Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Roster - 1993-94 Coca Cola Team Issue

Nearly every year of their existence, the Hartford Whalers had a team-issued set of cards with a different local sponsor.  I'm a big fan of these sets for a few reasons.  In addition to being great oddball cards for the team collector, they're relatively scarce as well, so they're fun to chase.  At times you can go months or years without seeing these cards pop up even once on the secondary market.  My favorite thing about these sets though is that they often give you a chance to get a Whalers card of a lesser-known player that would likely be overlooked in the major releases. 

For many of the early sets in the 1980s the cards were over-sized, like the ones I've shown here from the 1985-86 release.  The 1993-94 team set though, sponsored by Coca Cola, returned to the standard size for a modern day trading card.  There were 24 cards in the set, and I've finally managed to track them all down. 

#1 - Sean Burke

As you can see, there's not much to the design.  Plain, white card stock (which I have to say is relatively thin and flimsy) with a portrait shot inset.  Team name, player's name and position along the bottom, team logo and sponsor's logo along the top.  I'm not generally a fan of portrait cards, but these do give you a good look at some of the insane haircuts that were in fashion in the game of hockey in the early '90s.

#2 - Adam Burt

#3 - Andrew Cassels

Here's an example, your textbook mullet with some good curl at the back.

#4 - Randy Cunneyworth

Nowadays I remember Randy more for his coaching stint with the Montreal Canadiens, which I believe lasted around 15 seconds, than from his playing days.

#5 - Alexander Godynyuk

#6 - Mark Greig

Here's a look at what a back looks like.  Not much going on here, black and white, essentials and stats...

#7 - Mark Janssens

Sort of a variation on the standard mullet here, looks like that one little piece to the right is trying to get away.

#8 - Robert Kron

The tight-cropped mullet, more of a European feel, very classy.

#9 - Bryan Marchment

#10 - Brad McCrimmon

Brad sadly passed away along with 44 others in the Lokomotiv airline disaster in 2011.

#11 - Pierre McGuire

Those of you who recognize McGuire from his NHL broadcasting work, including this past season's Stanley Cup playoffs, may not realize that he was, for a very short time, the head coach of the Hartford Whalers.

#12 - Michael Nylander

#13 - James Patrick

#14 - Frank Pietrangelo

#15 - Marc Potvin

I wrote about this card on my other blog earlier this year, warning it's pretty depressing.  In any event, I think it's the only card out there that depicts Marc with the Whalers so I'm happy to have it.

#16 - Chris Pronger

The Whalers really did have some quality players despite their almost total lack of success.  This is one card for the Pronger super-collector only I think!  Is it just me, or does he look a little "slow" in this photo?

#17 - Brian Propp

#18 - Jeff Reese

#19 - Geoff Sanderson

#20 - Jim Sandlak

#21 - Jim Storm

Makes Chris Pronger look like Albert Einstein.

#22 - Darren Turcotte

#23 - Pat Verbeek

Best career of any player in the set, or would you give that to Chris Pronger?  I'm going with Verbeek myself.

#24 - Zarley Zalapski

That's a wrap, the 1993-94 Coca Cola Whalers team set.  Not the most exciting batch of cards, but essential for a team collector like myself.
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