Any who know me can attest to the fact that I’m a sports merchandise fanatic. My taste, however, is geared towards unique rather than chic. As such, I possess many sporting items which elicit a “what the hell is that you’re wearing” over the “sick jerz brooooo” you often hear while watching a sporting event at a pub.

I’m here to help you accomplish the same.

The following guide will help you not only find a timeless, legendary hockey jersey you will want to frequent your body with, it will help you find a jersey that speaks to who you are deep, deep down in your soul and shout it out to the world.

Come with me on this journey of self-discovery and collectable nerdery.

Favorite teams are too easy

Well all have our favorite teams, and they greatly influence our decision making process when it comes to a jersey. This is a reflex of the weak, and from now on you will be a strong, independent jersey buyer. You will throw your loyalties to the wind for the sake of having a killer jersey which will immortalize you amongst friends, bystanders and obscure family members your parents don’t like to “talk about”.

Does the choice to sport a jersey of your rival come with pain? Sure. But it’s the year 2012 folks. Irony became the coolest thing ever recently — or so I’ve been told by people with plaid shirts and way too tight jeans — and you ought to embrace it.

Do not simply settle for your favorite team over and over again. You’re better than that. We’re all better than that.

Throwbacks are always better

As someone who has been burned many times by the allure of a new name, you should know that throwbacks will always trump a current jersey, lest you find out the hard way. The machinations of various merchandise producers would have you believe that every semi-reputable player will work out forever once they make the jump. This is false. Do not buy in.

Picking up a jersey of a player who has already made their way through the franchise is always a lock to be awesome one of two reasons: Either they are a legend and you will be celebrated for honoring said team’s history, regardless of how lackluster it may be OR their name is hilarious in the context of the team’s history and you will get lots of high fives and free beer whenever you wear it.

In Scranton, PA., they call that a win-win-win scenario. Go after those legends, make people smile. Don’t get a Sidney Crosby. Somewhere out there Sven Butenschon is calling.

Obscurity is your friend

Hockey is played all over the world by children, teenagers and adults. Every single one of them wears a jersey every time they hit the ice. As such, if you look hard enough, there are not only plenty of awesome jerseys out there for you to put in your closet, there are plenty of completely obscure jerseys to set you apart from the crowd. This holds for NHL and non-NHL threads.

You want a jersey from NHL Team X? Sure! Happy to help. The key is to not just buy their regular home or away jersey, you must go digging. Find that jersey they wore 20 years ago for six games. Why get a Devils jersey when you can find a Kansas City Scouts jersey somewhere? Same franchise!

Start plowing through hockey archives and make your way through team archives. Look at logos in multiple leagues, google jersey designs. Find something that brings about a little half smile on your face, something that brings about that half-impressed snort, and then start hunting.

To illustrate this reaction, I humbly submit the Mississippi River Kings for your consideration:

That jersey is awesome, obscure and if you like the color green and turtles, it’s the way to go for you.

Stay true to yourself

This is by far the most important point. Many of you will go looking for a jersey and think you’re looking for something that you’ll like. You’re not. You’re looking for something that your friends will think is okay and won’t get you into a bar fight. Well, conventions be damned! You’re wonderful, and you should be you.

Find colors and logos you like, regardless of what your half-wit friend thinks is cool. Look at leagues you’ve never heard of and scour the internet for the painfully hard to find. If clothing makes us walking billboards, you ought to be the best damn billboard you can live with in between naps.

How have I done this personally? Well, let me share.

As a now-alienated, once fiercely loyal member of the masochistic pagan cult that is the Toronto Maple Leafs, and avid OHL fan, I once thought it would be a good idea to get a Matt Stajan jersey after his career with the Belleville Bulls. This is now a hilarious joke, but I owned that look hard back in the day. While friends thought it would be fun to get “Sundin” or “Roberts” I laughed at them! I thought I knew! And while I had to learn my ‘nothing current’ rule the hard way, I didn’t sell out, though I probably wish I had in retrospect.

Today I can be found regularly wearing a (now re-branded) St. Michael’s Majors jersey and Boston Bruins ‘Pooh Bear’ jersey.

On my immediate list of ‘must-adds’ I have the Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques, California Seals, the Great One’s St. Louis stint, aaaaand a Quad City Mallards, because why not?

It works for me. Find what works for you.

Conclusions

You are now equipped to go out into the world and find a hockey jersey that not only looks sharp, but also suits who you are inside. You will avoid your favorite team if you can, find the throwbacks, hunt the obscure and be true to yourself.

Sure, you can go and get a jersey to proclaim to the world that player X is your favorite, but where is the fun in that? With such an endless amount of possibility out there, you owe it to yourself to find that gem which will become synonymous with your life.

Trust me, it’s worth it.

I implore all of you to leave a jersey choice below that you would love to have, be it a famous team with a weird player on the back, or a team nobody knows exists, I want to know what you will be sporting.

I want to know you.

Comments (30)

  1. Got myself a 2006 Joe Sakic Team Canada Jersey! It’s my most prized jersey by a long shot.

  2. This article is spot on. The WHA is a great source of quality jersey material. Why not get yourself a Miami Screaming Eagles jersey? Oh you don’t remember them? That’s because they folded before they could play their first game ;). Cheers!

