Game Worn Expo 2020 Detroit Planning

Little-Caesars-Arena We are beginning the planning stages for our next expo to be held in Detroit during the Frozen Four in 2020 pursuant to the success of logistics.  In order to create the best success possible, we are open to suggestions to make improvements from our 2017 Chicago expo.  

If you have any contacts that would be valuable in the Detroit area to assist with securing a venue, lodging accommodations, and marketing, please let us know.  If you have thoughts and opinions on improving existing activities or planning new activities, we would love to hear those as well.

Experiencing the 2017 Meigray Expo by Harrison Lee

19983695_10154869410417984_3632561366783779666_oGame-worn hockey jersey conventions are the equivalent of a bonfire party for collectors. Though our hobby is niche, we travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles, to huddle around museum-worthy displays that span the proud generations of hockey. Few gatherings of game-worn collectors are as heralded as the annual MeiGray Expo. This hallowed event pulls together the many unique factions of the game-worn community under one roof, including legendary Gretzky collectors like Shawn Chaulk and proud members of the NHL community like Phil Pritchard, caretaker of the Stanley Cup (and a bunch of other stuff).

This year, the MeiGray Expo featured two players from the New York Riveters, a team from the recently-founded National Women’s Hockey League. Rivs players Courtney Burke and Rebecca Russo took the time to address the crowd and discuss the many aspects of playing in a brand-new women’s hockey league. They also toured the show floor and seemed to have a fantastic time getting to know the collectors, stopping for selfies with fans and signing numerous autographs. It was a great way to showcase the continued growth of hockey in nontraditional markets and minority player groups.

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The MeiGray Expo also featured a keynote address from NHL Hall of Famer Adam Oates, who touched on the challenges of coaching NHL teams and his experiences as a star forward. Naturally, many of the collectors had to take selfies with Adam, holding some of his game-worn jerseys. The line for Adam’s autograph was, as expected, quite long! Everyone wanted to take advantage of the free autograph ticket MeiGray provided to every expo participant.

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On the exhibit side of things, one could find every manner of team on display, including a wonderful Winnipeg Jets display that featured a Patrik Laine Heritage Classic-style game-worn and some amazing Philadelphia Flyers exhibits from fellow collectors. No matter your taste in era, whether vintage or modern, the MeiGray collectors’ tables and special jersey exhibits had something to offer for everyone.

Of course, the expo isn’t complete without the ever-popular MeiGray grab bag, and this year was no different. Participants got to draft a jersey of their choosing based on a randomly-chosen draft order. The first-overall pick selected a Tyler Seguin away set while the second-overall pick (that’s me!) went with an Anze Kopitar set. Third-overall walked away with a nicely-worn Evgeny Kuznetsov Caps set. If you like young star power, this year’s grab bag draft was not wanting at the top of the jersey pool.

The most important part of the MeiGray Expo, however, is meeting friends old and new. As this was my first time at this gathering, I had the chance to put faces to names and talk to collectors I’d never normally see. Their enthusiasm and passion for the hobby was clear, whether it was their carefully-curated tables or the way they talked about their love for collecting and preserving history. The crucial aspect of this hobby is connection and community. Few events can help to build these bridges like the MeiGray Expo does year-in and year-out. I look forward to becoming a regular over the many expos to come.

 

MeiGray Expo Shows Hobby is Alive and Well

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The 2017 MeiGray Expo was this weekend and it showed the hobby is doing great!  

In additional to the collectors that attend yearly, there were a number of new-to-the-expo collectors, even though they may have been veterans in the hobby.  There appeared to be a good number of newer collectors in attendance as well.

In addition to the speaker, Adam Oates, other notable attendees included Rebecca Russo and Courtney Burke from the New York Riveters of the WNHL.  Also in attendance were the Conn Smythe, Vezina, Hart Memorial, and Norris Memorial trophies.

Collectors were able to see some of the new Adidas jerseys of the Las Vegas Golden Knights and a large array of historical, vintage and modern jerseys from players of all calibers.

For pictures of the event, check out the Album on MeiGray’s facebook page.

2017 Game Worn Hockey Expo Chicago Review

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There is far too much to say about the 2017 Game Worn Hockey Expo held in Chicago.  To get a good audio glimpse, check out our episode of Game Worn Radio.  To assist with your viewing pleasure, please check out the pictures below.  We have pictures of not only the expo, but the other events from the weekend as well.

Lastly we recorded some ramblings from our Friday night gathering.  Our original intent was to edit it for content, but due to time and effort, here it is, raw.  This will also be loaded to our iTunes Podcast.

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Game Worn Radio: Chicago Expo Review

This week we were joined by Francis, Dan, Tom and Jason who attended the expo and Matt and Marco who did not.  We talked a bit about the things we saw and our experiences at the expo and the importance behind attending these shows.

