Kicking Off My “Dead Parrot” Hockey Frankenset

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how I was thinking about creating two different “FrankenSets” in order to give some new structure to my accumulation of hockey cards. In response I got a healthy bunch of encouragement towards giving both Frankensets a try.

I decided that I would start with a test run on the “Dead Parrot” idea (named after the Monty Python sketch), a FrankenSet which would feature cards of hockey teams which are no more, which have ceased to be.

(FYI, this card is a foil insert from the 1994 Cornerstone Monty Python’s Flying Circus set)

And so I took some 9-pocket sheets and a binder I got on clearance at Target – one with beach graphics on the cover, very fitting for hockey – and did the first 12 pages (cards numbered from 1 to 108) as a test run.

Since I’m writing this post now, the test obviously worked out well and I’ve decided to go ahead with a 396-card “Dead Parrot” Frankenset. I even managed to nearly fill the second page (Cards # 10 – 18).

Card #17 in the bottom center, Gary Coalter, is double-dipping… It’s an expansion year 1974/75 card which lists him with the Kansas City Scouts, but shows him in a California Golden Seals uniform. That one will be hard to dislodge from the #17 slot.

My original idea was to limit this to NHL teams between the mid 1960’s and mid 1990’s, but I’ve decided to make any defunct NHL or WHA team eligible for the binder. I figure that the teams I initially had in mind will tend to bubble up to the surface as I go along anyway.

To give you an idea of what kind of criteria I’ll be using I figured I’d show a few “match-ups” for particular slots in the set.

I ended up with an interesting three-way matchup for card #19.  The top two cards are from 1976/77 Topps and O-Pee-Chee;  during the summer of 1976 the Kansas City Scouts moved to Denver and became the Colorado Rockies.  This was apparently too late for Topps to update, but O-Pee-Chee updated the team name and also took the colors out of the airbrushed uni for some reason… I presume that OPC wasn’t sure what colors the new team would wear.

Up against these two is a 1985/86 Topps Mike Zuke, shown with the Hartford Whalers.  I decided that the two Steve Durbano cards deserve to stay next to each other in my regular hockey binder, so Zuke goes into the Dead Parrot set.

I ‘ve always liked the North Stars logo and uniform, and 1981/82 Topps is also a favorite of mine… but none of that is enough to compete with a Houston Aeros card where the player (Terry Ruskowski) is actually *skating* as opposed to just gliding around the ice during a break in the action.

It was a tough decision for #50.  It’s hard to go against Lanny McDonald and his awesome mustache in a Colorado Rockies uniform… but it’s also a boring team leader card where text takes up most of the card front.

I had to go with the 1985/86 Topps Brian Bellows, but I’m not committed to this choice. I may change my mind later.

The battle for #15 was also a tough one. I like the Atlanta Flames uniform and I like 1970’s goalie masks… but I remember Ulf Nilsson from his time with the Rangers, my father’s team.

As you can tell from the nearly-full-page photo above I went with Dan Bouchard simply because the Nilsson photo isn’t very good – it’s a very dark photo on the card itself.

This last one seemed a tough choice at first glance, but ended up being easier than I thought.  I love the 1979/80 design, and Marc Tardif was a player I liked… but that’s up against another set I love, 1981/82, and I like the Whalers much more than the Nordiques.

…But then I took a second look and realized that Rick MacLeish card is airbrushed into a Whalers uniform (he came from the Flyers), so that made the decision much easier… Tardif all the way.


As for my other Frankenset idea, the “Photobombing Capitals” set made of cards where Washington Capitals players appear without being the subject of the card… Well, I am eventually going to move ahead with that as well, but not until after I’ve finished the initial setup of the Dead Parrot set.

This clip is from “Pleasure At Her Majesty’s”, a documentary about a trio of 1976 Amnesty International benefit shows;  I don’t know why the YouTuber credited it as “John Cleese” when Michael Palin is quite clearly featured in it and they were appearing as members of Monty Python, but nonetheless I love this version of the sketch.  “Look, this is nothing to laugh at!”

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5 thoughts on “Kicking Off My “Dead Parrot” Hockey Frankenset

  1. Yeeeeees! I just got a whole bunch of new PWE fodder for your stack now that this is off the ground. In fact, I’m gonna send you one tomorrow. You made the right call on that Zuke by the way ;-)

    Last thing, I have a cool piece of cardboard history related to that MacLeish airbrushed card. I’ll have to show it off soon, you’ve inspired me!

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