1970-1979 Hockey Cards
More big names made their debut in the 1970s and the decade has proven to be very popular with collectors. The main products were offered by Topps and O-Pee-Chee, abbreviated as OPC. While the look of OPC and Topps cards are very similar, OPC cards are usually more valuable. The decade also features OPC cards for a competing league to the NHL, the World Hockey Association (WHA).
One big name owned the hobby during the 1970s. Wayne Gretzky, aslo known as “The Great One,” is still one of the top hockey icons for collectors, and his rookie card is revered in much the same way as Michael Jordan’s rookie card is for basketball collectors. Other rookie cards that are on collectors’ radars include Bryan Trottier, Gilbert Perreault, Darryl Sittler, Guy Lafleur, Mark Howe, Marcel Dionne, Doug Wilson, Ken Dryden, Bob Clarke, and Denis Potvin.
1970s Hockey Cards Set Information, Product Reviews, Price Comparisons, Hot Auctions, and More. Featuring hockey cards from 1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1977-78, 1978-79, and 1979-80.
Bobby Clarke, Gilbert Perreault, Brad Park, Guy Lapointe and Darryl Sittler lead a loaded rookie crop in 1970-71 O-Pee-Chee Hockey. The memorable design includes several spotlights in the background.
Gilbert Perreault and Brad Park both have rookie cards in 1970-71 Topps Hockey. The 132-card set features a distinct design that is most notable for five lights in the background.
One of the most attractive sets of the era, 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Hockey also has a loaded checklist. Ken Dryden, Guy Lafleur and Marcel Dionne are among the major rookie cards.
A classic design and the rookie card of Ken Dryden, one of the best goalies ever, make 1971-72 Topps Hockey stand out. The set also has several cards that 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Hockey doesn’t, including another all-time great, Gordie Howe.
Although 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee Hockey doesn’t have a headline rookie, the set still boasts a solid veteran core that includes Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull and Ken Dryden.
At 176 cards, 1972-73 Topps Hockey was the company’s largest to date. Although there aren’t any high profile rookie cards, the design is very very distinct. The set also has the first cards of the New York Islanders and Atlanta Flames.
1973-74 O-Pee-Chee Hockey is a colorful set that uses both green and red borders. The rookie card crop includes Larry Robinson, Bill Barber, Billy Smith and Dave Schultz.
1973-74 Topps Hockey features a boldly colored design. Although it looks similar to its O-Pee-Chee counterpart, the checklist is very different. Billy Smith is the key rookie.
1974-75 O-Pee-Chee Hockey has a deep rookie lineup that includes Denis Potvin, Lanny McDonald and Bob Gainey. It also has the first cards of legendary coaches Don Cherry and Scotty Bowman. The expanded checklist reflects the NHL’s expansion.
1974-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA Hockey is the first of four sets made by the Canadian card maker of the rival hockey league. Gordie Howe, Gary Cheevers and Bobby Hull are among the former NHL greats in the set.
1974-75 Topps Hockey is highlighted by a strong rookie crop that include Lanny McDonald, Denis Potvin and Borje Salming. Legendary coaches Scotty Bowman and Don Cherry also have rookies in the set.
1975-76 O-Pee-Chee Hockey has one of the company’s simpler designs. The relatively tame checklist includes rookie cards of Clark Gillies and Harold Snepsts.
1975-76 O-Pee-Chee WHA Hockey is the company’s second set of the short-lived league. Key rookie cards include Richard Brodeur and Mark Howe.
Boasting the company’s biggest hockey checklist until the 1990s, 1975-76 Topps Hockey has a deceptively simple design. Key rookies include Pierre Larouche, Clark Gillies and Ron Greschner.
1976-77 O-Pee-Chee Hockey is highlighted by a 396-card checklist. Bryan Trottier is the key rookie card. The set is also notable for several quirks and subset cards.
1976-77 O-Pee-Chee WHA Hockey marked the third straight year a set for the upstart league was made. Without any key rookie cards, Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull lead single-card sales.
Despite a reduced checklist, 1976-77 Topps Hockey includes several subset cards. The Bryan Trottier rookie is the most valuable card in the set.
1977-78 O-Pee-Chee Hockey closely mirrors the same season’s Topps set. Although the design is somewhat uninspired, the checklist includes rookies of Mike Milbury and Paul Holmgren.
1977-78 O-Pee-Chee WHA Hockey is the final set the card maker produced for the failing league. The set has a smaller checklist than in years past and no major rookie cards.
1977-78 Topps Hockey marks the final appearance of Bobby Orr on a Topps card during his playing career. The 264-card set includes rookies of Mike Milbury and Mike Palmateer.
1978-79 O-Pee-Chee Hockey boasts a large 396-card checklist. Several hobby favorite players of the era have rookie cards in the set, including Mike Bossy, Bernie Federko, Dave Taylor and Doug Wilson.
Mike Bossy, Doug Wilson and Bernie Federko all have rookie cards in 1978-79 Topps Hockey. The design features a lot of familiar elements while the 264-card checklist is comprehensive.
Made famous for the Wayne Gretzky rookie card, 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey features a bold design highlighted by its blue borders. The set also features the final cards of Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and Ken Dryden from their playing careers.
Led by a Wayne Gretzky rookie card, 1979-80 Topps Hockey will always have a special place for hockey card collectors. Although not quite as desirable as its 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee cousin, the blue design is a hobby classic.