The one you wish you could throw back

YashinWe all have regrets in life. Sometimes it’s no one’s fault but our own; sometimes fate just has a funny sense of humor. It could be a job we took that quickly turned sour; it could be that person you woke up next to the morning after a night on the town, celebrating your team winning the Stanley Cup. Or it could be great hit in a pack of cards that lights up your face…until you read the name.

In honor of the Brooklyn Hipsters New York Islanders — not only for moving on up like Gorge and Wheezy to some pretty sweet new digs, but also sliding out from under the financial cloud that was a tremendous bust of a contract  — I wanted to share a heartbreaker of a card I pulled from a pack of 2005 06 SP Authentic Hockey a few years ago.

I’m pretty sure I’d paid a premium for this old pack of cards and opened it in the shop to see if I got a hit. I flipped through a few commons and sure enough there was a really, really nice card!   My eyes lit up, my heart picked up in pace; maybe there was even a little tremble in my hands. A low stamped number, an autograph, and a really sweet piece of jersey (maybe the “N” in “New York”, or from his name?), I even liked the color of the bronze foil!! Jackpo…ohhhh. That guy.

2005-06_SPGU_YashinAlexei Yashin. The player who usually ranks near the top of every list of bad contracts handed out in professional sports: $87,500,000 over 10 years back in 2001.

While he had a pretty bad laceration on his forearm that hindered his play shortly thereafter, Yashin was bought out by the Islanders in 2007. But they still had to pay him until 2015 while he made bank in the KHL, leading the scoring with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and reaching the championship only to lose the last game.

I’m sure this was absolutely grating for all of the Islander fans paying attention at the time. I’m sure “Yashin” was a considered a four-letter word that you didn’t say during mass on Sundays up on Long Island. I’m not an islanders fan, but as a Hurricanes’ fan I can certainly sympathize these days *cough, Semin, cough*. When I pulled this card and saw what it was, I only wish I could have asked the store clerk for my money back on the pack, much like the way the New York Islanders probably wished they could have asked Gary Bettman for a mulligan on that contract.

I wish I could have tossed this card back into the sea. But I’m stuck with it and the memory of the $10 I probably paid for the pack. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Have you ever had a disappointed pull? Sure you have! Let us know in the comments.

Jim Howard is a Carolina Hurricanes fan and reformed baseball card collector who is trying to keep the hockey collection from becoming overwhelming. And while he wishes he could give Crosby the business with his mitt, he is in fact NOT the goalie for the Red Wings.


Author: Jim Howard

Hockey enthusiast who pays the bills as a traveling geologist. More of a lover than a fighter, he's a fairly cheap date; just ask his wife. He'd prefer to be outside in the rain that stuck in the office on a beautiful day.

6 thoughts on “The one you wish you could throw back”

  1. I grew up in Ottawa in the late 90’s – Isles fans aren’t the only ones who are sour on Yashin. The guy is booed regularly here. So much so, the Sens usually restrict using footage with him in it (plays, appearances, etc.) on the big screen at games. I remember going to fan appreciation night in 2013 during the 20 year celebration and the only boo of the night was a brief 5 second clip where Yashin happened to be on it.
    Arguably the Sens never overpaid him quite like the Isles did, but people don’t forget sitting out to demand to be the highest paid on the team or donating $1 million to National Arts Centre before rescinding that after he was told his mother couldn’t perform there. Arse about sums him up.
    Anyway disappointing pull? Does any Montreal or Philly player I pulled count lol? Seriously, there has been some, but nothing that uniquely stands out like this. If I had to pinpoint, it would likely be from 05-06 series 2 UD and a High Gloss Jussi Markkanen. For pulling a rare high gloss from that set, that was certainly a stinker!

    1. AJ, great story, thanks for sharing. I forgot about the revoked donation that Yashin made.

      And personally, I find those High Gloss parallels kinda dumb. It’s just the same card, but with a serial number and perhaps a bit more gloss on an already glossy card.

    2. I’ll take any and all flyer cards off your hands, and i would gladly mail you any and all Sens cards i hold!

  2. I have never had a bad pull, except the couple packs that were the exact same as a pack I’d previously opened, getting me all duplicates. Pulling three of the same card in one pack was not so nice either, thanks 1995 Upper Deck.

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