Sunday, June 28, 2020

From the Favorites Box: Brian Propp, 1981-82 Topps #E110

A series where I post some thoughts about favorite cards. Previous cards in the series are available here.


The tough thing about hockey is that it's fast. Sometimes there's a giveaway at a bad time. Transition up the ice happens in an instantand at a moment when you might be a bit flat-footed.

The great thing about hockey is that for just a moment, for a few hard strides, you do have the opportunity to catch up. And I think that's where Brian Propp might find himself here.




Look at the expression on his face. He's grinding. He's looking up the ice, either toward an opponent he needs to cover or toward his teammate who's rushing through the neutral zone with the puck. The card's design even lends itself to action, with that bright yellow team name flying across on the diagonal, and the thin, rounded orange border giving you a great little portal into the scene.

And speaking of action, Brian Propp was no stranger to the offensive side of it. Check out these stats from his 15-season career:

1016 GP, 425 G, 579 A, 1004 PTS, 825 PIM, 59 GWG

Even for a guy who played throughout the high-scoring 1980s, you can't shake a stick at those numbers. To back them up, here's more:

In a five-season stretch, Propp reached the 40-goal mark four times, and just missed hitting the mark in all five.

1981-82: 44
1982-83: 40
1983-84: 39
1984-85: 43
1985-86: 40

He had a couple of great playoff runs with Philadelphia, too, most impressively in 1986-87 when the Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, losing to Edmonton:

26 GP, 12 G, 16 A, 28 PTS, 5 PPG (tied for league lead), 104 SOG (led the league)

For certain we're looking at a great career, not to mention a great hockey jersey and a great hockey card design. But for reminding us of the grind and how great it isthat's why 1981-82 Topps #E110 has a spot in my box of favorite cards.

8 comments:

  1. excellent choice. Perhaps in a future long cold winter , I'll get a copy of Hockey for Dummies and learn the game. Although I don't know the lingo and all the rules, attending a game is still fun.

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    1. I did some quick research, and hey, that book actually exists! (I shouldn't be surprised, as there's a Dummies book for just about everything.) It's authored by John Davidson, a former NHL goalie and longtime commentator for the New York Rangers. Now he's the team president. You'd learn a lot, for sure.

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  2. Cool card. I like the action shot. As for Propp... I'm familiar with the name, but couldn't tell you much about him before reading this post.

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    1. Great hockey image, right? And yeah, I also knew the name but didn't realize just how skilled Propp was until I did some research for this post. Underrated player.

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  3. Propp was very underrated in the 80's when players were putting up video game like numbers (see Gretzky and Lemieux). The Flyer's were probably the best team in the 80's that didn't win a Cup.

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    1. It's funny. I usually think of the Flyers teams of the '70s (Clarke, Parent, Barber, MacLeish) or the teams of the early '90s (Lindros, Recchi, Renberg, Leclair) before I think of their 1980s teams. But you're right. They had some great teams in that decade as well.

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  4. Only player in the modern era to lose Five times in the Stanley Cup Final. And to add insult, no Cup wins. I think the 5 Cup losses without a win is tied for the All-Time NHL record as well.

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    1. Man, that stinks. It wasn't for lack of effort, however. The guy was almost a point-per-game player in the playoffs (116 GP, 112 PTS). The more I look through his numbers, the more impressed I become.

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