In 1960-61, the six team National Hockey League was led during the regular season by the Montreal Canadiens. The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, like a broken record, did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. When it came to the playoffs, the Canadiens made an early exit and it was the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup championship in six games over the Detroit Red Wings.
Celebrating the 1960-61 NHL season, Topps released their 1961-62 hockey card set. The set consists of 66 cards featuring players from the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. Also, it marked the first year that a checklist card was included. The 1961-62 Topps checklist holds the highest book value, equal to that of the Bobby Hull hockey card. As far as rookie cards, the set was dominated by Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert, both of the New York Rangers.
Among the most valuable cards in the set are three goaltenders. One of the goalies was from the New York Rangers while the other two were from the Chicago Blackhawks. Boston's goaltending situation was a mess and the only card featuring a Bruins goalie is valued as a common card.
Glenn Hall - Chicago Blackhawks
The number 32 card belongs to Glenn Hall and has a book value of $60. Hall played all 70 regular season games for Chicago in 1960-61, posting a 2.51 goals against average and recording six shutouts. It was his sixth of seven consecutive seasons playing all 70 games for his club.
Glenn was denied the Vezina Trophy in 1960-61 with the award going to Johnny Bower of the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1962-63, he would win his first of his three Vezina Trophies. Hall played in the National Hockey League from 1952-53 to 1970-71 with the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago and the St. Louis Blues. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975.
Denis DeJordy - Chicago Blackhawks
The highest valued rookie card belonging to a goalie in the 1961-62 Topps set, the Denis DeJordy number 37 card is valued at $40. Interestingly, DeJordy didn't see his first NHL action until 1962-63 with five games between the pipes for the Blackhawks. He split the 1960-61 season with the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the EPHL. In 1961-62, he played 69 games for the Bisons.
DeJordy played in the NHL from 1962-63 to 1973-74. Denis appeared with the Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings.
Gump Worsley - New York Rangers
The number 50 card in the 1961-62 Topps set belongs to Lorne 'Gump' Worsley of the New York Rangers and is valued at $40. In 1960-61, Worsley played 59 games with the Rangers, posting a 3.30 goals against average and recording a single shutout.
Gump played in the NHL from 1952-53 to 1973-74 with the Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota North Stars. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980.
What's Up With Boston?
Don Head is the only goalie in the 1961-62 Topps set for the Boston Bruins. He played his only 38 NHL games with Boston during the 1961-62 season. As can be expected, the 1961-62 card is Head's only hockey card.
In 1960-61, Don Simmons and Bruce Gamble played goal for the Bruins. Simmons was off to Toronto for the 1962-63 season. Gamble played 52 games for Boston in 1960-61 and 28 for the team in 1961-62 but his rookie card didn't appear until 1962-63. Following 1961-62, his next games in the NHL didn't come until 1965-66 as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.