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The Bad Hockey Card Blog

   This is a fun little project I have been wanting to do for a long time. It really has nothing to do with the league except to give people one more reason to stop by the site on a weekly basis and perhaps provide some comic relief, which is much needed as we know that rec ball hockey is generally some pretty serious shit!

   There is no shortage of terrible hockey cards out there and I am the not-so-proud owner of a bunch of them. So with that said, over the coming weeks and months, I will be marching out numerous examples of photographic misdeeds, oddities and downright "What were they thinking?" moments that should prove quite entertaining.

September 11th, 2017


   We have seen numerous examples of picture recycling, but this one is a special sort of awkward. There is little doubt that the folks that do the airbrushing for Topps/O-Pee-Chee jumped on this image which doesn't how any team logo, easily the hardest part to recreate due to the detail involved. However, this also created a brand new problem for the artists in that the back half of Guy Chouinard's head had to be recreated from scratch due to the obstruction in the original photo (Reminiscent of this earlier BHCB entry). 

July 24th, 2017

"Does My Elbow Pad Smell Okay To You?"

  Pictures of fights are generally outlawed on NHL hockey cards, so In The Game had to get creative with this set involving hockey fights and have an artist recreate the action... poorly, at that. I jumped for joy upon discovering this set, as it turned into a real treasure trove of hilarity. Look for several more Bloody Enforcers Battles entries to come in the BHCB down the road. As for this particular card, the one thing I know for sure is that Tony Twist LOVES this card... Bob Probert, not so much. Also check out the blood splatters around the card border. Nice touch!

July 18th, 2017


   I'm afraid you don't have the proper clearance to view these cards. Only the highest levels of government/military have the sufficient authorization required. Why Leaf determined that this Phenoms set is so top secret is anyone's guess, but nevertheless, they felt the need to put a protective film over each card that completely obscures the image. Keep checking Wiki-leaks, they're bound to end up there sooner or later!

July 4th, 2017

Too Many Stars and WAAAAY Too Many Stripes!

   This 4th of July, I thought I would send a shout-out to our neighbours to the south with this hockey card that couldn't possibly be any more American. This is a shot from a team USA scrimmage from the '76 Canada Cup set produced by a company called Future Trends. Thankfully, wearing jerseys this ugly did not actually become a future trend for Team USA. I'm not sure if the idea of these was to make the opponents fall down in a fit of laughter or to just get nauseous. Perhaps this has the same effect as a pack of zebras scattering. I'm glad I never had to see these in action to find out!

June 26th, 2017


   With the NHL Draft having been held this past weekend, now might be a good time to revisit some of the terrible draft sets of the early 90's when things like draft sets were in fashion. The majority of companies tried and failed with their first attempt, though it's easy to see why. Not being able to afford the licensing fees of the junior or college leagues or the pricey NHL logos, these card companies had to get creative in how they presented their players. That's how you end up with the sort of thing in today's entry, with the tuxedo concept looking all the more ridiculous on a goaltender. Just be happy they didn't have him strap on the leg pads. This set was from a company called Arena, and as you will note at the bottom of the card, this was the Premiere Edition. By popular demand, this was also their last set.

June 19th, 2017

Hull Card Picked As "Least Exciting"

   This is actually not the first "guy reading a paper" card we've seen in the BHCB. However, it's funny to glimpse the content of that paper and then see this image. Pretty sure the authors of that article didn't have this hockey card in mind when they wrote that headline.

June 12th, 2017

Don't Stop Beliebing!

   For any long suffering Leafs fans out there, this one's going to hurt a little. It has to be a bit depressing to think that Justin Bieber has held the Stanley Cup while any current Leaf players still seem quite a distance away from doing likewise. And of course, it's all the more infuriating to see a spoiled little rich kid like this being the one to handle the most sacred of sporting trophies. Toronto's favourite son, this is not! The only people that have suffered worse over the past several years than Leaf fans are those parents whose households are inundated with Bieber tunes. You both have my sympathy!

June 3rd, 2017

Wax Statue

   I don't know what it is, but I can't get over how much this guy looks like he belongs in a museum of wax figures. I mean, it's uncanny! To make matters worse, they spelled his damn name wrong on the card! This is actually Tom Polanic, not Polonic. 

May 24th, 2017

This Lineman's Ass Was Of All-Star Quality

   This guy does have a nice posterior. It's good to see it getting some recognition with an All-Star berth. It certainly looks like Andre Lacroix was a big admirer!

May 17th, 2017

Quick! Hide Me!

   Just take a look at Blackhawks' forward Murray Craven in this picture. He appears to be cowering behind Luke Richardson, while also holding on for dear life. "Save me, Daddy!". I don't know what impending danger was headed his way, but I'm sure big Luke will protect him! This set was also keen of putting game-dated information at the bottom of the card. Of course, big events and milestones are typically few and far between, and if you want to have a lot of cards with game notes on them, I guess you can't be that choosy. Oh, well. Happy 600 games, Luke!

May 10th, 2017

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

   Poor Ron Hextall. We all knew he was getting on in years, but then Score comes out with this card to really point out his ever growing bald patch. It's like they specifically waited until he dropped his head so they could give you the best shot of it. He looks so sad in this photo. At least his teammate is trying to provide him some solace by telling him to keep his chin up. Perhaps literally.

