in their 1998 NHL All-Star Game jerseys, complete with a
flag patch for each player's home country
On this date in 1998, for the first year under the new format and for the one and only time, each player would also wear the flag of their native country on their NHL club team jersey during the weekend's 1998 Super Skills Competition. For some players, this would be the only patch they would ever wear on a particular style of NHL jersey, and for knowledgeable collectors, it's a chance to create a interesting jersey with a unique story behind it.
Of note, defenseman Brian Leetch was also a part of the North American team and would have worn an American flag on his Rangers jersey for the Super Skills Competition.
Unlike Gretzky in New York, