Luc Robitaille, Mike Vernon, Ron Hextall and Bill Ranford.
This was the first year in North America that the NHL put out a series of stickers under the PANINI name. This seemed to be a trial run for PANINI to see if a massive collection like the 396 stickers, which they tradionally did for hockey cards, would be accepted in the market place. This dark blue/purple box with Grant Fuhr emblazoned on the packs was one of the nicest looking that PANINI had ever put out. Trying to find boxes or packs of 1987 PANINI today is a daunting task. This test run of stickers turned out to be a succces which led to a massive production of the 1988 PANNI hockey sticker collection. The 1987 PANINI hockey stickers are the in top 4 for most difficult to find in hockey sticker sets, trailing only the 1981,1992 FRENCH and 1994 series. Panini Canada out of St. Laurent, Quebec was the Canadian distributor and Panini USA out of New York was the US distributor. 397 players listed in the 1987 Panini checklist as #376 has an “a” and “b” on it.
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 $0.25 USD/$0.30 CAD per pack. Each package contained 6 stickers. The minimum number of packages needed to make a full set (assuming absolutely no doubles) is 66. The original album ($0.49 USD/$0.59 CAD) cover featured Grant Fuhr. The 1987 Stanley Cup winners were the Edmonton Oilers with Flyers Goalie Ron Hextall the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoffs MVP.
**New Data Just in** There was a 1987 Panini NHL Hockey Box Opening that happened on May 17th 2012. My customer from California reported the following Gretzky distribution of stickers from the 100 packages he opened. There were 2 each of 192, 1 of 197, 2 of 198, 1 of 199, 2 of 200, 1 of 261, 1 of 371, 2 of 373, 2 of 389 and 2 of 395 and 2 of 396. So 18 Gretzky themed stickers were pulled from the 100 packages of this previously factory sealed box.
Luc Robitaille debuted in 1986-87 but was named Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year in 1985-86 2 years after being selected 171st overall in the draft.On November 26th 1986 Borje Sallming is accidentally cut by a skate requiring 200 stitches to his face. Instead of it’s annual All Star game, the NHL holds “Rendez-Vous ’87” pitting a team of Soviet stars against the NHL’s best. Rookie Luc Robitaille won the Calder trophy while rookie Ron Hextall won the Vezina as well as the Conn Smyth Trophy. This was also the year that the Black Hawks (2 words) would now officially be knows as the Blackhawks (1 word). Mike Bossy saw his string of 50 plus goal seasons snapped at 9 as he scores only 38 times. Whalers player Doug Jarvis broke Garry Unger’s “iron man” record of 914 consecutive games during the 1986-87 season. He would finish his career with 964 games played and never missed a game in his 12 NHL seasons in the NHL.
No Expansion notes for this season.
Gretzky appears in a Stanley Cup holding puzzle that takes 4 stickers to complete. Gretzky led the league once again in goals, assists and points. Gretzky would beat out points runner up Jari Kurri (108 points) with his assists (121 assists) alone. Wayne captured his 8th straight Hart Trophy and 7th straight Art Ross Trophy. He also won his 5th and final career Lester B. Pearson award after coming runner up to Mario Lemieux the year before. This series featured 9 Gretzky stickers. Wayne scored a season total of 62 goals, 121 assists for a total of 183 points. His points per game ratio for this 79 games played season was 2.32.
This album measures about 4.9 cm X 6.5 cm (1.93 in X 2.56 in) and comes to you in near mint condition and currently sits empty with no stickers.