted for around a quarter of the winners.

Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr has won the Norris Trophy more times than any other player in NHL history. Orr won it eight times during his injury shortened career. Niklas Lidstrom came close with seven Norris Trophies with the Detroit Red Wings. What’s amazing is that Bobby won all eight in consecutive seasons, beginning in 1967-68 and ending in 1974-75. Orr played with the Bruins from 1966-67 to 1975-76. He retired from the NHL shortly into the 1978-79 season after a failed comeback with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bobby also won the Hart Memorial Trophy three times, the Conn Smythe Trophy twice and is the only defenseman in NHL history to capture the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer. He was selected as rookie of the year in 1966-67, earning the Calder Memorial Trophy. His 139 points in 1970-71 remain a record for most points in a season by a defenseman. Orr was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and had his number 4 retired by Boston in 1979.

Ray Bourque

Like Orr, Raymond Bourque won the Calder Trophy with Boston. He played with the Bruins from 1979-80 to 1999-00 and won the Norris Trophy five times. He won consecutively in 1986-87 and 1987-88 then again in 1989-90 and 1990-91. He won once more in 1993-94. Although not one of the rare defensemen to total 100 or more points in a season, Bourque reached 96 in 1983-84, 95 in 1986-87 and 94 in 1990-91.

At the trade deadline in 1999-00, the Bruins traded Bourque to the Colorado Avalanche. He finished out the season playing 14 regular season and 13 playoff games for Colorado. The following season, his last in the National Hockey League, Ray helped the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup championship, the only time Bourque has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.

After retiring following the 2000-01 season, Bourque immediately had his number 77 retired by Boston. He joined Bobby Orr in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara is the latest Boston Bruins defenseman to win the Norris Trophy. Chara is a one-time winner of the trophy, taking home the hardware in 2008-09 and breaking Nicklas Lidstrom’s three year reign. The New York Islanders took Zdeno in third round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, 56th overall. He played three seasons with the Islanders before moving to the Ottawa Senators and coming into his own as a star defenseman. Chara came over to the Bruins in 2006-07 and has starred with the club since. He surpassed the 1,100 NHL regular season game plateau in 2013-14.

Chara is in the running for the Norris in 2013-14. Nominees include Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators and Zdeno. Duncan Keith won the award in 2009-10, the year after Chara, while a member of the Blackhawks. This is Keith’s second time nominated for the award. Shea Weber has never won the Norris Trophy but has been nominated two times before.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

NHL Hockey Trivia: Denis Potvin

denis potvin new york islanders hockey card 1977-78 o-pee-chee
Denis Potvin was to be the next Bobby Orr when picked by the New York Islanders in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft. Although not quite achieving the greatness of Orr, Potvin’s career went down as one of the greatest ever for a defenseman.

Test and expand your hockey trivia knowledge of Islanders great, Denis Potvin, with the following four hockey trivia questions.

Q. In what year did Denis Potvin become only the second defenseman in NHL history to surpass 100 points in a single regular season?

A. Potvin contributed 101 points in 1978-79 for the New York Islanders while missing seven games. Denis became the second defenseman to accomplish the feat with Bobby Orr being the first. Just Paul Coffey, Al MacInnis and Brian Leetch have reached the plateau since.

Q. What Ontario Hockey League team’s record does Denis Potvin still hold for most points by a defenseman in a single season?

A. Potvin had 35 goals and 88 assists for 123 points in just 61 games in 1972-73 for the Ottawa 67’s. The total stood as an OHL record until Bryan Fogarty had 155 with the Niagara Falls Thunder in 1988-89.

Q. The New York Islanders retired number 5 in honour of Denis Potvin in 1992. His number is also retired by the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s, however it is not number 5. Which number is retired by the Ottawa 67’s in honour of Potvin?

