Have you ever spent time browsing the official online store of the NHL? I mean really digging around. There's some pretty wild stuff in there and that's before you get to the team-branded hammers and tape measures (clearly an early push for Father's Day). I'm just talking about the jerseys.
Icethetics reader Brad M. emailed in Friday wondering about this Philadelphia Flyers jersey (right) he saw at Shop.NHL.com.
It's white with minimal striping and comes with player customization. But it's unlike anything the Flyers have ever worn on the ice. And what's more, it couldn't look more generic. And they want $80 off of you for it.
Another reader says he's seen a Bruins jersey in a store based on this same template. But who would really pay for that? You're only saving $35 compared to a Reebok Premier jersey that actually looks like what the players wear.
Shop.NHL.com lists the product as a "replica jersey." What is it replicating exactly? A jersey? I hope it's not just a baggy, long-sleeve T-shirt.
The official product description says the letters and numbers are heat-sealed on but that's no surprise. What would be is if they sold any.
If it seems like I'm riding this topic pretty hard, it's only because stuff like this dilutes brands. It's a cheap ploy to sell junk with logos on it. And I think NHL logos deserve better.
So after seeing that "jersey," I started digging around in the Flyers store a bit. As we just celebrated St. Patrick's Day this week, the NHL has introduced a line of St. Patty's Day branded jerseys for a handful of teams. Again, it'll never see ice time in an NHL game, but the league figures it can charge you $100 for one.
Only six teams had St. Patty's Day jerseys in stock. I'm not sure how many other teams have been made, but you have to figure your biggest Irish-American populations are in the northeast and surrounding regions. Take note of the Lady Liberty logo on the Rangers jersey. I keep holding out hope that old third jersey will find its way back. All of the logos on these jerseys are screen printed.
I also included the green Blackhawks jersey which has been around for ages. It's basically the home sweater with the red swapped out for green. That's available in addition to new St. Patty's Day line. It's never been used in a game, but I know it's a popular one with fans.
A few teams even have digital camo jerseys available. They'll run you $100 as well. These actually have seen ice time as teams often sport camouflage jerseys during warm-ups on the various military appreciation nights held around the league throughout the season.
And the last oddball line of apparel which annoys me more than all of the above combined — are these.
If you're a baseball fan, buy a baseball jersey. Hockey players wear hockey jerseys. I want to slap people I see wearing hockey logos on baseball attire. Again, these were the only teams I saw that were offering the "Majestic Button Front Baseball Jersey" on the website. Let's hope they're at least smart enough to keep them out of non-MLB markets. But it's still no excuse.
By the way, I may be mocking these jerseys, but of course any fan is well within his right to spend his money on any item with his team's logo on it. I'm actually curious to know how many — if any — Icethetics readers have bought any of the above jerseys. And what else have you come across that just should not have had an NHL team's logo on it?