People collect all sorts of things. Stamps, sports cards, bottle caps, bobbleheads, and coins seems to be fairly common collections that people own, but occasionally you come across some off-the-wall collections. This one to the left? Typewriter ribbon tins. Yes, you read that correctly. Essentially, that collection is a historical look at the various makers of ribbons that provided the ink for a typewriter - sort of a writer's historical collection, if you will. But if someone makes it, you can almost bet that someone collects it. As advanced as we are in today's society, we tend to "pack rat" stuff that we have an affinity towards. And yes, we all do it in some way or another. I'm also a victim of collecting. My collection deals, obviously, in hockey.
As you may have read on here, I am a proud owner of a New York Islanders Fisherman jersey. I do, in fact, love this jersey. I even got it customized with Darius Kasparaitis' name and number on the back just to show that this wasn't an impulse purchase. It occurred to me, however, as I re-organized my closet today that I may own the world's ugliest hockey jersey collection.
I have a lot of jerseys that have been cut down by various people in the hockey industry, so it's time that I open my closet up and give you guys a sense of what I look at every time I think about donning a hockey jersey. I'm not taking photos of these individually mainly because I don't have the effort or time to entertain that thought, but I will post pictures of each jersey that I own. And you can laugh and mock me. Or whatever.
A few things before we get rolling. I'm not selling any of these, so don't ask. If you ask, your comment - no matter how insightful it may be - will be deleted. For those jerseys that don't have names and/or numbers on the back, I'm open to suggestions. Please note that players who (a) didn't wear the jersey won't make the cut, and (b) players who didn't wear that style of jersey will also be ignored. For example, if you suggest that Todd Bertuzzi should go on my red Florida Panthers Starter jersey, it will be ignored. He wore the Reebok jersey, and never suited up in a Starter jersey while in Miami. Make sense? Alrighty then.
Here's my collection thus far.
- Anaheim Mighty Ducks - no customization. Yes, I will take consider your opinion on who should be worn on the back of this jersey. It's the eggplant-coloured jersey that they wore for so long, and it's a Pro Player jersey. My initial thoughts were either Paul Kariya or Teemu Selanne for the customization. However, a friend of mine suggested either Sergei Krivokrasov or Tomas Sandstrom as a name. Those intrigued me.
- Belarus - no customization. This is from the Nike collection. It is a red road jersey, and is a goalie cut. The reason I wanted this one? Andrei Mezin. You know, the guy who tended the nets for Belarus when they knocked off Sweden in the 2002 Olympic Games? That guy. Don't suggest anyone else. Mezin will be put on the back... if I can find a picture.
- Boston Bruins - #34. I acquired the Bruins' alternate jersey through an eBay auction, and it came with some dude's name on the back. Needless to say, his name is going to be removed. The jersey is a Pro Player make, so I'm thinking that it has to be Rick Zombo or Bryan Berard on the back. My gut tells me Berard is a better choice.
- Chicago Blackhawks - Tony Amonte #10. I love the red Blackhawks jersey, and this Amonte jersey looks sweet. It might be the only jersey I have that doesn't raise an eyebrow in this collection. Always loved Amonte as a Blackhawk. Great memories. Only my jersey has the alternate captain's "A" on it.
- Columbus Blue Jackets - no customization. This is the early white home jersey with the interlocking "CBJ" on the front and the insect on the shoulders. It's also a Pro Player jersey. My thoughts were going with one of the original Jackets in Davyd Vyborny.
- Edmonton Oilers - no customization. This is the alternate jersey designed by Todd McFarlane. I wore this at the 2003 NHL Playoffs that saw Dallas eliminate Edmonton in six games. I was lucky enough to attend Games Three and Four. Not sure who I want on this jersey, but I can tell you that I don't want Pronger or Smyth. Any suggestions?
- Florida Panthers - #44. The red road jersey that they wore was always a hated jersey since the Panthers dumped the Penguins in the 1996 Eastern Conference Final. However, I have moved on since that time, and this jersey was part of the eBay auction as well. Again, some random dude's name on the back will be replaced with Rob Niedermayer's name on this Starter jersey to be accurate in terms of time period.
- Florida Panthers - #34. The blue alternate jersey hasn't carried the same vibe as the red jersey did, but I still need a name on it. Removing this random guy's name might be more work than I thought. Any ideas on this one? Mathieu Biron or John Vanbiesbrouck are my only options for #34 in Florida, but the Beezer wasn't around for the alternates. I'm thinking that the Biron might be my only option.
