It’s Sunday. It’s the offseason. What are you doing reading a blog about hockey? Go read a book or something. Well, if you are going to stick around and read something, I’ll be darned if it’s going to be something worthwhile. So welcome to a new, random series here at Raw Charge: The Sunday Morning Card of the Week.
This week we’re going to dial the clock back to 1993 and the NHL All-Star Game. Why? Well, because of a little fun on Twitter.
McDonald’s Canada is announcing something on 8/31/21. It’ll probably be the McRib (despite an avalanche of requests for the McPizza). Among the thousands of comments to the original Tweet a lot of hockey fans hoped MickeyD’s would go back to releasing hockey cards like they did for quite awhile in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Apparently, their social media person wasn’t around for those days as they assumed Wyatt Arndt, a freelancer for The Athletic, was referring to the NHL and Upper Deck’s current agreement with Tim Horton’s to release an annual set of hockey cards.
The top card in the set on the left looked familiar. After a little research (I increased the size of the photo) I realized I had that card.
It’s the 1993-94 Upper Deck McDonald’s Brian Bradley card.
For this 28-card set, Upper Deck focused on 28 players that participated in the 1993 All-Star Game that was held in Montreal. Bradley was the first ever Tampa Bay Lightning representative, an honor he rightfully deserved as he posted 42-goal, 44-assist season in the Lightning’s inaugural year.
Not only did he get to play in an All-Star Game in Montreal, at one point during the game he lined up with future hall-of-famers Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull. That was pretty much where the fun stopped as the Wales Conference came out gunning with six first period goals on their way to a 16-6 victory.
As you can see in the photo he was sporting the number 14 instead of his customary 19. A certain center from the Detroit Red Wings was also on his team and Bradley deferred to him.
The game was notable for who wasn’t on the ice. Mario Lemiuex, who had been voted in by the fans, didn’t play as he was undergoing radiation therapy to treat Hodgkin’s Disease. Mark Messier was also unable to play despite being voted in. His replacement, Mike Gartner, had a pretty good night in his place, scoring four goals.
As for the cards. From what I can find, Canadian McDonald’s sold the 4-card packs for $0.49 with the purchase of a drink. Not only did you get the cards, you also had a shot at winning a trip to a Stanley Cup Game or other outstanding NHL merchandise.
As I mentioned, there were 28 cards in the set, but there were just 27 players featured. Card number 20, Kirk Muller, has two versions. One showing his full stick blade, and the other with the blade slightly cropped out. Unlike today’s card releases, this was likely an unintentional variation.
The back of the cards were written in both English and French and listed the players All-Star Game stats. The text on the back of Bradley’s card mentioned his sensational season pointing out that he has game-winning goals in six of the Lightning’s twenty-three victories.
In addition to the base cards, there were random inserts of hologram cards and six players (Pavel Bure, Jon Casey, Doug Gilmour, Brett Hull, Steve Yzerman, and Joe Sakic) autographed 100 cards each. There was an oversized Patrick Roy card available by redemption only. Not a bad little set, especially considering that 16 of the 27 players featured in the base set made it to the hall of fame.