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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.

August 20th, 2015

Pat Falloon On A Tractor

   Hey, It's Pat Falloon on a tractor! Need we say more? Well, we will anyway because this is an all-time fan favourite. After an impressive junior career that saw him record consecutive 60 goal seasons, Pat never could quite deliver at the NHL level, which brought him all kinds of heat from the fan base of whichever teams he was playing for throughout his nine year NHL career. Towards the end, with his offensive output dwindling, he was also known for a his lack of conditioning, which earned him the particularly cruel nickname of "Fat Balloon". But apparently, he was always a farm boy at heart, as evidenced by this card. On this day, Pat Falloon, we salute you!

August 13th, 2015

Unnecessary Hockey Cards #4

   We'll give Pro Set a break here and move over to Upper Deck for our final entry in the "Unnecessary Hockey Cards" subset. Here we have the real work horse of the hockey rink, the Zamboni, featured. That older fellow on the left is actually Frank J. Zamboni, the guy who invented it, and the back of the card has a brief rundown on him and what the machine actually does. To this day I feel like we could have had something truly awesome if only his last name had been "Zamboner"!

August 6th, 2015

Unnecessary Hockey Cards #3

   You can make it a natural hat-trick for Pro Set as they record their third consecutive entry under the heading of "Unnecessary Hockey Cards". To me this one stands as the most baffling one yet. For some reason, they thought it necessary to include not only all the refs in the league, but the linesman as well. That's right folks, this guy's not even a freakin' ref, but a linesman! This particular picture earns bonus points for how Ron Assesltine is showing off his crotch! Plus his last name is ASSelstine. Hmmm... on second thought maybe this WAS worth a hockey card!

July 31st, 2015

Unnecessary Hockey Cards #2

   So or course this nearly endless 90/91 Pro Set edition had to cover every coach in the league as well. I chose this great Bob Murdoch card because it definitely seemed like the "coachiest". Poor Bob doesn't look too happy in this one, but then again coaching the then last place Winnipeg Jets could get on anybody's nerves. Bob was fired at the end of this season, but hey, he'll always have this great card to commemorate that year! So know we've seen a puck card and coaching cards... it couldn't get any worse could it? If you think it couldn't, you're a damned fool! Stay tuned...

July 24th, 2015

Unnecessary Hockey Cards

   Back at the beginning of the 90's there was a card boom that saw an explosion of card manufacturers and sets. Nobody really knew how much was too much at that time, but Pro Set would be the first to find out in 90/91. They made a staggering 705 card set, released over the course of three different series. Keep in mind that there were only 21 teams that year, so pretty much anybody that even walked by a rink made it into this set. The set culminated with this entry: Card #705 - The Puck. Well thanks to this card, at least now we know what the French word for puck is. Over the next few entries, I'll delve into some of the other ridiculous examples of the excess of this set.

July 13th, 2015


   Talk about extreme close-ups! In fact we're so close in this picture that you can actually see the spittle running down Rick Tabaracci's face and dripping from his chin. It's like the first time you saw a TV newscast in hi-def, allowing you to see every pimple and crack in the newscaster's skin. Just too damn much information!

July 4th, 2015

Mary Lou Retton With a Perfect Dismount!

   We can't celebrate Canada Day without also giving some love to our neighbours to the south. We have a truly fitting entry for our 4th of July festivities! This is Steve Janasek's epic podium celebration upon winning the gold in 1980's famed "Miracle On Ice". However, this pose doesn't exactly invoke an image of tough-as-nails hockey players, but rather a gymnast finishing a perfect routine. For all you kids out there that missed the reference, Mary Lou Retton was the darling of the 1984 American Olympic team, winning gymnastics gold on home soil. As for Steve, it's  worth noting that his moustache is also gold medal worthy!

July 1st, 2015

Hockey Canada Hijinx #2

   There's no better way to celebrate Canada's birthday than with a good old fashioned World Junior card. In fact, it looks like Joe Thornton has gotten the jump on celebrating the big day, as he already looks pretty inebriated in this particular photo. Happy Canada Day, folks!

June 24th, 2015

Fantasy Draft

   With the NHL entry draft set to happen this week, it seems like a good time to look back at one of the real classic draft stories from the past. The player you're looking at on this card is Taro Tsujimoto... sort of. He was the Buffalo Sabres' 11th round pick, 183rd overall, in the 1974 draft. Here's the catch; He didn't actually exist. Bored with the slow draft process, and feeling a bit mischievous, Buffalo GM Punch Imlach invented Taro, reportedly a star center from the fictional Japenese club the Tokyo Katanas (with a katana of course being the Japanese equivalent of a sabre), and drafted him to fool the NHL big wigs, as well as many media outlets. Imlach didn't let on about the prank until training camp, and to this day you can still see Tsujimoto sweaters in the Buffalo arena. Score got in on the fun with this card from their 2010/11 Rookies & Traded set featuring an unidentified Japanese player. For more detail about the Taro Tsujimoto story click here.

June 16th, 2015

I Hope Alec's Day Came First

   With yesterday's awarding of the Stanley Cup this year, It's time to take a look back at some of the many shenanigans that have occurred with the cup in the possession of some of the players. For those among you yearning to have your own day with the Stanley Cup, this particular entry serves as a cautionary reminder. Please make sure you fully disinfect the Stanley Cup before you drink or eat out of it. I'm not sure Alec Martinez did, and the look on his face says it all!

June 9th, 2015

Science Creates Skater/Goalie Hybrid

   Will the wonders of modern technology never cease? It appears the Montreal Canadians have created the perfect shot blocking forward in a lab somewhere. This half-skater/half-goalie hybrid is the result of fortunate timing as Benoit Brunet skates in front of Patrick Roy as the shutter clicks.  

June 4th, 2015

Get Off My Card!

   There are plenty of hockey cards in the world that picture more than one player as the central focus of the card. However, it's most unfortunate when you are in the type of card set where they crop out the usual background in favour of a specialty card design meant to enhance the focus on the player that is the subject of the card... when you have "company". In both cases below, the players are so linked to their checks that they couldn't be extricated without removing a great deal of the body of the card subject. Thanks to these cards, the players on them are now locked into a battle on cardboard stretching into eternity. 

May 27th, 2015

Generals Win Memorial Cup/TV Combo

   Way back in 1990, when the Oshawa Generals won the Memorial Cup led by a young buck named Eric Lindros, a 27 inch television may well have been a big score. I'm not exactly sure why they got awarded this particular prize, or what they did with it. Or perhaps I'm reading this wrong and it wasn't something they won, but rather the team's unsung hero for all their successful video review in the tourney. Either way, with the monster TV sets that exist nowadays, it seems to make this photo look a tad dated. The good news is that despite the relatively small screen size, it looks to have a VHS component as well. Bonus!!!

May 20th, 2015

Farewell, Dave!

   In honour of David Letterman's final show, I just had to post this beauty of Sandy McCarthy doing his best Dave impersonation. After many years of taking the standard classic action pics we all associate with hockey cards, Upper Deck decided it would shake things up a bit by throwing all sorts of random things into their sets. As a kid I'm not sure I'd have been too thrilled with getting this card in a pack, but as an adult, a lifelong Letterman fan, and a guy who writes a blog about bad hockey cards, I couldn't be happier with their decision.

May 13th, 2015

Sinister Goalies

   I'm not sure what these guys are thinking of at the moment, but I'm pretty sure they're up to no good. Of course, goalies have always been a bit of a different breed, but until now I've never thought of them as criminal, except for when they are committing on ice robberies, naturally. Never have I seen such a sinister looking duo in my life.  

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