Monday, May 21, 2012

Back Checking - Alex Delvecchio

I have been a huge Alex Delvecchio fan ever since I knew about the game of hockey. I be honest though, my reasons for being his fan have nothing to do with seeing him play. In fact, he was done with the game of hockey years before I was even born. My admiration for Alex began purely based on the fact that he was the best player to come from the same town as me. In fact, he is the most famous NHL'er to come from the Thunder Bay area with maybe one exception, Jack Adams.

Nevertheless, I knew Alex was a household name before I was born and really gave me hope as a kid that maybe I too could make the NHL some day. Well I am getting a little old for some day and frankly my game is pretty weak compared to most NHL'ers so I think that dream has long sailed but my admiration for Alex hasn't!

I am beginning to start collecting cards from Alex's playing days and this is a recent addition to my collection. It is from the 70-71 OPC set and I got a really good deal on it.

Front Side
 Pretty simple front, as you can see the Detroit C is over the right shoulder which appears to be their "thing". He also has a little snow on the roof, but that didn't stop him from scoring 68 points in 69-70 or from playing a few more years.

Back Side

What caught my eye about this card was the first sentence. "Alex is second only to Gordie Howe in all time assists record and third in all time goal scoring (behind Jean Beliveau and Howe). 

Wow. During his time, he certainly was one of the best and if you consider the period from 1917-1970 he was second in all time assists and third in all time goals. That is pretty good company, and if you hear the name Alex Delvecchio, I am pretty sure that doesn't come to mind.

Certainly adds another level of appreciate for someone I admire, maybe it will rub off on someone else.


  1. nice card... and a great player.

  2. Awesome card, I always knew Delvecchio was good but like you he was done playing before I even drew my first breath, and I didn't realize he was THAT good statistically among other players from his era. Great post!

  3. I always liked him, too. Long before people called themselves player collectors, I made a point of getting one of all of his cards. He was the first player I ever "finished" that way.

    A couple of caveats about the career totals, though. While Delvecchio was third to 1000 points, he was not third in career goals. Howe, Richard and Hull all had 500 by the time that card was printed and Beliveau wasn't far off.

    The other thing is that most of the talk of career totals is completely skewed by the era in which he played. Delvecchio started his career at the dawn of the 70-game schedule. Ten years prior, the schedule was just 48. Players from the 1950s and 60s clobbered the record books simply because they had so many extra games in which to do it. Dit Clapper, whose career spanned 20 years between 1927 and 1947, only got into 833 games. Delvecchio got into 1549.

    I'm not putting him down because he's one of my all-time favourites, but what he really was was one of the top players of the postwar era. The NHL really needed to split its record book by era.

  4. The other interesting thing about Delvecchio was that he had a horrid slump to start 1969-70. He went 32 games from the start of the season without scoring a goal. He got those 21 in the last 42 games.

  5. Last comment on this. What the card probably meant to say was that he was third in all-time POINTS. That would have been true at that point in 1970.