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Sunday, January 6, 2013

1981-82 OPC Reboot: Sabres and Flames

Buffalo Sabres

 The Sabres would be one of three teams to only use two goalies during the entire season.  The Sabres had a good reason.  They finished 3rd in the league for fewest goals against and both goalies finished in the top five for best GAA.  In the previous season, 79-80, the pair combined to win the Vezina Trophy.  At that time the Vezina trophy was given out to eligible goalies, 25+ games played, on the team with the lowest goals against.  Both Sabres goalies would get a card in the 81-82 set.

Rk        Player Pos Age GP  W  L T/O  GA  GAA SO  MIN
1    Don  Edwards   G  25 45 23 10  12 133 2.96  3 2700
2      Bob  Sauve   G  25 35 16 10   9 111 3.17  2 2100
      Team Total         80 39 20  21 244 3.05  5 4800
1981-82 OPC #21 Don Edwards

 Don Edwards would have nine OPC cards and he beat the odds.  Only four cards had him without his helmet.  Even his rookie card has him in full gear and a semi-action shot...  I guess.  The reboot is a clear winner here.

1981-82 OPC #23 Bob Sauve

 Other than the picture, there is an obvious difference.  In the 81-82 OPC set, Sauve is given the Red Wings treatment, while in mine, he is still a Sabre.  Sauve started the season as a Buffalo Sabre.  He was traded to the Detroit Red Wings on December 2nd, 1981 for a conditional draft pick.  His Topps card has him as a Sabre, but since OPC is released later in the season, they made Sauve a Red Wings card.  So what did the Sabres get as the conditional draft pick?  Bob Sauve....  huh?
  I give the reboot the win.  I am not a fan of cards where the uniforms don't match the card.  Also, I give my card a +1 for featuring a Buffalo Sabre in a white uniform.

Calgary Flames

    The 81-82 set was the first opportunity for the Calgary Flames to get into the cards.  They had moved from Atlanta before the 80-81 season had started.  In response to the move, OPC made some tremendously ugly cards, paining over the Atlanta Flames logo on the jerseys and mainly using head shots.  On a side note, the Flames had another one of the oddest team sets.  The 1983-84 OPC set has all the Flames wearing Molson sponsored practice jerseys.
  The Flames entered the season with three goalies.  They kept Pat Riggin and Reggie Lemelin , who both had thier rookie cards in the 1981-82 set, but traded away the last remaining original Atlanta Flame to another Canadian team.  He'll make an appearance later in the set.

Rk           Player Pos  Age GP  W  L T/O  GA   GAA SO  MIN
1        Pat  Riggin   G  21 42 21 16   4 154  3.83  0 2411
2    Reggie  Lemelin   G  26 29 14  6   7  88  3.24  2 1629
3      Dan  Bouchard   G  30 14  4  5   3  51  4.03  0  760
         Team Total         80 39 27  14 293  3.66  2 4800

1981-82 OPC #37 Pat Riggin (RC)

    1981-82 is Pat Riggin's rookie card and only card as a Flame.  His 25 games played in 79-80 wasn't enough to crack the 80-81 set.  In two season with the Calgary Flames, Riggin would play Riggin would be traded to Washington after the 81-82 season and would get the airbrush treatment by OPC.  He would win a William Jennings trophy with the Capitals in 1984.  I think my rebbot edition might be the inferior card.  True, it is an action shot, but it's a low resolution.  The original card, while not an action shot, is one of the few that has the goalie in full equipment.  I am giving the original OPC version a narrow win in this match up.

1981-82 OPC #44 Reggie Lemelin (RC)

  Continuing the theme of goalies who won a trophy by being on the team with the lowest goals against that season, I present a reboot of Reggie Lemelin's rookie card.  Lemelin's teams made the Stanley Cup finals three times; losing each time.  Lemelin would win his William Jennings in 1990 as a Boston Bruin.  His creasemate from that season will have his rookie card rebooted in a later post.
  The reboot is back on a winning side.  Clear win on this one.  Lemelin is in action and in a home white uniform.  That is how it should be done.  Compare that to Lemelin doing a warm-up skate looking at...  what is he looking at?  Did they even have the kiss cam back in 1981?

1 comment:

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