A. Denis Potvin wore number 7 with the Ottawa 67’s and that is the number that is retired for Denis, as well as Doug Wilson. When Potvin arrived with the Islanders for the 1973-74 season, despite being the first overall pick, he lost number seven to Germain Gagnon who was in his second season with the Islanders and was therefore the veteran. Gagnon made it 62 games into the season before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. Potvin could have reclaimed the jersey number but chose to stick with number 5. Gagnon made it two more seasons in the NHL before retiring with the Kansas City Scouts after the 1975-76 season.

Q. To this day, in which NHL arena will you hear the chant, “Potvin Sucks”?

A. Of course, Madison Square Garden, the home of the New York Rangers when the Islanders cross the river to play their rivals. Some people still have the nerve to argue that Toronto and Montreal have the most heated rivalry in the NHL. It just doesn’t compare to the hatred that Islanders and Rangers fans have for each other.

Bonus: Denis Potvin won the Max Kaminsky Trophy twice, 1971-72 and 1972-73, as the Ontario Hockey League’s top defenseman. He also won the James Norris Trophy three times as the NHL’s top defenseman.

Potvin is one of just three players to win the Kaminsky Trophy on more than one occasion. The other two are Bryan Berard and Ryan Ellis. There are also just three players that have won both the Kaminsky Trophy and Norris Trophy. The other two are Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

1985-86 Edmonton Oilers: Stanley Cup Playoff Train Wreck

wayne gretzky edmonton oilers 1985-86 o-pee-chee hockey card
1985-86 was the year the National Hockey League changed rules to try and keep the Edmonton Oilers from obliterating the league’s scoring records. From 1985 to 1993, the NHL allowed teams to play five on five instead of four on four when coincidental minors were handed out. Unofficially, the rule was changed because the Oilers were unstoppable in a four-on-four situation.

1985-86 was also a year when the Edmonton Oilers should have cruised to a Stanley Cup victory. Instead, they allowed the Calgary Flames to oust them from the playoffs in the second round. The series went the full seven games with neither team winning consecutive games and Calgary outscoring Edmonton by a slight margin at 25-24 on the series. Both Edmonton and Calgary had easily swept in their opening round. The Oilers took out the Canucks in three and the Flames took out the Jets in three. Calgary reached the Stanley Cup final before bowing out to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.

That season, the Oilers won 56 games while losing only 17 and tying 7 for 119 points. The point total was thirty more than the Flames, who were second in the Clarence Campbell Conference. They Oilers were nine points better than the Philadelphia Flyers who were first in the Prince of Wales Conference. Coincidentally, the Flyers were knocked out in the first round by the New York Rangers who finished the season with just 78 points and were two games below .500.

Edmonton players set National Hockey League individual records that season and several still stand today. Of them, Wayne Gretzky’s 215 points and 163 assists are the records that likely will remain for an eternity. Gretzky also tied the NHL mark for most assists in a single game with seven. Paul Coffey scored 48 goals which stands as the most goals scored by a defenseman in one season. Paul eclipsed the previous mark of 46 set by Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins in 1974-75. Coffey also set the record for the longest point streak for defenseman at 28 games.

Edmonton players dominated the NHL’s top ten in the race for the Art Ross Trophy. Wayne Gretzky was 74 points ahead of the number two man in the league, Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who totalled 141 points. Paul Coffey came in third with 138 points, one less than Bobby Orr’s record for defenseman set in 1970-71. Jari Kurri finished fourth in the NHL with 131 points and led the league with 68 goals. Unfortunately for Kurri, the Rocket Richard Trophy didn’t come into existence for another decade and a half.

The Oilers took home the hardware at the NHL awards ceremony in 1985-86. Gretzky was awarded the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer and the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP. The Oilers won the President’s Trophy for the highest point total during the National Hockey League regular season. Glen Sather won the Jack Adams Award as the top coach despite having a team full of ringers and experiencing such a playoff disappointment. Of course, Paul Coffey won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman.

Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey were selected to the NHL’s First Team All-Star team and Jari Kurri made Second Team. Nine Edmonton Oilers players appeared in the NHL’s All-Star Game in 1985-86. Other than Gretzky, Coffey and Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Lee Fogolin, Grant Fuhr, Kevin Lowe, Mark Messier and Andy Moog appeared. Ironically, with such an offensively laden team, their Campbell Conference team lost a low-scoring affair to the Wales Conference squad.

