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The Bad Hockey Card Blog

   This is a fun little project I have been wanting to do for a long time. It really has nothing to do with the league except to give people one more reason to stop by the site on a weekly basis and perhaps provide some comic relief, which is much needed as we know that rec ball hockey is generally some pretty serious shit!

   There is no shortage of terrible hockey cards out there and I am the not-so-proud owner of a bunch of them. So with that said, over the coming weeks and months, I will be marching out numerous examples of photographic misdeeds, oddities and downright "What were they thinking?" moments that should prove quite entertaining.

September 20th, 2016


   We've seen some ugly designs in this blog, but this one has to be at the top of any list of unfortunate graphic design concepts. I probably should have put a warning label on this one for anyone that is prone to having seizures. 

September 12th, 2016

Mmmmm... Bagels!

   This is a great card depicting Pat Flatley of the New York Islanders imagining how awesome it would be to eat some delicious bagels. In fact, you can tell by his expression that he's really excited about it! This was a laughable Pinnacle set that had players featured with their hobbies/passions. Apparently Pat owns a delicatessen with his brother, so this all makes some sort of sense, but it's still hard to imagine a little kid getting excited when opening a fresh pack with this bagel related hockey card in it. An elderly Jewish man on the other hand...

September 4th, 2016

Late Bloomer... VERY Late!

   Every now and again some errors seem to sneak through the proofreaders. Sometimes they are amusing in their own way as with this Pro Set Platinum card, featuring an extremely mature Michel Goulet as a "Prospect" despite the fact that he was nearly 15 years into his pro career at the time. The prospects of him putting up the 50 goal seasons he did as a youngster were slim to none at this point. Well, at least this card still had some belief in him!

July 9th, 2016

Yes, These Are Hockey Cards!

   With the NHL and now the NWBHL off for the summer break, the Bad Hockey Card Blog will follow suit and take a short hiatus until September. Fittingly, we will post this entry that perfectly symbolizes a break in the action. The "Be A Player" brand continues to deliver for this blog with yet another head-scratching set of what are supposed to be hockey cards. You probably wouldn't know that from first glance though. They are though, I swear!

June 24th, 2016

Draft Snub

   It's NHL Entry Draft Day! That means it's time to take a look back at that most infamous of moments from the draft's history. I speak, of course, about the Eric Lindros draft snub of the Quebec Nordiques. Though the incident was highly publicized, card companies largely shied away from the controversy... that is execpt for Pinnacle which released this card with Lindros carrying, but not donning the Nordiques jersey. It's seemingly the only card in existence that actually portrays the wild events of that day.

June 19th, 2016

Father Knows Best

   Happy Father's Day, everyone! The NHL is really great these days about getting family involved in events, so there are more than a few hockey cards out there of NHL dads doing the fatherly thing. Here are a few of my favourites.

June 13th, 2016

Of Penguins and Presidents

   With the Pittsburgh Penguins having just claimed another Stanley Cup, and the US Presidential race going absolutely bananas at the moment, what better time than now to unveil this beauty? Here we have Mario Lemieux presenting a jersey and replica Stanley Cup to then president George Bush (uh... the first one). The scene depicted on this Upper Deck card was actually a moment of awkward hilarity. Bush's speech just prior to this moment spoke of the heroics of Mario Lemieux and the leadership of the Mario Lemieux and the talent of Mario Lemieux. Then Lemieux steps up to the podium to present the president with these gifts and a bewildered Bush turns to him and says "And you are...?". Classic Bush!

June 1st, 2016

We're Doing This Now?!

   Robert Reichel seems less than pleased with this impromptu photo session. Yes, the life of an NHL'er isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it's autographing hockey sticks in full gear with pushy photographers in your face.

May 25th, 2016

Through The Wormhole

   This is perhaps the most bizarre hockey card in history. What makes it even more special is that this was actually from a set in the early 70's, back before the same old tired shots had been taken a million times, forcing card companies to become more creative. This was an early use of the fisheye lens that would come into heavier circulation in later decades, albeit much more extreme. I'm not sure if this distortion was planned, or perhaps something that just happened and the folks at Topps decided to run with it. Either way, this definitely made for one of the most unique hockey cards of all time! And my final thought is that if Hal 9000 were a hockey fan, is this what he'd see?

May 18th, 2016

Heeeeere's Johnny!

   Jarome Iginla has sure been on his fair share of odd hockey cards, and you can add this one to the mix as well. Here he is busting through a stick rack for some unknown reason. I'm not really sure if this was meant to pay homage to the infamous scene in The Shining where Jack Nicholson sticks his head through the door, but this card certainly gave me some good flashbacks to that moment. In any case, Jarome does sort of look like an axe murderer in this photo, so I guess the shoe fits.

May 12th, 2016

Great Moments In Crotch History

   I have to admit to being taken a little off guard by this Score subset. Why they chose to put these kids in such a... um... compromising position is beyond me. I'm not sure if anybody bothered to do a background check on this photographer or what, but there just seems to be something a little off about these cards.

May 5th, 2016

It Was All A Blur

   This, for some reason, is a card of Dion Phaneuf quickly brushing past a photographer, presumably on his way to the ice, or the locker room, or perhaps to the airport on his way out of town (which may explain why he's moving so fast). You can tell it happened fast because there's not bloody much in focus here, and what we do see of Phaneuf isn't particularly noteworthy. I honestly can't figure out how this picture got the green light to appear on a hockey card. I know Upper Deck has a penchant for using interesting photography, but this isn't interesting so much as just plain bad. It might have earned some marks if you could make out the mantras posted on the wall, the top one of which actually reads "Focus On The Details". Oh, the irony!

