the NHL lockout sucks. But let's be positive: fans will have a lot more
free time, so that sweater you've been knitting might get finished.
Um...there will be less money to spend on tickets, so you can spend
more on beer? Oh, and not as much heartache and anger when the Bruins
blow a third period lead or lose in dramatic fashion. POSITIVES!
Another positive? Some new jerseys to purchase. As someone who's starting to get into purchasing jerseys (much to the chargin of my bank account) other than those sporting the spoked-B, the lockout presents a pretty unique opportunity to score some sweet gear from the European leagues. I usually just troll eBay for random jerseys at steep discounts, but a Zdeno Chara KHL jersey or an Andrew Ference Czech Extraliga sweater might be worth the investment.
Some B's have already headed to Europe, while others may be leaving in the coming weeks. Here, I'll try to keep track of the jerseys available for purchase, which ones are the best, and will try to link to team shops when possible.
Disclaimer: These are international websites. You're dealing in international currencies, with international shipping companies, and with various people who probably talk like they should star in "Taken 2." Order at your own risk. Unless otherwise stated, I haven't ordered from any of these companies.
Be sure to check out the guide the guys from Days of Y'Orr made on which B's are where in Europe.
Anton Khudobin: Atlant Moscow Oblast (KHL)
-$74.99 replica/$105 authentic, LutchUSA
-Customizable? Yes, add $15
-Ship to America? Yes
Atlant's isn't a bad looking jersey, and unlike their Euro-league counterparts, these jerseys are pretty much free of advertisements. The blue jersey is especially sharp, but is a little too Buffalo for me. In fact, they seem to have drawn inspiration from the NHL for both sweaters, as the yellow jersey reminds me of Nashville's home duds. I wish Atlant used their alternate logo on their jerseys, because nothing says "BUY ME!" quite like a snarling sheepdog. The downside: are you really going to drop upwards of $100 on an Anton Khudobin jersey? Probably not.
Andrew Ference: HC Mountfield České Budějovice (Extraliga, Czech Republic)
-$52 - $68, HC Mountfield fan shop
-Customizable? Yes, included in higher
-Ship to America? Yes
These jerseys are pretty sharp. It appears that the red and white jerseys are the standard sweaters, with the black jersey serving as some kind of alternate. The red jersey can be customized for $68, excluding shipping. The white and black jerseys are cheaper, but aren't customizable and aren't available in many sizes. Overall, the jersey is pretty nice. The ads are spaced well and aren't overwhelming. The graphics on the elbows are a nice touch too. Throw a "Ference 28" on that red one, and you should be good to go.
UPDATE (10/10/12): From Twitter, Cornelius (HBAdventure) reports that he successfully ordered one of these jerseys, paid through PayPal, and received it earlier this week. Check out some pictures of his jersey and his comments on the process in his piece on Stanley Cup of Chowder. The jersey looks great.
Tyler Seguin: HC Biel (National League A, Switzerland)
-$145, HC Biel fan shop
-Customizable? Yes, Seguin's #9 is available
-Ship to America? Yes, add $30
Link (For instructions on how to place an order, see "UPDATE: 9/27/12" below)
The Swiss take the "LET'S PUT ADS ON IT!!!!" concept and add a little bit of obsessive compulsive disorder. Ad on the left shoulder? Put it on the right too! However, the jersey itself is pretty nice. Apparently these are Biel's new sweaters for the 2012-2013 season, a complete departure from their previous red and white jerseys. Also, you can't see it in the pictures above, but the team puts the player's name underneath his number on the back. I also like the small numbers on the front. Take away the ads and this thing would be a beauty; with the ads, it's still wearable. Expect to see a few dedicated high school girls Seguin fans wearing these around Boston.
UPDATE (9/21/12): Seguin's number 9 has been added to their stock.
