Sixth joint issue celebrates pure love of the game in both countries
History of Hockey stamps went on sale in Canada and the U.S. earlier this week following an unveiling at the Little Caesars Arena complex, which is home to the Detroit Red Wings.
The joint stamp issue is the sixth by Canada Post and the United States Postal Service (USPS) since 1959, when the two postal services first joined hands to issue to a St. Lawrence Seaway stamp.
“The subjects chosen for the joint issues highlight how much our nations have in common. Hockey is one of those things,” said Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra. “These stamps celebrate the shared love of hockey, a game now firmly rooted in the lore of both nations.”
PAST & PRESENT
Hockey has thrilled boys and girls both young and old for generation after generation across North America and much of the world. As the decades have glided by, equipment has evolved and styles have changed, but the excitement of playing remains ingrained in us.
Hockey Hall of Famer Red Kelly, who was honoured in the 2014 Original Six Defenceman issue of Canada Post’s five-year NHL series, spoke at the unveiling ceremony.
“There is nothing like the game of hockey. It’s the greatest game in the world. Having played professional hockey in both the United States and Canada, it is wonderful for me to see the United States Postal Service and Canada Post unite to produce the History of Hockey stamps, depicting hockey at its purest roots,” said Kelly, who won the Stanley Cup Championship four times with the Detroit Red Wings and another four with the Toronto Maple Leafs. “I am pleased to be back in Detroit and part of this occasion.”
The Canadian stamps are sold in booklets of 10 stamps and the U.S. stamps in panes of 20 stamps. In Canada, collectors can purchase a souvenir sheet of two Permanent domestic-rate stamps and an official first-day cover (OFDC) souvenir sheet with two Canadian Permanent stamps. There is also a joint OFDC with two Canadian stamps and two U.S. Forever stamps.
“The Howe family applauds Canada Post and the United States Postal service for their tremendous collaborative efforts and vision to create the History of Hockey stamp set,” said Dr. Murray Howe, Gordie Howe’s youngest son. “The stamps will serve as a beautiful symbol of the bond between our two nations, and as a tribute to the players, teams, officials, concessioners, broadcasters, reporters, sponsors, and fans who all play an integral role in this sport we love so much. We owe much to the game of hockey, and feel blessed to be a part of this momentous occasion.”
Available in a self-adhesive booklet of 10 stamps for $8.50, the two domestic rate Permanent stamps measure 26 mm by 40 mm with simulated perforations and are printed in four-colour process plus two special inks. Designed by Roy White, of Vancouver’s Subplot Design, the issue features photography by KC Armstrong with retouching by Brad Pickard and was printed by Lowe-Martin.
The issue also includes a gummed souvenir sheet featuring a gummed tête-bêche pair. This souvenir sheet also appears on an OFDC cancelled in Windsor, Ont. The joint OFDCs feature two tête-bêche pairs, one pair at the Canadian domestic Permanent rate and one at the U.S. Forever domestic rate. The joint cover also features two cancels, one from Detroit, Mi., and one from Windsor, Ont.
FIRST HOCKEY STAMP
The first hockey stamp issued by Canada was the 1956 five-cent stamp featuring three players (one a goalie and another stick handling the puck) wearing “CANADA” jerseys. Designed by James Simpkins, of Ottawa, the stamp was engraved and printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, Ottawa.
The previous Canada-U.S. joint issue came a decade ago, in 2007, when it joined six other nations in celebrating the International Polar Year 2007-2008. Each participating country, which included Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, issued the same sized souvenir sheet but with different designs.
The first joint issue released by the two postal administrations marked the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Since then, they have jointly commemorated the U.S. bicentennial (1976), the 50th anniversary of the Peace Bridge (1977), the St Lawrence Seaway’s 25th anniversary (1984) and the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of the east coast of North America (2006).