The Oilers learned from their playoff disaster. The following season, Gretzky scored 32 less points, the team scored 54 less goals, had seven less wins and 13 less points. Edmonton still won the President’s Trophy but with only 106 points. Most importantly, they won the Stanley Cup in seven games over the Philadelphia Flyers. As for the Calgary Flames, they lost in the opening round in 1986-87 to the Winnipeg Jets in six games.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NHL Hockey Trivia: Bobby Orr

bobby orr 1975-76 o-pee-chee all-star boston bruins
Arguably the best defenseman to ever play the game of hockey, Bobby Orr is a legend in NHL history. Orr played with the Boston Bruins and Chicago Black Hawks over an injury shortened career that spanned from 1966-67 to 1978-79.

Test and expand your hockey trivia knowledge of Bobby Orr with the following four trivia questions.

Q. In 1969-70 and 1974-75, Bobby Orr became the only defenseman to ever win which NHL award?

A. With 120 points in 1969-70 and 135 points in 1974-75, Orr remains the only defenseman to ever win the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top point-getter. Interestingly, his highest point total was 139 in 1970-71 but he came a distant second to teammate Phil Esposito and his 152 points that season.

The 139 points does still stand as an NHL record for most points in a single season by a defenseman. Paul Coffey came within a point of that mark in 1985-86. Playing for the Edmonton Oilers, Coffey scored 48 goals and assisted on 90 over 79 games. The 48 goals does stand as a National Hockey League record, eclipsing the 46 the Orr put up in 1974-75 with the Bruins.

Q. In what hockey card set was the Bobby Orr rookie card featured in?

A. The Bobby Orr rookie card was number 35 of the 1966-67 Topps series. The card has a book value of $3000, according to Beckett Hockey Monthly. Orr’s RC is by far the most valuable hockey card in the set. Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings is a distant second with a book value of $200.

Q. What was the first major NHL award won by Bobby Orr?

A. Bobby Orr won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1966-67 as the NHL’s top rookie. Orr scored 13 goals and totalled 41 points that season in 61 games, a far cry from his offensive explosiveness in the 1970’s.

Boston teammate Derek Sanderson won the award the following year. It would then be until the 1979-80 season before another member of the Bruins would be named rookie of the year in the NHL. In 1979-80, it was Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque. Sergei Samsonov and Andrew Raycroft have been the only Boston players to win the Calder Trophy since.

Q. In what year did Bobby Orr win the Lou Marsh Award?

A. Bobby Orr was the 1970 recipient of the Lou Marsh Award. The Lou Marsh is handed out each year to the top athlete in Canada. Bobby is one of eight NHL players to win the Lou Marsh. The other seven include Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Rocket Richard, Phil Esposito, Bobby Clarke, Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hockey's Highest Valued Hockey Card?

bert corbeau 1923-24 v145 vintage hockey card toronto st. patricks
Honus Wagner's famous 1909 baseball card gets worldwide attention for its selling value that is in the millions. What is the top valued hockey card?

Baseball has Honus Wagner. The 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card produced by the Piedmont Cigarette Company is the most valuable in existence. There are believed to be only sixty of these cards in the world and they have sold for millions.

What is the most valuable hockey card in existence? Where the Wagner card gets international attention each time it’s sold, very few know what hockey card sells for the most. It doesn’t quite fetch the millions that the Honus Wagner card does, but valued at $20,000, it’s not too shabby for a thin piece of old cardboard.

Since the early 1990’s, a great amount of attention has been paid to O-Pee-Chee’s #18 in their 1979-80 set. Of course, this card is the Wayne Gretzky rookie card. The card is valued at $800.00 today but has risen well over $1,000 in the past. High quality reprints that have found their way onto the market have tainted the value of the original card.

