Showing posts with label terry sawchuk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label terry sawchuk. Show all posts

Friday, May 1, 2015

Top Valued 1958-59 Topps NHL Hockey Cards

In the middle ages of hockey cards between 1951-52 and the NHL expansion days of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the 1958-59 Topps series stands out as one of the most desirable to vintage hockey cards collectors. The full set of 66 cards is valued as high as $4500 by Beckett Hockey. The majority of that value is provided by the Bobby Hull rookie card.

The top five cards in the 1958-59 series are all valued at $150 or more. Two of the five are rookie cards, Bobby Hull and Eddie Shack. Two are goalies and the other is a hockey legend whose combined career hockey card value is worth a small fortune.

It should be noted that the values given are 'book value' and are used as reference only. Sale prices of vintage hockey cards, as in any form of art, can change drastically, influenced by demand, condition, timing, the seller's and buyer's knowledge, etc.

Glenn Hall – Chicago Blackhawks

glenn hall chicago blackhawks

The number 13 card of goaltender Glenn Hall is fifth with a value of $150. Although he began his career in 1952-53 with the Detroit Red Wings, in 1958-59, Hall was well into a ten year stint with the Chicago Black Hawks that would make him a Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender.

Terry Sawchuk – Detroit Red Wings

terry sawchuk detroit red wings

Next up the ladder is the number 2 card of Terry Sawchuk. Sawchuk, Hall and Jacques Plante were constantly in the running for the Vezina trophy during this era. Sawchuk began his NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings in 1949-50 and had returned to Detroit from a two-year stint with the Boston Bruins by the time this series came out. Like Hall (and Plante, for that matter), Terry was an automatic for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Eddie Shack – New York Rangers

eddie shack new york rangers

The third most valuable card in the 1958-59 Topps set is that of the only player in the top five to not be a member of the Hall of Fame. The number 30 rookie card of Eddie Shack is valued at up to $250. Shack began his NHL career with the New York Rangers in that 1958-59 season and played with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins before retiring during the 1974-75 season. He may not officially be in the Hall, but he should be.

Gordie Howe – Detroit Red Wings

gordie howe detroit red wings

If Gordie Howe’s picture is on the cardboard, it’s worth money. From his rookie card in 1951-52 (bringing the re-birth of hockey card collecting) with the Detroit Red Wings to his final card in 1979-80 as a member of the Hartford Whalers, Howe’s cards are always valuable. His 1958-59 Topps number 8 is valued at up to $500.

Bobby Hull – Chicago Blackhawks

bobby hull chicago blackhawks

After the re-birth of hockey cards in 1951-52, there are three hockey cards that are valued above all others. All valued at $3000, those three cards are the rookie cards of Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr and the 1958-59 Topps number 66 of Bobby Hull of the Chicago Black Hawks. It was just the start of an amazing career that stayed in Chicago until 1972-73, jumped tracks to the Winnipeg Jets of the WHA and ended up with Gordie Howe and the Hartford Whalers in 1979-80.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

1950-51 NHL Season By The Numbers

 bill barilko toronto maple leafs
1950-51 was quite an important year in the National Hockey League. Many say that that season marked the NHL’s entry into the modern era. For the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was an infamously significant season. The Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup championship on an overtime goal by Bill Barilko. However, Barilko would die in a plane crash not long after the celebration. Take a look back at the 1950-51 season by the numbers.


Milt Schmidt won his only Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player. Schmidt played his entire NHL career with the Boston Bruins from 1936-37 to 1954-55, appearing in 776 regular season games in an era of much shorter schedules. Milt was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.

In 1950-51, Milt totalled 61 points in 62 regular season games, finishing fifth in the NHL. His 22 goals placed him ninth in the league while his 39 assists placed him fourth. Milt helped the Bruins squeak into the Stanley Cup playoffs, finishing just one point ahead of the New York Rangers for the final post season position. The Toronto Maple Leafs were too much for the Bruins in the opening round, winning the series in five games. Boston was able to score just five goals on the Maple Leafs over the series.


Three future Hockey Hall of Fame players played their first NHL games in 1950-51. Alex Delvecchio appeared in one game for the Detroit Red Wings and would play his entire NHL career with the club. Delvecchio appeared in 1,550 regular season games between 1950-51 and 1973-74 with Detroit. He directly followed that up with a four year stint as the head coach of the Red Wings.

Montreal greats Bernie ‘Boom Boom’ Geoffrion and Jean Beliveau both began their careers with the Canadiens in 1950-51. Geoffrion played 18 games in 1950-51 and posted an impressive 14 points. Bernie played with Montreal until the end of the 1963-64 season. Beliveau played just two games for the Habs in 1950-51 and wouldn’t be a regular with the team until 1953-54. Jean played his entire NHL career with the Canadiens, retiring after the 1970-71 season with 1,125 regular season games under his belt.

Delvecchio entered the Hall of Fame in 1977 while both Geoffrion and Beliveau were inducted in 1972.


Each of the five games in the Stanley Cup finals series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens went to overtime. With each of the games decided by a single goal, the Toronto outscored Montreal 13-10 over the series. The Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in overtime of the fifth game when defenseman Bill Barilko pinched in and scored on Montreal goalie Gerry McNeil.


