Friday, September 23, 2011

The 10th Annual Minnesota Hockey Collectors Expo

To expand on yesterday's Hockey Jersey Training Camp drill about the jersey collecting community, Sunday, October 2nd is one of the highlights of the collecting calendar. Anyone in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul should stop by Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub near the Xcel Energy Center for the 10th Annual Minnesota Hockey Collectors Expo from 11 AM to 6 PM.


It's the largest gathering of game worn jerseys in Minnesota each year and you can count on seeing some amazing and varied collections in a great hockey environment. This event is free and features collectors bringing favorites from their personal collection for some good old show and tell, with an emphasis on jerseys related to the Minnesota Wild, Minnesota North Stars and Minnesota Gophers, as well as many other interesting jerseys from throughout the hockey world. It's great opportunity to see some great game worn jerseys up close, meet some new people and perhaps add a new jersey to your collection.

Last year former Minnesota North Stars Brad Maxwell,Tom Younghans and Gordie Roberts were in attendance, as was Minnesota Wild team historian Roger Godin.

To further entice you to attend, here are some photos from last year's event.

Game worn meeting 2010

Above is the impressive Ben Clymer collection on the left and Kyle Oen's Minnesota themed collection on the right. Collecting one player, such as Clymer can be a challenge when they make multiple stops in the NHL and AHL, but that challenge increases exponentially when a player extends his career by playing in Europe, so this collection was all the more impressive with the addition of game worn jerseys from the German DEL.

Kyle brought a sampling of his game worn Minnesota high school jersey collection that rivals the one on display at the Xcel Energy Center, as well as other Minnesota based teams. Note the game worn University of Minnesota Nick Leddy jersey being worn in this photo. Golden Gophers game worn jerseys are very, very difficult to come acquire, especially one so recent and of a player of such potential as Leddy.

Game worn meeting 2010

Above is John Lindberg's take on a Minnesota theme. Where Kyle collects teams from Minnesota, John is more about former Gophers NHL jerseys as well as Minnesota Wild prospects jerseys worn before they reach the NHL.

Game worn meeting 2010

Can't make it to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto? Then having the opportunity to see Jon Bakke's amazing collection of vintage jerseys with an international flavor can save you the trip. That's not just an old Sweden jersey either, it's Borje Salming's jersey! John can easily be spotted at Minnesota Wild games wearing his rotating collection of gamers, as he doesn't just hang them in a closet, he wears his regularly to Wild games.

Game worn meeting 2010

Here are two more collections, which come at the hobby from different directions. Chris Groth (hanging on the left) just collects what catches his eye, although with a Minnesota influence, such as Mikko Koivu's game worn retro Finland jersey worn for one game of the 2008 World Championship, but his Alexander Ovechkin game worn jersey was certainly an Expo highlight.

The collection folded on the the table on the right was a very interesting collection of vintage NHL jerseys, mainly the 1980's and 1990's, from our favorite period of NHL jerseys and were terrific to look at and talk about.

Game worn meeting 2010

Here was our contribution to the proceedings, closer to the camera were our jerseys worn in the movie "Miracle" and our game worn international jerseys from places such as East Germany, Holland, Iceland, Japan, Poland and even Spain as well as the more traditional countries like Canada, the Czech Republic and Russia. We also brought our Minnesota Twins baseball gamers on the far side of the rack.

Game worn meeting 2010

The walls of Tom Reid's are just dripping with hockey memorabilia and create the perfect environment to hold such an event.

Game worn meeting 2010

Finally, the event organizer Dave Frechette, without whom the Expo would not exist. Dave's collection focuses primarily on Minnesota Wild players jerseys, primarily before they joined the Wild, or at least non-Wild jerseys. Examples in his collection are Wild prospects college and junior team jerseys, European born players European club teams, Wild coaches sweaters from their NHL playing days, Wild players previous NHL team's jerseys and Wild players jerseys worn when they played for their national teams, such as Mikko Koivu's Team Finland jerseys.

How he is consistently able to track down jerseys from such a wide variety of sources is one of the more impressive things to take in at the Expo. He also has an appreciation of hockey history, as evidenced by the rare and wonderful Minnesota Fighting Saints WHA jersey seen here as well as his North Stars game worn jersey he is wearing.

We certainly hope those of you in the area will take the time to attend this can't miss event!

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