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This edition of the Collector's Corner was written by Avs fan and jersey collector, Nick Hopf!
It’s funny how certain hobbies start. One day you pick up something simply because you are interested or find it cool. Then months or years pass by, and before you even realize it, you begin gathering more and more items until you witness the beginning of a collection. That is typically the case for many hockey jersey enthusiasts. If you had asked me when I was younger that I would be the owner of several jerseys (including ones of other teams and counting!) I would not have believed you. And you know what, I am so happy that I do!
Let me start by saying that I am a diehard Avalanche fan. I remember the first game I ever saw was when I was 3 years old, which was a match between the Burgundy and Blue and Calgary. I recall the skills and finesse of players like Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic. My mouth dropped whenever I saw Patrick Roy hit the butterfly or flashed a bit of the leather to make a save. I never even came from a sport’s family either; I simply happened to watch it when my parents were flipping through the channels and I begged them to keep it on. From that moment in 1996, I chose Colorado as my #1 team and never looked back.
My jersey collection began with the very first sweater that I got from my father as a gift. It was a Sakic Avs sweater in the home white by CCM. Now, the funny thing is that he ended up getting an adult large because he knew I would one day grow into it as I got older (and I have to say that was a good call because I discovered later just how nice it really is with the stitching).
My Sakic jersey would later be accompanied by a dark Roy variant years down the road, and they always pair up in my closet next to each other. It is another CCM model and one of my all-time favorites because of that beautiful burgundy color that is complimented by the iconic black and silver mountain pattern, followed by the steel-blue that just pops out.
The next set of jerseys on my list are two of the Avs’ alternates. The steel-blue version is a Reebok replica of Paul Stastny. This one was hard to find due to it being a popular pickup when they first came out, and I honestly forget where I got it. Unfortunately, I have to say that out of all of my jerseys this has the poorest stitching (not terrible…just does not feel the same as many of the others). Apart from that, I think the jersey is a wonderful design and looks good when worn casually, as the burgundy yoke on the shoulders sits perfectly on a person before hitting the sharp, blue color. The original burgundy third jersey is made by Koho and was bought when visiting the Pepsi Center back in ’04, and has no name on the back. However, I am very happy that I have this piece because it is one of the hardest Avs jerseys to find nowadays. Go ahead…try to find one that is reasonably priced or outside of Ebay because I surely haven’t!
Ahh, the dreaded uniprons that my boys have worn during what many call “The Dark Days.” These are definitely not my personal favorites due to the design, yet I own them for few reasons (collecting is one of them of course!). With the white Duchene jersey, it is a size XXL that I bought off a retailer in Toronto for a good price. I typically wear Size Large/52 for casual wear, yet I wanted to have a jersey that I could put over my goalie gear once in a while and this was the perfect time to get one. The MacKinnon sweater is the very first that I bought from CoolHockey.com when I first discovered it! Even though I was never the biggest fan of the overall Reebok design, I could not pass it up during a sale at the time, and boy was I right.
I was told that CoolHockey was one of the best in the business for selling these products, and the stitching done on this MacKinnon jersey simply proves it. Looking close up at the numbers and nameplate, you can see just how good of a job this company does for their customers. The feel and looks are high quality which truly stands out even from afar (I even got compliments from other enthusiasts and asked where I got mine).
The moment the Adidas designs for the 17-18 season were shown, I screamed like a fangirl seeing their celebrity crush in person. I think I can speak for the entire Avalanche and hockey community about the modern take on these jerseys; they are absolutely stunning and a breath of fresh air from the Reebok uniprons. It brought back the memories as a child watching them in their original sweaters, yet with a slightly new take with the changed number pattern and grey borders. I treated myself on my last birthday by picking one of these babies up. I have to say…this Adidas Rantanen jersey is quickly becoming my most worn out of my whole collection!
I also got this jersey from CoolHockey, and once again they provided me with topnotch stitching of the numbers and nameplate! I wanted to show viewers what the jersey looks like when you turn it inside-out. You can see how neat and precise the work is, and it really shows when compared to other parties or steam-pressed jobs. This company really has proven to be my go-to for future investments.
To wrap up this article, I wanted to provide a special mention to my Avalanche collection with none other than a Peter Forsberg jersey during the times of the Quebec Nordiques! Does this need any explanation? I think we can all just sit and gaze at this masterpiece for a long time.
That concludes part of my jersey collection dedicated to my favorite team! Whether I hang them on the wall, in the closet, or take them out for the world to see, they are some of my pride and joys and I hope to continue adding more from the Burgundy and Blue in the nearby future.
Want to guest write for the CoolHockey blog? Check out this post and you could receive $50 toward your next purchase just for writing about jerseys!