This is one of the more interesting cards I purchased. It’s signed by the former and late co-owner of the New York Islanders, Charles Wang -
1. Charles was a Chinese American businessman born in Shanghai. He immigrated to Queens at 8. He graduated from @queenscollegeofficial and began his computer career at Columbia’s Riverside Research Institute.
2. He founded Computer Associates in 1976, which became immensely successful. Charles was known for employing a family oriented management style at the company and for promoting females in high level management positions, which was rare at the time.
3. In 2000, he was a minority purchaser of the @ny_islanders, and he was the majority owner from 2001-2016 (he also bought the Bridgeport Sound Tigers). Despite having only attended one hockey game before the purchase, it became clear that his investment was directed at invigorating the Long Island community, a place that he loved. He is largely credited for saving the Isles when they were on the verge of financial collapse and keeping the team on Long Island during his tenure when he easily could have made more money by relocating the team. Charles was a respected philanthropist who contributed to various causes in the area, including the @plainviewccc, @stonybrooku, and the Chinatown Health Clinic (now the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center). He also started the Islanders Children’s Foundation, which focuses on children's health, education, and youth hockey development charities.
4. While Charles made headlines for some wild ideas, such as considering recruiting sumo wrestlers as goalies and handing out mega contracts to @alexeiyashin79, Rick Dipietro, and Michael Peca, he was always well regarded by Islanders players. Charles was lauded as an owner who gave hugs instead of handshakes, and his players consistently described him as caring and kind. He also took great efforts in introducing the game of hockey to China through the Charles Wang Ice Hockey Hope Project. Before his death, Charles set up a program for Chinese teenagers to train at the Isles’ facilities. He arranged for access to the ice, training room, English tutors and coaches, to help prepare China for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
5. Charles passed away from lung cancer on October 21, 2018. He was posthumously credited for setting the path for the Isles’ return to Long Island.
For me, Charles was announced as the owner in 2000, when I was in college at @ucla and playing for @uclahockey. He served as an inspiration in my career, as I had never seen an Asian owner in hockey, and it was exciting to see an Asian take such a prominent role in the @nhl. While he was the subject of criticism in the media, there was never any doubt about his passion and love for the New York community and his heritage.