Sunday, January 7, 2018

Chipping Away at the WHA

Something about sub-zero temperatures and shoveling snow just gets me in the mood for hockey cards.  Understandable, I guess.  Anyway, as I touched on in my 2017 re-cap, one of the areas I hope to make better progress on in 2018 within my collection would be WHA hockey cards.

My long term goal is to complete the entire '70s WHA run, but I'm targeting the very first WHA hockey cards to begin with, from the high series of the standard '72-73 O-Pee-Chee set.  There are 51 total WHA subjects in the set, and I closed out 2017 with 11 of them.  40 more to go, I'd love to cut that number in half this year.  Let's knock one off the list today anyway...

My first Minnesota Fighting Saints card from this release is right winger Wayne Connelly.  Wayne actually had a lengthy and fairly successful run at the NHL level beginning in the early 1960s, before transitioning to the WHA to wind down his career.  Random trivia fact, Bobby Orr's first career point came as an assist on a powerplay goal that Wayne scored in October of 1966!

The Fighting Saints lasted about 3 and 3/4 seasons in the WHA before folding.  Yes, I said 3 and 3/4.  The WHA was such an adventure that just because you started a season as a franchise didn't necessarily mean you were going to finish it.  Though you don't get a look at it on this card, they had one of the more "interesting" logos you'll probably ever see:


Here's the back.  These are all about the fronts if you ask me, but it is kinda cool that it mentions Wayne's shot being so hard that he broke plexiglass on more than one occasion.

I got this one in a lot of '72-73 OPC cards that included some of the regular lower series NHL cards as well, so why not take a look at a couple of those while we're at it here...

Here's another winger.  Lowell MacDonald played in just over 500 NHL games, recording 390 career points.  His best years came with the Pens, right around when this set was released.

Last of today's trio, goaltender Dan Bouchard.  Love those brown pads!  Dan would become an NHL regular for many seasons, but '72-73 was actually his rookie campaign.  A couple of nice commons, but...

...at the end of the day it was the WHA cards that drove me to this lot.  Nice to be up to an even dozen of these now!

Seems like it's going to be a long winter here in New England, so I'm sure I'll have plenty of motivation to post more of these in the coming weeks...

4 comments:

Mark Hoyle said...

Two more guys with a Bruins ties. Connelly and Bouchard was there top pick that they lost in expansion draft

forestrydave said...

Well done, three fine additions. A tough chase but certainly a fun one and one of the more memorable 70's sets in my opinion with the WHA component and the loads of early career stars.

t parish said...

I always look for late 60s/early 70s cards when I'm at shows or shops and I don't think I have ever found more than a couple of the high numbers as singles in the last, oh probably 10 years. Most of them on COMC are at least $10 or more each. It's crazy how that works.

Coast To Posts said...

That hockey playing angel boy seemed to be bootlegged for every logo minor hockey league team back when I was a kid.

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