In The Cards: Jacques Lemaire’s pre-emptive Sabres card

Before the 1974-75 season, it is speculated Jacques Lemaire was on the verge of becoming a Buffalo Sabre. The trade never materialized, though, and Topps’ and O-Pee-Chee’s attempt at getting ahead of the curve backfired as they released a Lemaire card that pictured him in a Sabres uniform. Lemaire remained a Canadien for his entire career.

Trading card companies have made plenty of errors on hockey cards in the past. Sometimes, they might misspell a player’s name, print an incorrect stat or even use a photo of a teammate by mistake. But this gaffe from 40 years ago may trump them all. In the hockey card sets issued by Topps and O-Pee-Chee during the 1974-75 season, Montreal Canadiens center Jacques Lemaire is erroneously pictured as a member of the Buffalo Sabres — a team he never played for. A close-up photo had been doctored, with Sabres colors painted over Lemaire’s Canadiens jersey. According to the Hockey Hall of Fame website, it was speculated that Lemaire was going to be dealt to the Sabres, so the card companies responded in kind, albeit a bit prematurely.

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