Saturday, May 9, 2009
Ovechkin this and Crosby that. It's the heart of the NHL playoffs, but the highlight of our hockey day is the Bronze and Gold Medal games of the 2009 IIHF World Championships in Bern, Switzerland.
The USA will be taking on Sweden for the Bronze with the headline matchup being old rivals Canada vs. defending Gold Medalists Russia.
With that in mind, today's jersey is a 1996 Team Canada Martin Brodeur jersey. If you are going to collect jerseys from this era, be aware that Bauer jerseys from this time period of the "Waving Flag" style consistently run a size larger than others.
The "Warsteiner" sponsorship patch was one that we made ourselves since patches like that cannot be purchased. It's not an embroidered one like the game worn jerseys have, but from any sort of distance look quite nice, especially without the shine the flash has given the one in my photo. Some day when we don't have a relevant jersey to post, we'll publish a tutorial on how to make your own printed patches. (The tutorial later appeared in this entry)
It's rather rare to see a Brodeur jersey from the World Championships since the Worlds unfortunately coincide with the NHL playoffs where Brodeur is annually busy tending goal for the New Jersey Devils. Due to the consistent level of play from the Devils, Brodeur has only participated in the World Championships twice, in 1996 and again in in 2005.
Brodeur played 3 games in the 1996 World Championships, finishing with a record of 0-1-1, but behind the goaltending of Curtis Joseph, Canada did earn a silver medal in 1996.
Brodeur also wore this same jersey in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey later that fall, only wearing the unusual for him jersey #1 due to #30 Bill Ranford also being on the team and having seniority when it came time to assign numbers.
Dasherboard: It's been nice to see the fans of some of the downtrodden teams of the last 10 years have some success in the playoffs this year. St. Louis made a return to the playoffs for the first time in a while, while Columbus made the show for the first time ever at the expense of regular playoff squads like Colorado and Dallas.
Good times have returned to Pittsburgh in a big way after a long period of losing. The team is now obviously stacked with Crosby and Malkin, plus the construction of a new arena for the fans is also a just reward for sticking with the team. But my favorite story is the return to relevance of the Chicago Blackhawks. As a Chicago native, I've got a soft spot for the 'Hawks and their future looks bright, as they are not only "just happy to be here", as perhaps Columbus was, they are back and going on a deep run into the playoffs, having pushed Vancouver to the brink of elimination last night with the next game back on home ice.
And just how relevant has Chicago become? In breaking news, the Chicago Blackhawks have been chosen to represent the NHL in the second annual Victoria Cup next September 29th in Zurich, Switzerland vs. 2009 Champions League winners ZSC Lions.
From the article on the IIHF website, here's an interesting fact:
Pretty good for a franchise that averaged 12,727 in 2006-07, a mere 62.1% capacity.
Relevant hockey certainly has returned to the city of Chicago and the Blackhawks.
Since today, May 9th, is Steve Yzerman's birthday, it only seems appropriate to kick things off with a tribute to Stevie Y.
This is a 1991-92 Detroit Red Wings Steve Yzerman jersey, authentic size 48. The classic Red Wings sweater, essentially unchanged since the dawn of time, or more accurately 1932, when we believe the color red was invented, consistently rates very highly in "favorite jersey" polls and is a true icon of hockey sweaters.
Yzerman had 45 goals and 58 assists that year for 103 points. He would go onto win the Stanley Cup 3 times, a Canada Cup in 1984 and an Olympic Gold Medal in 2002, play in 10 All-Star Games, win the Pearson, Selke, Masterton and Patrick trophies and was the youngest and longest serving captain in Red Wings history.
In addition, his number 19 was not only retired by the Red Wings, but the Canadian National Team as well.
It's nice to start off the blog with an authentic jersey, complete with the fightstrap. This jersey also features the NHL 75th Anniversary patch, worn by all the teams during the 1991-92 season, our favorite year for hockey jerseys for several reasons.
The patch itself is our favorite style of all the numerous patches. We think it's a very dynamic design with its "speed stripes". In 1991-92, NHL jerseys overall were still very classic designs. The Sabres hadn't changed to the "Goat Head" logo yet, the Whalers were still in Hartford, the Devils still wore their original red and green, the Islanders had yet to introduce the "Fishsticks" logo, the Penguins had not changed to the "Robo Penguin" logo yet, the Nordiques were still in Quebec, the Jets were still in Winnipeg and the age of the bizarro Third Jersey had not yet begun.
That was also the year that the Original Six teams, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, New York Rangers and Toronto; all wore their highly attractive throwback jerseys. In addition, the NHL All-Star Game in Philadelphia also featured throwback jerseys based on the ones used in the first recurring annual NHL All-Star Game in 1947.
The only thing that could have made the 1991-92 set of jerseys better would have been the North Stars still wearing their traditional green jerseys at home rather than the new black set introduced in 1991-92.
As this blog grows, you will no doubt become familiar with the set of NHL jerseys used in 1991-92, as we consider it a focus of the NHL portion of our jersey collection.
To read more about Yzerman, please visit his profile at GreatestHockeyLegends.com
Dasherboard: Did you happen to read Michael Farber's "Fab Foes" NHL column in the April 27th issue of Sports Illustrated? He proposes the return of the first two rounds of the NHL playoffs being within your own division, quoting Cam Neely as saying "Divisional playoffs build rivalries". We could not agree more. There's nothing like having the chance to end another team's season to turn up the intensity. Keeping the first two rounds of playoffs within your division ensures that in short order, a team will match up against a given club multiple times, and the better the clubs are, the more often they will meet, creating a great and intense playoff history. Much more so than multiple regular season matchups and scattered conference pairings as is the case now.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Welcome to my new blog. My plan is to feature a different jersey from my collection each day. Perhaps each weekday. We'll just have to see how it goes. I've got a pretty large supply of jerseys to feature, so I plan on it being an ongoing proposition. I'll do my best to keep track of the ones I have talked about and, while some jerseys may look similar, you won't be seeing the same jersey twice. So, stay tuned and hopefully you'll see some things you find interesting and some stuff you've never seen before and learn a bit of history along the way.
A few things before we begin. Nothing you see is for sale. Please don't ask. If you are looking for a place to buy something similar - ebay is the answer. Yes, ebay is drowning in fake jerseys these days, but that's where the vast majority of mine have come from.
Aside from the many online retailers, you might also try the following forums that have active For Sale and Items Wanted sections.
JerseyCentral.org - Discussion of jerseys from all sports with an emphasis on authentics
IceJerseys.com forums - Discussion of hockey jerseys only
Also, I fully admit most of my jerseys are replicas and you will surely find that some will have a certain degree of historical inaccuracies, mainly in what brand was worn in what year with what patch. I'm a bit lax in the hardcore accuracy department. For example, if the Red Wings wore Nike in 1998, I'm just as likely to have used a Starter jersey since the striping and cut of the jersey is exactly the same.
On the other hand, I do my best to keep everything other than brand as close to the original as possible. I won't put a patch on a Rangers v-neck collar when it belongs on one with a tie-neck collar.
In other words, I worry about the correct style of the jersey, but don't let the brand get in the way of my fun.