Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yan Stastny Rookie Jersey Card

Lost in the Trade Deadline shuffle was the news that Yan Stastny (Peter's older son, Paul's brother) was sent back to Canada...

Drafted by the Boston Bruins, he played his first NHL game with the Edmonton Oilers before being sent back to the Bruins with Marty Reasoner and a draft pick that became Milan Lucic, for Sergei Samsonov, a steal if I've ever seen one. Then he was sent to the city where he grew up, as the St. Louis Blues gave up a 5th-round pick to get him in 2007, and he was sent to the Vancouver Canucks (who immediately sent him to their AHL affiliate Manitoba Moose) a week ago.

Born in Québec, raised in St. Louis and of Slovakian descent, Yan (and Paul) could have played for either of those countries, but both chose to represent the U.S. in international competition - Paul at the 2010 Vancouver Games, Yan at the 2005 World Championships. In doing so, the Stastnys became the first family ever to suit up for four different countries in international play - Peter had played for Czechoslovakia, Canada (as a naturalized citizen for the 1984 Canada Cup) and Slovakia.

Not quite the offenive threat his father, brother and uncles (Marian and Anton) were, Yan can be counted on for a point every two games at the AHL level, statistics that should, eventually, be enough to grant him access to the NHL again in the future, as a third-or-fourth liner making the NHL minimum wage.

This card (#RM-YS), from the Rookie Materials insert sub-set of Upper Deck's 2006-07 Series 2 set, features a white piece of a Bruins jersey that was worn in a photo shoot and appears on the front through an R-shaped gap, and twice bears the mark of being 'Authentic'... it is considered a ''common'' rookie jersey card, seeing as Yan is nowhere near a star NHLer, but for a Nordiques fan like I who was a huge Peter fanatic (until 1989, he and Gretzky were my two favourite players), having a piece of memorabilia from his professional hockey-playing son is still something special.

The Habs should go get this guy, bring him back home.

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