- Florida Panthers - #44. The last jersey from that eBay auction is another randomly-named #44 Panthers jersey from the same guy as the Starter jersey above. This one is a Reebok jersey, however, so it will only have one man's name on it: Todd Bertuzzi.
- Frenso Falcons - Jarrett Konkle #71. I actually picked this one up through the Falcons website after they played host to a charity game. The promo jersey looks a lot like the Atlanta Thrashers alternate in its style, but the baby blue colour makes it entirely unique. The charity that benefitted from this game was the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as the Falcons helped to raise money for their "Light the Night" walk. Yes, the jersey is the same colour as the "Light the Night" site background.
- Latvia - no customization. This was picked up after the Latvians surprised the Americans with a 3-3 tie at the 2006 Olympic Games. I thought there might be another surprising run like the Belarussians had in the previous Olympic Games, but it was not to be. I'm still happy with the selection, though, and I'll be getting Sandis Ozolinsh's info on the back. It's not a goalie cut so I can't get Arturs Irbe.
- Manitoba Moose - no customization. This is the old Moose jersey from their IHL days when Bauer was still making their jerseys. I still really like this jersey, despite the diagonal lines on the bottom, because of the cartoony logo. It feels minor-pro, and it is. I'm torn between a Greg Pankewicz customization and a Chris Kontos customization. Your thoughts?
- Nashville Predators - Shea Weber #6. I was always a fan of defencemen who played hard and had a cannon for a shot. Weber is a new-age, throwback defenceman who throws checks, has a cannon, and skates like the wind. How do you not like this guy if you're a fan? Thankfully, my jersey isn't an apron. It is a CCM home.
- New York Islanders - Darius Kasparaitis #11. As stated above, I simply love the Fisherman jersey. There was no other player I wanted more than Darius Kasparaitis as he was always a thorn in the side of every star player. Despite me hating the Islanders for what they did in 1993 in ousting the Penguins, the Fisherman made up for it all.
- Phoenix Coyotes - Teppo Numminen #27. I commented before about how the NHL lost a classy defenceman in Teppo Numminen when he announced his retirement, but I'll have something to remember him by. Yes, the jersey features the psychadelic Coyote, but they were unique, and Teppo was classy. I could have done worse, you know. My Numminen jersey is identical to the one that Gretzky is sporting here.
- Pittsburgh Penguins - Mario Lemieux #66. This was the first professional jersey I ever bought. I had it customized when I was younger, and it has remained in my collection since. Sure, the size 48 jersey no longer fits, but it has memories for me. I still pull it out every now and then just to look at it.
- Pittsburgh Penguins - no customization. Same jersey as above, only this one fits. I seriously am thinking of putting Ron Francis on the back of this one. Rarely do you see Francis Penguins jerseys outside of Pittsburgh. And if you ask me, he was the catalyst in the two Stanley Cup wins that the Penguins had in 1991 and 1992. Sorry to Hartford Whalers fans, but that trade is still the most lopsided in NHL history.
- Pittsburgh Penguins - #15. I picked the diagonal Penguins jersey up off eBay as well, and this one came with no name. There are really only two players who wore #15 during this jerseys time, so I'm stuck with either Dmitri Mironov or Shawn McEachern. Yeah, I'm leaning heavily towards McEachern.
- St. Louis Blues - Petr Nedved #93. No jersey gets more talk in St. Louis than the diagonal Blues, Gretzky-era jersey. It's actually not that bad of a jersey for my collection since most of my jerseys are horrid, but it truly was well-designed but poorly-received. Everyone asks why I didn't get Gretzky on the back, and I keep telling them that it would be like owning a Michael Jordan Washington Wizards jersey. It would only tarnish his career.
- 1996 All-Star Game - Teemu Selanne #8. Teemu has always been a classy guy, and he was the wrong guy to trade when it came down to moving either him or Keith Tkachuk out of Winnipeg in a salary dump. I had to get Teemu on the ASG jersey because he always was an all-star in Winnipeg. Still one of my favorite Jets.
- NHLPA jersey - no customization. This is the jersey worn in the four-on-four challenge that took place in Hamilton, Ontario during the NHL strike in 1995 by Team USA. If I remember correctly, there was a blue team (Quebec), a yellow team (Western Canada), a white team (Ontario), and a red team (USA). The red jersey, which I own, is modeled here by Steve Duchesne. I'd love to put Jeremy Roenick on the back of this one since he was in his prime, but I can't find any pictures of this tournament anywhere to confirm both my memory and what number Roenick wore.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!