Monday, July 28, 2008

Ladies and Gentelmen, Your 1987 Hartford Whalers...

...or at least the ones that Topps thought were worthy of their own trading card...
Dave Babych - The moustache was definitely popular with hockey players in the 1980s, and Dave Babych sported one more often than not. Given the amount of fans wearing ties here I'm guessing this photo was taken at a weeknight game.
Ulf Samuelsson - Ulf was known as a dirty player around the league due to various knee on knee hits he threw throughout his career, including one that some people say eventually ended Cam Neely's career. He was also the recipient of one of the most obvious cheap shots ever when he caught a left-hand shot from Tie Domi:


Ulf was also responsible for knocking Wayne Gretzky's wife out when a check he threw dislodged a piece of plexi-glass. This video makes me laugh every time, for some reason she looks hilarious to me just laying there knocked out. I also love that Ulf had to skate over the bench and break the news to Wayne about what he had done:


John Anderson - Were you aware that John just became the new head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers? I sure as hell wasn't...
Stewart Gavin - It looks like the team bus broke down on the way to the game and Stewart was forced to tinker with the engine while wearing his hockey pants. I know it's only the Whalers but could you show a little pride buddy?
Sylvain Turgeon - Someone just explained the offsides rule to Sylvain, and it's left him very confused.
Dave Tippett - I'm noticing a pattern of road green jerseys here. I don't think Topps photographers made many trips to the Hartford Civic Center in 1987.
Doug Jarvis - I have absolutely nothing to say about Doug Jarvis...
Ray Ferraro - Ray was a great player and I remember being disappointed when he was traded to the Islanders for friggin' Doug Crossman.
Kevin Dineen - I remember Kevin Dineen always being a fan favorite in Hartford. Here we see him pictured fresh off of a 40 goal 1986-87 campaign. Random fact, did you know that there is a character in Free Willy 3: The Rescue named Dineen as a tribute to Kevin. I'm sure he's so proud...
Dana Murzyn - Dana was the first round draft pick of the Whalers in the 1985 draft (fifth overall). Boy I'm learning a lot today...
Mike Liut - I think this has already been mentioned on some other blogs but Mike has some awesome cards due to the fact that he sported the intimidating goalie mask for a number of years, and this is a prime example of one.
Dean Evason - This is not the first time Dean's appeared on the blog...
Last, and certainly not least, team captain Ron Francis. As a member of the Jr. Whalers club for a few years (thank you Mom and Dad!) I was fortunate enough to meet most of the players once a year for autographs. Ron always took a few minutes with each kid passing by his table and seemed like a class act. He's also probably one of the most under-rated figures in sports. Ron ended his career with more points than any other player in NHL history except for Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Gordie Howe. That's some pretty elite company...

3 comments:

dumbloserme said...

This brings back a lot of memories and personally, it's my favorite hockey set of the 80's.

It wasn't just the photographers that wouldn't step foot in The Mall because come about 3 or 4 years from this we couldn't even get 10,000 for a playoff game against Montreal.

That Ulfie, Francis deal for Cullen and Zalapski trade killed us....

Those mid 80's teams were so great though and my step mom has a VHS of all the media coverage and ensuing parade that we held after that sweep of Quebec in the playoffs in '86.... I should convert that over to digital someday and pop it up on YouTube as it's as close as we ever came to Lord Stanley's Cup.

Sad history but I'm still proud as hell. I just wish Francis would go into the Hall as a Whaler.

shanediaz82 said...

The Francis and Samuelsson deal with Pittsburgh was definitely crushing. A terrible day for the Whalers.

It would be awesome to see that media coverage from 1986, that's a cool thing to have! And yes, Francis should definitely be in the hall as a Whaler...

Sal said...

I did not realize that the Whalers had so many cards in that set.

John Anderson coached the Chicago Wolves for 11 years, including 4 championships (1998, 2000, 2002, 2008). Most of us are surprised he did not become an NHL coach sooner.

Doug Jarvis holds the Ironman streak in the NHL, having played 964 consecutive games.

By the way, Topps would take most of their photos from games in either New Jersey or Boston.

Sal
http://www.puckjunk.com/article.php?artid=20070026

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