Don’t look now, but the Heritage Classic and Winter Classic have more in common than just the outdoors and alumni games. In something that’s becoming a tradition as quickly as a hockey game in the elements, authorities have seized a number of counterfeit jerseys making their way to Calgary in anticipation of this weekend’s Heritage Classic. Somehow, I don’t think this is what the NHL had in mind when they wanted to create a buzz around the community.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen counterfeit jerseys make their way to the marketplace. Only weeks ago, we saw the U.S. Federal Government grab fake gear on its way to Pittsburgh for the Winter Classic. In this case, Canadian authorities took over 100 jerseys that were bound for hockey fans in and around McMahon Stadium. Small peanuts compared to the $100,000 worth of gear that was confiscated for the Winter Classic, but still a sizable victory for those trying to keep it legit.
“We didn’t get the jerseys until December. But I saw people wearing Heritage Classic jerseys in September — so they got them online, and they got them before we did,” said Brent Gibbs (official retailer). The punishment for selling counterfeit jerseys ranges from a $25,000 fine to jail time.”
Something tells me there were more than just 100 counterfeit jerseys produced for this year’s Heritage Classic. So when you see that guy hawking jerseys for $25 out of the back of a minivan, just remember it might not be on the up-and-up. And you usually get what you pay for.