Off The Post: John Vanbiesbrouck Hockey Cards, Team USA – A former fourth-round selection (72nd overall) by the New York Rangers in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Vanbiesbrouck became one of the game’s best netminders during his 20-year professional career.
Only standing at 5-foot-8, 176 pounds, Vanbiesbrouck, who was known as “The Beezer,” wasn’t an intimidating goalie, but his versatile style and quickness made him an imposing figure between the pipes.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Vanbiesbrouck, who was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007, played for the Rangers, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders. Vanbiesbrouck spent 11 of his 20 years in the NHL with the Rangers. And, during the 1985-86 season, Vanbiesbrouck won his only Vezina Trophy as he recorded a 31-21-5 record with a 3.33 GAA.
Statistically speaking, Vanbiesbrouck’s best years were in Philadelphia. During his two-year stint with the Flyers, Vanbiesbrouck played in 112 games and had a 52-33-24 record with a 2.20 GAA. For his career, Vanbiesbrouck played in 882 games and compiled a record of 376-346-119 with a 2.98 GAA.
Since his retirement from the NHL in 2002, Vanbiesbrouck has served in many capacities throughout the game. He was a head coach and front office executive in the OHL (which he resigned from after an incident with a player) and United States Hockey League, TV analyst for the Versus Network and most recently has made an impact with USA Hockey as assistant director of hockey operations.
His impact with USA Hockey has been so great that Vanbiesbrouck was named general manager of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that’s set to compete in Beijing starting the week of February 7th.
The team Vanbiesbrouck constructed for the Olympics includes an Olympian, 15 current NCAA hockey players, two players from the AHL and eight professional hockey players playing in Europe. No NHL players will represent Team USA.
In this clip, captured by our own Russ Cohen, Vanbiesbrouck discussed the roster he put together and if the future of Team USA played a part in the construction. He also addressed why he decided to include so many collegiate players on the roster, as well as the logistics they’re facing traveling to China.
Off The Post: John Vanbiesbrouck Hockey Cards, Team USA – Card Facts
Vanbiesbrouck has a number of hockey cards on the sports card market to choose from. They started as early as the 1980-81 season when he played for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL and are still being produced today by Upper Deck and Leaf Trading Cards.
The most popular card of Vanbiesbrouck’s is his 1986-87 O-Pee-Chee rookie card #9. It features a young Vanbiesbrouck in his Rangers uniform with pads on, but without his mask, as he skates around the rink pregame. It’s a classic photograph of “The Beezer.” A raw version of the card can be purchased in the $5 range.
Also, there are plenty of sweet looking inserts from the 1990’s that feature Vanbiesbrouck and autographed cards of his in various products, past and present, that will please hockey card collectors.
Here’s a look at Vanbiesbrouck’s Beckett Media Stats Zone.
- eBay Secondary Market Pricing
- Hockey Reference Player Stats
- Team USA Profile
- 2021-22 Upper Deck Hockey Card Product Previews