THE JERSEY OF THE MONTH
MIKAEL GRANLUND #64 - PITTSBURGH PENQUINS Adidas size 56 Alternate Set 2022 - 2023
Jersey used in 3 games, March 9, March 20 and April 6, 2023
Guest Gabi Hakanen on Juha Valvio's YLE Sport Friday program on Dec 13, 2019, discussing the topic of jersey collection.
Red White and Blue * HIFK Music video
Samu Haber * Leo Hakanen * Jere Marttila *
Jukka Soldan * Erno Laitinen
Video manuscript and director Gabi Hakanen
Video description Juge Heikkilä
Welcome to my jersey collection page
1. Collectible items?
Regarding my collectibles, I have focused almost entirely on collecting HIFK players' HIFK jerseys, as well as jerseys representing the NHL teams they have played for. I made this decision in the early stages of my collecting hobby at the turn of the millennium, and it has defined the framework for building my collection. I collect only game-worn jerseys or jerseys specifically made for players for games (Game Issued). There are a few fan jerseys in the mix as well, mainly due to the signatures I've received.
2. Framework for Collecting?
Building a jersey collection is a long-term endeavor, and actively following industry websites and auctions is of great significance. The prices of game-worn Game Worn jerseys vary significantly based on the player's status, the team, the season played, and their success. Rookie jerseys are almost always more expensive than post-rookie season jerseys. Jerseys associated with championships also have a multiple price compared to jerseys used in regular season games. For me, the player's status has always been the primary consideration for acquisition. Reflecting this mindset, I established guidelines for my actions, within which I have stayed: "only game-worn jerseys of players with an HIFK background or who have played for HIFK interest me." Currently, I have over 230 game-worn jerseys in my collection, few game-issued jerseys made for players but unused in games, and few fan jerseys.
3. What kind of jersey do you acquire?
There are now many enthusiasts and jersey sellers in the field, which is a positive development for collectors. Almost all established players in the field, both buyers and sellers, are familiar with the proper etiquette for trading, but it's always essential to be vigilant about the authenticity of a product. Authentic "game-worn" and "game-issued" jerseys can be identified in various ways. NHL jerseys come with appropriate certificates or letters of authenticity and fabric patches inside the hems of the jerseys, showing product registration numbers and codes used by teams to verify the jersey's authenticity. In Finnish SM-liiga and current Liiga jerseys, there is always a sewn fabric patch supplied by the league's teams. This patch is generally located on the outside of the jersey, usually on the back near the hem. Often, jerseys are also registered in databases maintained by teams or resellers. Photo-matched photos can be found on various image services and can be purchased privately through jersey resellers or teams. The development of these services has been of paramount importance for collectors. However, always be cautious when making acquisitions, especially concerning so-called "vintage" jerseys, for which registration was not yet a common practice.
Vocabulary for Jersey Collecting
Authentic / Game Worn jersey
Before purchasing a jersey, it's advisable to research it. Authenticating game-worn jerseys is easier with modern jerseys as teams mark "Game Worn" on the hems or collars (Tag) of the jersey. The Tag often includes a serial number used to register the jersey in the team's or reseller's database. Authenticating older jerseys can be more challenging.
When examining a jersey, ensure that it matches the manufacturer's mark and model for a specific era and/or season. The font on the player's nameplate must match, reinforcement stitches are present at the elbows, logos are typically pro-stitched, and there's a fight strap inside the jersey. You can verify these details through photos related to games from that era and by contacting authorized jersey sales organizations.
COA (Certificate of Authenticity)
A Certificate of Authenticity is also known as LOA (Letter of Authenticity). This written certificate, issued by the team and/or official jersey sellers, is an essential part of the jersey's original identification. The certificate provides a detailed description of the item and guarantees its authenticity. Certificates verify who wore the jersey, that it was used on the ice by the player, with which number, during which season, and with which set of jerseys. In the NHL, jerseys are generally manufactured with two home and two away jerseys per season, with separate jerseys for playoffs and finals. The value of NHL jerseys is also based on the fact that jerseys are not available for every game, often being worn for an average of 15-20 games per season. Hence, wear and tear on the jerseys, which can be verified through photos, videos, and trading cards, is an important aspect of collecting.
In the Finnish Liiga, practices for selling game-worn jerseys and quantities vary by team, but all Game Worn jerseys used in Liiga games must have a "Liiga patch," "Playoff patch," or "Final patch." Without these patches, the jersey was not used in official Liiga matches. HIFK used to provide Certificates of Authenticity (COA) for game-worn jerseys, but they discontinued this practice a few years ago. Therefore, the Liiga patch is the only reliable proof of a game-worn jersey from a collector's perspective. Liiga patches cannot be purchased anywhere.
BJ (Bench Jersey)
A jersey prepared for a player for game use, but the player never actually played an official game in it. However, the player may have worn it during warm-up before a game. As a result, these jerseys can often appear similar to well-worn Game Worn jerseys. Backup goaltenders who sit with the team in the bench area for several games frequently have these jerseys. For example, during the 2019-2020 season, all of St. Louis Blues' jerseys worn by Ville Husso were of this type.
GI (Game Issued Jersey)
A jersey prepared for the team's use, but the player never used it in games. There can be various reasons for not using it, such as a mid-season player transfer, player injury, demotion to the farm team, etc. However, Game Issued jerseys are entirely authentic compared to Game Worn jerseys. The jerseys are stitched with logos, names, Tags, fight straps, etc., by the team and the jersey-selling organization, providing evidence of authenticity. Due to their unused nature, Game Issued jerseys are more affordable than Game Worn jerseys.
NNOB (No Name on Back)
A jersey that has never had a player's name on the back but has been used in games. These jerseys are typically vintage jerseys, and there are many examples of them that can be found, for instance, on websites like https://www.classicauctions.net.
NOBR (Name on Back Removed)
A jersey from which the player's name on the back has been removed. The main reason for removing the name is that the jersey can be used in Pre-Season and Training Camp games by different players in different seasons. These jerseys are not specifically made for any individual player, and the name is removed from the jersey at the end of the period. Due to the removed nameplates, the jersey shows clear stitching marks.
A copy of a game jersey that is not made by the original manufacturer. Sometimes, these jerseys are sold as "authentic" game jerseys, so it's essential to be careful about what you're ordering.
A fabric patch sewn onto the jersey, which is usually located at the bottom hem or collar. This tag often indicates which season and set the jersey was used in. Some teams do not adhere to this practice explicitly on the tag, but the tag can refer to details found in the team's or jersey seller's records. Previously, teams also used numbered hologram stickers attached inside the jersey. A corresponding hologram sticker should also be found on the Certificate of Authenticity. These tags are extremely difficult to counterfeit.
An LOA or COA, a letter issued by the team that specifically identifies the jersey.
A team identifier sewn onto the hem or collar's interior by the team and/or jersey manufacturer.