I am a huge leaf fan, but all I have in terms of Leaf merch is an official puck (circa 1980). I have never bought an official leafs jersey. So when a player retires or gets sent to Florida what do you do with their jersey. Are you a collector? Do you ever donate? Clearly you wouldn't be caught dead sporting that Schenn jersey around. So tell me please:
Why would anyone throw a jersey away? They're so damn expensive....... For example when I go to watch the Jays you see people wearing jerseys like Overbay, Ryan, Rios
Not so die hard fans I suppose. People who feel cheated by propaganda like: "Reimer is the real deal", "Truculence", Ron Wilson extension, "Alaire is going to make Toskala awesome, plus he's in a contract year", signing Grabo to a 5 year 5 million dollar deal, etc. It's enough for a person who spent $200 on an official jersey to throw it off a cliff, plus...
It is rare for me to purchase a current player Leafs jersey and in fact I even advise people against it. At one game, I was at the ACC store and this guy was trying on a Jason Blake jersey while he was still playing with the Leafs.
I told him not to buy the jersey and get a player that has one of the honoured numbers instead. He decided not to buy the Blake jersey and about one month later Jason Blake got traded.
What is the moral of this little story? If anyone is ever going to buy a Leaf jersey get the players who have their numbers honoured or retired, perhaps even a player that has been with the team 5+ years. That way you can still rock that jersey outside your house or at the ACC with honour.
Here is a list of honoured / retired players:
1 Johnny Bower (1959-70)
1 Turk Broda (1937-52)
4 Hap Day (1926-37)
4 Red Kelly (1959-67)
5 Bill Barilko (1946-51)
6 Ace Bailey (1927-34)
7 King Clancy (1931-37)
7 Tim Horton (1950-70)
9 Charlie Conacher (1930-38)
9 Ted Kennedy (1943-57)
10 Syl Apps (1937-48)
10 George Armstrong (1950-71)
13 Mats Sundin (1994-2008)
17 Wendel Clark (1985-94, 1996-98, 2000)
21 Borje Salming (1973-89)
27 Frank Mahovlich (1957-68)
27 Darryl Sittler (1971-82)
93 Doug Gilmour (1991-97, 2003)
Buying a third jersey from the last two years would be awesome for the above players listed from the 1950's to 1960's.
The baby boomers will respect your classic choice and new fans will ask about that player's history. I have a Sundin jersey and still will wear it with pride as he is an honoured member. A player like Jason Blake, Versteeg, etc who is with the Leafs only three seasons or less will be forgotten as their contribution meant little to the organization in the last 40+ years.