Only about thirteen years before, a set was produced by Topps that contained the rookie card of the great Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins. This card, with the front face looking like an old style television screen, was the 1966-67 Topps #35. The Bobby Orr rookie card is valued at $3,000 in mint condition.

The RCs of two other legends are also valued at $3,000. Chicago Blackhawks historical icon Bobby Hull had his first hockey card show up as the 1958-59 Topps #66. Seven years earlier, the 1951-52 Parkhurst #66 featured the rookie card of Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe. This was the first year that hockey cards were produced on a regular yearly basis and was eleven years after the closest previous set, the 1940-41 O-Pee-Chee V301 collection.

In fact, the first known hockey cards were produced in 1910-11 by Imperial Tobacco and were considerably smaller than the standard card size that we see today. The following year, the Imperial Tobacco set featured the great Georges Vezina in his rookie season. George, of course, is the goaltender that the NHL’s Vezina Trophy is named after. Vezina’s rookie card is valued at a cool $6,000.

From Vezina’s card, we take a huge jump to the next highest valued card. Harry Oliver played 16 seasons in the NHL from 1926-27 to 1936-37 with the Boston Bruins and the New York Americans. Oliver was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1967. His first card was produced in 1933-34 as part of the V129 set. Since this had been the first year in nine for hockey cards, Harry’s, like almost every other player’s, was a rookie card. Oliver’s was short printed. Because of this, the card is very rare today and is valued at $15,000.

Bert “Pig Iron” Corbeau is not a well-known name. Yet, Corbeau’s 1923-24 V145-1 #25 is the hockey card with the world’s highest book value. Corbeau had a ten year National Hockey League career with the Montreal Canadiens, Hamilton Tigers and Toronto St. Pats (predecessor to the Maple Leafs) from 1917-18 to 1926-27. He was part of the Montreal’s first Stanley Cup championship team, the first player to play for both Montreal and Toronto during his career and the first player to record 100 penalty minutes in one season. Corbeau’s rookie card from 1923-24 is valued at $20,000 but expect to pay much more if one can be found for sale.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

5 Greats From Hockey Hall Of Fame That Started Out In The OHL

bobby orr 1975-76 o-pee-chee hockey card boston bruins
Even those who aren’t hockey fans have heard the names Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky or Steve Yzerman. Like any other professional sport, hockey has its iconic heroes. What might not be known is that a great number of hockey’s superstars started out playing junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League. What follows is a list of five greats that played in the OHL and went on to NHL careers worthy of a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Steve Yzerman – Peterborough Petes

Steve Yzerman played two seasons with the OHL’s Peterborough Petes in 1981-82 and 1982-83. Yzerman was a first round pick of the Detroit Red Wings in the 1983 NHL draft, fourth overall. Steve went on to a twenty-two year NHL career, all with the Red Wings. He captained Detroit for his last nineteen seasons, an NHL record for the longest serving captain. He is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and a two-time Olympian. He is sixth overall in the NHL for most career points and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

Phil Esposito – St. Catherines TeePees

Phil Esposito played just one season in the OHL in 1961-62 with the St. Catherines TeePees. Phil started his NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1964-65 but it was after being traded to the Boston Bruins for the 1967-68 season when Esposito became an NHL superstar. Phil spent eight full seasons with the Bruins and scored over 100 points in six of those. Phil was the holder of the NHL record for most goals (76) and points (152) in a season until Wayne Gretzky came along. Phil finished up his seventeen year NHL career with the New York Rangers and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984.

Denis Potvin – Ottawa 67’s

Denis Potvin played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 1968-69 to 1972-73, all with the Ottawa 67’s. Potvin was the number one overall pick in the 1973 NHL draft. Denis went on to a fifteen year NHL career, all with the New York Islanders. Eight of his seasons on Long Island were as captain of the team. He was part of four Stanley Cup winning teams and was a three time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL’s best defenseman. Denis was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.