UPDATE (9/27/12): Seeking to find out whether or not Biel's fan shop ships to America, I emailed them last week. They got back to me yesterday with some helpful information. The jerseys, as shown above, are $145 USD. Shipping to the United States is extra, and Chris, who is the team's "chef de presse" (I assume this is something like the NHL's directors of media relations), said it shouldn't be more than $30 USD. The reason behind that is that the jerseys don't have any embroidery on them, so they're pretty light. Payment must be received by the team via Paypal before anything is shipped, so your total will be somewhere around $175. Again, order at your own risk; however, Paypal is pretty good about refunding scammed money is something goes wrong. To order, send Chris an email at email@example.com. Let him know what jersey you want (blue is home, gray is away), what size, and that you want Seguin and his number 9 on there. He'll be in touch to collect payment. If anyone does this, please let me know how it goes. Lest you think you're being scammed, I got confirmation from the team's official Facebook account. That correspondence is visible below.
UPDATE (11/13/12): I got on update on these jerseys from a BHN fan on Facebook, as Bency reports that he ordered and received a Seguin jersey. He says that he ordered/paid for the jersey on Oct. 22, and received it (in Canada) on Nov. 9, meaning the whole process took about three weeks. He also reported that Biel included an 8 X 6 photo/card autographed by Seguin with the jersey, free of charge, but that it wasn't in a hard case or anything so it got a bit damaged. Pretty cool. Both the jersey and the card can be seen below.
Dennis Seidenberg: Adler Mannheim (Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany)
-$103, Adler Mannhiem fan shop
-Customizable? No, must choose from players listed
-Ship to America? Yes
I loved this logo the first time I saw it, and wasn't disappointed by the jerseys either. The one in the top left looks like it could be a Team USA jersey: red, white, and blue, with an eagle reaching for a hockey puck WITH HIS TALONS. Though they sport the same exact ads, the blue sweater looks a little less cluttered than the white one. Like HC Biel, Mannheim also puts the names below the numbers. A cool looking jersey for sure, one that looks as American as it does German. That blue jersey with "SEIDENBERG" and the number 4 (Seidenberg isn't wearing 44 over there) on the back would be pretty awesome.
UPDATE (10/4/12): Twitter friend CollDizz successfully placed an order for a Seidenberg Mannheim jersey. She ordered it through the team's site, and said the only hiccup was entering her birthday (Europeans do it backwards from us). She said the total came to 96,39 Euros, which is around $125 USD. She ordered it yesterday, and it seems like the process was a breeze. Good news for anyone interested in picking one up.
UPDATE (10/22/12): We've got the first in-person pictures of a Mannheim Seidenberg jersey, as Colleen's (see above) arrived today. She got the darker blue jersey (top right), and it looks as great in real life as it does in pictures. It seems like it took around 3 weeks to complete the process, so if you want one, order soon.
Zdeno Chara: HC Lev Praha (KHL)
-$96, HC Lev Praha Fan Shop
-Ship to America? Yes, U.S. shipping included in above price
I used to have the jerseys of Zdeno Chara's rumored destination, HC Slovan Bratislava, in this space, but I'm glad he changed his mind: these are probably the nicest lockout jerseys I've seen thus far. These beautiful sweaters feature a bold (AMURRRICA!) red, white, and blue color scheme, an awesome lion logo, and few advertisements. This is a "fan" jersey, the European version of a replica, which is probably why it doesn't have as many ads. It also features the KHL shield on the neck of the jerseys, and NHL-style jersey ties as well. The best news? The exchange rate. You can pick up one of these jerseys for under $80 from Lev Praha's fan shop, including international shipping. Remember, they're subliminated, not stitched, so in a way you get what you pay for. But if these jerseys are half as sharp in person as they are in pictures, they'll be well worth the price. Also, this is a new team, and it seems like the current wait time for these is around 3 weeks. But again, well worth it.
UPDATE (10/3/12): I've confirmed that they do indeed ship to America, and will have Chara's jersey in stock. The cost has been updated above. It'll cost you $93 USD for both the jersey (with Chara's name and #33) and international shipping. The email from the shop is below.
UPDATE (10/19/12): I ended up ordering one of these, and paid for it through PayPal on Columbus Day (10/8). Sonja let me know that they'd received the payment, it's been debited from my bank account, and that was the last I heard from them. Sonja originally said 2 weeks for shipping, so hopefully I'll get it next week. I'll post pictures when it arrives.
