The 1961-62 Topps game 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 game belong to Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, both of the Blackhawks. The highest-value rookie cards belong to Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert, both of the New York Rangers.
Between those cards and the common ones at the bottom of the pile are five-player rookie cards that aren’t quite stars but are a little better than mediocre. These five cards are worth between $25 and $40. The names are familiar to hockey fans, even if they can’t place 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 started for Boston from 1961-62 through 1971-72, with the exception of the 1969-70 season when he didn’t play. During his NHL career, Ted played in 620 regular season games, scoring 48 goals and assisting in 206 for 254 points. He played an additional 31 in the playoffs, adding 12 points.
He missed out on 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 to the World Hockey Association for the 1972-73 season and stayed with the rebel league until the end, retiring after the 1978-79 season.
In the WHA, Green was a member of three Avco World Trophy championships. In his first 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 1978-79 playoffs 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 defenseman Dallas Smith. Smith played sparingly with the Boston Bruins from 1959-60 to 1966-67 before becoming a blue line regular. He continued with the Bruins through 1976-77 and then played 29 games with the Rangers in 1977-78 before his career was over.
In all, Dallas played 890 regular season games in the National Hockey League, scoring 55 goals and totaling 307 points. He played in an additional 86 playoff games, contributing 32 points. Smith was there for both 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 1961-62 Topps card. 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 in 639 regular season games, totaling 332 points. He played just 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 season and 65 playoff games.
Stapleton jumped ship to 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 – Chicago Black Hawks
DeJordy didn’t appear in the NHL until the 1962-63 season and even then only played five games for Chicago. The following year, he played only six more. Denis lasted in the NHL through 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 champion of the Calder Cup. In 1966-67, DeJordy shared Vezina Trophy honors with the great Glenn Hall while playing the most games of the two Chicago goalkeepers. In 1970-71, Denis appeared in 60 of 78 games for the Kings.