It took the Toronto Maple Leafs ten games to win the 1951 Stanley Cup. As with any Original Six era season, there were just two rounds of playoffs with only four teams qualifying for the post season. In the first round, Toronto took out the Milt Schmidt led Boston Bruins in five games. In the other semi-final, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Detroit Red Wings in six. Toronto took five more games to eliminate Montreal and win the Cup.


Terry Sawchuk shutout his opponents eleven times, en route to earning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Sawchuk’s total while playing all of Detroit’s 70 games was equalled by the duo of goaltenders in Toronto, Al Rollins and Turk Broda. Toronto was the first team in the NHL to use a two goalie system.

Terry had appeared in seven games for the Red Wings the previous season but it was not enough to erase his rookie status. Sawchuk’s 1.99 goals against average was not enough to win the Vezina Trophy in 1950-51 but he won the award three out of the next four years. He was a four time Vezina winner over his National Hockey League career.


The Chicago Black Hawks won just 13 games in 1950-51, while the Detroit Red Wings lost just 13. Highlighting Chicago’s disastrous season was an 11-3 loss to Detroit, a 10-2 loss to Boston and a 12-2 loss to Montreal. Chicago finished 25 points behind the fifth place New York Rangers in the six team league. Detroit ended the year with 65 more points.

Chicago was not without big name players. Roy Conacher, Bill Mosienko, Doug Bentley, Gus Bodnar and Bill Gadsby were in the lineup. In net was eventual member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Harry Lumley.


1950-51 marked the first season the National Hockey League moved to a 70 game schedule. The previous season, each team played 60 games. The 70 game schedule would remain an annual tradition until the expansion year of 1967-68 when six teams and four games each were added. At that point, the schedule increased to 74, changing several times over the next few decades to settle on the current day 82 games.


Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top point-getter in 1950-51 with 86 points. Howe finished an astonishing 20 points ahead of the next player, Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard of the Montreal Canadiens. Gordie led the NHL in goal scoring with 43, just one more than Richard. He tied Ted Kennedy of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the league lead in assists with 43.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The 1967-68 Los Angeles Kings: In the Beginning...

los angeles kings nhl logo
It all began for the Los Angeles Kings in 1967-68. The team was one of six to be admitted into the National Hockey League, doubling the league in size. It was the first time the NHL had consisted of more than six teams since the Brooklyn Americans folded after the 1941-42 season.

Like the other five expansion teams, the Kings were a rag-tag bunch of career AHL veterans, untested rookies and NHL players in the twilight of their careers. The six new teams were packed in the Western Division. The difference between first and fifth in the West was just six points. The Oakland Seals fell away from the pack, finishing with just 15 wins and 47 points.

Los Angeles finished second in the West in that first season with 72 points over 74 games, just one point behind the first place Philadelphia Flyers. The Kings lost their first ever playoff round to the Minnesota North Stars. The series went seven games with the North Stars romping 9-4 to oust the Kings at the Forum in L.A. Los Angeles held 2-0 and 3-2 leads in the series but could not hold on for the victory.

Eddie Joyal led the club in assists and points during the regular season with 34 and 57 while playing the full 74 game schedule. Joyal played his first NHL game in 1962-63 with the Detroit Red Wings and appeared sparingly through the years with Detroit and the Toronto Maple Leafs before becoming a regular with the Kings. He also played half a season with the Philadelphia Flyers before ending his pro career in the WHA with the Edmonton Oilers.

Bill Flett had been stuck in the minors since turning pro in 1963-64. 1967-68 was his first season in the NHL and he led the Kings in goals with 26. Flett went on to play nearly 900 major league games between the NHL and WHA. He left the Kings midway through the 1971-72 season for the Philadelphia Flyers. He also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Atlanta Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

In goal, the Kings platooned a rookie and one of the greatest goaltenders to play the game. Wayne Rutledge played in 45 games in his first NHL season, while Terry Sawchuk played in 36. Rutledge was relegated to a backup role over the next two seasons with Los Angeles and eventually became a WHA mainstay, playing with the Houston Aeros during their entire history. Sawchuk, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, was on the downside of his great career and would play just 22 games over the next two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers.

Brian Kilrea is also in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but for what he accomplished as a builder in the Ontario Hockey League. Previous to 1967-68, Killer had played just one NHL game, with the Red Wings in 1957-58. He played just 25 games with Los Angeles but one of his three goals with the club was the first ever scored for the franchise. Kilrea went on to coach the Ottawa 67’s from 1974 to 2009.

There was one other Hall of Famer on the team but he stood behind the bench. Head Coach Red Kelly had just come off a Stanley Cup victory as a player with the Toronto Maple Leafs the year before. After a career that spanned from 1947-48, Kelly retired after hoisting the Cup and took a different direction within the game. He coached the Kings for two seasons and went on to coach the Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1970’s.

Anchoring the defense was one of many long time American Hockey League veterans getting their first start in the NHL. Bill White played in the AHL as early as 1959-60, while still a junior with the OHA’s Toronto Marlboros. He went on to play over 600 regular season games and nearly 100 playoff games in the NHL with Los Angeles and the Chicago Black Hawks.

Bill also ended up behind the bench after his playing career was over. He spent one year as head coach of Chicago in 1976-77 before two years in the OHA. In his first season behind the bench with the Oshawa Generals, he was named coach of the year.