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Sur glace.

I am on something of a hockey bender.

The Olympics is part of that, sure; but it’s that time of year anyway. Before the Olympics, I went to see college hockey. After the Olympics, there will be the NHL. And all winter there’s been snow and ice and snapping cold here in eastern Pennsylvania — very much hockey weather.

Somebody was kind enough to scan in the 1976 O-Pee-Chee set of hockey trading cards and post them all on Flickr. As part of my hockey jag, I’ve been enjoying them tonight. You don’t have to be a hockey fan to appreciate some of the faces and poses — some timeless, some firmly of the Seventies.

Here are some of my favorites. To respect the owner’s rights, I won’t copy them here. But each link should open in a new window, so you can check out the pix without having to leave my gripping commentary.

Allons-y:

This pose is so metal.

– Know what today’s sports cards need? More flesh wounds.

– Something tells me Ernie Hicke‘s sartorial style was wasted on St. Paul. (Gary Smith’s, too; there’s more than a little Glenn Frey in that photo.)

Ed Van Impe looks as though he’s been playing since 1938 and has seen literally everything that can possibly happen on a hockey rink.  (“Did I tell you about the time the linesman’s dog came running onto the ice and blocked a shot?”)

Simon Nolet, meanwhile, looks like a former hockey star turned junior high school science teacher who terrorizes the kids every year in the students-vs.-faculty hockey game.

– With his unfortunate hair, his lopsided grin and the glint in his eye, Tim Jacobs could have played a member of a homicidal motorcycle gang in a slasher B-movie set in Quebec.

– Similarly, I’m glad that’s not a chainsaw in Larry Goodenough‘s hands.

These three guys, in contrast, look like some sort of Canadian hoser-humor vaudeville act.  (“Tonight at the Sherbrooke Theatre: Les Trois Canadiens, performing their nationally famous routine, ‘It’s A Beauty Night for Hockey, Eh?’ “)

Rod Seiling seems quite pleased with the airbrush job on his jersey; Michel Plasse, less so. (It is possible, I suppose, that those are practice jerseys.)

– I imagine slapshots clanking harmlessly off the frosted hair-helmet of Garry Unger. It’s easy to set a record for consecutive games played when your hair is impermeable to assault or injury.

– John Bednarski did radio and TV for my hometown Rochester Amerks for many years. In this pic, he looks like an 11-year-old youth hockey hotshot whose dad, the coach, has just pulled him off the ice for hotdogging.

Dallas Smith saw something in the basement of Boston Garden that he doesn’t tell anybody about.

– Playing a sold-out Madison Square Garden was the highlight of Ralph Klassen‘s career as Peter Frampton’s keyboard player, as well as Bert Wilson’s tenure as ABBA’s touring bass player.

Dave Hrechkosy, meanwhile, looks like the frontman of a power-pop band from Long Island that’s trying to decide whether to take that major-label offer.

– With his mustache, long hair and somewhat beefy look, Jocelyn Guevremont bears — at least to my eyes — a passing resemblance to Chicago’s Terry Kath. (Kath was fond of wearing hockey jerseys onstage, which probably contributes to the resemblance.)

– I could also see a touch of the young, deer-in-the-headlights Brian Wilson in Richard Nantais, and the tiniest hint of Neil Diamond in Doug Favell.

– If Rod Gilbert never did ads for men’s underwear, it wasn’t any fault of his own.

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4 responses »

  1. My familiarity with sports cards is almost nil. But for a sport that ranks below only rugby and American football for contact, I am surprised that most of these guys seem to be trying hard to put on the charm! Don’t football cards, for example, feature guys with the game face on, ready to take on the next 10 guys who walk in?

    Reply
  2. This is the most delightful thing on the Internets today.

    I remember Garry Unger’s hair, flying gloriously as he went helmetless down the ice, for it was not unlike my own in 1976.

    Reply

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