Two years ago Ron Cruickshank walked into a used sporting goods store in Whitehorse and walked out with an unexpectedly valuable sweater – and he got it for a bargain.
It was Christmas 2019 and Cruickshank was flipping through a rack of hockey jerseys at ChangingGear. It was then that one jersey in particular caught his eye. He lifted it up and saw “All Star” on it.
“Originally I thought it was like Western Hockey or – like just for maybe 30 seconds – I thought it was outside of the NHL,” Cruickshank said.
“Then I looked at the NHL logo… and sure enough, I started to see the signatures on it. “
Cruickshank knew, although not exactly to what extent, that this jersey was not just an ordinary jersey.
He said his head started to spin “quite quickly”.
“You’re pretty excited when you see something like that. You don’t know exactly what to do, quite frankly,” he said.
He looked at the price – it was just $ 26.
“I kinda felt like I was flying”
“So I quickly grabbed him and went to the counter and checked as quickly as I could. That’s exactly what my reaction was,” Cruickshank said.
“I kinda felt like I was stealing it. There was that, ‘man, I gotta get out of here with this thing.'”
He left the store and brought it home.
It turned out to be an autographed 2008 NHL All-Star jersey and it could be worth a lot more than he bought it for.
He spotted the signatures of NHL stars Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, among others. He said it had taken him a long time to identify them all.
“I didn’t know anything about autographs or memorabilia at the time. So I looked up to see if it was real,” Cruickshank said.
Advice he found suggested he check if the autographs were handwritten and then check if they are legible or illegible – the less easily seen, the more likely it is to be real, did he declare.
Cruickshank said he took the sweater to Ottawa to have it checked. He first tried out the Ottawa Senators store, where the manager took a peek and had reason to believe it was real. The manager then told Cruickshank to bring it to the Hockey Hall of Fame to get the genuine documents that come with it.
Cruickshank hasn’t done it yet and says he’s not sure he’ll ever do so.
Atlanta to Whitehorse
For Cruickshank, the mystery is how that jersey that looked like it had been purchased at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., Where the 2008 NHL All-Star was played, ended up in a store of opportunity from Whitehorse.
“It’s the mystery,” he said. “I don’t know how he got from Atlanta and then how he fell to the ground…
Today, he still considers her the most precious thing in his house.
“It’s like a TV show,” he said, “where you find something precious just during your day, walking through a store in Whitehorse”.