  3. You need to burn that Bruins jersey yesterday.

  4. My hero here is the guy with the signed Teemu Selanne Mighty Ducks wild wing jersey. If I could find one of those godawful Blues music jerseys for a reasonable price, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

    I did try for one of the never used yellow Panthers alternates, but was never able to score one, so my most unusual one is a Team Hungary I got when I was visiting there a few years ago. When I lived in Florida, I also used to sport an event jersey from the first outdoor AHL game, held in Syracuse, NY. Now that I’ve moved back to Syracuse, I’m going to have find something else. I think I need an ECHL event jersey.

    • That would be awesome. Prison night jerseys? Can’t decide which I like more…home, away, or referees lol.

  5. I really want a Paul Kariya or Teemu Selanne ducks jersey from the 90′s. I’m sure there are a ton of them, but it’s what I like.

  6. Yea my friend played goalie for the Riverkings and I thought their sweaters were dope.

  7. I gots me a signed by tiger williams yellow flying V canucks jersey, an old Quebec Nordiques jersey, complete with fight strap, and an Ovie signed rookie.. yee yee.. well and a Backstrom jersey, but thats not interesting

  8. I actually have a Gretzky Blues jersey and the QC Mallards are my hometown team.

  9. I already bought this but a cool jersey to have on Long Island is a Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the qmjhl jersey. It’s a nice jersey and gets some great looks and tons of people asking who it is.

  10. fug. it MUST be early sept. in a potential lockout year.

  11. I have an ’04 Calgary Flames Dave Lowry #10. Greatest Flame captain in franchise history, case closed.

  12. I have an original Phx Coyotes jersey with the aztec dog holding the stick. #26, John Slaney on the back, good ol’ Newfie boy

  13. I wanted to start an ugly jersey collection. I already have the fish stick jersey, but it’s not worth all the money to find a Wild Wing or Burger King jersey.

    Jerseys I want: Whalers, London Knights early 2000s, North Stars green with black stripe, the Burger King jersey, San Francisco Bulls away jersey.

  14. The most obscure jersey I own would be a Chris Bourque Hershey Bears jersey. Seems I made the same mistake that you did with Stajan.

  15. My kid has a collection of about 50, including that awesome Riverkings jersey which I picked up on ebay for less than $10. We have a blast searching out the most obscure ones we can find, opening the bidding low, and hoping we get lucky and nobody else notices it.

    Being down in Atlanta, he always gets props for his vintage IHL Knights sweater, and my own personal favorite is the Kentucky Thoroughblades. Not pretty, but brings back memories of my days in Lexington and going to watch Chara dominate AHL forwards wearing that mess.

  16. My favorite obscurities are my NorPac Jr Hockey League Helena Bighorns Saw night specialty (former VP was in the movies) and my OJHL Georgetown Raiders. Nobody in Charlotte knows what any of that means, it’s great.

  17. I’d love to get a NJ Devils “Christmas” jersey…Also, I’m all about getting older CCM jerseys over the new stuff by Reebok.

  18. I always wanted to buy a Wade Redden Connecticut Whale jersey!

    • That would be awesome! How ’bout a Scott Gomez Anchorage Aces jersey? Or what was Souray’s AHL team before he made it back to the bigs?

  19. I have the Pooh bear jersey of the Bruins, an old CCM 2001 Devils jersey, and a 2004 London Knights jersey, so those are the only older ones I have. Oh and a Nike Swift Jochen Hecht Team Germany. I may need to collect some more though; there are some sick ones out there.

  20. I’ve got a Team Finland (2006 Olympics version) Ville Nieminen… Atlanta Thrashers Garnet Exelby [which I later regretted ... love the jersey, but hated the player as soon as he got dealt to Toronto]… Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs Wade Belak (my favourite three jerseys)…

    I would absolutely love a Danbury Trashers jersey, the best minor league logo ever. Player choices? Mike Rupp, Rumun Ndur… or BRENT FREAKIN GRETZKY. That’s the dream.

  21. Season ticket holder San Diego Gulls jersey from last season of existance. Also a Portland Winterhawks Black jersey (can be used to see if people are paying attention). Come on folks, why would a Chicago Blackhawks third jersey have a “P” on the shoulder.

  22. cudos to the guys repping the old ccm jerseys over the current stuff – for sure.
    all these replys are great, in finding new teams and jerseys, so thnx everyone.
    here’s my contributions:

    calgary flames – hakan loob jersy (best name, like i gotta “hak a loob”. the LOOB on the back just looks sick too. the real #12 of the flames, sorry jerome.

    ny islanders – darius “i think i got…” kasperitis #11 jersey. greatest name. did he play with the isle only when they had that stupid boatman jerseys ?? either way, great jersey.

    and LOL a few from the pagan-masochistic cult, toronto maple leafs jerseys, my home town:
    #29 – mike palmateer – gotta love him
    #16 – nikolai borchevsky
    #29 – felix potvin
    #2 – sylvain “do me…” lebfebvre

    gotta get a whalers jersey too
    thnx for the post
    made me smile and reminisce :)))

  23. Or I was thinking of a totally different option — as to get a KHL jersey and do something really different and not even honor a favorite Russian player of mine. No, I was considering the idea of transliterating my own name to Russian and putting that on a KHL jersey.

  24. I have a Bruins Dave Poulin (Same last name and we might be distantly related :) ), and a blank Habs that I picked up for an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” party.

    Still on the look out for a Dave Poulin Caps and Flyers sweaters.

    I REALLY want a Bruins Satan. I wonder how available the overseas ones are from during lockouts.

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