The Many Masks of Ed Staniowski

81-82 OPC StaniowskiTrevor, from supportingtheminnow, recently sent me a box full of 1981-82 and 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee. By far my favorite of the lot is the Ed Staniowski on the left. There’s so many little things going on that I love: the angle, the old Jets logo, the brown leather pads, the red and sky blue border, the addition of the French “gardien” along with goalie, and, of course, the painted mask. Wow. Staniowski wore a number of terrifying masks throughout his career but this is one of my favorites. (It’s a shame you can’t see the other side because it’s fantastic.) This led me to do some research on Staniowski’s cards to see if he’s wearing his other masks. Unfortunately, he only has eight cards (well, six and a sticker and a team postcard) and of those, he’s only wearing a mask in four of them and none feature his other Jets masks or his famous Blues mask with two of the eighth note logos over his eyes. O-Pee-Chee loved the portrait shot back in the eighties, I’m not quiet sure why they didn’t have goalies wear their masks. Anyway, I’ve scanned and posted all of the masked cards below.

1979-80 O-Pee-Chee

Great photo, great design, great card, great set. I love the couple rooting him on behind the glass. I like to pretend they’re his parents. Somehow, his stance makes the mask scarier. He looks like a four-footed monster.

79-80 OPC Staniowski

1980-81 O-Pee-Chee

This one barely qualifies as mask isn’t really on. Love the angle of his stick and the glare. This would be Staniowski’s last card with the Blues before he was shipped off to the Jets. I really wish this card featured the logo mask I mentioned up. Interesting note: former Bruins Hannu Toivonen wore a tribute to it back in 2008.

80-81 OPC Staniowski

1981-82 O-Pee-Chee Stickers

Full on Jason Voorhees here. This is such a great photo and simple design I’ll forgive the airbrushed jersey. I have a bunch of stickers from this set and the photography is very good, better than the actual card set. I prefer to treat these stickers as cards and keep them loose instead of adhered to the album but their non-standard size makes them difficult to store. Any one have a binder solution to this?

81-82 OPC Staniowski sticker

Staniowski ended up playing a handful of games for the Whalers at the end of his career. Alas, there are no cards, or even photos online, that show his mask, though if a message board poster who claims to own a game worn mask of his is correct, he switched to a bird cage.

I like the idea of posting about masks through cards. I’m going to try and do this again–maybe with Mike Liut–in the near future.

81-82 OPC Staniowski 2

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That Hull Photo

Brett Hull’s 1988-89 O-Pee-Chee/Topps may be the last iconic rookie card, appearing a couple years before before the explosion of the hockey card industry. (Aside: 1990-91 marked the debut of Bowman, O-Pee-Chee Premier, Pro Set, Score, and Upper Deck. [Double Aside: Quick, how many rookies does Sidney Crosby have? Tyler Seguin?]) I think most collectors wouldn’t have trouble conjuring up this photo in their mind. Hull looks young, he is without a helmet and his hair is styled in a classic hockey player cut. He appears to be simultaneous confident and starry-eyed. And, of course, an away Blues sweater is painted over his Calgary jersey. However, it’s not the singular Hull card that year. Brett makes five total appearances in O-Pee-Chee sets that year; his airbrushed photo makes four.

The first two are part of the OPC sticker set that season. These are about the 3/4 the size of a normal card and these are half that. The first is shared with Jim Kyte, the second, Tom Barrasso. If you think O-Pee-Chee had quality control issues when it came to printing their base sets you obviously haven’t seen their stickers.

On the backs of some of the stickers, O-Pee-Chee had Future Stars mini-cards. The photo makes it’s fourth and final appearance. Lastly, the only Hull card (slash sticker) from that season to feature a different photo and it’s from the OPC Mini set.

I’m assuming O-Pee-Chee didn’t get the photo from the mini in time for their base set and sticker release which is a shame; it’s a nice shot. In fact, Hull was mired bad photography for a while, his ’89-’90 and ’90-’91 cards featuring variations on his bad haircut.

Does anyone else collect stickers?

1988-89 O-Pee-Chee Sticker #67 — Mike Gartner

Black eye? Check. Drop-dead stare? Check. Bare handed, ready to clock someone? Check. Bad ass mustache? Oh yeah. This is the toughest card sticker since 1977-78 Glossy Marcel Dionne. Most don’t bother with sticker sets but I love the late-80s OPC ones that are the same size as the the ’88-89 Minis and printed on card stock. The photography is nice, a lot of the stickers have better pictures than their card counterparts.

1982 Topps Stickers

A quick post before tonight’s Bruins/Capitals Game 7. The B’s have won five straight elimination games dating back to last year (!) so hopefully they keep the streak going. Both these stickers are from the inaugural set Topps put out in 1982-83. Plenty of more information here.

#90 — Brad McCrimmon

Both these stickers have a nasty diamond cut.

Love the Topps logo, especially when it’s tilted like that.

McCrimmon played 16 seasons in the NHL. He started here in Boston and went on to be an all-star in Calgary and won the Plus-Minus Award in 1988. Sadly, he passed away last year as he was onboard for the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster.

#262 — NHL Leader Rick Middleton

Middleton was a beast for the Bruins in the seventies and eighties. He won a Lady Bing Trophy, twice reached the Stanley Cup Finals, and captained the team from 1985 until his retirement in 1988. He worked for NESN doing post-game reports until 2007. He was also a Providence Red. (!!)

May Milan Lucic get a Gordie Howe hat-trick tonight and we have at least another two weeks of hockey.