A Troika of Defunct Teams in 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee

Great design here with the rounded corners to the frame. I also love the team names in yellow, stretched in a slight diagonal, like it’s been stamped on after. The one thing that bothers me is the dead white space underneath O-Pee-Chee. On the Topps version, their logo stretches down all the way. It gives the entire border a nice flow. O-Pee-Chee never corrected it and the frame is broken and unrhythmical. On the other hand, the additional French text on the bottom really balances the card nicely.

Mark looks a little strange in this photo. His sweater is too tight and his pants too baggy. He looks like a pee wee wearing hand-me-downs, like the Whalers held onto Gordie’s stuff after his retirement, ripped off the nine and slapped on a five. I really love the Whalers green jerseys but it’s a shame they didn’t work in blue a little more.

1980-81 wasn’t the best season for the Howes. Gordie was gone, Marty didn’t get a card, and Mark was impaled by a net.

#135 — Mike Rogers Super Action

O-Pee-Chee had an “Super Action” subset in many of their early eighties sets (Topps did the same with across all the sports). I put this in quotes because many of the shots feature little to no action. This year’s set highlighted the playoffs. It should surprise no one that the Whalers had a first round exit. This was the last year they played in the old Norris Division.

I wish the base cards incorporated this silhouette into the back.

#274 — Robbie Ftorek

Obviously, the old Nordiques logo looks great here. Ditto Ftorek’s helmet, he’s doing a great Stan Mikita impression in this photo. Notice how the captain’s ‘C’ is an entire piece of fabric sewn on. Ftorek had some great seasons in the WHA but didn’t fare as well post-merger in the NHL. He did even worse as a coach, especially here in Boston, in charge of that 2002 team that, despite being the top seed in the east, was bounced in six games in the first round.

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