"Card Bored" is a regular feature that chronicles Sean Leahy's adventures in the nostalgic joys and unintentional hilarity of the hockey card industry. Have a funny hockey card story? Then send it our way firstname.lastname@example.org.
When pogs burst onto the collectible scene in the early 1990's, I was puzzled at how quickly they became popular. To me, slap bracelets had more redeeming qualities than circular pieces of cardboard with a tiny photo on the front.
What about the game of pogs? Use the slammer and whatever ones land face up are yours? What fun is that?
I'd rather eat seven pieces of cheap gum that would soon disintegrate in my mouth, while checking out how many Craig Ludwig's were in a pack of cards.
Pogs quickly faded and cards were back on top. I never got into pogs and I'm happy I didn't join the fad. Hockey cards are much more desirable to collect. There's special plastic holders for each card; perfectly created binders to hold said cards; and cards are much easier to sort through than the circular pogs. Cards could make nice wallpaper if you were creative enough, while pogs were like tiny drink coasters.
If you have a heart-warming pog story, please do share with us in the comments. But we're dealing with cards here.
Gilbert Dionne 1992-93 Upper Deck All-Rookie Team
The former 81st overall pick in the 1990 NHL Draft was all the rage after his rookie season, when he posted 34 points in 39 games. That flow of confidence allowed Dionne to mimic a Tiger Williams stick-between-the-legs goal celebration for this Upper Deck card.
After two more semi-productive seasons with Montreal, Dionne would finish his career with 13 points in his final two National Hockey League seasons. And suddenly he wasn't taking any more hockey photos like this one.
Jarmo Myllys 1996 Swedish Semic Wien Super Goalies
Myllys was a fantastic prospect of the Minnesota North Stars while playing in the International Hockey League with the Kalamazoo Wings. In the NHL? Not so much.
Myllys posted a 68-30-8 record in his three seasons in the minors, but when he was promoted to the NHL he became a sieve and his five-hole was about the size of the white info box on his card. After allowing 161 goals in 39 games over four seasons in the NHL, Myllys returned to Europe after being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for cash.
That's right, cash. San Jose didn't even want another player in a return for him, just a bag of cash.
Bob Essensa 1990-91 Pro Set Play Smart
Back when television shows and cartoons had morals to them (remember at the end of each G.I. Joe episode?), hockey card companies decided to get into the act as Pro Set's "Play Smart" subset had inspirational messages to kids.
What you don't see in this card is the puck in the back of the net while Essensa poses perfectly to inspire the kids out there to "achieve."