Words can’t describe attending an event like this, but we did our best and we hope we convey the message appropriately.

Later this week, we will publish our recording from the pre-expo gathering that happened in Pete’s hotel room.

Audio Only:

Last Call for Expo Raffle Tickets

Online raffle ticket sales end on Saturday April 8th at 10am CST in order to give us plenty of time to check entries and make tickets for the draw.

To purchase tickets, use the paypal checkout system located in this article: 2017 Game Worn Expo Raffle which also contains a list of most of the prizes that will be available.  There may be some last minute additions.

Dont risk forgetting and missing out.  Purchase today!

Note:  Those attending the expo will have the ability to purchase tickets for both the open raffle and the drop-cup raffle up to 30 minutes before the draw.  At the expo, we will be accepting cash, credit, and paypal transfers.

Tips for Traveling with Jerseys

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With the 2017 Game Worn Hockey Jersey Expo this weekend in Chicago, many collectors are seeking advice on how to most successfully and easily pack your things for a trip.  Strategies can vary depending on travel method and the items you are carrying.  The most difficult method of travel is by air which is what we will focus on.

Challenges

Be familiar with your airlines baggage policies.

Weight:
Many airlines charge you by the bag for each checked piece of luggage you have (unless you are a frequent traveler).  These checked bags have weight restrictions or additional costs beyond 50 lbs.  You are also usually allowed 1 carry-on item and 1 personal item.

Your carry-on bags are not weighed, so plan your carry-on luggage carefully.  Research the maximum size roller bag allowed on your airline and bring one that size or smaller.  Your personal item can be something like a briefcase or bookbag.  Lets stretch the term book bag and envision a duffel bag or large camping size book bag.

Risk:
Since we are not weight restricted on these carry-on items, we want to pack as much as we can in these bags, starting with our highest dollar first.  If we keep our most expensive or most attached items in our carry-on, they will be with us at all times.  This will alleviate stress if a bag routing issue occurs.  Also, keep in mind, checked bags are picked up on luggage carousels with nobody checking tags.

Your less important items can be purchased on destination.  Clothing, hygienics, chargers and other personal items can be replaced.  Your jerseys cannot.  Your checked baggage can be reserved for these items and more, less valuable items or jerseys such as pucks, strategically packed gear and jerseys.

Space:
Since we will be packing most of our items in our carry-on bags that are not weight restricted, we need to maximize every inch of space those bags allow.  When packing, the thing that takes up the most space is air.  Yes, air.  Our objective is to take air out of the equation.

Enter the vacuum cleaner and large freezer ziploc bags.  Fold your jerseys you will be packing in your carry-ons in a way that they will sit flat inside the freezer bag.  A square or rectangular shape is best as pictured below.  Place your jersey in the bag and zip it up half way.  Put your most narrow attachment on the hose of your vacuum and place just the nozzle in the bag.  Turn on the vacuum.  As the air is sucked from the bag, your jersey will compress.  Make sure to keep a hand on the jersey and nozzle to avoid sucking the jersey into the nozzle.  Try to keep the jersey at the bottom of the bag, farthest from the nozzle.  When no more air can be sucked from the bag, zip the rest of the bag up while removing the nozzle.

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You should now have the smallest package possible to place inside your carry-on luggage.  Pack your roller bag first, then your book bag, starting with your most expensive jersey and working down to the least.  Anything left, place in your checked bag.

Checked Bags:
Gear takes up a lot of space but does not weigh much.  You can utilize the space in gear to pack other things.  Stuff a T-shirt in a helmet.  Put your socks in the gloves.  Once you have tried to utilize the space in the gear you are bringing, its time to tetis the crap out of this bag.

Many bags have internal holding straps.  Utilize these.  Dont worry about the bulge.  Once you have packed your items, we will take care of the bulge with baggage straps.  Wrap your bag in 2 clip release baggage straps.  Once at the top 1/4 and one at the bottom 1/4.  Not only with this keep the bulge in check, it can help deter TSA from opening your back to inspect your items and ruining your packing job and it gives the baggage handlers something else to hold on to when moving your page, thus preventing risk of damage.

You are now ready to travel with your jerseys.  Good luck!

2017 Game Worn Expo Chicago Updates: Food & Drink

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Previous versions of our Everything You Need To Know About The 2017 Game Worn Expo Chicago article indicated that there will be a cash bar available.  While this is still true, from 11am – 2pm, our 21 and older guests will be able to order domestic drafts, house wines, and wells and mixers at the open bar after receiving wrist bands at the door, included with your entry to the event. (Please plan accordingly and make arrangements for driving such as negotiating a DD, Uber, or Taxi)

Lunch will be served near 11:30am as a BBQ buffet including baby back ribs, sliced brisket, salad, baked beans and cole slaw.

We still have a few more tricks up our sleeve so stay tuned.