1976-77 O-Pee-Chee WHA #64 — Vaclav Nedomansky

76-77 OPC WHA NedomanskyWhile picking up the Lacroix card in a dollar bin from the previous post, I also found 4/6 of the Gordie Howe puzzle on the backs of the Canadian All-Stars. Why Hull, a Canadian All-Star, is on the back of the Americans and Howe, a Canadian (playing for the Houston Aeros) an American All-Star on the backs of the Canadians, I know not.

Here’s Vaclav Nedomansky. He’s wearing a Birmingham Bulls jersey and the card features the Bulls logo but still lists the team as the Toronto Toros because it’s O-Pee-Chee and the seventies. Nedomansky is famous for being the first hockey player to defect to North America, coming from Czechoslovakia which was under Soviet rule. He paved the way for others like Stastny, Bure, Federov, and Mogilny. This wasn’t easy to do: he was unable to return home until after the fall of the Eastern Bloc in the late eighties. Nedomansky put up some pretty good numbers in the WHA first and the NHL after, scoring 38 and 35 goals with the Red Wings when he was 35 and 36. He scored over 800 goals during his twenty year career in the Czechoslovakian league, WHA, and NHL.

On the backs, we have Gordie in an one of those underrated Aeros sweaters:

76-77 OPC WHA Howe Puzzle

Edit: I found a photo of an uncut sheet with both puzzles totally intact.

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5 thoughts on “1976-77 O-Pee-Chee WHA #64 — Vaclav Nedomansky

  1. The Nedomansky card is actually mostly right – that’s a Toros uniform (check the sleeve). The Toros moved to start the ’76-77 season and the uniform was all but unchanged. He was a ’75-76 All-Star with Toronto, though, so that’s how they listed him. If there’s an error, it’s the Bulls logo in the corner. It’s correct for ’76-77, but not ’75-76.

      • I mean, either way, from a graphic design standpoint, it’s far easier to change text than a logo. And since they moved from Toronto to Birmingham, they should have had the team name correct above all else. Some copywriter just messed up and forgot to change the text to match the updated logo.

      • I think they got it right – he was an all-star as a Toro. That’s also why he’s a Canadian All-Star rather than an American one. I know there’s another example of this out there – I’m trying to think what it is. Another team that moved and they have to list the old one because it fits the context.

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