1995-96 Upper Deck Post Cereal Great Expectations

Lisa Marie Presley marries Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain commits suicide, The Lion King, Tonya Harding attacks Nancy Kerrigan, OJ - It was 1994.

As you may recall, '94 was also the year in which the NHL held their first lockout, which in turn caused the 1994–95 season to be shortened to 48 games instead of 84. Due to the unpredictability of when or even if the season would go ahead, the players wanted to keep their legs fresh. Some guys decided to play in various European leagues, others decided to remain in North America. As the work stoppage dragged into its second month, the NHLPA organized the  "4-on-4 Challenge" (four players and a goalie on the ice) - a tournament played over  the course of three days from the 10th to the 12th of November 1994;  all the games were played in Hamilton, Ontario's Copps Coliseum.

The tournament consisted of 4 teams; Team Ontario (white jerseys), Team USA (red jerseys), Team Western Canada  (yellow jerseys) and Team Quebec (blue jerseys). Team Ontario would reign  as champions of the tourney, which raised more than half a million dollars to support the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities of Canada and minor hockey associations throughout North America

#10 Patrick Roy Montreal Canadiens
Upper Deck and Post cereals in Canada released a 24-card set titled, 1995-96 Upper Deck Post 'Great Expectations' showcasing a selection of players who participated in the NHLPA 4-on-4 Challenge. The cards featured color action photos with the player's name in a black bar at the top. The backs carry a color player portrait and stats.

These cards were inserted one per specially marked boxes of Post cereals. You could also receive a complete set of cards by mailing in proofs of purchases along with some coin. These factory sets included the NNO header and checklist cards.

There were also 500 Wayne Gretzky autographed cards randomly inserted into the cereal boxes. Lucky collectors who pulled the greatest cereal box prize of their lives had the opportunity to call a toll-free number and have their find certified by Upper Deck.

There are cards featuring Wayne Gretzky, Kelly Hrudey and Felix Potvin included in the set but to my knowledge they did not participate in the NHLPA 4-on-4 Challenge. Their photos were most likely taken for promotional purposes or as part of a instructional video.You can differentiate between the NHLPA jerseys used in the 4-on-4 Challenge and those used in promotional shoots by the "Ronald McDonald Children's Charities of Canada" patch sewn to the 4-on-4 jerseys. The NHLPA sweater that Hrudey and Potvin are sporting also contain a visible Reebok patch on the arm which the 4-on-4 Challenge jerseys did not have.

#1 Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins

#2 Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils

#3 Steve Duchesne, St. Louis Blues

#4 Vincent Damphousse, Montreal Canadiens

#5 Eric Desjardins, Philadelphia Flyers

#6 Eric Lindros, Philadelphia Flyers

#7 Joe Juneau, Washington Capitals

#8 Luc Robitaille, Pittsburgh Penguins

#9 Mark Recchi, Montreal Canadiens

#10 Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens

#11 Brendan Shanahan, St. Louis Blues

#12 Scott Stevens, New Jersey Devils

#13 Jason Arnott, Edmonton Oilers

#14 Trevor Linden, Vancouver Canucks

#15 Chris Chelios, Chicago Blackhawks

#16 Paul Coffey, Detroit Red Wings

#17 Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings

#18 Doug Gilmour, Toronto Maple Leafs

#19 Kelly Hrudey, Los Angeles Kings

#20 Paul Kariya, Anaheim Mighty Ducks

#21 Larry Murphy, Pittsburgh Penguins

#22 Felix Potvin, Toronto Maple Leafs

#23 Keith Tkachuk, Winnipeg Jets

#24 Rob Blake, Los Angeles Kings
Surprisingly, there isn't much information on the web in regards to the NHLPA 4-on-4 Challenge. There hasn't been any rosters shared online but after some research I've found that the following players also attended the charity event: Brett Hull, Joe Sakic, Mike Modano, Pat Lafontaine, John Vanbiesbrouck, Donald Audette, Dave Elllett, Glenn Healy, Pat Verbeek, Curtis Joseph, Russ Courtnall, Geoff Courtnall, Craig Janney, Dave Andreychuk, Sylvain Lefebvre, Jeff Norton, Darryl Sydor, Phil Housley, James Patrick, Tony Granato, Norm Maciver, Gary Suter, Doug Bodger and Ray Ferraro. I'm definitely missing a few names here but as I mentioned previously, information on the tournament is difficult to come by.


  1. I'd never heard of this set, nor the tournament around which they were based. Thank you for that fascinating bit of hockey history!

  2. I second Tony Burbs' comment, great post!

  3. Me too! Those are cool in a "1986 Topps design upgrade" kind of way. Will have to look out for a set of these....

    1. It was a favorite set from when I was a kid. Best thing about cards from the 90s is that you can pick 'em up for very little compared to what they went for back when they were recently released. Thanks for the read. Cheers.

  4. Hrudey did participate, but theven jersey he is wearing is from when Gretzky formed the Ninety-Nine team. Before they played 8 games in Europe, they played in their NHLPA jerseys against the Detroit Vipers, because their Ninety-Nine jerseys weren't ready yet. If you look at the sponsors on the shoulders you can see that they're the same as the Ninety-Nine jerseys.

  5. I had to look back. I have this complete set. Looking right at it. Mint! Like new. Must have put in plastic and tucked away. Wondering about its value.


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