1961-62 Topps Hockey Class B Rookie Card
The 1961-62 Topps set consists of 66 hockey cards featuring players from the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, and New York Rangers. The highest value hockey cards in the set belong to Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, both of the Blackhawks. The top-rated rookie cards belong to Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert, both of the New York Rangers.
Between those cards and the commons at the bottom of the pile are five-player rookie cards not quite stars, but slightly better than mediocre. These five cards are worth between $ 25 and $ 40. The names are familiar to hockey fans, even if they can’t pinpoint who they played with or what they accomplished during their careers.
Ted Green – Boston Bruins
Green played one game for the Bruins in 1960-61 and was a regular with Boston from 1961-62 to 1971-72, except for the 1969-70 season when he did not play. During his NHL career, Ted played 620 regular season games, scoring 48 goals and assisting in 206 for 254 points. He played an additional 31 in the playoffs, scoring 12 points.
He missed the 1969-70 Stanley Cup championship with Boston, but was there in 1971-72 to get his only Stanley Cup ring. After that, he jumped into the World Hockey Association for the 1972-73 season and remained in the rebel league the entire time, retiring after the 1978-79 season.
At the WHA, Green was a member of three Avco World Trophy championships. In his freshman year, he played for the champion New England Whalers. He went on to the Winnipeg Jets and won the championship at Manitoba in 1975-76 and 1977-78. Ted did not play for Winnipeg in the playoffs in 1978-79 when the Jets took the final championship before the league ceased to exist.
Dallas Smith – Boston Bruins
Card number 4 in the 1961-62 Topps set belongs to defender Dallas Smith. Smith played sparingly for the Boston Bruins from 1959-60 to 1966-67 before becoming a regular on the blue line. He continued with the Bruins until 1976-77 and then played 29 games for the Rangers in 1977-78 before calling it a career.
In total, Dallas played 890 regular-season games in the National Hockey League, scoring 55 goals and totaling 307 points. He played an additional 86 playoff games, contributing 32 points. Smith was there for the two Stanley Cup championships in 1969-70 and 1971-72.
Orland Kurtenbach – Boston Bruins
Kurtenbach played just ten games for the New York Rangers in 1960-61 and eight for the Boston Bruins in 1961-62. He is shown with the Bruins on the Topps undercard from 1961-62. He was a regular in the NHL from 1963-64 to 1973-74 with the Rangers, Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Vancouver Canucks. Orland played 639 regular season games, totaling 332 points. He played only 19 playoff games.
Outside of the NHL, Kurtenbach received some accolades in professional hockey. In 1957-58, he was honored as the WHL Rookie of the Year with the Vancouver Canucks. In 1975-76, he received the Jake Milford Trophy as CHL Coach of the Year, leading the Tulsa Oilers to a championship. Kurtenbach returned to Vancouver as head coach for the 1977-78 season.
Pat Stapleton – Boston Bruins
1961-62 was Stapleton’s first year in the NHL and he appeared in 69 of 70 games for the Bruins. Pat played in the NHL from 1961-62 to 1972-73 with Boston and the Chicago Blackhawks, appearing in 635 regular seasons and 65 playoff games.
Stapleton jumped into the WHA for the 1973-74 season. He played 372 games in the WHA between 1973-74 and 1977-78 with the Chicago Cougars, Indianapolis Racers and Cincinnati Stingers.
Denis Dejordy for the Chicago Black Hawks
DeJordy did not appear in the NHL until the 1962-63 season and even then he only played in five games for Chicago. The following year, he played only six more. Denis lasted in the NHL until the 1973-74 season, playing for the Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, and Detroit Red Wings.
In 1962-63, Denis played most of the season with the Buffalo Bisons in the American Hockey League. He was honored with the Les Cunningham Award as AHL MVP. Buffalo was crowned Calder Cup champion. In 1966-67, DeJordy shared Vezina Trophy honors with the great Glenn Hall while playing the most games of the two Chicago netminders. In 1970-71, Denis appeared in 60 of 78 games with the Kings.