For the past three years, Canada Post has issued sets of six stamps paying tribute to some of the greatest Canadian NHL All-Stars.
The 2003 set of stamps, issued Saturday, feature goaltender Bill Durnan; defencemen Serge Savard and Raymond Bourque; and forwards Mike Bossy, Frank Mahovlich and Stan Mikita.
A total of six million stamps will be issued in both sheet and booklet formats.
The six players appear on circular Â?puck-shapedÂ? frames, accompanied by formal Â?head-and-shouldersÂ? images immediately to the left or right of their respective stamps. Each stamp has the word Canada, the denomination, and the text Â?NHL All-Stars, toiles de la LNH.Â?
In addition to the stamps, framed and numbered canvas prints of the stamp images featuring the five living players (Durnan died in 1972) are available. Each print will be hand-signed by the featured player and have a limited edition of the total of 1,000 plus the number on the playerÂ?s jersey (for example Bourque wore No. 77, therefore 1,077 prints will be available).
Unsigned lithographs and coasters will be issued for each of the six players, as well as a commemorative box set, which includes the souvenir sheet, six medallions and an authentic 2003 All-Star game puck. New this year will be hockey stamp cards featuring all 24 players featured over the last four years. The cards have been redesigned to more closely resemble collectible hockey cards and will be sold in packets of six.
Prior to the first NHL All-Star Game in 1947, the concept of pitting the NHLÂ?s elite against each other was used in three games staged to benefit the families of former NHL stars.
Until 1968, the defending Stanley Cup champions would face-off against a team of selected all-stars from around the league. Over the past five decades, the eventÂ?s format has undergone a series of changes. The 2003 edition reverts back once again to the Eastern Conference versus Western Conference format.
Stamp information may also be found on Canada PostÂ?s website at www.canadapost.ca.