(Please read the title in your best Public Radio voice)
This is the latest in a series on an ongoing project, a “Dead Parrot” Frankenset which features cards of NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). The Frankenset consists of a binder containing 44 sheets and the goal is to have it filled with cards numbered from 1 to 396, with each slot filled with a card featuring a hockey team that has gone to meet its maker. I also have one “overflow” page of cards numbered higher than 396, should I ever want to increase the number of official pages.
All of the following candidates for the Dead Parrot binder were sent to me by renowned blogger and all-around good guy Shane of Shoebox Legends. Shane sent a bunch of cards, so I should get at least another post or two out of what he sent me before I start diving into the wax box of 1990/91 Pro Set Series One Hockey I bought in April.
The first competition features a challenger for slot #128… Representing the Quebec Nordiques and 1993/94 Upper Deck SP… Owen Nolan!
Currently in slot #128, representing the Minnesota North Stars and 1982/83 Topps Hockey Album Stickers… Doug Sulliman!
There wasn’t a Topps Hockey Card set for the 1982/83 season, but there were album stickers, so at the time I bought a lot of those. I didn’t stick them in an album, though, I just put them in binders. They don’t really work well in binders, being mini and sticker-y, and I generally welcome any opportunities to remove them from this binder.
The Challenger, Owen Nolan, is victorious!
For the second competition, challenging for slot #180, representing the Quebec Nordiques and 1992/93 Fleer Ultra… Mats Sundin!
I didn’t buy a lot of hockey cards after the mid-1980’s or so, and I still find it something of a novelty to run across things like Ultra Hockey. It’s one thing to know that other sports went through the same thing baseball did, it’s another to have an example in your hand.
Currently in slot #180, representing 1990/91 Topps Hockey and the Winnipeg Jets… it’s… um… a team card featuring an unnamed goalie (I’m going to guess Daniel Berthiaume)!
I’m kind of torn on this one. The Fleer Ultra card is obviously a nicer card in general, but I do like the action shot on the Topps card… but I prefer vertical cards and I’ve got more Jets than Nords… I’m going with Sundin, but I’m willing to reconsider and open to any arguments anyone would like to make one way or the other.
The challenger, Mats Sundin, is victorious… for now…
Challenging for slot #221, representing the Hartford Whalers (Dead Parrot), the Mighty Ducks Of Anaheim (Still around under a somewhat different name) and 1993/94 Fleer Ultra… it’s Terry Yake!
This card is technically a Mighty Ducks card, but as you can see, Yake is shown in a Whalers uniform. He was taken from Hartford with the 31st pick in the 1993 expansion draft.
Slot #221 is currently empty, so Yake slips right in.
Challenging for slot #8 and representing – kind of – the Hartford Whalers, 1991 Ultimate Hockey and… “Smokey’s”????
It’s Patrick Poulin!
I was wondering what the deal was with this card… I’d guessed that it was a Draft Picks set that hadn’t been licensed by the NHL, but why is this “Hartford” player wearing what appears to be a knockoff Washington Capitals uniform? The back of the card is even more head-scratching… It’s a little hard to see, but the not-Capitals jersey has a low-budget logo featuring a hockey stick and the name “Smokey’s”.
“Smokey’s”? What the heck is “Smokey’s”? I looked at the 90-card set on COMC and EVERYBODY IN THE SET IS WEARING “SMOKEY’S” UNIFORMS. What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?
I searched on “1991 Ultimate Hockey Smokey’s” and one of the top hits was a 10-year old post from – you guessed it – Shoebox Legends. The post suggests that 1991 Ultimate may well be the worst hockey set ever made, and from what I’ve seen I won’t argue the point. Apparently “Smokey’s” was the name of a sportscard shop in Las Vegas; from what I’ve seen through additional online searches, this hockey set wasn’t the worst crime perpetrated by the owners of “Smokey’s”.
ANYWAY… There is not a card currently holding down slot #8, so this card goes into the binder… probably as a placeholder. When it eventually gets displaced by pretty much anything which is #8, then this “Ultimate” card will find a different place of (dis)honor in my collection.
