Friday, June 21, 2013

Back Checking - 1991-92 UD SP1 Glasnost On Ice

noun \ˈglaz-(ˌ)nōst
- a Soviet policy permitting open discussion of political and social issues and freer dissemination of news and information (a definition given on for the word "glasnost")

Back in 1991-92 when the NHL had their 75th Annversary and hockey card collecting had exploded to what was likely it's all-time peak in popularity, a special event happened. This event, which I had no idea it has occurred until it was captured on cardboard.

1991-92 UD SP1 Glasnost On Ice
Back in 1991 that would have been EVER kid's dream, step on the ice with Wayne and Brett. If you didn't like one chances are you liked the other. If you didn't like either, then you were a Habs fan or Russian, but don't worry Valeri Kamensky and Denis Savard were there too so only the haters were left in the dark on this one.

I first saw this card when my step-father pulled one like it from a pack of 91-92 UD. It was the first of what would be many "SP" cards, I am not sure how rare they were but after opening at least 5 boxes worth of the stuff, I never pulled one myself. I did build a couple base sets and countless rookies and Hull's Heroes, but no SP1. At the time, it was a pretty "valuable" card but it would be nearly 20 years before I would finally get mine. Last summer I saw it at my LCS and bought it for 2 dollars. Roughly was I was paying for packs back in 1991, almost fitting really.

Now on to the purpose of the post. For years I knew about the card and had even seen it, but what is more important is what it represents. Glasnost was really the end of one era and the beginning of another. When the walls fell in the USSR/Soviet Union, it opened the world to it's inhabitants and that included hockey players. If you look at the NHL today, there may not be as many Russian hockey players as there once was in the 90's, but the ones there are in the NHL are rather significant. Imagine no Ovechkin, Malkin, or Kovalchuk. Even prospects like Yakupov and Grigorenko wouldn't have had the chance to play in the CHL as juniors. Hockey in North American changed very significantly and this card represents that change happening.

The only think missing would be if one of those kids with Wayne, Brett and Valeri would have made the NHL or something cool along those lines, but from what I can tell, they were just participants witnessing some pretty amazing stuff.


  1. That would been insane had one of those kids turned out to be Malkin or Ovechkin. As for those early 90's Upper Deck SP inserts... they are so awesome. I collected them from all four major sports.

    1. No kidding, it would be the hottest card from the 91-92 season I am sure.

      As far as SP's go, I only own this one despite being aware of many of the others. I hope to track them down slowly and surely!

  2. I have that card in mint condition. Anyone interested