Bobby Orr – Oshawa Generals

Bobby Orr played three seasons with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals from 1963-64 to 1965-66. Orr’s NHL career was cut short at twelve seasons by devastating knee injuries. Over his final three seasons, Bobby played just 36 games and missed the entire 1977-78 season. His ten years with the Boston Bruins were nothing less than spectacular. He has six consecutive 100+ point seasons, unheard of for a defenseman. He still stands as the only defenseman to win the Art Ross Trophy as NHL leading scorer with 139 points in 1970-71. He won two Stanley Cups and eight Norris Trophies. Orr was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 at the age of 31. Bobby stands today as the youngest player to enter the hall.

Wayne Gretzky – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Wayne Gretzky played just one full season in the Ontario Hockey League. Gretzky was a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1977-78. The previous year, he played just three games with the Peterborough Petes as a 15 year old. His 182 points that season were surprisingly not the best in the league, but do stand as the OHL record for most points in a single season by a first year player. Wayne played twenty years in the NHL, fourteen as team captain. Gretzky hold countless single season and career records. Wayne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

NHL's Norris Trophy: A History Of Hoarding

bobby orr 1970-71 o-pee-chee norris trophy hockey card
The James Norris Memorial Trophy has been awarded each National Hockey League season since 1953-54, honouring the league’s best defenseman. It’s a historical fact that this award is for a very privileged few. By the end of the 2010-11 season, the Norris Trophy had been given out 55 times. Just four players account for 27 of the 55 winners which equates to slightly more than 49%. Since, 2010-11, the award has been spread out to two first time winners.

Bobby Orr

The group of four is headed by Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr. Orr won the Norris Trophy in eight straight seasons from 1967-68 to 1974-75. Of course, this is just a portion of the hardware in Orr’s trophy case. During that eight year run, he won the Art Ross Trophy as league scoring leader twice (the only defenseman to win the award). He was also awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player for three consecutive years from 1969-70 to 1971-72. If Orr’s NHL career didn’t come to a premature end due to knee injuries, there’s no knowing how many more times he would have won the Norris.

Doug Harvey

Doug Harvey won the Norris Trophy seven times, one less than Bobby Orr. After Red Kelly won the inaugural Norris Trophy in 1953-54 as a member of the Detroit Red Wings, Doug Harvey took over. He won four in a row from 1954-55 to 1957-58 as a Montreal Canadien. In 1958-59, Canadiens teammate, Tom Johnson, won the award. From 1959-60 to 1961-62, Harvey won another three in a row, two as a member of the Habs and his final one as a member of the New York Rangers.

Niklas Lidstrom

Tied with Doug Harvey is Niklas Lidstrom. The man who took over the leadership role with the Detroit Red Wings when Steve Yzerman retired won the Norris three years in a row from 2000-01 to 2002-03 and then again from 2005-06 to 2007-08. Lidstrom won one last Norris Trophy in 2010-11. Niklas retired after the 2011-12 season and is destined for the Hockey Hall of Fame. His number 5 will be retired by the Red Wings in March, 2014.

Raymond Bourque

Rounding out the group with his name engraved on the Norris Trophy five times is another Boston Bruins great, Raymond Bourque. Despite playing 22 seasons in the NHL, Bourque’s five Norris Trophy victories came over just an eight year span from 1986-87 to 1993-94. Bourque is the NHL’s all-time leader among defensemen in career goals and points. He is the NHL’s all-time leader in shots on goal with nearly one thousand more than the next on the list.

3 Time Winners

Add in four three-time winners and it really becomes apparent that the Norris Trophy is for a very select few of the most elite defensemen to play the game. Pierre Pilote of the Chicago Blackhawks won three times in the mid 1960’s. Denis Potvin won his three with the New York Islanders during their dynasty years of the early 1980’s. When Ray Bourque wasn’t winning it in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Paul Coffey and Chris Chelios were. Coffey did it with the Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings. Chelios did it with the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks. Of course, with the exception of Lidstrom, every player named in this article is now enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. As mentioned, as soon as Lidstrom is eligible, it would be the crime of the century if he is not inducted immediately.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

NHL Hockey Trivia: Boston Bruins and the Hart Trophy

bobby orr 1970-71 o-pee-chee hart trophy boston bruins hockey card
The Hart Memorial Trophy was first handed out in 1923-24. The Boston Bruins began play in the National Hockey League the following season. Since that time, five different Boston players have won the Hart Trophy a total of 12 times in a time spanning from 1933 to 1974. Test and expand your knowledge of the Boston Bruins and the Hart Memorial Trophy with the following four hockey trivia questions and answers.

