As you engage more in the hobby, you will start to see more collectors advising that research is far more important than an LOA. Some collectors will go even further to say that an LOA is worth nothing. This is a case where research is paramount.
Recently, our partner, the Syracuse Crunch, sent us a handful of jerseys to make available to collectors. To our surprise, there was a Jonathan Drouin jersey in the mix. Since this jersey would not have come from the most recent year, the information for the jersey would be hard to remember and piece together. After giving the jersey a quick look over and not seeing any obvious wear, it was assumed to be game issued.
Once we inspected the jersey, we did in fact find wear. There were burn marks on one of the sleeves and some faint rub on the lower front of the jersey. The jersey definitely showed evidence of wear, so the research begins.
Drouin played 2 stints for the Syracuse Crunch. 2 Games in 2014-15 and 17 games in 2015-16, so which year could this be? Referencing the pictures that were available, we can observe what the jerseys were that he wore through these 2 seasons.
Working backwards, we are given the 2015-16 season. Drouin played a considerable amount of games this season, so pictures would be easy to find, however taking a look at the pictures, you can see that it is definitely NOT the jersey from this season. Paying close attention to the Toyota patch, you can see the jersey side line does not span through the same parts of the jersey.
With only playing 2 games for Syracuse in 2014-15, pictures were not as easy to find. As this was his professional debut, articles that contained a picture but focused on the debut were necessary. Luckily, there were a couple articles with pictures that addressed his debut with meta data for time purposes. Observing these images, you can see the positioning of the Toyota patch is exact.
Teams are not in the business of documenting jerseys, they need to win games. This is why it comes down to the collector to do their individual research on each jersey. We have seen a number of examples of teams not sure of what they are, so the most they can do is take their best guess. With research, that guess can become better.