1990-91 Pro Set – Bryan Trottier
So, the NHL lockout appears to be over. I can’t begin to compose all my thoughts about that, so I am going to focus them instead on honouring one of the great players of the NHL’s past, from a time before The Lockout Era started.
Lots of people remember Bryan Trottier for his six 100-point seasons, his Art Ross Trophy win in 1979, his six Stanley Cups as a player, or for his assault on Brian Bellows with Kevin Stevens.
What he isn’t often remembered for is his mustache. Trottier’s mustache was a staple of the New York Islanders’ success, and then it helped push Pittsburgh over the top in 1991 and 1992 as well. You’ll notice the Islanders have been terrible since Trottier’s mustache left, and Pittsburgh almost lost their team when he left there. These things are more than just a coincidence. They are part of a Mustache Legacy.
1990-91 Pro Set - Alexander Mogilny (Front)
1990-91 Pro Set - Alexander Mogilny (Back)
I learned a hell of a lot about Alexander Mogilny from the back of his 1990-91 Pro Set card.
- His nickname was “Magic.” I never heard this one again.
- He had a roller-coaster rookie season in Buffalo after scoring on his first shift.
- He had to miss several games because of a fear of flying. You might have picked the wrong business, kid.
- He won a gold medal at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
- He loves the North American lifestyle, especially fast cars. Shocking.
That’s a lot to digest all at once. I could have completely skipped school that year and just read hockey cards. Well done, Pro Set.
This remains one of my all-time favourite, albeit completely worthless, sets.
In honour of today’s NHL All-Star festivities, let’s take a look back at a couple of great NHL All-Star cards from the past. 1990-91 Pro Set, one of my personal favourites, had a great All-Star subset.
1990-91 Pro Set - Bernie Nicholls All-Star
1990-91 Pro Set - Ron Francis All-Star
It was a different time then, a time when players didn’t get new gloves when they were named to their conference teams, they wore their club team gloves, no matter how bad they looked. Case in point, see Ron Francis and Bernie Nicholls above.
Things sure have changed.
SIDE NOTE: If you are interested in NHL uniforms, make sure you go to www.nhluniforms.com and www.icethetics.info. Cool sites.
1990-91 Pro Set - Dave Babych
Dave Babych’s mustache was one of the greatest and most legendary the NHL has ever seen. It was thick and dark, a harbinger of a bygone era when Hartford and Boston faced off for New England NHL supremacy.
The best part of this card is that, born in 1961, Dave Babych would have been 29 years old. Twenty-nine. He was clearly a man among boys. As usual, I credit the mustache.
1990-91 Pro Set - Pete Peeters
When your last name is Peeters, what possibly compels you to name your son Peter? I don’t understand it, but it makes a great name for this series.
Despite starting from behind because of his name, Peeters actually had a good NHL career, compiling a record of 246-155-51 and a GAA of 3.08 in a scorer-friendly era. He now works as the Goaltending Consultant for the Anaheim Ducks.
1990-91 Pro Set - Bruce Shoebottom
Reasons besides the name Shoebottom that Shoebottom should be famous. Found on the internet (a new and reasonably useful tool, check it out if you haven’t yet) at http://www.hockeydraftcentral.com/1983/83047.html:
-Suspended by IHL during 1986-87 season for going into stands to fight fans during a game at Salt Lake City
-Suspended by AHL during 1990-91 game for head butting linesman Brad Weeden
-Arrested and jailed for one night in 1991 after going into stands to fight a fan during a game at Utica
-In a 1994 game in Tulsa, he tried to leave the penalty box to resume a fight, and police had to intervene to protect the penalty box attendant, at which point he head butted the officer, who had to put him in a chokehold and use pepper spray to subdue him.
Also, great name.
1990-91 Pro Set - Kelly Hrudey
While probably most famous for his bandana, we will save that Kelly Hrudey post for another day. Right now, we need to look at what’s going on in Hrudey’s 1990-91 Pro Set card.
The mask is something else. I think Arturs Irbe and Hrudey shopped at the same store in the early 1990’s. That whole thing with the white neck guard hanging down is just a mess.
The pads – I just don’t understand what’s going on here. First of all, it looks like Hrudey hadn’t gotten a new set of pads since his rookie season in 1983-84. Those things have been abused. Secondly, he came to Los Angeles partway through the 1988-89 season. Either he took waaaaay to long to break in black and white pads, or (more likely) Pro Set used an old photo.
No matter what, in terms of fashion, Hrudey is just pulling together all kinds of terrible on this card.
1990-91 Pro Set - Ed Olczyk (I)
1990-91 Pro Set - Ed Olczyk (II)
Ed Olczyk started the 1990-91 season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, coming off seasons of 90 and 88 points for some pretty bad hockey teams. 18 games in, he was sent to Winnipeg along with Mark Osborne for Dave Ellett and Paul Fenton.
Initially, the trade looked like another Courtnall for Kordic-esque gaffe by questionable Leaf management of the era, especially after Olczyk scored in his first game for his new team, against the Leafs, no less. But, Ellett did end up being a key component in the Leafs’ run to the Conference Finals in 1993 and 1994, as did Osborne after he was dealt back to Toronto midway through 1991-92.
Interestingly enough, the next time Olczyk was traded, it was from the Jets to the New York Rangers for Kris King and Tie Domi, both future Leafs, both of whom were contributors to another strong Toronto playoff run in 1999.
The way the Leafs have been lately, maybe they should try trading him again and see what happens.
1990-91 Pro Set - Patrik Sundstrom - Sundstrom Photo
1990-91 Pro Set - Patrik Sundstrom - Stastny Photo
1990-91 Pro Set - Peter Stastny - Stastny Photo
1990-91 Pro Set - Peter Stastny - Sundstrom Photo
Twenty years later, I’m still confused.
However, I do love this set despite all its flaws, and the fact that this may have been the set that caused the whole “Error Card” thing to jump the shark.
Either way, fuckups like this deserve a WTF. So, WTF Pro Set?