UPDATE (11/5/12): I got an email from the Lev Praha shop today saying that my order has shipped. Sonja informed me before that they were waiting on the supplier to make the jersey, so that explains the delay. She said it should take around 2 weeks to ship it, so maybe I'll get it before Thanksgiving. Probably not though, this has been a long process.
UPDATE (12/5/12): The jersey is finally here! Check out a picture below, and a full review/gallery can be seen here.
David Krejci: HC Pardubice (Extraliga, Czech Republic)
-$62, Strida Sport team fan shop
-Customizable? Yes, total is $73
-Ship to America? Unknown
Woof. I'm not a big fan of these jerseys. The "hey, what team are we playing?" problem must be a running gag in the Extraliga, as at first glance it's hard to see what team this is for. Surprisingly enough, ČSOB Pojišťovna is actually the team name. While the team is more commonly known as HC Pardubice, the "ČSOB Pojišťovna" is also a part of the name. So that blue ball balancing on a stick apparently is the team logo. Who knew? Also visible on the sides of the white jersey are twin snorting horses. COOL. My favorite part of the jersey has to be the blue and white advertisement at the very bottom: a furious, open-mouthed hippo, ready to strike. Because nothing says "hockey" quite like an angry hippo...
NOTE: You may want to contact the team via email if you want to place an order. Every time I try to continue past the shopping cart page, I get a ton of errors/failures, and the page won't load. There is contact information for the club, including an email address, here.
Rich Peverley: JYP Jyväskylä (SM-Liiga, Finland)
-$165, JYP fan shop
-Customizable? Yes, price above is customized replica
-Ship to America? Yes, around 40 Euros, included in above price
Link (In Finnish, direct link to Google Translate screws things up)
Peverley's new duds aren't terrible, but I'm not sure about the logo. The team is named JYP, and that red squiggle isn't really a J. Valtra, the biggest sponsor on the front, is a company that makes tractors, so that's cool. The "fan" jersey is what I imagine would be an American replica jersey, and that one's on the left. The one on the right is the "official" jersey, featuring the same ads worn by the players. If you wanted an official Peverley sweater, it'd run you $225, excluding shipping, so you'd probably be better off sticking with the replica. It's a bit pricey at $165, but that includes shipping and it'd be a pretty cool item to have. Plus, it's Rich Peverley, so it'd obviously own.
UPDATE (10/4/12): I contacted JYP's fan shop via email, and got a response earlier today. Apparently, shipping to America is, in fact, possible. I got an email from Kari Saarelainen, who is some kind of manager with JYP's fan shop. This person told me that they can ship to America, but it'll cost around 40 Euros (or at least that's how I understood the email, you can see it below). Also, you have to pay via a transfer to their bank account, a course of action that may make some people a bit skittish. Basically, email Kari (firstname.lastname@example.org) saying which items you want. What you'd probably want is the JYP fan jersey, with customizable name and number, at 85 Euros ($111 USD). You can choose your size and color (white or black). Add in 40 Euros ($52 USD) in shipping, and it seems like a custom Peverley replica would run you $165 USD. Kari is very helpful, so don't hesitate to send an email that way with any questions. If anyone pulls the trigger, let me know how it goes. Again, order at your own risk; unless I say otherwise, I haven't ordered from any of these sites.
Tuukka Rask: HC Skoda Plzen (Extraliga, Czech Republic)
- $62 for retro jersey (bottom, navy) $55 for "European trophy jersey" (top, powder blue or white), HC Skoda Plzen fan shop
-Ship to America? Yes, via PayPal (additional charge, details here)
I updated Plzen's listing here on October 31st after watching their game against David Krejci and Pardubice the week before. Plzen's on-ice jerseys looked nothing like the ones that were posted originally, and a return trip to their fan shop showed that the three jerseys above are the only ones available for purchase. The top two look more like the jerseys Plzen wore last Friday (video here), but they still aren't the same. The jerseys worn on Friday featured the logo from the retro jersey, just in a different color, and the Indian head is nowhere to be found. Very strange. They still haven't replied to my email seeking info on customization, so if you want one of these jerseys, you'd be better off just clicking the shop link above and shooting them an email yourself. There is a "note" section on their order form, and other sites have used that as a box to request a name/number, but I haven't been able to confirm that Plzen uses that process.
