Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Yves Racine Autographed Card

Yves Racine was chosen 11th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1987 NHL Draft, ahead of Joe Sakic (15th), Andrew Cassels (17th), John LeClair (33rd), Jeff Hackett (34th), Éric Desjardins (38th), Mathieu Schneider (44th), and Theoren Fleury (166th).

He was a blue-chip prospect and proved it by posting 94- and 108-point seasons for the LHJMQ's Victoriaville Tigres after being drafted, then went on to post two 40-point seasons with the Wings before getting traded to the Philadelphia Flyers, where he had a career-high 52 points in 1993-94.

He then made his way to the Montréal Canadiens as a free agent, unfortunately landing on his hometown team the year it parted ways with legendary GM Serge Savard, Stanley Cup-winning coach Jacques Demers and the best goalie of all time, Patrick Roy. To add insult to injury, the Habs already had offensive-minded defensemen on the roster (Schneider, Patrice Brisebois, Jean-Jacques Daigneault, fellow former first-rounder Bryan Fogarty), which meant his skill-set was overly redundant, particularly on a team that lacked on-ice chemistry and defensive acumen.

He had short stints with the San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning (in his third turn with Demers as coach, after Detroit and Montréal), but his reputation was already too tarnished to continue playing in the NHL as he turned 30, so he exiled himself to Europe, playing one season in Finland and four more in Germany before returning home to play in the LNAH for the Thetford Mines Prolab for a couple of years.

He then went into business with the Prolab's owner, Réal Breton, investing and obtaining a huge return in the building and selling of condos. Nowadays, he owns and operates a hardware and lumber company, Fixatech. He still suits up for the Habs' alumni team for charity events, a dozen or so times a year.

Here is is sporting the Wings' red (then-away) uniform, on card #287 from Fleer's 1992-93 Fleer Ultra set, which he signed in black sharpie during his time in Thetford Mines:
I should also have a few of him in Flyer orange and the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge as well, somewhere.

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