Q. What Boston Bruins player won the Hart Memorial Trophy on four occasions?

A. Eddie Shore won the Hart four times during the 1930’s, his first in 1932-33 and his last in 1937-38. The only other winners of the trophy during that decade either played for the Montreal Canadiens or the Montreal Maroons. Just Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe have won the Hart more times that Eddie Shore.

Shore played nearly his entire National Hockey League career with the Bruins. From 1926-27 until four games into the 1939-40 season, he played for Boston. He finished his NHL career that same year with ten games for the New York Americans. Eddie was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947. The Eddie Shore Award is now given out to the top defenseman in the American Hockey League.

Q. Over the 12 times a Boston Bruins player has won the Hart Trophy, only twice has the team won the Stanley Cup in the same season. Which one of the Bruins was the recipient of the Hart Trophy in both those years?

A. The Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 1969-70 and 1971-72. In both years, Bobby Orr won the Hart Memorial Trophy. He also won in 1970-71 and is one of only two NHL players to win on three or more consecutive occasions. The other, of course, is Wayne Gretzky. Orr played for Boston from 1966-67 to 1975-76 in an injury shortened Hockey Hall of Fame career.

Q. Which Hart Trophy winner from the Boston Bruins went on to coach the team for eleven years after retiring as a player?

A. Milt Schmidt won the Hart Trophy in 1950-51. He began the 1954-55 season as a player and took over the head coaching role midway through the season. He coached the Bruins until the end of the 1965-66 season. He returned to coach in the NHL one last time in 1974-75, standing behind the Washington Capitals bench for just seven games.

Q. Who is the only Boston Bruins player to win the Hart Trophy but not have his jersey number retired by the team?

A. Bill Cowley won the Hart in 1940-41 and 1942-43. He was a point per game player over his career that spanned from 1935-36 to 1946-47. Cowley is enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Yet, the Bruins have not honoured his number 10.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hockey Trivia: NHL Records Not Belonging to Wayne Gretzky

bobby orr boston bruins 1970-71 o-pee-chee art ross trophy
Believe it or not, there are actually some individual NHL records not owned by Wayne Gretzky. Of course, you have to look to categories that Wayne didn’t involve himself in like penalties and defenseman scoring.

Test and expand your knowledge of the NHL’s single season individual records with these four trivia questions.

Q. Who holds the record for the most goals in a single NHL season by a defenseman?

A. No, it’s not Bobby Orr. Paul Coffey broke Orr’s record of 46 goals during the 1985-86 season when he put 48 past opposing goaltenders. Coffey and Orr are the only defensemen to score 40 or more in a single season with Coffey doing it twice and Orr just the once.

The only current blue liner to surpass 30 in a season is Mike Green of the Washington Capitals, scoring 31 in 2008-09. The list of defensemen throughout the history of the NHL scoring 30 or more in a season is slim with just Doug Wilson, Kevin Hatcher, Ray Bourque, Denis Potvin and Phil Housley added to Coffey, Orr and Green.

Q. With 76, what player holds the record for the most goals by a rookie?

A. Teemu Selanne of the Winnipeg Jets broke Mike Bossy’s previous record by a whopping 23 goals in 1992-93. Selanne, Bossy and Joe Nieuwendyk are the only first year NHL players to surpass the 50 goal plateau.

In a weird twist of fate, Selanne did not share the league lead in goal scoring in 1992-93. Alexander Mogilny of the Buffalo Sabres also scored 76. Mogilny was in his fourth year in the National Hockey League and nearly doubled his previous career high of 39 goals, set the previous year. Mogilny would surpass the 50 goal plateau just once more in his career while Selanne would do it just twice more.

