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.
All of the following candidates for the Dead Parrot binder were sent to me by renowned blogger and all-around good guy Shane of the Shoebox Legends blog. Shane sent a bunch of cards, and I’m slowly going through these.
Because of a general bout of disorganization on my part, I’m going to make this post a fairly basic one. You probably won’t even notice, and I should take that to heart.
We’ll start off with a card to fill the empty pocket #102; representing the Winnipeg Jets and 1994/95 Topps Finest, it’s Alex Zhamnov! It’s unfortunate that the text on the protective coating goes right over Alex Zhamnov’s face, but I’m not sure that the layer can be safely removed after 25 years. Has anybody tried that?
Here’s another new card for empty pocket #3: 1991-92 Bowman Kay Whitmore. I wasn’t paying much attention to hockey cards in the 1990’s, so I’m occasionally surprised to find familiar designs like this Bowman done up for hockey. From what I’ve seen, early 1990’s Bowman Hockey has somewhat more interesting photography than early 1990’s Bowman Baseball.
I didn’t remember Kay Whitmore so I looked up his Hockey Reference Page… He appeared in a handful of games in each of his first couple of seasons, was a regular in goal with the Whalers and Canucks from 1991 to 1994, got a single Vezina vote in 1992-93, and disappeared from the NHL for about 5 years before finishing his career with a handful of games for the Bruins and Flames.
The first competition features a challenger for slot #24… Representing the Hartford Whalers and 1995/96 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice, it’s Darren Turcotte!
Before I started this project, I didn’t realize there was Collector’s Choice Hockey, either.
Currently in slot #128, representing the WHA’s Cincinnati Stingers and 1977/78 O-Pee-Chee WHA,
As much as I’d like to include some Collector’s Choice in this project, my love for the Stingers’ logo (and the WHA in general) is too great to be dislodged by anything which doesn’t absolutely blow me away… THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!
Moving on to a competition for slot #149… Representing 1995-96 Stadium Club and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Andrei Nikolishin! …Or if you want to go by Topps’ incorrect spelling, it’s Andrei “Nikolishen”!
Currently in slot #149, representing 1973-74 O-Pee-Chee and the Atlanta Flames… Curt Bennett!
Normally this matchup would be like the previous matchup… a 1990’s card, even one with an awesome team logo, wouldn’t stand much of a chance against a 1970’s card with an awesome team logo… not to mention a 1970’s card that features actual *skating* rather than just standing around waiting for the stoppage of play to end.
…But this is an unusual situation.
If you looked at the one page in my Dead Parrot project, you’d say “Joe, you screwed up, there are two identical Curt Bennett cards in here!”, and that’s when I’d invite you to look at the backs of those two cards.
Y’see, one is a Topps card with card number 152 and the one in this particular competition is an O-Pee-Chee card with card number 149. This project can get tricky at times.
As a result, I will proclaim that THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!
In the future, however, when I come across a challenger for #152, it won’t really be competing against Curt Bennett for that slot, it will be competing against Mr. “Nikolishen” in slot 149, because I have the option to put the new card in slot #152 and then restore the OPC #149 Bennett to *this* slot.
Isn’t this fun?
Challenging for slot #12, representing the Atlanta Thrashers and 2007/08 Upper Deck MVP, it’s Eric Perrin!
Currently in slot #12, representing the Minnesota North Stars and 1990/91 Topps, it’s Ulf Dahlen!
Even though the Perrin card isn’t wonderful, this is a fairly easy decision. I’ve only got a couple of Thrashers cards in my binder, and I’ve got way too many 1990/91 Topps in there… plus this isn’t a great shot, logo-wise, of Ulf Dahlen… but it does nicely highlight the stars running down his breezers.
THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!
The final challenger for today is going for slot #204… Representing the Hartford Whalers and 1992-93 Upper Deck… Pat Verbeek!
Look down on the left just by Verbeek’s glove; the photographer caught Verbeek about to stop a flying puck with his glove.
Currently in slot #204, representing 1992-93 Topps Stickers and the Winnipeg Jets… Dale Hawerchuk!
These stickers are smaller than standard and have paper backing, so I’m generally happy to get some actual cards replacing them in the binder… plus the Verbeek photo is way better than Hawerchuk’s.
THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!
OK, it’s time to tally up the numbers…
We had a net gain of 3 Whalers and 1 Thrasher, we lost an Atlanta Flame and a Minnesota North Star, and with a gain and a loss for the Winnipeg Jets it ends up being a wash for that team. We also added 2 cards to the binder.
As of this post, I’ve got 276 cards out of 396, which brings this up to 69.7% complete.
The teams break down as follows:
Minnesota North Stars – 49
Winnipeg Jets – 46
New England/Hartford Whalers – 42
Quebec Nordiques – 41
Atlanta Flames – 20
Oakland/California (Golden) Seals – 20
Colorado Rockies – 17
Cincinnati Stingers – 13
Kansas City Scouts – 12
Cleveland Barons – 2
Atlanta Thrashers – 2
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!