Ray Bourque and Mark Messier lead a loaded 1980-81 O-Pee-Chee Hockey checklist that includes a ton of great rookie cards. Other key cards include Mike Gartner, Michel Goulet and Mike Liut rookies and the second-year Wayne Gretzky.
1980-1989 Hockey Cards
The 1980s were an up-and-down decade for collecting in general. However, 1980-1989 hockey cards came out of the decade without the same problems seen by baseball. It also helps that the period featured rookie cards for some of the bigger names in modern hockey. Junk wax would arrive in hockey, but that did not happen until the 1990s. Once again, O-Pee-Chee and Topps were the two main options for collectors.
While none of the 1980s hockey cards could compete with the Wayne Gretzky rookie card in terms of hobby love, three rookie players were clear favorites for collectors. Mark Messier, Mario Lemieux, and Patrick Roy provide the highest values. Other popular rookies include Steve Yzerman, Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, Joe Sakic, Jari Kurri, and Ron Francis.
Featured 1980s Hockey Cards Guides
1980s Hockey Card Sets
Explore our database of 1980s Hockey Card Set Information. Each product profile features set checklists, product info, expert analysis, top cards and rookie cards to collect, deals on singles and boxes, and more. Browse hockey cards from 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89, and 1989-90.
1980-81 Topps Hockey is notable for its scratch-off card fronts. A loaded rookie card checklist includes Ray Bourque, Mike Gartner and Mike Liut.
The 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee Hockey has one of the best rookie lineups ever for a sports card set. First-year cards include Paul Coffey, Jarri Kurri, Denis Savard and Larry Murphy.
1981-82 Topps Hockey suffered from a different distribution method. While the first 66 cards were available everywhere, the West and East each had their own additional 66 cards. Key rookies include Jari Kurri, Denis Savard, Peter Stastny and Dino Ciccarelli.
With Topps sitting out, 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee Hockey was the sport’s only major release. Key rookie cards include Grant Fuhr, Dale Hawerchuk and Ron Francis.
For ice collectors, 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee Hockey is the only major option for the year. Key rookies include Steve Larmer, Bernie Nicholls and Scott Stevens.
1984-85 O-Pee-Chee Hockey has one of the most impressive rookie card lineups of the decade. Led by Steve Yzerman, other key cards include rookies of Chris Chelios, Tom Barrasso, Cam Neely, Pat LaFontaine and Doug Gilmour.
1984-85 Topps Hockey sees the company return to the rink after a short absence. A strong rookie crop includes Steve Yzerman, Pat LaFontaine, Dave Andreychuk and Tom Barrasso.
Mario Lemieux and Al MacInnis rookie cards lead a stacked 1985-86 O-Pee-Chee Hockey checklist. Over the years, the strong lineup and clean design have made it one of the best sports card sets of the 1980s.
Although not as desirable as its O-Pee-Chee cousin, 1985-86 Topps Hockey still carries a fair bit of clout thanks to the Mario Lemieux rookie. Other rookies include Kirk Muller and Kelly Hrudey.
1986-87 Kraft Drawings Hockey is one of the most attractive hockey card sets of the decade. The popular oddball issue includes some of the first cards of Patrick Roy and Wendel Clark.
Anchored by the Patrick Roy rookie card, 1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Hockey has another loaded checklist. Other notable rookies include John Vanbiesbrouck and Wendel Clark.
1986-87 Topps Hockey features a clean design with bright white borders. Although the Patrick Roy rookie is by far the key card, other first-year standouts include John Vanbiesbrouk and Wendel Clark.
1987-88 O-Pee-Chee Hockey boasts one of the deepest rookie lineups in the sport’s history. Luc Robitaille, Adam Oates, Ron Hextall, Vincent Damphousse and Mike Vernon are among the first-year highlights.
1988-89 O-Pee-Chee Hockey is the sport’s last great set before the massive overproduction of the Junk Wax Era. A strong checklist includes rookie cards of Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan, Pierre Turgeon and Joe Nieuwendyk.
Although they’re not worth a lot due to overproduction, 1989-90 O-Pee-Chee Hockey is an otherwise strong set. The rookie crop includes Hall of Famers Joe Sakic and Brian Leetch as well as Theo Fleury and Trevor Linden.
1989-90 Topps Hockey might not be worth a lot, but it’s hard to argue against a set that includes a pair of Hall of Famers the caliber of Joe Sakic and Brian Leetch.