April 27th, 2016

Phil Watson - Stoner

   What a fantastic picture this is of Phil Watson while he was coaching the Bruins. He looks like he's baked out of his mind in this shot. Upon closer inspection, it appears that he may have suffered a recent eye injury, and by recent I mean about 10 seconds before this picture was taken. It kind of makes you wonder why they used this one, or at least decided to accentuate what was pretty clearly not his "good side". 

April 20th, 2016

"Now With Cleveland...All Of Them"

   It's a very common site to see recently acquired hockey players with the "Now With ______" notation on them. What you typically don't see, however, is an entire team getting traded on a hockey card. As it happens, this very event unfolded in 1976 as the Oakland Seals, packed up and moved to Cleveland to become the Barons.

April 14th, 2016

Colour (in)Correction

   1987-88 will forever be remembered as the year green went supernova, at least as far as this set is considered. This isn't even an example of a botched airbrush attempt, by the way. Dave Tippett had actually been with the Whalers for the previous four seasons. For whatever reason, the guy in charge of the colour correction on these photos was either colour blind or on crack! It's a problem on every green jersey in the set, be it the Hartford Whalers or Minnesota North Stars. 

April 6th, 2016

They Did This On Porpoise!

   I honestly didn't think that Jason Arnott would ever be able to surpass his fantastic waterslide card. Yet, to my surprise, the Be A Player brand goes and hits another one out of the park! Here's Jason (pictured left) having a close encounter with a dolphin (pictured right). Apparently the two struck up quite a friendship and remain pen pals to this day.

March 28th, 2016

It's So Sad 3D Hockey Cards Never Took Off

   This is a pretty interesting entry from the WHA days of the Quebec Nordiques. Richard Brodeur is apparently inventing the "Talk to the hand" gesture in this card photo. Back in the day, they didn't even have on ice photos for everyone, so photographers would occasionally come up with something more interesting to look at. We get an up close and personal look at King Richard's glove hand (Ya gotta love those classic 70's era pads!), while the rest of him remains somewhat out of the field of focus. You have to at least give them some points for trying!

March 22nd, 2016

That's Gonna Leave A Mark!

   Yeah, that's why we wear helmets. Keeping in line with the theme of stick fouls put forth by the previous BHCB entry, we proudly submit the this truly epic picture of Elmer "Moose" Vasko getting tattooed on the forehead by a hockey stick! You can really see by the expression on his face how much he is enjoying this chance encounter with a piece of lumber. Also check out the straightness of that blade. Even the toe is completely squared off! Back in the old days it was hip to be square.

March 15th, 2016

A Close Shave

   Bobby Clarke was known as one of the nastiest players in an age of nasty players. He's depicted here about to decapitate his Czech opponent in the '76 Canada Cup. This card is titled "Fast & Furious". The emphasis is clearly on the furious part of things.

March 8th, 2016

Awkward Workout Photos #2

   We all know that Wendel Clark was a beast when it came to strength. And in hockey circles, strength is cool. So why is it that this card of Wendel Clark with a weight is the very antithesis of cool? This picture is just awkward as hell. 

February 29th, 2016


   Happy Leap Year, folks! Here's Dale Hawerchuk pretend strangling his son on the front of hockey card. At least we hope that's actually his kid. It seems like an odd pose choice but then again we've seen a lot of strange things so far through this journey at the BHCB. Homer Simpson would be proud!

February 22nd, 2016

Ogie Ogilthorpe Lives!

  Most hockey fans consider Slapshot to be the greatest hockey movie ever made. You may not know this, but one of the great characters in that film, the infamous Ogie Ogilthorpe, was actually based on a real person. His name was Bill "Goldie" Goldthorpe, and he was one of the toughest and craziest mofo's of all time. TSN did a classic feature on him that you can check out here. This card itself has some real character, what with the splattered blood and band-aid. His trademark afro alone is worth the price of this card!

February 15th, 2016

Spot The Error #2

  This actually seems like a pretty nice card. It's a good looking action shot of Jonathan Cheechoo ready to make a big play. So what's the problem? Like with our last entry I'll give you a minute to puzzle it out. Have a close look at the details of this card and we'll see if you can spot the flaw. Did you find it yet? Well, here's the answer; Closer inspection of this card shows Cheechoo getting checked by a member of the... San Jose Sharks! Yep, it's a strictly frowned upon practice in the business to take a photo from a team scrimmage and try to pass it off as actual game footage, but sometimes companies press their luck in the race to get new rookies into their card sets. Nice try, Upper Deck!

February 9th, 2016

Spot The Error

   What's wrong with this picture? I'll give you a moment to spot the problem, so take a close look. Figure it out yet? And no, I'm not referring to that ugly blob of white spray paint that some designer thought would really make the finishing touch to this card design. Check out the vintage Canuck logo Len Lunde is wearing in this picture. It's actually backwards. The hockey stick is supposed to be coming out of the other side of the rink, so as to form a "C" for Canucks. The producers of this card inadvertently reversed the image and never caught the mistake... or perhaps they thought he'd be more effective as a right-hander?

February 2nd, 2016

Confused Athletes #3

   As we head into final week before the Superbowl, it seems like a fitting time for the third edition of "Confused Athletes" in the BHCB. In this Upper Deck entry, we have Alex Ovechkin changing sports as he attempts to launch a Hail Mary in practice. He has long been known for his ability to quarterback a powerplay in the NHL, so I suppose this is just the next logical step!

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