NHL NEWS FOR 2008-09

Over this past weekend, two NHL teams unveiled a new alternate jersey, ones that will surely find their way into the collections of game-used hockey enthusiasts within a year or two.

First, the Buffalo Sabres went retro with their third style, using design similar to the Gil Perreault era of Sabres hockey, with old-school tie-down necks. The two notable differences between the sweaters of then and now: The current version uses a slightly darker shade of blue than the originals, and has also added a small number on the right chest that didn’t appear back in the 1970s.

Then, the St. Louis Blues unveiled their own blue third jersey, also a tie-down neck, with a round crest in the front combining the team’s name, their well-known song note logo, and an image of the Gateway Arch behind the song note. From what I can see, they both appear to be winners.

Prior to this past weekend, the Carolina Hurricanes also introduced a black alternate sweater style to be worn 15 times this coming season. The jersey’s logo incorporates a hurricane warning flag waving from an inverted stick/flagpole, and a triangle behind this design.


Goalie Patrick Roy, whose #33 sweater has already been retired by the Colorado Avalanche, will have a ceremony in which the Montreal Canadiens will do likewise. The ceremony will be at the November 22 game.

Then, on December 28, the Washington Capitals will give a slightly belated Christmas gift to Mike Gartner by taking his #11 jersey out of team circulation. These are two great NHL names getting deserved kudos for their excellent careers.


A current eBay lot features a jersey with many questions, some possible answers, but not the slam-dunk certainty that would be likely to bring the seller big bucks.

Listed is a “game-worn” California Angels home jersey of Reggie Jackson, bearing what appears to be a genuine Jackson autograph and inscription. The provenance makes sense, as the seller’s brother got it from Reggie after selling the Hall of Fame slugger a classic car he owned. The jersey, though, if worn, would have been a post-career event, such as an Old-Timers Game, and very well could be. The tag are not evident in eBay photos, and the biggest factor in determining that it was not an active player jersey is the button-down front. During Reggie’s five years with the Halos (1982-86), all game shirts were v-neck pullovers, not button-fronts.

The seller looks to not be a game-used collector, and his lack of specific knowledge is the cause of the confusion, not any clandestine motives on his part. Still, if the game it was worn in could be pinned down (and, as I somewhat suspect, was an item from an Old-Timers event), his hammer price would likely be higher than one for an authentic, signed Reggie jersey, which is all it can be classified as until more information is produced. Good luck to the seller..I hope he is able to pin down the date/game of usage and get a few more dollars for it.


Jerseys like the one above bear quality, legible Jackson autographs, his norm once he began doing the card show circuit. Longtime signature seekers can tell you, however, that, over 30 years ago, such was not the case. In the 1970s, until he joined he Yankees, Reggie was an excellent autograph signer for both hotel and ballpark based collectors. Unfortunately, Reggie’s idea of an autograph was not one most of today’s picky collectors would approve of. His autograph tended to take on one of the following scribblings: Reggie, Reggie J, Reggie Jax, or Jax. They were free autographs at least…not paid show appearances versions.


When Patrick Ewing Jr. takes to the hardwood in a few weeks with his New York Knicks teammates, he will NOT be wearing his legendary father’s #33. The young Ewing has instead opted for #6, for two reasons: it was his father’s Olympics number, and it was also personal hero Bill Russell’s number.


Longtime Red Sox player, manager and coach Johnny Pesky, after whom the Fenway Park right field foul pole (Pesky’s Pole) is named, will be adding a ballpark plaque to his honors, as well. Before Friday evening’s Red Sox game, a ceremony will be held to officially retire Pesky’s #6 jersey. He will be the first Bosox player not to be enshrined in Cooperstown to receive this honor.


Wally Hilgenberg, a linebacker who became famous as part of the Minnesota Vikings vaunted 1970s defense after spending his first three NFL years with Detroit, died of ALS. He was 61.

Hilgy’s Vikings career included a spot on all four Vikings’ Super Bowl entries. Family survivors include younger brothers Jay and Joel Hilgenberg, both of whom were good players in their own right in the 1980s. Wally passed away at home, surrounded by family members.