It happens to every NHL team. You go rooting around on Ebay or other sites looking for a good deal on your favorite team’s jersey to add to your collection. You see one well below the cost of your typical jersey and it looks virtually identical to what you can get from more reputable outlets and you bite the bullet.
How about if your favorite team hasn’t even released what their sweaters will look like yet and you can still buy them online from… Somewhere? That’s the situation the Winnipeg Jets are dealing with right now as their sweaters won’t be shown off until the start of training camp at the earliest yet there are still some “new” ones found online.
As Paul Turenne of the Winnipeg Sun finds out, the Jets management is making sure it’s well known that these jerseys are fakes and that the design of them is more than a bit suspect.
“The authentic jerseys won’t be available until October, and replica jerseys likely not until November. That comes from the manufacturer,” said Scott Brown, director of communications for True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Jets.
Nevertheless, photos purporting to be leaks of the new Jets jerseys have been circulating on the Internet for weeks.
Brown said a common one showing a dark blue jersey with the main plane logo in the middle is “not even close” to legitimate. The same goes for any other supposed sneak previews.
For Jets fans and jersey collectors alike, the wait to see the new sweaters is a bit frustrating and since we’ve already heard how the delay in showing off the new duds is going to affect the video game fans, it’s a bit annoying for them too. Still, True North is creating a lot of interest in what they’re going to be showing off and given the response of the fans in Winnipeg, they’re not going to have a problem selling the new goods once they’re out. Keeping enough stuff in stock will be a problem, however.
That said, at least one of the more reputable sites is giving you the chance to put your claim in right now to order either the home or away sweater (no, the Jets won’t have a third right off the bat) without even knowing what it looks like (stick-tap to Tyler McKinna for finding that). As we showed off in our tour of the best and worst sweaters of all-time, plunking down your hard earned bucks on a sweater that may or may not be terrible could be a gamble of an investment.
With how nice the new Jets logo looks, it’d be a relatively safe investment either way but still… What if it ended up looking like the new Islanders third jersey? Yikes. Spend wisely, friends.
The hype surrounding Connor McDavid couldn’t be much greater, but finally expectations will start to give way to results.
The NHL career that’s been talked about for years will begin tonight when his Edmonton Oilers face St. Louis.
“It’s something that you dream of for so long,” McDavid told NHL.com. “The draft is one thing, but to finally be in this situation is another, so I’m really excited. It’s been a long road; it’s been a lot of hard work. I think a lot of guys’ stories are different in how they get here, but the one common theme is hard work and my story is not any different that way.”
McDavid has transformed the Oilers with his mere presence. Its breathed fresh optimism into a city that have watched this team struggle in its efforts to dig out of the NHL basement. One also has to wonder if Peter Chiarelli would be the team’s new general manager and Todd McLellan its new head coach if Edmonton hadn’t won the draft lottery.
But where will he lead Edmonton? Will he be just the sixth 70-point rookie of the salary cap era? Will he struggle out of the gate, putting the hype into question? Perhaps he’ll draw comparisons to Steven Stamkos, who had a modest rookie campaign by the standards of a highly regarded top pick, but has nevertheless gone on to become a superstar.
That would surprise Stamkos as the Lightning captain feels McDavid is better than he is currently. Just further proof that those lofty expectations are coming from all sides.
“You don’t want to put too much weight on his shoulders; he’s an 18-year-old kid,” Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said. “I don’t care how good he is or how good he’ll be, it’s a lot to shoulder if you’re supposed to be the guy and you’re the only guy. Fortunately we have a lot of high-pedigree players that are high picks who have gone through similar situations that he’s going through.”
Edmonton certainly has no shortage of first overall picks, but none as highly regarded as McDavid. But then, few ever are.
Related: There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight
Jack Eichel didn’t disappoint in the preseason, finishing with six points in four games, including two shorthanded goals.
Tonight in Buffalo, his NHL career will start for real when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators in regular-season action.
“It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL,” Eichel said, per NHL.com. “It’s kind of been a whirlwind, but you’re finally playing hockey for a living and everything you’ve done your whole life is to get to this point. It’s pretty special.”
The 18-year-old’s debut was front-page news this morning in Buffalo, where the Sabres have been among the NHL’s worst teams since last making the playoffs in 2010-11.
Granted, even with the additions of Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Cody Franson, expectations for 2015-16 remain modest for the new-look Sabres. Certainly, a spot in the playoffs would count as a surprise.
But for the fans of a team that’s barely possessed the puck the past couple of years, it’s night and day.
“People are excited,” GM Tim Murray said earlier this week. “It’s great. They think we’ve improved, and there’s a real positive vibe, I believe.
“That’s what I said to our coaches, ‘I want everybody to be positive. I’m the only guy in the organization allowed to be negative.’ That’s the way I wanted it. If I’m the most negative guy in the city about the team, that’s pretty good.”