#RedWingsSale2016: Jokes, Deception, Live Reporting

This year at the Detroit Red Wing sale, entry was handled quite differently than it has been in previous years.  This year, anyone in line at midnight on Saturday morning would receive a numbered wristband and at that point, able to leave and return at 9am to restructure the line in number order as the doors open at 10am.

The Jokes

As we were waiting in line to receive our wristbands, I decided it would be entertaining to try to live tweet and even sometimes video stream what was happening in line at the sale.  I haven’t watched the videos, and won’t because I am sure they are embarrassing as I had no idea what I was doing or what I could talk about.  I was more or less asked to do it by fellow collector Paul Rank, had nothing better to do, so we gave it a shot.

Throughout the tweeting, if anyone cracked a joke or said something funny, it was sent out to the twittersphere.  The best material coming from Stephen who you may have remembered from last year’s sale article.  Yes, we are now pretty good friends, and here are some of the highlights:

And guess who’s girlfriend came to visit us while we waited in line.  Thats right, Stephen’s girlfriend.  Did she hear about our comic relief?  You bet she did:


Even better may have been the responses to those asking what we were in line waiting for: 

When you are waiting for such duration of time, you want to keep things fresh.  Nicknames identifying people by their arrival time or location of origin, youngsters being referred to as Dylan… Anything to pass the time.

The Deception

Naturally, as people arrive to the line, everyone is curious about who wants what.  Those playing it the closest to the chest were a pair of women from Montreal who drove 9 hours to the sale.  Lauren and Jessica.  

How close to the chest were they playing?  Lauren went as far as to deactivate her facebook account so we couldn’t find information about her.  

Next comes the fabricated story.  She knows nothing about jerseys and she is here for her brother who is in Spain and doesn’t even know what he wants yet.  She is waiting to hear from him.  Needless to say this story and the secrecy just made us want to find out as much as we could.  Challenge accepted.

We went with the story for a while, why not?  But the slip up.  It was pretty huge.  Through some idle chat, it slipped out that Lauren has listened to our podcast and read previous articles about the sale.  I thought she doesn’t know anything about this hobby.  Gotcha!

All this was for not anyway.  Through out the night, the big curiosities topics were pricing, specifically Larkin and Dastyuk.  Everyone near the front of the line made it pretty clear that none of us would be scoping out either as we pretty much knew that they would be out of the price range.

I guess Lauren and Jessica didn’t trust us much on this because they remained VERY secretive about what they would be getting and as we went through the door, they swooped quickly to the racks and pulled every Larkin off the rack as if they had some serious competition to find them and took them to a corner.  The five in line before them stood at the rack and just watched….not caring.  It was rather humorous.  $3,000 for a playoff jersey, $8,000 for a regular season jersey.  There were 2 playoff Larkins and 3 regular season Larkins.  That means Lauren and Jessica had $30,000 of merchandise in their hands off in a corner of the store with a couple other misc jerseys.

Taking pictures, text, calling.  Essentially they needed to find out which of the 5 they would be getting by the real shot caller.  The rest of us went about our business and regathered when we placed our items at the holding table and met up again with Lauren and Jessica.  They finally figured out which jerseys they would be leaving with.

Funny side note, when we left the store at about 2pm, there were 4 Larkins remaining.

They were great sports about everything.  Deception aside, it was nice to talk to them and pass the time with them.  Best of luck ladies!

The Meat and Potatoes

Everyone wanted to know the breakdown on the Larkin jerseys.  Heres what we know:

  • Larkin wore 2 sets of Regular Season jerseys indicated by a 1 or 2 screened in the neck.
  • The “1” red jersey was archived.
  • There was no white HHOF patched jersey.  He wore a jersey specifically for that game which was archived.
  • Pricing was $3,000 for Playoff jerseys (2) and $8,000 for Regular Season (3).

Some other notes about the sale:

  • There were many equipment bags being sold ranging from $250-$900.
  • There were some left over Stadium Series packages available at a discount.
  • Datsyuk jerseys were $12,000.
  • Hot items were gloves, sticks and helmets.
  • More skates were available than we have ever seen.
  • Sticks galore.  Many were the same players, many players were not represented.
  • Most other jersey prices were very similar to last year’s prices.

Overall, the format for entry of the sale was new and interesting.  The turn out for the sale was smaller than in many previous years.  At door open, there were less than 100 people.  The store was scarce of people around 2pm (After we checked out, we went next door, grabbed a beer, then came back to leisurely browse the remains).

As nice as it is to get the things you want from the sale, I keep finding that what makes the sale the most enjoyable is seeing the people you know (or apparently know of… Its a very strange feeling to have people know things about you when you don’t know anything about them).