Challenging for slot #21, representing the Hartford Whalers and 1995/96 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice Hockey… it’s Andrei Nikolishin!
This fine action shot goes into the binder unopposed, and will take some doing to dislodge from that pocket. For a brand that was supposed to be a second-tier product, Collector’s Choice had some pretty nice cards. I miss it more than any other Upper Deck product.
In the competition for slot #174, representing the Minnesota North Stars and 1974/75 Topps… it’s Danny Grant!
Currently occupying slot #174, representing the Minnesota North Stars and 1982/83 O-Pee-Chee… It’s Gordie Roberts!
The Danny Grant card is not a great card, but it has two things going for it. First off, obviously, it’s from the 1970’s, which is always a good thing in my book. The other thing is that it puts a dent into a run of 1982/83 O-Pee-Chee Minnesota North Stars. Left to their own devices, OPC will number their cards by team, and that makes for some overly samey-same Dead Parrot pages.
The challenger, Danny Grant, is victorious!
Next up is slot #49; the challenger, representing the Hartford Whalers and 1994/95 Upper Deck SP… it’s Darren Turcotte!
Turcotte goes in unopposed… and completes a page!
Gotta say, this page brings a smile to my face, as it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d had in mind when I started this. Marty Howe and Craig Patrick… the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1990’s… six different teams… NHL and WHA… What more could one ask for?
This is the 6th page I’ve completed and, by coincidence, is the 6th page in the binder (cards # 46 – 54).
Slot #19 is up next… The Challenger, representing the Hartford Whalers and 1987/88 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Leaders… Doug Jarvis!
I didn’t know there was a Hockey Leaders “mini” set like this; it was done only that one year and only by OPC – there was no Topps version. Gonna have to work up a wantlist for this set…
Currently occupying slot #19, representing the Hartford Whalers and 1985/86 Topps… Mike Zuke!
This was a bit of a decision for me. Objectively the 1985/86 Topps Hockey card isn’t the greatest, and we’d be substituting an “In Action” Whaler for a bored-looking Whaler…but 1985/86 was the last time I’d attempted to build a hockey set through packs, so it ranks a little higher in my heart of hearts than it really deserves to. When all is said and done, I have to go with the action shot, the better player and the card that is the only one I own from that particular set.
The challenger, Doug Gilmour, is victorious!
The final competition is for slot #94; please welcome the challenger, representing the Quebec Nordiques and 1994/95 Upper Deck SP Hockey.. Joe Sakic!
Currently occupying slot #49, representing the Cincinnati Stingers of the WHA and 1976/77 O-Pee-Chee WHA Hockey… Ron Plumb!
I love the Cincinnati Stingers logo and uniforms, and I said up front that anyone challenging a Stinger for a place in this binder was going to fight an uphill battle… and there’s nothing about that Sakic that puts him over the top.
The Challenger is defeated!
OK, it’s time to tally up the numbers…
Changes made which were not shown in this post:
I discovered I had a potential Dead Parrot card filed away elsewhere, so I remedied that and in the process added one Minnesota North Star and added one card to the overall total.
Changes made this post:
We had a net change of +3 Whalers, +2 Nordiques and -1 Winnipeg Jets, and added 4 cards to the binder… and we added a complete page!
As of this post, I’ve got 274 cards out of 396, which brings things up a couple of points to 69.2% complete.
The teams break down as follows:
Minnesota North Stars – 50
Winnipeg Jets – 46
Quebec Nordiques – 41
New England/Hartford Whalers – 39
Atlanta Flames – 21
Oakland/California (Golden) Seals – 20
Colorado Rockies – 17
Cincinnati Stingers – 13
Kansas City Scouts – 12
Cleveland Barons – 2
Atlanta Thrashers – 1
Misc. WHA – 11
Misc. NHL – 2
Complete Pages: 6 out of 44
Before I go, I want to thank Shane from Shoebox Legends once again! I really appreciate these cards, and the opportunity to broaden my hockey card horizons!