The Montreal Canadiens were the best team in the National Hockey League when they had Maurice “The Rocket” Richard scoring goals. They maintained their grip on the Stanley Cup by later adding the assists of his brother, Henri. Hockey fans can learn about the two Hall of Famers' careers and own some great pieces of history by collecting their vintage hockey cards.
With 544 goals and 421 assists in 978 regular-season games, plus 82 goals and 44 assists in the playoffs, Maurice was part of eight Stanley Cup championship teams with Montreal. His rookie card is also one of the most important cards in the first major NHL hockey card product, the 1951-52 Parkhurst set.
The rookie card shows Richard on the front in a posed shot, with player information under that; the card back is blank.
High grade Maurice Richard rookie cards can fetch big prices. Goldin Auctions sold an SGC 96 (mint) example for over $10,000 not long ago. However, cards in VG condition should be under $1,000. There are several examples on eBay.
There are Rocket collectibles before his rookie card. Some can be found in 1934-44 Beehive Group I Photos, 1945-54 Quaker Oats Photos and 1948-52 Exhibits Canadian. After his rookie card he continued to appear in Parkhurst sets. He had one card in the 1951-52 and 1952-53 sets, two cards in 1953-54, two more cards the next season and then three cards in 1955-56 Parkhurst.
More recent card products feature cards with original jersey swatches or autographs. His 1995 Signature Rookies Cool 5 Signatures card is signed and shows Maurice with the Stanley Cup. The Rocket's 1999-2000 Upper Deck Retro Inkredible #MaR card features a big blue signature on a white background on the lower half of the front of the card. One recently sold for $200. For jersey cards, collectors could look for his 2012 Sportkings card that he shares with Guy Lafleur and Jean Beliveau, his 2008-09 In the Game Ultimate Memorabilia patch card or his 2001-02 BAP Ultimate Memorabilia cards, which come in a variety of print runs.
While thousands of dollars can be spent on his earliest cards, and hundreds can be paid for autographs, collectors also can find fun Rocket cards at low prices. There are a number of Maurice Richard cards in 1992-93 Score Canadian. The 1994 Parkhurst Missing Link set has a couple of his cards that sell for around a dollar, as well as a signed one. 1999-2000 SP Authentic Legendary Heroes #LH4, 1999-00 Upper Deck Retro #84 and 1993-94 Parkhurst Don Cherry's Playoff Heroes #D16 are some of the many other cards to search for that don't cost a lot.
Henri Richard may not have been the best hockey player in his family but he is one of the greatest to play the game. He was called The Pocket Rocket, due to being the younger and smaller brother of The Rocket. He played on 11 Stanley Cup champions and in 10 All-Star Games, so Henri was a superstar.
His cards do come in second to those of his brother, and often there were times when his rookie card sold at the same price as Maurice's card in the same 1957-58 Parkhurst set. An ungraded Henri rookie sold on eBay for $265. A PSA 8 Henri Richard rookie sold for $3,555 at Robert Edward Auctions. At a PWCC auction in 2014, a PSA 8 Henri rookie sold for $3,252.
The Pocket Rocket played in the NHL for Montreal for 20 seasons, so he has plenty of vintage cards produced from his playing days. He also has different items to collect, like his 1963-64 York Peanut Butter, 1970-71 Esso Power Players and 1974-75 Loblaws NHL Action Stamps. Henri Richard cards also started appearing again during the 1990s, and they continue to appear in more recent sets. His fans can find many signed cards, as well as those with game-used memorabilia. A 1/1 card sold on eBay recently that had signatures from Henri and top draft choice Connor McDavid. The 2015 Leaf Executive Masterpiece card sold for $275.97.
The hockey card collectors with both players in their collection also can look for cards the brothers share. These are all newer cards, and usually with low print runs. In The Game made an Ultimate Bloodlines 1/1 card with a glove piece from The Rocket and a jersey piece from The Pocket Rocket; it sold on eBay for $60.
Among the 50 or so cards they share is the 2012-13 ITG History Of Hockey Great Moments card with a print run of 10, and 2001-02 BAP Ultimate Memorabilia Bloodlines with a print run of 20. The 2015-16 ITG Used Team 8s Jerseys Silver #T802 card has the two brothers as well as famous Canadiens Patrick Roy, Jean Beliveau, Jacques Plante, Doug Harvey, Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt, and 25 cards were produced.