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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
February 29th, 2016
"WHY YOU LITTLE...!!!"
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
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!