I went to a show last spring and while I was at the table of one of my favorite dealers, I decided to go through the “Hockey bargain bin”. Ever since I finished my 1975 Football set, I’ve been turning to 1970’s hockey as my main non-baseball sideline… This is despite the fact that I’ve largely regarded the NHL with disdain since they shut the game down for an entire year. That’s OK, I get NCAA hockey on one of my cable channels, that does me just fine when I need a fix.
I started thinking about sharing these during the summer and said “Eh, might as well wait until hockey starts again”. And hockey has started again. So here we go…
Despite growing up on Long Island, I am not now, nor have I ever been a fan of the New York Islanders. They spent their first few years of their existence as “That other team” in the New York market, but four Stanley Cups quickly generated a bunch of smug, “1940”-chanting bandwagon fans.
That being said, there are some 1970’s Islanders who I look back on with some amount of fondness, mainly guys who played during the “That other team” period.
Lorne Henning ranks behind Lorne Greene and Lorne Michaels in the list of “All-Time Great Lornes”… But he did win a couple of cups with the Islanders.
Bobby Nystrom is another guy who bridged the gap between the “Other Team” and “Smug Fan Magnet” eras. Nystrom was born in Stockholm and moved to Canada when he was four. I didn’t know that.
Jean Potvin eventually fell into the shadow of his HOFer younger brother Denis.
Just like I’ve never been an Islanders fan, I’ve also never been a Rangers fan… not exactly. My father was a die-hard fan of the Blueshirts, but for various reasons I never connected with the team as a whole… but there are a significant number of Rangers that I have fond memories of, and those are the guys I tend to collect.
Rod Gilbert was the first Ranger to have his number retired.
Jean Ratelle was the first Ranger to score 100 points in a season.
Needless to say, I also was not a Flyers fan, not if I wanted to stay in the house owned by my Ranger-loving father. I mainly bought this because I’m considering making a run at the 1977/78 Topps hockey set…
…as well as the Glossy insert cards from that same year. Even though they were issued in the same packs, I’m not entering them into the same “complete the set?” debate.
This is Richard Martin of the Sabres, by the way.
Jude Drouin was an Islander when I first started following hockey. More importantly, this is one of the few 1971/72 Hockey cards in my collection.
Carol Vadnais would later be a NY Ranger. This photo makes him look like… well, let’s just say he doesn’t look his best.
I’m not entirely sure why I bought this card. Probably just because it was cheap, 1970’s, hockey and I like the Atlanta Flames uniforms.