Article by Derek Whitaker
May contain opinions not shared by GameWorn.us
This year, I brought a friend of mine with me that has never been to an equipment sale and is not a collector to show him some of the experiences that go along with collecting. We arranged to meet some of my other collector friends, Chad and Jason at Hockeytown Authentics pretty early.
We arrived earlier than anyone should have realistically started to show up. As we pulled in, I noticed Jason was already there but I noticed 3 bodies in line for the store already. Jason was the 3rd person in. As we parked, Jason came out to greet us and disclosed that the two guys in front of him were already there upon his arrival.
We got out our chairs and walked up to the line. After we got situated, I asked the important question “What are you guys here for?”. Anyone who knows me, knows that my #1 goal was to get the Luke Glendening jerseys and increase my collection of them. I didn’t think anything of these guys being there because there were so many big names that they could be obtaining like Nyquist, Mrazek, Dekeyser, etc, so why would I be worried about them going after the Glendening.
“We are going to get both Glendenings”. Um, what? Half joking, I replied “Well, we might as well just go home then.” I walked back out to my car to find a pen and all I could mumble to myself was a series of profanities. I had seriously considered leaving multiple times as the Glendenings were really the only reason I was there.
I stayed knowing that there were some people still relying on me for a couple items, and there would still be other things I may want. Chad arrived shortly after, which was great to see him again. At this point, I can’t really remember how the conversations went, but as we talked, they disclosed that they were aware of me and my Glendening collection as to why they could never find any for sale (ignoring the fact that he has only been with the wings 1 previous year).
As day break came, we chatted and I continued to try to convince them to get something, maybe better and let me continue what I was doing with my Glendening collection. I asked, why Glendening. “I like the way he plays, I follow Michigan” and just like a line out of a previous article I wrote about player collectors and collecting Luke, “and I like his story.”
Who are these guys? “Are you guys in the Game Worn Beer Cup facebook group?”. No. “Are you in the Red Wings Game Worn group?” No, I didnt know that existed. “Do you go on GameWorn.us?”. “I might have once or twice.” Where the hell did these guys come from? Who are they? Why do they seem to be here solely to ruin my day?
They said they had heard about the guy who always gets all the Glendenings from someone they knew at Fanatic-U, so they were planning on getting there even earlier to make sure they were in front of that person to get the Glendening before he does. They were going to show up at midnight, but that same person advised them it was not necessary.
Then began the negotiations. “Look at the repairs on the Helm and Franzen.”, “Is that an Exhibition helm from 2007-13? Its got to be. The serial is stamped externally. Thats so curious”. No biting. Thats it. Im screwed.
Throughout the wait, more people trickled in but didnt get a heavy increase in the line until about 45 minutes before the doors were to open. Conversations ranged from the direction of the team to personal collections to the new arena. As the employees showed up, everyone began peeking in the window to see what they could see and to plan their attack. For a play by play, check out the twitter feed.
When the doors opened, each person in our group knew what their job was and we went right to work. Everyone knew that we needed to try to find the Glendenings before these guys. We got to the racks trying to find the Glendenings first. I was boxed out and could not get in very well to begin my search. Seeing a jersey come off the rack, it was the Glendening so on to the other jersey on the list.
At this point, the store is packing with people. The gloves are flying off the table, the helmets are going. There is a gathering of people around the goalie equipment. Getting overwhelmed, I poked around a little in some of the other jersey racks where the exhibition and training camp jerseys were.
After a short time, Chad, Jason and I gathered to go over what each of us had to examine the wear on each other’s shirts and began to check out. While in line, Chad’s friend Raymond came up and asked me if I wanted some Name on Back Removed #39 training camp and exhibition jerseys. He could not get a stick and jerseys on his limited budget.
Sure, why not. Added them to my stack.
Upon further inspection, these jerseys were definitely Hasek jerseys (Update: Confirmed via Photomatch). The time period, jersey size, and the name plate removal stitches all are signs that they are. Something that it seems many people missed.
After checking out, we loaded everything in to the car, and before we left, decided to take one more round.
Walking through the store, the only gloves left were Weiss, which it seemed like there were 5 pairs to start. All the Howard glove sets seemed to still be present at a price point of $750. The only helmet left was Alfredsson (I thought it was Cleary at the time), which sat there the entire time we were there. They had two goalie bags that I was interested in, but not for $300 and $400.
I started to browse back through the exhibition/training camp rack and found an exhibition name on back removed #25. Thinking it is very possible that it could be a Darren McCarty, I picked it up (Update: Confirmed via Photomatch). Looking back through the season rack, I saw an Andersson with some amazing repairs so I also picked that up.
Additionally, I finally picked up a Glendening stick and goal scored puck, completing the cycle of every piece of game used equipment obtainable by a player.
After saying goodbye to my collector friends, we packed up and went home. After we got home, one of the guys who bought a Glendening chatted with me on facebook. At one point he did ask about the Red Wings game worn group, so I added him to the group, but recommended that he not post any pictures of the Glendening because many of the collectors in that group know those were what I was after. He did say that if there was ever a time it no longer fit his collection or needed to sell, he would come to me first, so that is definitely a positive and we worked together to help him find matches for his jerseys.
Writing this piece, I am still frustrated at the situation and I can’t figure out why it bothers me so much. I keep flip flopping back and forth on saying screw it and getting rid of everything I got today or keeping it.
Experience wise, I did have a really good time seeing my friends Chad and Jason, running into Justin from Canada, and meeting new friends like Raymond. My friend Ben said he had a very good time and thought the experience was eye opening. Enjoyed the conversations, and our network of collectors.
I know some of the events here may be out of order or not necessarily verbatim, but the story should get the message across.
Some things others may be interested in knowing:
Zetterberg/Datsyuk – $3000
Goalie Gear: Mrazek prices were higher than Howard. $750 for a pair of Howard gloves. $250 for last years chest protectors, $350 for this years.
Goalie Gear Bags: $300/$400
Skates: $350 – $750 (for goalie)
Some game issue jerseys were $100.
Training camp and exhibitions for most players were $50.
Hasek TC/EX: $999.
Shanahan EX: $750.
Lidstrom TC: $700
Things still unsold when we left:
Warrior Chest protectors
Howard glove sets (about 5 sets)
Weiss gloves (about 5 sets just of Weiss)
Goalie Gear bags