I’ve written a couple of times about a new project of mine, the “Dead Parrot” Frankenset: a hockey Frankenset made of cards featuring NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). When I started the project, I’d filled as many slots as I could with cards I already owned, and then added a few cards I got from Shoebox Legends.
In July I was at a card show and one of the goals I set for myself was to get as many potential “Dead Parrot” cards as I could. It wasn’t quite as many as I had hoped for… Although the show I was at was a fairly large regional show, the vintage card dealers at this show generally don’t do hockey and the hockey card dealers generally don’t do vintage.
All was not lost, as some of the dealers who carried vintage cards of multiple sports came through for me… It wasn’t the mother lode I was hoping for, but it will do.
So here are the groundrules, such as they are. Since it’s a “Frankenset”, there’s one and only one slot for each potential card number from 1 to 396. Certain teams and players will generally get preference over others, although photo quality certainly plays a part. As with assembling a roster for a real sports team, there are always the “intangibles” to be considered.
And now, on with the face-offs!
The first one is unusual in that I don’t already have a card in slot #84, but I have two new cards which are both #84, so the two Challengers will battle for the empty slot.
The first challenger, representing the California Golden Seals (NHL, 1967 to 1976) as well as 1973-74 Topps… Reg Leach!
The second challenger, also representing the Seals (but in the earlier Oakland Seals incarnation), and representing 1969/70 Topps… Bill Hicke!
The Judgement: It’s Seal vs. Seal here, but this is going to come down to the uniform. There seems to be much less cardboard representation of the green & blue older uniform than the green and gold 1970’s uniform, plus the older uniform has a much cooler logo.
THE SECOND CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!
Before we move on, let’s check out the back of Bill Hicke’s card. The bright colors and cartoon make it worthwhile.
Next… Currently in slot #62 and representing the Colorado Rockies (NHL, 1974 to 1982) as well as 1980/81 Topps…Lanny McDonald!
..and the challenger, representing the Atlanta Flames (NHL, 1972 to 1980) as well as 1975/76 Topps… Hilliard Graves!
The Judgement: This is a one-sided competition. Rockies beat Flames, on-ice shots beat posed shots, Lanny McDonald played nearly twice as many NHL games as Hilliard Graves, and Lanny has that awesome mustache.
THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!
And now, in slot #29, representing the New England Whalers (WHA, 1972 to 1979; NHL, 1979 to 1997) and 1977/78 O-Pee-Chee WHA… Tom Webster!
..and the Challenger, representing the Minnesota North Stars (NHL, 1967 to 1993) and 1971/72 Topps… Bill Goldsworthy!
The Judgement: Again, this isn’t much of a competition. I’ve already got plenty of North Stars in the Frankenset and the Webster features a much more interesting photo.
THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!
Moving on to slot #93, representing the Minnesota North Stars and 1979/80 Topps… Glen Sharpley!
And the challenger, representing the California Golden Seals as well as 1971/72 Topps… Gary Jarrett!
The Judgement: I love 1979/80 Topps, and I would normally go with an action shot over a posed shot… But that’s the Washington Capitals’ Dennis Maruk in the background, so I’ll gladly move the Glen Sharpley card over to my “Photobombing Capitals” project and award slot #93 to Gary Jarrett.
THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!
The remaining three new cards don’t face any competition and go straight into the binder.
This 1974/75 Topps card of Butch Deadmarsh goes into slot #73 and is a double-dead parrot. The 1974/75 season was the first for the Kansas City Scouts, and Deadmarsh was drafted from the Atlanta Flames in the 2nd round of the expansion draft.
After 20 games with the Scouts, his contract was sold to the WHA’s Vancouver Blazers and he played a number of years with several WHA teams. Butch’s 25-year-younger cousin Adam Deadmarsh played in the NHL in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.
This Minnesota North Stars team card is from 1975/76 Topps and stands a pretty good chance of fighting off any upcoming challengers for slot #89.
Finally, going into slot #79 is this 1971/72 Topps card of the North Stars’ Danny Grant.
Grant won the Calder Trophy in 1968/69 as the NHL Rookie of the Year. He arguably had his best season in 1974/75 with Detroit, scoring 87 points and making the all-star team.
Current “Dead Parrot” Frankenset status:
I added 4 new cards to the binder but completed no pages, so the update is…
Completion percentage: 60.8% (241/396)
# of complete pages: 5 out of 44
For no real reason I had decided that each Dead Parrot post would feature a favorite song by a Canadian artist. This time around, the song is “Don Quixote” by Gordon Lightfoot.
One quick addendum… I noticed the other day that my local Target suddenly has hockey repacks, the 20 packs for $20 kind. I was very tempted to get one, partly for the fun of opening it, partly to let the card aisle vendor know that someone in my area would buy hockey repacks… but also for potential Dead Parrot cards.
Here’s the catch, though: Any packs after 2011 would be worthless for this project as those packs would contain nothing but teams which still exist (the last team to relocate was the Atlanta Thrashers; they moved to Winnipeg in 2011). Because of this, I would be counting on the fact that this hockey repack would have a lot of junk wax and largley be from the 1990’s and earlier. Has anyone bought one of these repacks for hockey? Is there a lot of the 1990’s junk wax that I seek? Disregarding the value that is generally lacking from repacks, would you think one of these 20-pack repacks might work out for me?