I got a heck of a surprise when I opened my mailbox to find these cards, I'll tell you that much! In these parts, Rogatien Vachon is a legend and deserves to be in the Hockey Hall Of Fame, especially if Bernard Parent, Gerry Cheevers and Billy Smith are there.
After all, Vachon had three Stanley Cups - all with the Montréal Canadiens - before truly getting his career under way, which happened when the Habs chose to go with rookie Ken Dryden and sent the mustached wonder to the Los Angeles Kings, where he'd hold 8 team records by the time signed with Detroit (2 of which were beaten by Jonathan Quick this last season). He was also a 4-time team MVP.
Here's what he looked like as a King, first with the 'away' uniform:
As a kid, I didn't think much of these jerseys, and was happy when they went silver-and-black in the Wayne Grerzky era; I do feel nostalgic for these now, though. The card on the left is from Upper Deck's 2008-09 Masterpieces (card #70), featuring a beautiful (and UD exclusive) painting by Gillies; the card on the right, showcasing his classic all-white mask, is from In The Game's 2010-11 Between The Pipes set (card #180, part of the Greats Of The Game sub-set).
In what made more sense then, the Kings' home (i.e. ''light'') jersey was yellow (unlike the current-day Nashville Predators, who use yellow as their ''dark'' colour and wear it against teams in white, which looks awful):
That one's from the 1977-78 O-Pee-Chee set (card #160) and specifies he was on the NHL'S year-end Second All Star team, a feat he achieved twice. His #30 jersey was the first to be retired by the team.
(continued in the following post)