Top 10 Goalie Cards (From My Youth)
Like most boys growing up I loved collecting sports cards. As a tyke it was all about baseball cards. I’d walk up to the corner gas station with my allowance to buy a pack, and get a stick of stale gum. I was always excited when I pulled a Chicago Cubs player from a pack, as at that age I thought I’d play for the Cubs when I grew up. Once I started playing hockey in the fifth grade I pretty much stopped buying baseball cards, and started spending my snow shoveling money on hockey cards.
I caught the hockey card bug hard. I’d buy complete sets, unopened boxes of packs of cards. I even got a subscription to Beckett Hockey Monthly, and had that subscription for about 10 years. The most valuable hockey card I pulled from a pack was coincidentally the last pack I bought in my youth as a 14 year old – an Upper Deck Ray Bourque game jersey card.
Having amassed so many hockey cards during my collecting years, I put together a list of the Top 10 goalie cards, not by value or who the goalie is, but awesomeness of the card’s picture. This is a subjective list, and only covers the cards I collected, so early ’90s to early ’00s. I’ve added in a few honorable mentions too.
Honorable Mentions (5 of them)
15. This card of Mario Gosselin wouldn’t be as memorable of the puck wasn’t passing his toe as he stacks the pads to go into the net. I’d hate to have a hockey card out there of me being scored on, but that’s what Gosselin lives with every day. The other thing that makes this card awesome is the classic Cooper set up, and combo helmet.
14. This card of Tim Cheveldae wouldn’t have made the list of the puck wasn’t so perfectly placed in the middle of his blocker. It looks as though he is looking at his blocker and saying, “it’s just stuck there. It won’t come off.” As a Hawks fan it pains me that I have a Red Wing on this list too, but no Hawks goalies.
13. Is the Leaf’s player handing Frank Pietrangelo his stick? What exactly is going on in this picture? I’m assuming the play was still live as both Piertangelo and the Leaf’s player are looking in the same direction, probably following the puck. The other Whaler player that is half in the photo also seems to be trying to turn his head to see the play too.
12. This card of Peter Sidorkiewicz is the first on the list showing a goalie in a true save action shot. Another great combo helmet too. I like that you can see his eyes clearly following the puck, but it seems to have sailed past him – presumably wide of the net too. The Upper Deck flying puck graphic seems to add to this card too since the puck graphic is heading in the same direction as Sidorkiewicz is moving to make his save.
11. KeKelly Hrudey had style, and that’s what helps this card stand out. The crown painted in the combo mask, he is in mid air as he jumps to catch a puck in his chest instead of letting it hit his head. Just something about this card that ‘jumps’ out at me, and put it in the honorable mention list.
10. Now the actual Top 10. Leading off the list is Chris Terreri in another great combo helmet that was prevalent in the ’90s. This is a photo you won’t see of goalies today. Terreri is moving across his crease in what is probably a desperation attempt, exposing the inner part of his right leg. This was a time in goaltending when skate saves were still used, so the crease movement doesn’t surprise me.
9. We’ve all made those glove saves where the puck seems to be going into our armpit, but we still want to catch the puck rather than block it, then cover it. That looks to be exactly what happened Bill Ranford here. The added style of kicking the leg out, and the fact he has his eye on the puck, even as it falls from his glove make this card awesome.
8. One of everybody’s favorite southpaws, Grant Fuhr flashes the leather in a Windmill Wednesday-worth save captured on this card. What makes the card even better is that it was from Fuhr’s time in Buffalo.
7. As goalies we are always taught to keep our eyes on the puck, and that is exactly what Glenn Healy did in this photo. In his classic John Brown Islanders setup, Healy watched the puck all the way into his glove. You can clearly see his eyes watching the puck about to enter his glove. (A close examination of the photo and one could argue the puck probably popped out, but as a goalie I need to be optimistic.)
6. How can a list of top 10 goalie cards from the ’90s not include a card of one of the most exciting goaltenders of the decade? Mike Richter was a true gem to watch, Because of his small size he really did have to be athletic. It’s also why there are so many great photos of him making Windmill Wednesday-worthy glove saves, and always with his eyes on the puck.
5. Bill Ranford is making the list again, this time with a save to the stick side. This photo is perfectly framed, with the stick above Ranford’s head, him looking the way of the camera, his save stance almost an old school skate save. It might not make everyone’s top 10 list, but I like it.
4. This card starts a common theme in the top four – cards with photos of goalie not quite in a traditional stances we could say. This card of Rick Tabaracci has him a good two feet in the air as a teammate slides into the net below him.
3. Not sure if Mike Vernon is dancing to Thriller in this photo, but this is an awesome photo. As a bit of an amateur photographer, I know it wasn’t an easy photo to pull off – especially in the pre-digital age of photography. The photographer had to set up a camera in the catwalk then use a remote trigger to capture the photo, hoping Vernon was still in focus.
2. I’m not sure who at Upper Deck approved this photo, but I thank them for doing so. Why John Tanner is getting a ride on the back of a Flyer’s player the world may never know. Either way, it makes this card truly unique, and almost my number one card on this list.
- What makes this card number one in my book is the fact that Rick Tabaracci is leveling a Blues player. This is Tabaracci’s second appearance on the list too. The only thing that would have made the card better is if we could see the whole body of the Blues player to see his face. Either way, a goalie leveling a skater is always awesome, and makes this card number one.
Have a favorite card not because of the player, but because of the picture? Share it in the comments.
P.S. You are welcome for posting all this one one page, and not each one on a new page for click bait. I get the tactic from a marketing perspective, but hate execution. 🙂