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Remembering Esso Power Players


Petroleum giant Imperial Oil has a long and storied history with hockey in Canada. From grassroots support all the way to NHL marketing tie-ins. Esso's own brand of hockey cards are amongst the most cherished legacies.

NHL Power Players was the card set for the 1970-71 season. Every time you gassed up at an Esso station, you received a packet of Power Players Trader's Cards. These doubled as stamps and could be pasted into one of two accompanying albums known as a NHL Power Player Saver. There were 252 cards in the set, 18 players for each of the 14 NHL teams at that time.

While this particular franchise of hockey cards was short-lived, the impression left on many younger hockey fans was immense.

No one was more impacted by these cards as much as TG. He has created an entire website to his memories attached of these trading cards - Remembering NHL Power Players. He documents his passion in a fashion that makes for hours of enjoyably countless hours of reading.

The memories he shares are lengthy, personal and most of all fascinating. In his most recent post he immortalizes Doug Favell in the article My Game One Goalie. In another post he remembers Garry Unger in The Iron Man Cometh, and looks at The Two Tonys, Esposito and Featherstone in another.

Mythologizing Dave Keon, The Plagers and the Kashmiri Effect, Where Did You Go Darryl Sittler?, Gentlemen Jean and his Great Game, An Homage To Mr Hockey, and something called Audrey Hepburn, the Itch and a Caper are personal favorites of mine.

Comments

Lyle Richardson said…
Oh, wow! Now that takes me back. You used to get these every time you filled up with Esso and my father (bless him!)always did to make sure I got these Power Players. I remember the faux-leather wallet you could get to store them (I never forgot the smell of it) and eventually got the official scrapbook to mount these cards.

And then like the dumb 8 year old kid I was I threw them all away when the new season began and the latest O-Pee-Chee hockey card came out!

If I could travel back in time, I'd slap myself silly!
jim said…
i have a complete set 70-71 Esso players stamps in book anyone know what its worth,or who would want it jwilliams@pacificcoast.net
Anonymous said…
I remember NHL Power Players as a nine year old kid growing up on the Prairies. My parents were divorced and my Mom could not afford a car. She worked part time at Woolworth's and she used to ask co-workers to save their cards when they gassed up. I never was able to get a full set, but I got an Orr and a Hull
Anonymous said…
I remember collecting the entire collection in the book and part of another one. It was cool looking at all the hockey stars of the day. Unfortunately my Mom through it out one day while cleaning up my room. It's ok Mom! I wish I still had that completed book though....bea
Anonymous said…
I have the Book filled and 100 percent complete..licked & sticked.......Value or Offer???
D said…
Man I wish I still had the set to pass on to my son. I remember on a family trip through the Frazer Canyon a older gentle man at the Essso gave my brother and I a whole case of the stamps!!. We where in our glory!. He said none of the locals seem to ever ask for them so we may as well enjoy then..The trading was fast and furious when we arrived back at our elementary school with the booty!!.
Great memory..
RON said…
This story I think will be unique.

I was about 9 or 10. I remember our family did not have a car so I rode my bike about 5 blocks to the local Esso station.Which was farther than i usualy went around the neighborhood I asked the attendant if I might have a booklet of the stamps, all the while feeling very embarrassed. But my love of Hockey drove me to ask regardless. The attendant asked " You know you have to buy Gas to get these?" I esplained that my Dad didn't have a car. And he gave me a pack. I was thrilled!!! I had got a pack!!!. I trading with my neighbour the next day!!!
Last night I was dreaming about the album and how much I would actualy pay for a Near Mint Album with the stamps. I went online and found one being offered my an older gentleman for a fraction of what I was willing to pay. And well, I'm going to pick it up today!!

Dreams do come true.

messier1111@hotmail.com
Wayne michaud said…
wow I have a complete book in fair shape. I remember my father coming home from the Esso he worked at with a pocket full of stamps each day from customers that would not take them because he had 3 boys trying to fill there books. (my youngest brother was too young) I remember my brothers & I trading umpteen stamps to complete our sets with the very hard to find Bobby Orr. I have mine but my brothers have unfortunately have lost theirs. They make for an amazing night of hockey memories when I bring it out to show friends on occasion.
Tracy Stead said…
Cleaning out a old house, found the hard cover book, along with 176 of the stickers, not yet stuck in the book. Whoot Whoot, selling on Kijiji
Anonymous said…


I have a complete set in the soft cover album that was supplied. I would be willing to sell it. I can be reached at lengullins@hotmail.com
Anonymous said…
when I was 9 I worked at the local garage sweeping floors and taking out garbage, got paid 25 cents and 2-3 packs of stamps. Collected the whole set and still have it. Wonder if kids would do that now?
Randy Pompetti said…
I have a complete hardcover set with statistics for each player. I also have a complete softcover set without player stats.
When they first came out my dad came home with a whole handful of packs that the local Esso dealer had given him for me. I was elated until I opened them up and found out they were ALL Fran Huck......
Unknown said…
Haha...Memories!!! I can relate to all the posters whose Mom threw away their hockey cards and NHL power player savers. I only wish I would of listened to my Mom when she said...Junior, if you don't clean your room and pick up all those cards off the floor....I'M GOING TO THROW EVERYTHING AWAY!!! Thanks Mom!! sob sob

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