Tuesday, July 26, 2016

1994-95 Fleer Franchise Futures

Quick post today featuring a '90s insert set that I was able to grab the remaining cards I needed from cheaply at the hobby shop.  From the 1994-95 Fleer hockey set, it's Franchise Futures...

Fleer certainly liked making "busy" cards in the mid-'90s, and this insert set is no exception.  These cards kind of have a lot going on, and nothing going on all at the same time.  Aside from all the writing, there's a multi-colored grid of boxes in the center of the card, but it's mostly obscured by the depicted player.

The backs are a little better.  You can see that they carried that checkerboard grid pattern over from the front and used it for the bio/write-up.  I will give them credit for at least using a different photograph (and writing the player's name only once on the reverse).

Fleer did fairly well with the player selection for the 10-card set, especially given how many total busts came out of the era.  Hell, Rob Blake here became a HOFer in 2014.

Rangers' fan favorite Adam Graves made the cut, fresh off of a Stanley Cup championship!

This was the first card I had from the set, and the only one I had earmarked specifically for my collection before running across the others for a price I couldn't refuse.  I always liked Irbe back in the day, but really it was because of his odd helmet and strange name as much as anything else.

Joe Juneau had a productive rookie year for the Bruins, who sadly dealt him away for defenseman Al Iafrate towards the end of the following season.  Not one of Boston's finest trades either, as Iafrate would last just 12 total games with the B's.  Juneau is a really smart dude; he earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytech in just 3 years before he began his NHL career.  Oh, and that was in English, his second language.

Interesting that in a ten card set Fleer decided to go with two San Jose Sharks.  I remember Sandis Ozolinsh much more fondly from his time with the dominating Colorado Avalanche teams of the mid to late '90s.

I've talked a few times on the blog about the fact that I was enamored with the Flyers' Legion of Doom line as a kid.  While Mikael Renberg is certainly the least known of the three players who made up that line, I still enjoy picking up new Renberg cards to this day.  In fact, this might be my favorite card in this insert set.

Outside of HOFer Rob Blake, Keith Tkachuk had probably the best career of anyone in this set.  He's regarded as one of the best American-born hockey players to date, and actually played all the way through 2010!

With two Sharks in the set, you had to know Fleer was going to include someone from the other new NHL franchise at the time, the Senators.  They made a wise decision in going with Alexei Yashin over the bust that was Alexandre Daigle.

Zubov had just won a Stanley Cup with New York, but really went on to make his mark during the 11 seasons with Dallas that closed out his NHL career.  The Stars won a Cup as well during that stretch, and in retrospect Zubov was a pretty under-rated D-man during his tenure with the Stars.

Well, that's it for the '94-95 Fleer Franchise Futures set.  Not the most exciting grouping of hockey cards you'll ever see, but it's hard for me to turn down inserts from my youth, especially when the entire set cost me around a dollar...

5 comments:

Marc said...

That is a nice set. Sheeesh...... Even twenty years ago the Bruins were trading away all their great young players for run of the mill over the hill players.

Mark Kaz said...

Cool set! Zubov was an amazing point man on the PP.

Billy Kingsley said...

Even though they are messed with photos (I normally can't stand when a player photo is put over a digitally created background with the rest of the photo removed) I still like these. How can I now, mid 90s Fleer was the best.

shlabotnikreport said...

Surprisingly nice set from the train wreck that is mid-90's Fleer (sorry, Billy). I'm going to have to pick up the Juneau.

forestrydave said...

Cool set and ugly as hell! This serves as a reminder how weak the prospects were during the mid-90's and how crazy some of the sets looked.

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