Marcel Dionne, Peter Stastny, Vladislav Tretiak & Thomas Gradin.
This set was made to honour the 1978 Hockey World Championships in Prague from April 26th- May 14th 1978. Set has NHL players, but in their National Team’s Colors. Set is based on the 1978 Hockey World Championships. The write up for this year that I made will have a little World Championships, a little NHL and a little WHA as it really had a little to do with all 3 of them. There was no Gretzky made for this set as he did not play for Canada this year, although Gretzky did play in the World Juniors in January of 1978. The album features Denis Herron (picture matched with his mask), Thomas Gradin (picture matched to a jersey I found online that had him wearing #24 instead of his normal #23) and Lennart Norberg (picture matched to a jersey I also found online showing him wearing #19 and cross-referencing the Sweden team roster for 1978, it is for sure him). This set features some great NHL and international All-Star Hockey players. This was the first year that any type of Panini hockey stickers were marketed in North America. Euro Canada Candy was the Canadian Distributor out of Montreal Quebec. When finding unopened wax from 1979, it is not uncommon for the glue that held the packages to be coming undone. There are 504 players in this checklist (104 players share the same sticker number).
The size of each full sticker is 5.4 cm X 6.9 cm (2.13 in X 2.72 in). There were 100 packages in each wax box which originally retailed for $0.15 per pack. Each package contained 6 stickers. The minimum number of packages needed to make a full set (assuming absolutely no doubles) is 67. The original album ($0.25) cover featured Denis Herron, Thomas Gradin and Lennart Norberg. The 1979 Stanley Cup winners were the Montreal Canadiens with Bob Gainey the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoffs MVP. The 1979 Avco Cup (WHA) winners were the Winnipeg Jets with Rich Preston the WHA MVP Trophy winner as playoffs MVP.
The 1978 Ice Hockey World Championships took place in Prague, Czechoslovakia from 26th April to 14th May. Eight teams took part, with each team playing each other once in the first round, and then the four best teams meeting in the Finals round. This was the 45th World Championships. The Czechs took home the silver medal after losing the championship on a tie-breaker to the USSR. Team Canada won the bronze medal by a late Canadian goal. Boris Petrovich Mikhailov was the tournament leading goal scorer. The 1978 World Hockey Championships were won by The Soviet Union with Marcel Dionne (from Canada) being named the tournament’s top forward. Vyacheslav Fetisov (from the USSR) being named the tournament’s best defenseman and Jirí Holecek (from Czechoslovakia) being named the tournament’s top goalie. The Tournament All-Star team (as chosen by the journalists attending the games) were: Jirí Holecek (Czechoslovakia) , Vyacheslav Fetisov (USSR), Jirí Bubla (Czechoslovakia), Sergueï Kapustin (USSR), Ivan Hlinka (Czechoslovakia) and Aleksandr Maltsev (USSR).
The Montreal Canadiens skate to their 4th Stanley Cup in a row. The Minnesota North Stars select Bobby Smith with their first overall pick in the NHL Entry draft. Don Murdoch was suspended for 40 games when cocaine was found in his clothing while crossing the border. Tony McKegney becomes the first “full time” black skater to play in the NHL. On December 23, 1978, Bryan Trottier sets an NHL record for scoring 6 points in one period of hockey. Mike Bossy of the Islanders is the league’s top goal-scorer with 69 while center Bryan Trottier (won league MVP Hart Trophy beating out Guy Lafleur) wins the Art Ross Trophy for most points with 134. Don Maloney of the Rangers sets an NHL record for rookies scoring 20 points in the 1979 playoffs. A bum knee forces 30 year old Hockey Legend Bobby Orr to retire on November 9th 1978. He captured 2 Stanley Cups and an amazing 8 (most ever) straight Norris Tophies. Ken Dryden and his 2.30 GAA and 5 shutouts are tops in the league. Dryden won his 4th consecutive Vezina Trophy (sharing this one with Bunny Larocque) and 6th Stanley Cup. Interestingly enough, the 31 year old Dryden then retires at the age of 31 and moves to England to write a book about his hockey experiences. It should be noted that Ken Dryden’s brother Dave led all goalies in the WHA for the 1978-79 season with the best GAA (2.89) there as well. Real Cloutier scored the 2nd highest ever goal total in a WHA year potting 75 goals. Real was second only the Bobby Hull’s record of 77 goals. Denis Potvin won his 3rd Norris Trophy outballoting Larry Robinson. The Winnipeg Jets win the last ever WHA Championship (The Avco Cup) defeating the Edmonton Oilers in 6 games. An unknown by the name of Rich Preston wins the WHA playoff MVP award. Marcel Dionne wins the Lester B. Pearson Award for being voted the NHL MVP by the players. Bobby Smith is the Rookie of the Year winning the Calder Trophy. Bob Gainey wins the Selke Trophy, Al Arbour wins the Jack Adams Trophy and Bob MacMillan wins the Lady Byng Trophy.
The Maverick league, the WHA, began the 1978-79 season down to only 7 teams. Negotiations between the NHL and WHA were held all year to discuss a possible merger. On June 9th, 1979 the NHL and NHLPA approved a deal that would bring 4 WHA teams into the NHL for the following season. Edmonton, Winnipeg, Quebec and New England (would go onto being known as Hartford) were the teams that made the cut where Cincinnati, Birmingham and Indianapolis were left to find a minor league that would take them in. The 4 expansion clubs contributed a combined total of 24 million dollars as their “expansion fee” into the NHL. Also the Cleveland Barons merged with the Minnesota North Stars and stayed in Minnesota.
Gretzky was only 17 to start this season and the NHL had a rule forbidding teams to sign anyone under the age of 18. The Indianapolis Racers of the WHA quickly snapped up “The Great One”. Wayne was subsequently sold to the Edmonton Oilers of the WHA (8 games into the season) where it was evident that he was worth every ounce of hype put onto him. Gretzky led all WHA playoff scorers with 10 goals and 20 points. Led by Gretzky, the Oilers of the WHA won the last WHA regular season title before merging with the NHL. This series featured no Gretzky stickers.
This album measures about 25 cm X 23 cm (10 inches X 9 inches) and comes to you in near mint condition and currently sits empty with no stickers.