May 5th, 2017

Spellling Errrers

   In the previous entry I talked about how some errors slip past the card company's proof readers. In the case of 7th Inning Sketch, their 1991 CHL release seemingly didn't have any proofreading at all! This particular card is of Joe's brother Brian Sakic. Although on this card, he is clearly named Buan, which doesn't seem that close to Brian if you ask me. I chose this one at random, but the set has so many errors that it is actually maddening, including (but not limited to) spelling mistakes, card numbering errors, pictures of players that are switched, player stats that are messed up... the list is endless. An old proverb says "Measure twice, cut once". That's opposed to measuring once and cutting twice, but hey, just imagine this third option; measure once, cut once, and then just live with the results of your crappy cut. What a time saver! 

April 26th, 2017

Name Goes Here... Or Not

   The writing on these super shiny Black Diamond cards is pretty much impossible to read unless you have the sun shining directly down on it... at noon... during the summer solstice. I've turned up the exposure on this scan so we can sort of see what's going on. In this case, what's going on is that the producers of this card forgot to type in the damn name of the player! The area I have highlighted should say Martin Straka, but instead says AVVV (*I think!). Not sure if that was a place holder that was never fixed or if the guy typing in the text just fell asleep at the wheel and mashed his face into the keyboard! The general unreadability of this set probably led directly to this oversight by the proofreaders. It's very possible that whomever was tasked with that job just said "Screw it, nobody can read these anyway!".

April 20th, 2017


   In honour of 4/20, the day potheads celebrate all things weed related, the BHCB offers up this tremendous Reg Fleming entry in which he looks seriously baked, right down to his awe of the little hockey stick adorning his own hockey card. Don't do drugs, kids!

April 12th, 2017

Towel Power

   Towel Power has its roots in Vancouver. Not from this card, however. Pinnacle apparently got some good deals on several photos of questionable quality for this set. This card of Kirk McLean wiping (and fully obscuring) his face with a towel would normally have ended up on the reject pile, but somehow made it through. C'mon, we live in the age of digital photography now! Delete Photo? > Yes.

April 4th, 2017

The Guy On The End Gives Zero F***s

   Before you do anything, check out the dude on the bottom right. With the rest of the front row submissively kneeling with a bouquet of flowers in hand, this dude strikes a pose that seems to say "Not a f***ing chance that I'm doing that!". A further inspection of this scene shows multiple members of the team casting disapproving glances in his direction. These guys were throwing shade before it was even a thing. It must have been quite the bit of drama unfolding just before this picture was taken. This card comes to us from a 1977 multi-sport set, hence the listing of Ice Hockey on the top of the card. According to the handy player map on the bottom, the card lists the troublemaker as I. Lushenko. Of course, so much info on this card is incorrect including the man in question, who was actually named Vladimir Lutchenko. He would go on to have a solid career in Russia, which is good to know considering he was almost exiled to Siberia after this photoshoot!

March 28th, 2017

Godzilla On Ice

    This isn't the first freaky team mascot we've seen on a hockey card remember (Casey Jones?), but this one really gives me the heebie-jeebies. Can you just imagine how many kids this guy scares at his home rink? Yikes!

March 21st, 2017

Stubble Trouble

  Is this really the focal point of a card subset? Stubble? Really?? Yep, Leaf Limited seemed to be running low on ideas when they whipped this set out. As it happens, Eric Lindros barely even has any noticeable stubble to show in this picture. Brent Burns he is not.

March 14th, 2017

Does This Jersey Make Me Look Fat?

   This image really doesn't do Sandis Ozolinsh any justice as he appears to be a bloated, 300 pound defenseman on this card. This San Jose Shark is looking more like a gigantic whale shark than a sleek mako shark at the instant this was taken. Timing is everything, as they say.

March 7th, 2017

The Penguin Symbolizes Obviousness!

   Yes, back in the early days after Pittsburgh drafted Lemieux in 1984, he was taken to the Pittsburgh Zoo for this photo op with, what else... penguins. Pittsburgh penguins, in fact! If this picture seems a little bit contrived and over-the-top corny, that's because it is. The best part of this card is undoubtedly the lone penguin on the right that looks into the camera as if to say "WTF?!". Only he among that gathering of penguins realized the true historical significance of that moment!

February 28th, 2017


   What's not to like with this card? Brent Sapergia shows you what a badass he is with his slick shades and rat tail hair. He knows he looks good and he has the attitude to pull it all together with a pose that says "Don't F*** with me!". Or possibly he is doing a moonwalk in a Michael Jackson impersonation for the ages. Either way this card is straight up amazing!

February 21st, 2017

Your Waiter Will Seat You Now

   Poor Cam Neely. To make ends meet he is working part-time as a host at a local eating establishment. Or perhaps he just has a deep love of menus, and takes photos of them to add to his impressive collection. He seems a bit underdressed, and not just because of those short shorts!

February 14th, 2017

Lovers In A Dangerous Time

   Valentine's Day is that one special day of the year when you get to cradle your loved one in your arms and tell them how special they are. Donald Brashear and Marty McSorley profess their love for one another in this beautiful depiction of unbridled passion! Now that's amore!

February 7th, 2017

Wretched Airbrushing Abomination #5

   Every now and then I feel compelled to throw in one of these heinous airbrushing disasters. I mean, so little of this image is actually real that it just makes you wonder why they didn't start from scratch with a sketch artist and a rough description of the suspect... er... I mean player. Check out the bottom feathers of the blue note. Sooooo bad.

January 31st, 2017

Carrying The Team On His Back

   This card was found on the back of a package of JELLO, so I guess we should have lowered our expectations from the outset. With that said, this is a pretty hilarious bit of hijinx as Marty McSorley carries the team mascot, SJ Sharkie, around the rink. Check out Marty's grin in this pic as well. When told he would be sharing this card with Sharkie, he knew who would have the upper hand!

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