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What is Your Best “Hockey” Gift?

'Tis the season of giving (and to be jolly, but don't tell that to a Red Wings fan), which is oddly *after* the season of giving thanks. Figure that one out.

I recently got my first hockey jersey dry cleaned for engagement pictures, and boy did it need saving. Once again, I have more connection to the 2000s Wings, thus my first jersey was a white Datsyuk. In my very biased opinion, the white beats red any day. In any case, that being my first jersey, and though I own other pieces of memorabilia that do actually have more value, this is my favorite hockey gift of all time.

What was your first/best hockey gift? Tickets, a meet and greet with a player, signed puck? Is it something you gave to someone, or maybe an item passed down through your family?

As always, looking forward to the responses and I encourage everyone to use the member's blog.

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Red Winger's avatar

My older brother and I grew up playing hockey. Dad and Mom both worked for Michigan Bell. So, we weren’t a family that struggled, per se, but we did have to watch where the money went. Being in hockey, with the equipment and travel, was expensive. It taxed the dual Michigan Bell incomes. Because of that, we always had adequate equipment, but the top-shelf stuff, well, that just wasn’t feasible most of the time. So, as kids we could thumb through catalogs, and window shop at downtown sports stores, and dream of the top of the line Cooper shoulder pads, CCM pants, Tacks skates, etc.

Dream, but that was it.

But it was one thing I always wanted more than the others; one thing that caught my attention in stores: a white Canadian hockey stick.

I loved the look of the stick. I knew a few friends who had one, and when they let me use their stick to take a few shots, well, it felt like I had something magical, something very special, in my hands. I loved everything about it - the look, the feel. Someday, I’d get one.

Back in the mid-late-70s, hockey sticks generally cost $7-$10 for a good Christian USA stick. And seeing we had to budget money towards hockey, it was Christian USA sticks we got. And they were good sticks. But, they didn’t have the look, the feel, of the white Canadian stick. And with those sticks costing around $25-$30, that simply was too much money at the time. We’d make do with what we had.

But that didn’t stop me for asking for a Canadian stick for a few Christmases.

And then it happened: Christmas morning, 1979, I remember it like it was yesterday. Running down the stairs, my brothers and I (had a younger brother, too, who didn’t play hockey) peer through the darkness towards the tree, and there they were: two white Canadian hockey sticks.

I just stared. Then my brother and I ran to those sticks, picked them up, and I swear did not put them down for an hour or so.

I’ll never, ever, forget that feeling.

I remember constantly having my stick in my hand that day. Mom asked, facetiously, if I was going to sleep with “that thing” that night. I didn’t sleep with it, but it stayed in my bedroom with me. And I was just as excited to see it the next morning as I was Christmas morning. I probably dreamed about it that night.

Mom and Dad are both gone now, Christmas isn’t the same without them. But of all the wonderful Christmas memories they provided, Christmas ‘79 ranks right towards the top.

Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad. Merry Christmas.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 12/14/17 at 10:53 AM ET


My dad got me an authentic Yzerman white Team Canada jersey back in 99 or 2000.  Still ranks as one of my favorite Christmas gifts.  I don’t wear it often but when I do it gets many compliments.

Posted by Steve1306 on 12/14/17 at 12:14 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

If I am looking at the correct Team Canada jersey, I really do appreciate that logo. It would be hard for me to pick a time to wear something like that.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 12/14/17 at 09:53 AM ET

You blew it out of the water. Whoa. thank you.

Posted by ilovehomers on 12/14/17 at 01:41 PM ET


Posted by ilovehomers on 12/14/17 at 12:41 PM ET

It was the 1998 Team Canada jersey, I left that part off.


Posted by Steve1306 on 12/14/17 at 01:53 PM ET

gordyOrr's avatar

x’mas ‘88 I got a authentic CCM Yzerman home jersey, complete with the “fight-strap” and EASTSIDE on the bottom rear. 13yr old me went through the roof. I was lucky enough to have Stevie autograph at a hockey camp a year and a half later. Will never forget it, as he handled it to sign he said “whoa, the real deal here”. This will never be beaten. Ever.

Posted by gordyOrr on 12/14/17 at 02:16 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Nice gordy… and welcome to KK.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/14/17 at 02:17 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I’m fairly…efficient with my spending.  I buy very good quality stuff, but only when it is on something I know I will use a lot and hard (like a car or a computer).  Otherwise, I tend to be very cheap and pragmatic - particularly with my clothes.

I had a few Wings Jerseys, old CCM ones I had gotten when I was probably 13 or 14.  They fit just fine but the sizing was funny and they were bulky in the wrong places.  It didn’t bother me though; it just wasn’t something I cared a whole lot about because I had had them so long.  Plus when I’d go out wearing it I didn’t have to worry about staining or anything.

Well my wife and I were in Detroit area for our one year anniversary.  I walked into the hotel bedroom one evening and laying there on the bed is a Red Wings jersey.  The red…so vibrant.  The stitching…so particular and perfect.  The tags…wait…there are tags.  My CCM jerseys don’t have tags.  “What the hell is this?!” I shouted to her.  “Happy anniversary!”  I flipped it over and on the back was number 13.  I threw it on and wore it the entire weekend.  My first Reebok jersey, and a VEEERRRY good quality one.  She put a lot of effort into picking out an authentic one from a reputable place and waited until we were in Detroit to buy it in person to make sure it wasn’t a knockoff. 

Needless to say, I don’t remember what I gave her but it wasn’t nearly good enough that year.

Posted by TreKronor on 12/14/17 at 02:22 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Will never forget it, as he handled it to sign he said “whoa, the real deal here”. This will never be beaten. Ever.

Posted by gordyOrr on 12/14/17 at 01:16 PM ET

That is so awesome.

Posted by TreKronor on 12/14/17 at 02:23 PM ET


Hands down my best gift was last year when my 9 year old daughter (with help from my wife) gave me tickets to a Wings vs Caps game at the Verizon Center. I grew up in Detroit and the Wings are my first sports love. I live near DC now and while the Wings are her second favorite team, I’ve encouraged my daughter that she can root for her own hometown team, and the Caps are her favorite.
I have three girls, so the chance to spend quality time with only one of them is always special. The fact that she thought of something she knows I love doing, and the time we got to share our love for the game on a fantastic Daddy Daughter night out was truly priceless for me. She still brings that night up, and it is wonderful watching and sharing as she lives through the ups and downs and excitement that is part of being a true hockey fan.
Thanks for the post and giving me a reason to think about that night in detail again!

Posted by arcane_caf from NoVa - Outside D.C. on 12/14/17 at 02:40 PM ET

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