Hockey Card Stories reveals what was really going on in your favourite old hockey cards through the eyes of the players depicted on them. Some of the cards are definitely worth a few bucks, some a few cents — but every story told here is priceless.
Sportsnet’s Ken Reid presents the cards you loved and the airbrushed monstrosities that made you howl, the cards that have been packed away in boxes forever, and others you can’t believe ever existed. Whether it’s a case of mistaken identity or simply a great old photo, a fantastic 1970s haircut and ’stache, a wicked awesome goalie mask or a future Hall of Famer’s off-season fashion sense, a wide variety of players — from superstars like Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, and Phil Esposito to the likes of Bill Armstrong who played only one game in the NHL — chime in on one of their most famous cards.
Early in his love letter to the hockey cards of his youth, Sportsnet anchor Reid gets the scoop on a 1981-82 Paul Baxter card how he lead the NHL in penalty minutes, and why he looks so ornery on the card itself. It turns out the book is as much for the author as the reader: "I, for one, understand why I've always been obsessed with this simple-looking hockey card. It turns out there is quite a story behind it." There are few rabbit holes that Reid didn't go down, hunting some incredibly obscure names (hello Chuck Luska!) and some big game (Orr, Potvin, both Esposito brothers). Readers will find themselves continually flipping back to the page with the reproduction of the hockey card. What the reader won't do is plunk down on the couch and read it in one sitting, as the stories, while well-written and entertaining, are repetitive consumed one after another. Another flaw can be solved with a sequel these are all players from the 1970s to the early 1990s, leaving open the question whether or not today's NHLers love their cards the way their predecessors did.