If we have learned anything from the NHL lockout, it’s that the owners of the various NHL franchises like money. They like to have it and, once they have it, they like to keep it. If they feel they don’t have enough of it, they want more of it. Most importantly, they want to have it for a very long time and are willing to have less of it now if it means having more of it later.
A decent chunk of the Hockey Related Revenue that the owners want more of comes around the holidays, as hockey fans across North America buy hockey-related presents for their loved ones: tickets, jerseys, collectibles, and other sundry items with a team logo affixed along with a slightly heftier price tag than the exact same item bereft of said logo. I have received many such items from my family over the years: pens, car flags, scarves, t-shirts, and bumper stickers, to name a few.
Quite frankly, no one should be spending any money on the NHL during the lockout, as currency is the one mode of communication a fan has to express his or her displeasure. I know, however, that the NHL and its teams’ stores will still do business, albeit at a slightly less brisk pace. Heck, my wife and I couldn’t resist buying our 1-year-old an infant-sized Canucks jersey when Sport Chek had a 40% off sale. But seriously, he looks adorable in it. We are very weak.
But there are far stupider ways to give the NHL some of your hard-earned cash this Christmas. Here are five of them.
1 | Buying tickets for a cancelled game
The Columbus Blue Jackets, along with a few other teams, are optimistically still selling single game tickets for games in January. It makes some sense, as games have only been officially cancelled through December 30th, and, for a team like Columbus, they need to maximize their ticket sales as much as possible, just in case. At the very least, they do have a warning about the lockout with a link to their return policy, unlike the Anaheim Ducks.
Unfortunately, you can also buy tickets for some of the Blue Jackets’ cancelled games in December. They remembered to cancel all of the events on Ticketmaster for regular single-game tickets, but forgot to cancel the special family value packs they offer for some games.
As I’m writing this, you can currently buy tickets for the December 15th game between the Blue Jackets and Phoenix Coyotes as well as the December 29th game between the Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils. On the plus side, the family value pack comes with a “Hot Dog, Pepsi, Popcorn, a voucher for a FREE Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream & OhioHealth Ice Haus skating pass.”
2 | Buying an out-of-date Canucks jersey clock
What Canucks fan wouldn’t want a constant reminder of his favourite teams’ checkered jersey history hanging on their wall? Thankfully, “checkered jersey history” is just a turn-of-phrase and the Canucks have never worn a literal checker pattern.
The NHL and the Canucks have produced a wonderful item that combines a complete history of the jerseys the Canucks have worn with a clock, whose every tick reminds you that it’s only a matter of time before they change their jerseys again. Of course, by “complete history,” I mean that it ends a decade ago in 2002 with the horrendous dark blue and mauve gradient jersey that is the second worst Canucks jersey of all-time. And that’s saying something.
Even the clock is in the outdated blue and red colours that the team hasn’t worn for five years.
3 | Buying a giant ticket replica…for an All-Star Game.
The NHL store offers a few of these over-sized replica game tickets that are printed on canvas and I can understand the appeal, particularly if you were at that game. There are a number of replica tickets available from various Stanley Cup Final games, as well as ones commemorating each Winter Classic, the inaugural games of a few franchises, and a few from significant events, such as Martin Brodeur’s 552nd win, Wayne Gretzky’s 894th goal, and Bobby Orr’s NHL debut. So far, so good.
But you can also buy replica tickets from a whole bunch of All-Star Games, and that makes no sense to me whatsoever. There are 14 different All-Star Game replica tickets to choose from, such as the 2004 game in Minnesota, where nothing happened and no one cared. Heck, I like the All-Star Game and there’s still no way in hell I’d buy one. Who is putting a giant All-Star Game ticket on their wall? Don’t tell me, because then I’ll have to hunt them down and smack them upside the head.
By the way, did I mention they’re $120?
4 | Buying a beer bottle piggy bank
If you are an adult and you’re keeping your spare change in a novelty beer bottle emblazoned with an NHL logo, stop and feel shame. If you are a child and you’re keeping your spare change in a novelty beer bottle emblazoned with an NHL logo, take it to whichever adult bought it for you and tell them that it’s an inappropriate gift for a child.
Pro-tip: take the money you were going to spend on a beer bottle piggy bank and use it to buy beer.
5 | Buying an official NHL team logo money clip
Okay, now you’re just fucking with us.