Q. Who holds the record for the most points in a single season by a defenseman?

A. No, it’s not Paul Coffey! Bobby Orr won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading point getter in 1970-71 with 139 points. Orr still remains the only defenseman to win the Art Ross. Coffey came within one point of the record with 138 in 1985-86.

Just five defensemen in NHL history have topped the 100 point plateau. Along with Coffey and Orr, Denis Potvin, Al MacInnis and Bryan Leetch have accomplished the feat. Leetch was the last to do it with 102 points way back in 1991-92, over 20 years ago.

Q. What 1970’s super goon holds the record for the most penalty minutes in a single season?

A. Dave ‘The Hammer’ Schultz sat out 472 minutes in the penalty box during the 1974-75 season. This number amounts to nearly eight whole hours in the sin bin! Paul Baxter was the next closest challenger with just 409 minutes in 1981-82.

Current member of the Calgary Flames, Brian McGrattan, holds the American Hockey League record with 551 PIM in 2004-05 with the Binghamton Senators. Joel Theriault, a fourth round pick by the Washington Capitals in 1995, holds the CHL record with 573 PIM in 1995-96 in a QMJHL season split between the Halifax Mooseheads and Drummondville Voltigeurs.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hockey Trivia: 1971-72 Boston Bruins

bobby orr boston bruins o-pee-chee hockey cardBefore 2011, the 1972 Boston Bruins were the last to bring the Stanley Cup to Beantown. The 1971-72 Boston Bruins can be considered among the top National Hockey League teams of all time, losing just 13 of 78 games during the regular season and finishing ten points beyond the second place team before storming their way to the Stanley Cup victory.

Test and expand your hockey trivia knowledge of the 1972 Boston Bruins with the following four hockey trivia questions:

Q. What Bruins player was the team leader in both goals and points in 1971-72?

A. Phil Esposito, coming off a record 76 goals and 152 points in 1970-71, led the team with lower, but still impressive, numbers than the year before. Esposito finished out the year with 66 goals and 130 points.

There’s a bit of an asterix here as Esposito tied Bobby Orr for the team lead with 24 points during the playoffs. In the goals department, Esposito, John Bucyk and Ken Hodge all tied for the team lead in the post season with nine each. Assists? It was all Bobby Orr. Orr led the team during the regular season with 80 assists and led in the playoffs with 19.

Q. Each of the Boston Bruins goaltending tandem finished off the 1971-72 season with an equal 27 wins. Although Gerry Cheevers is thought of when the topic of Boston goaltenders from the 1970’s comes up, who was the goalie that platooned with Cheevers that season?

A. Eddie Johnston quietly had the same number of wins, although his goals against average was slightly higher than that of Gerry Cheevers. Johnston played in the National Hockey League from 1962-63 to 1977-78 with the Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks. His days in Chicago were limited to the final four games of his Eddie’s NHL career.

Q. What team did the Boston Bruins beat in the finals to win the 1972 Stanley Cup?

A. The Bruins met the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals and won the series in four games. The Rangers finished second overall in the NHL during the regular season, ten points behind the Bruins. The Rangers took out the Montreal Canadiens in the quarter-finals then swept the Chicago Black Hawks in the semi-finals to earn the match-up against Boston.

Even though the teams had both been in the NHL since the mid 1920’s, it was just the second time Boston and New York met in the Stanley Cup finals. The previous time came in 1928-29 with the Bruins sweeping the best of three series in two games.

Q. The Boston Bruins lost just thirteen games in 1971-72. One team was responsible for nearly a quarter of those losses. Which team did Boston lose three games to in the regular season?

A. Not too shockingly, the Bruins lost three to the Montreal Canadiens. Interestingly, two of the thirteen losses came at the hands of the lowly California Golden Seals. Seven of the thirteen losses came against teams that finished the year below .500.