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Retro Scans: Topps 1990 NHL Trading Cards

Last week's post about the NHL's radical departure from tradition in 1995 with brand-new 3rd jerseys included some of my own history playing hockey.  After posting it, it got me thinking more and more about "the good old days."  So, to continue my stroll down memory lane, I dug into my basement bin of old trading cards.  I pulled out this great Topps wax pack of hockey cards from 1990.  

It's a HUGE pack of 15 cards, including 14 "Picture Cards" and 1 "Special Scoring Leader Glossy Card."  Don't forget that 34-year-old stick of chewing gum, too!  I've also included the obligatory image of aged gum for your viewing enjoyment!

Several of these cards instantly brought back memories.  In last week's article, I mentioned that I knew all of the players' names back then, but I can't name more than a handful from today.  I learned most of the names from collecting these old trading cards.  We had a ton of these Topps cards, but most of the ones my Dad, Brother, and I enjoyed ripping open were made by Pro Set.  I'll have to open one of those for you down the line, but today, we're taking a peak at a vintage Topps wax pack. 

When I grabbed this pack from my stash of cards, I was instantly transported back to 1990 or 1991.  I always loved the bright yellow and green on the cover.  I'd study the NHL logo, drawing it repeatedly (along with every team logo in the league.)  The player front and center may have been a generic avatar, but I'd always pretend he was a New York Ranger based on the uniform colors.  Or perhaps he was a member of the Devils, given his red and black gloves.  The uniform now reminds me of one of the Blades of Steel teams from Nintendo.   We didn't have iPads, phones, or YouTube to keep us occupied, so I used my very active imagination and dreamed up all sorts of breakaways and penalty shots that would lead to him raising his hands in celebration like he's depicted in the image.  

Looking at some of these names really brought me back.  From Glenn Anderson to Trevor Linden or Mike Vernon to Grant Fuhr, these were legends of their time that I had long forgotten about.  Memories of every single one of these guys came flooding back, but some stood out more than others.

Looking at the Glenn Anderson card reminded me of when my Dad, Brother, and I were listening to the news report on 660AM WFAN on the car radio in the parking lot of my Elementary School at some after-school function.  We were devastated to learn that one of our favorites, Mike Gartner, had been included in a blockbuster trade with Toronto in exchange for Glenn Anderson.  While my brother and I thought of him as "old man Anderson" (and he was then probably only my age now), Glenn was integral in helping the Rangers win the Stanley Cup just a few months later.

Another memory was brought back to me by the Grant Fuhr card.  I was sick, as I often was, and my Dad recorded the late-night West Coast game from the night before so I could watch it during the day while I was home from school.  Grant Fuhr was "standing on his head" that night and helped the Oilers defeat the Rangers.  As a goalie myself, I always focused on the goalies during an NHL game and would try to emulate what I saw or at least learn something.  In that particular game, Fuhr put on a clinic.  

Looking at the rest of the cards, I have a similar memory of watching the Rangers one evening with Dad as Mike Vernon and the Red Wings took the Rangers to school, as well.  

I hope you enjoy looking through these images as much as I did.  As always, you can click on each photo to enlarge them.