Wayne Gretzky, Peter Stastny, Mike Bossy & Mark Messier.
This set is what is referred to the prototype sticker year. This was the first year that O-Pee-Chee wanted to test market and sell stickers to the public. O-Pee-Chee made these stickers and distributed them in small quantities to only 2 provinces in Canada (Ontario and Québec). Opening packages of these stickers was extremely frustrating as it was difficult to find stickers you needed as there were only 4 stickers per package. This small but strategic prototype sticker trial was a success and thus (in 1982) begun the North American distribution of O-Pee-Chee stickers in Canada and Topps throughout the USA. The 1981 O-Pee-Chee stickers year is the most difficult of the 9 O-Pee-Chee years to find in unused singles, unopened wax and complete sets. When finding unopened wax from 1981, it is not uncommon for the glue that held the packages to be coming undone. O-Pee-Chee distributed these stickers out of London, Ontario in Canada.
The size of each full sticker is 4.9 cm X 6.5 cm (1.93 in X 2.56 in). There were 100 packages in each wax box which originally retailed for $0.15 per pack. Each package contained 4 stickers. The minimum number of packages needed to make a full set (assuming absolutely no doubles) is 68. The original album ($0.25) cover featured Wayne Gretzky, Guy Lafleur and Darryl Sittler. The 1981 Stanley Cup winners were the New York Islanders with Butch Goring the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoffs MVP.
The Quebec Nordiques caused some international intrigue by signing Czech defectors Peter and Anton Stastny. Peter Stastny went on to score 109 points and win the Calder trophy for Rookie of the Year. Mike Bossy became only the second player in NHL history to score 50 goals in 50 games. Mark Howe was speared in the buttock by the goal net mooring and missed 17 games. Mark would go on to play more than a decade in the NHL. Tiger Williams was not only penalized for 343 minutes, he also netted a remarkable and unexpected 35 goals. Mike Liut was the 1st goalie to ever win the Lester B. Pearson trophy which is the NHL MVP as voted by the players. Liut would finish second to Wayne Gretzky in the running for the Hart Trophy (Wayne’s second). Rick Kehoe defeats Wayne Gretzky in Lady Byng Trophy voting.
The Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary and kept the name Flames for the 1980-81 NHL season.
Gretzky started his tear in the NHL by setting new records for points (164) and assists (109). Wayne won his 2nd Hart Trophy and 1st ever Art Ross trophy. This series featured 3 Gretzky stickers. Wayne scored a season total of 55 goals and 109 assists for 164. His points per game ratio for this 80 games played season was 2.05.
This album measures about 27 cm X 24 cm (10.5 inches X 9.5 inches) and comes to you in near mint condition and currently sits empty with no stickers.
This package measures about 10 cm X 8 cm (4 inches X 3.5 inches) and comes to you in near mint condition and currently sits empty with NO stickers included.
This poster measures about 25 cm X 38 cm (9.8 inches X 15 inches) and comes to you in near mint condition.
Front & Back of all Stickers from 1981-82: