The Guy Lafleur Rookie Cards and Other Vintage Cards
Guy Lafleur Rookie Cards
The 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Guy Lafleur #148 is the card most collectors consider the Guy Lafleur rookie card. However, there were a few other items issued during 1971 that can be considered Guy Lafleur rookies, but none of them are traditional trading cards. I would be reluctant to call them Guy Lafleur rookie cards due to their oddball nature, but they are rookies all the same. This era was great for producing rare and obscure collectibles for players whose rookie year fell during this timeframe. In this article I’ll walk through all of the Guy Lafleur rookies and also touch on Lafleur’s first Topps card.
1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Guy Lafleur #148
The 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Guy Lafleur card #148 is one of the most sought-after and valuable hockey cards made during the 1970s. His rookie card has an uncorrected error on both the front and the back. O-Pee-Chee spelled his last name as “La Fleur,” but it isn’t supposed to have the space. The correct spelling is “Lafleur,” but because the error wasn’t corrected there isn’t a version of this card with the correct spelling.
There was a Topps Hockey set in 1971-72, but it had a smaller checklist and didn’t include a Guy Lafleur rookie card.
Lafleur is one of the greatest Montreal Canadiens players of all time. Lafleur started his career with high expectations as the replacement for Jean Béliveau and lived up to them by eventually becoming the Canadiens’ all-time leading scorer. He played center for the Canadiens from 1971 to 1985, retired for three years, and then returned to play for the New York Rangers and Quebec Nordiques. By the time he returned to the ice he had already been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, which makes him one of the only Hall of Famers (along with Gordie Howe and Mario Lemieux) to be an active player.
During his career Lafleur won five Stanley Cup Championships as a member of the Canadiens, who drafted him first overall in 1971. He was the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in six consecutive seasons and was a seven-time Molson Cup winner. The rookie card of any player with these accomplishments would be valuable and collectible, but other factors make the Guy Lafleur rookie even more sought after.
- 5-Time Stanley Cup Champion – Individual players are often judged by the accomplishments of their team, particularly when they are the team’s star player. Guy Lafleur played in a competitive era of the NHL and was able to lead the Canadiens to five championships. Most of the players with cup wins were members of the Canadiens in the less competitive 1950s and 1960s.
- Played as a Living Legend – Guy Lafleur was inducted into the Hall of Fame after his initial retirement, but fans were treated to the opportunity to witness him playing for three seasons when he returned to the league. Lafleur took advantage of a “grandfather” rule that allowed him to play without a helmet, making it even more surreal that a legend was on the ice.
- Historically Great Offensive Production – During his first few seasons fans were skeptical that Guy Lafleur was going to be able to fill the shoes of the great Jean Béliveau. But that doesn’t mean Lafleur didn’t get off to a great start to his career. Lafleur quickly became an offensive force the likes of which the league had never before seen. He became the fastest player ever to reach 1,000 points by doing it in his first 720 games. The record has since been broken by players like Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, but it still shows that Lafleur was ahead of his time and sheds light on why his legacy endures with fans and collectors.
1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Set Details
Despite the misspelling of Lafleur’s name, the 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Hockey set is regarded as one of the best sets to come out of the 1970s. The design of these cards has also been highly praised due to their simple yet colorful design and their durability. O-Pee-Chee selected a unique font for the team names that is visually appealing and suits the era in which this set was made. The set featured 264 cards including one checklist. The top rookie cards from this set include Ken Dryden #45, Marcel Dionne #133, and Barry Ashbee #104. Also included are Gordie Howe and Jean Beliveau retirement cards.
- Year: 1971-72
- Manufacturer: O-Pee-Chee
- Number of Cards: 264
- Card size: 2 ½” x 3 ½” (standard size)
- All-Stars (#250-260)
- Award Winners (#245-259)
1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Guy Lafleur Rookie Card #148 Details
- Year: 1971-72
- Name on front of card: Guy La Fleur
- Uncorrected Misprint. Should be Guy Lafleur
- Name on back of card: Guy La Fleur
- Uncorrected Misprint. Should be Guy Lafleur
- Position: Center
- Team: Montreal
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 180
- Born: Sept 20 1951 Thurso, Quebec
Front of the card
Design: The front of Guy Lafleur’s 1971-72 rookie card has a vertical layout and features a photo of Lafleur posing in his Canadiens jersey in front of a gold background. The photo is inside of a blue oval that has “Canadiens” across the top in 1970s-style bubble font. Guy Lafleur’s name (misspelled), position, and the Canadians logo are found at the bottom of the card.
Shop for a 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Guy Lafleur Rookie card #148 on eBay (affiliate link)
Back of the card
The back of the card has a pretty simple horizontal design, with a light-colored border and green informational boxes within a larger black box. The left side of the card has a paragraph about Lafleur’s rookie season in English at the top of the card and in French at the bottom. In between the two paragraphs is a spot for stats, but it’s empty because Lafleur hadn’t completed a season by the time this card was printed. The right side of the card has Lafleur’s name, number, position, and the city of this team. Below that is a cartoon of a hockey player that says “Guy will be a super-star” in both English and French. Below the cartoon is Lafleur’s biographical information.
The number one draft choice in the 1971 Amateur Draft. Guy had pressure built all around him as he started the 1971-72 campaign because so many looked upon him as the immediate replacement for Jean Beliveau. After the first third of the season, Guy was ahead of the pace of Beliveau’s first full season in the NHL. Destined to be a super-star.1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Guy Lafleur Rookie card #148
Guy Lafleur 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee (#148) Rookie Card Value
The 1971-72 Guy Lafleur rookie card is one of the most valuable hockey cards of all time. The chart below was pulled from the popular card grading site PSA on 01/26/2022. It shows prices for the Guy Lafleur rookie card in various conditions.
Keep in mind that prices fluctuate. While PSA is a great way to find out the value of a card, we recommend going to eBay to see what cards are currently selling for on the world’s most popular auction site. Click here to view current auctions for the 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Guy Lafleur Rookie card #148.
Other Relevant Guy Lafleur Cards
Aside from the 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee card mentioned above, Lafleur has several other cards that can be considered rookies. This includes some oddball issues that aren’t trading cards but are rare and valuable. I’ll also talk about a few 1972-73 Guy Lafleur cards, one of which is his first Topps card.
1971-72 Montreal Canadiens Postcard Guy Lafleur
It was very common during this era for teams to issue a team set of postcards. Guy Lafleur was featured in such a set in 1971-72 and it created one of the most valuable and rare Guy Lafleur rookies. This set was produced by a company called Pro Star Promotions, Inc. and included 24 postcards, all of them players for the Montreal Canadiens. These postcards had a blank back and were intended to be mailed, many of which were. That makes them rare in high-grade conditions.
Shop for a 1971-72 Guy Lafleur Postcard on eBay (affiliate link)
1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Poster Guy Lafleur #13
The 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee posters set contained 24 posters and came folded in wax packs. These came two-per-sheet and individually measured 10″ x 18″. They are very rare to find separated and even rarer and more valuable still attached. The scarcity of these suggest they may have been a test issue, but it’s also possible they were used as posters and deteriorated because they are made of paper.
Shop for a 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Poster Guy Lafleur on eBay (rare) (affiliate link)
1971-72 Toronto Sun NHL Action Players Guy Lafleur
The 1971-72 Toronto Sun NHL Action Players set was inserted into the Toronto Sun newspaper. Each “card” of this 295-card set measured 5 1/4″ x 7″ and had two punch holes so they could be stored in a photo album. They were printed on thin paper which led to durability issues and makes them hard to find since not many survived. There are three variations of each card — one that has the Toronto Sun and NHL Action Players logos, one that has the NHL Action Players logo only, and one that has the Toronto Sun logo only.
Shop for a 1971-72 Toronto Sun Action Players Guy Lafleur on eBay (rare) (affiliate link)
1972-73 Topps Guy Lafleur #79
The 1972-73 Topps Guy Lafleur card #79 is Lafleur’s first Topps card because he wasn’t included in the 1971-72 Topps set. The existence of the 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee card keeps this card from being viewed as a rookie card. It’s still a great early Lafleur card that features a great up-close photo of a young Lafleur in front of a solid green background.
Shop for a 1971-72 Topps Guy Lafleur on eBay (affiliate link)
1972-73 O-Pee-Chee #59
The 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee #59 is a Guy Lafleur second-year card. The front of the card is the same as the Topps version discussed above. The back of the card is different, however. This card is printed on lighter-colored cardstock and the paragraph discussing Lafleur’s rookie year appears both in English and French. It’s also worth noting that this card has a different card number than the Topps version. The Topps card is #79 and the O-Pee-Chee version is #59.
Shop for a 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee Guy Lafleur on eBay (affiliate link)
Guy Lafleur’s Legacy
Guy Lafleur would be one of the greatest Montreal Canadiens players of all time, which is saying a lot because of the team’s storied franchise history. He played with the Canadiens for 14 years and retired as the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,246 points. During his prime years he became the first player in NHL history to record six consecutive 50-goal seasons and reached 1,000 goals in fewer games than any player who came before him. Upon his retirement, his jersey number 10 was retired by the Canadiens franchise and he was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He returned to the ice after three years of retirement, though not with the Canadiens, to become on one of the few active Hall of Fame players and one of the last to play without a helmet.
Here are some of Guy Lafleur’s career accomplishments:
- 1 time Goals leader (1977-78)
- 1 time Assists leader (1976-77)
- 3 time Points leader (1975-76, 1976-77, 1977-78)
- 4 time Game-Winning Goals leader (1974-75, 1975-76, 1977-78, 1978-79)
- 1 time Hat Tricks leader (1977-78)
- 5 time Stanley Cup winner
- 3 time Art Ross Trophy winner
- 2 time Hart Memorial Trophy winner
- 3 time Lester B. Pearson Award winner
- 1 time Conn Smythe winner
- 7 time Molson Cup winner
- Inducted into the Canadien Sports Hall of Fame in 1996
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998
- #10 retired by the Montreal Canadiens in 1985
Get Your Guy Lafleur Rookie
Do you want to own a 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee Guy Lafleur rookie (#148)? If so, we recommend starting your search on eBay – the world’s #1 card trading place. Even if you’re not planning to buy one just yet, it’s fun to look at all the great cards currently for sale.
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All About Guy Lafleur Rookies Infographic
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