Patrice Bergeron: HC Lugano (National League A, Switzerland)
-$240, HC Lugano fan shop (including tax, excluding shipping)
-Customizable? Bergeron is available
-Ship to America? Doesn't look like it, inquiry sent
Patrice Bergeron's new team sports a pretty cool logo, but they jerseys also have a LOT of advertisements. If these were NHL jerseys (i.e. "ad-free"), they'd be pretty cool. I like the black and gold scheme (shocker, I know) and, again, the logo is nice. But these are like Czech league jerseys (or those of Bergeron's teammate in Biel, Tyler Seguin) in that the ads are pretty much overwhelming. I count more than ten ads on the front and arms of the jersey alone, and something tells me the back of the jersey probably isn't a clean slate. Lugano's black panther logo is pretty awesome, but this is one of the most expensive jerseys on this list. The $240 price doesn't include shipping (which, if they even ship to America, would probably be at least another $25) and doesn't include stitching or embroidery, which is what you'd get for that price with an NHL jersey. I love Patrice Bergeron, but $250+ for a screen-printed jersey is steep.
UPDATE (10/10/12): I was going through my links to update each jersey, and the link I had here returned a "page cannot be found" error; the jerseys were listed as out of stock before, and it now appears that they've removed them entirely from the online shop. I sent an email to the shop seeking info on whether or not they have any for sale, if they sell Bergeron's, and the cost to ship to the United States. I'll update this if/when I hear back from Lugano's people.
UPDATE (10/19/12): From Twitter, Cornelius (@HBAdventure) reports that he got an email from the Lugano people saying that they'd ordered a new supply of jerseys, and they should be in stock "in a few weeks." Good news for those looking to pick up a Black Panthers sweater. I'm not sure yet what the status is with customization, but will update if I hear back from them.
UPDATE (11/20/12): The jerseys are now back in stock, and Bergeron's is included under the "choose name and number" category. The price says 225 CHF, which includes taxes. The jerseys are able to be added to your cart, but the only countries available for selection under shipping are Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. I sent another email to the shop asking if they'd send to America, but considering they never responded last time, I'm not holding my breath. In any event, it appears that a Bergeron Lugano jersey will cost you at least $240, and that's without international shipping costs. Yikes. If they do end up shipping to America, there's a pretty cool alternative that's easier on the wallet: a Bergeron name/number t-shirt (below), yours for $32 (excluding shipping).
UPDATE (11/21/12): I finally got some kind of response from the Lugano people. I got an email from Andrea Murer of Oschner Hockey, a Swiss company that appears to be a supplier of jerseys and equipment. I don't speak Italian and Google Translate wasn't terribly helpful, but here's what I understood: she said it is, in fact, possible to send the jerseys to the US. She said to choose Germany for the country, then put the actual American address under "Bemerkung" (which is "remark/note"). She added that if this doesn't work, to contact her again. At least now I have a direct email, so that should be more helpful. The email is below, if you want to try your hand at translating it better than Google did. Also, it appears that they only accept credit cards or bank transfers, not PayPal. If any of you give this a shot, let me know how it goes.
Chris Kelly: HC Red Ice, National League B (Switzerland)
- $108 (plain) or $130 (name and number), HC Red Ice fan shop
-Ship to America? Seems like it, delivery is $11
Link (In French, direct link to Google Translate screws things up)
The National League B may be a step behind its older brother (A) in terms of level of play, but the playing field is level when it comes to ads on jerseys. Chris Kelly's new home team has a pretty cool color scheme (think Detroit Red Wings or the USSR), and the logo is plain and creative at the same time. The striping on the arms is a nice touch, and I actually like the badass German Shepherd on the bottom of the jersey (apparently the logo for a surveillance company). The blockish font is cool as well, and the numbers below the neckline fit well. The problem? $141 (including shipping) is pretty steep for an ad-covered Chris Kelly jersey. The shop requires that you fill out an order form (linked above) to place an order, and I say it "seems like" they ship to America because it lists a flat shipping charge of 10 CHF (~$11 USD).
