Marcel Dionne, also known as, “The Little Beaver” was drafted 2nd overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1971 draft. He was affectionately given that nick-name because he was only 5′ 7″ tall. He was short but stocky. His super power ability was to weave through defenders at high speeds allowing him to be one of the greatest scorers in NHL history.
Being drafted into the pro level was not an easy transition for Marcel. The players were big and the competition was serious unlike nothing he’d ever experienced. In fact, Marcel tells the story of how he found himself so discouraged his rookie season he called his dad to tell him he’s not going to make it.
Marcel stuck with it and set a rookie record by scoring 77 points. Although he had much success as a scorer the Red Wings as a whole did not. The team was in a rebuild after All-Time Great, Gordie Howe left the team after the 1970-71 season, Marcel had walked into a loosing atmosphere. After four years he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for the start of the 1975 season.
Here Marcel found his stride and had much success, even more so in 1979 when Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer joined the team. Like Marcel they had the mental attitude and determination to create openings and win. They had chemistry and became known as the, “Triple Crown Line.”
Marcel attributes a lot of his success to his study of other great hockey players. He watched them play and emulated their techniques. He learned what to do and not do. Men like Esposito, Orr and his greatest role model from his providence of Quebec, Henri Richard. Marcel noticed that the greats were consistent, maybe not always play well but always have determination, dedication and consistency.
To this day Marcel Dionne ranks 5th as All-Time Leading Scorer. He is also a:
- 4x All-Star.
- 2x Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1975 & 1977 which is given every year to the player to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.
- 2x Ted Lindsay Award winner for outstanding player in the regular season as judged by the members of the NHL Players Association.
- 1979-80 Art Ross Trophy winner which is given to the player who leads the league in points at the end of the regular season.
Marcel, unfortunately, never won a Stanley Cup title.
His career numbers are: Goals 731 | Assists 1040 | Points 1771 | Game Winning Goals 73
ROOKIE CARD OF HALL OF FAMER MARCEL DIONNE
1971-72 O-Pee-Chee, Card No. 133 (shop eBay)
The 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee is a 264 card set. True hockey card collectors know this set well because it is one of the most beloved sets in the industry. Popular among collectors for its design one gets a sense of pure vintage with this one. Of course O-Pee-Chee’s parent company, Topps, also has the same design but a much smaller checklist with only 132 cards in the set. The O-Pee-Chee definitely offers collectors more bang for the buck.
The card front is unique, basic, yet right on cue with the year it represents. Great portrait photo of the young Marcel and them beautiful, red, bold letters across the top, I’m just glad they’re in red so it fits in the overall theme of the card.
The cards back has nice bold lines. To the left side of the card you’ll have commentary in both english and french languages divided by player stats. Towards the right side you have player cartoons, my favorite. Player name towards top and player bio towards the bottom round off this well-rounded card back. It has all pertinent information a card back should have.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased between $20.00-$40.00; near mint graded copies (7’s) sell for $150.00-$275.00; near mint-mint copies (8’s) sell between $275.00-$345.00; and mint copies (9’s) sell in the $900.00-$1,200.00 range, respectively. A gem mint copy (10) sold for $6,101.00 in November 2017.