The Worst Hockey Cards of All-Time is a new feature at Houses of the Hockey. On occasion, we’ll be highlighting some of the ugliest, funniest, and error-ridden cards both past and present.
By 1982 when O-Pee-Chee released its 82-83 set of hockey cards, Wayne Gretzky had already played three seasons with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. As part of its collection, O-Pee-Chee honoured the NHL’s 1981-82 league leaders with an insert set. The great Paul Baxter was honoured for his astounding 409 PIM, while Gretzky was featured on a number of the cards the league’s top goal scorer (92), assist leader (120), and as the scoring leader (212)… obviously. Consistent with almost every one of the nearly 6+ Wayne Gretzky cards of the 82-83 set was No. 99′s iconic Jofa helmet.
We say almost every one because for some reason the commemorative scoring leader card depicted Gretzky in a poorly airbrushed version of the Jofa.
Gretzky had worn the Jofa helmet as far back as his NHL career began, no? So why the paint job? It appears as though the airbrushing was done over top of an existing helmet. That’s not even close to what a proper Jofa looks like; it’s some kind of cross between a Petr Klima and a Butch Goring. Gratuitous airbrushing at its most inexplicable.
Although we consider ourselves a bunch of nostalgia crazy hockey geeks, and have all collected cards throughout the years, we’re always looking for new cards to highlight. If you have a hockey card you’d like to see featured, just email us at email@example.com and we may post your submission.