Johnny Boychuk: EC Red Bull Salzburg, Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (Austria)
- $96 USD*, EC Red Bull fan shop
-Customizable? Yes, select a player or create your own
-Ship to America? Yes, additional $38 USD (DHL), free with order of 150+ Euros
*The XXXS jersey is only $70 USD, but I assume most of you aren't midgets.
Johnny Boychuk waited a pretty long time to make the jump, but he chose a team that has a lot of name recognition: EC Red Bull of Salzburg, Austria. ENERGY DRINKS FOR EVERYONE! People in America scoffed a bit when Red Bull took over the naming rights for the NY/NJ Metrostars of Major League Soccer, but sponsors being used as team names seems to be common practice in Europe. Red Bull took over naming rights for Salzburg in 2000, and has put together a pretty sweet jersey. The road blue has a little more style than the home white, and both color schemes should be familiar to anyone who has ever seen a can of Red Bull. The jersey is actually pretty tame ad-wise, which makes sense when one considers that uh...the entire team name is one giant advertisement. Another plus: being sponsored by an energy drink that is HUGE in America, one would think the team would be friendly about sending merchandise to the United States, and that is indeed the case. No emails necessary: the team ships to America via DHL for 30 Euros, and apparently will ship an international order free if it's over 150 Euros. As of Nov. 16th, the only customizable jersey that is "in stock" is the XXXS home jersey. If you're a newborn baby or a member of the Montreal Smurfs Canadiens looking for a Boychuk sweater, you're in luck; everyone else will have to wait. I'm not sure if this is a website issue or if they actually don't have any, so I'm going to try to contact them to get info on their stock, and will update this post when I get a response.
UPDATE (11/19/12): I got an email from Robert Stein of the Red Bull Shop "service team" with some info on the Boychuk situation. It's a little confusing. At first, he talks about how Boychuk will be listed under "team flock coating" when he officially joins the club; he then says that if you want one now, you can put his name on yourself under "individual flock coating;" and finally, he says he's going to check with the warehouse to see when they'll be back in stock, so it's kind of a "disregard what I say above because I don't know when we'll have them." Weird. Anyways, Boychuk's name/number will be available. They just don't know when. The email from Robert is below.
UPDATE (11/21/12): I received another email from Robert (who has proven to be the most helpful team rep in this process), saying that the jerseys will be available in all sizes "from tomorrow on," meaning that starting on Thursday, you should be able to place an order for a Boychuk sweater. He's now listed on Salzburg's roster, but isn't available under "team flock coating." He may be there when the stock is replenished tomorrow, or you can write his name and number (still #55, according to Salzburg's site) in under "individual flock coating."
Daniel Paille: Ilves Tampere (SM-Liiga, Finland)
-$175, Ilves fan shop
-Customizable? Yes, "select player" included in price above*
-Ship to America? Yes, included in price above
*If, for some reason, Paille isn't available, you can put in your own name/number for a total of $190 including shipping
Ilves is a jersey I'm familiar with, mainly because I looked into trying to get a Tuukka Rask Ilves jersey about a year ago. The jersey is pretty cool, with an interesting yellow, black, and forest green color scheme, and a lynx looks like a hybrid of the high Bruins bear of yore and the Cowardly Lion. Daniel Paille's certainly isn't the most "purchase-able" jersey out there, and I bet you could count the number of Paille jerseys at the average B's game on one hand; however, the Ilves jersey is a pretty nice one, and is reasonably priced. I spoke to someone from their shop via email, and they said they'd check on the price of freight; I heard back a few hours later, and they said the cost to ship to America would be covered under their normal shipping costs, and also gave me step-by-step instructions on how to place an order. How's that for service? Also, for the budget-conscious shopper, they do have an older-style Ilves jersey for sale (also customizable) for just 40 Euros. It's not the style Rask wore, but I may give it a try anyways. I don't think there are too many Finnish jersey experts who will call me out on it.
HOW TO PLACE AN ORDER (Click to see the bigger image)
-Posted by Dan, 9/20/12
Last updated 12/5, reason: added Praha picture and link to review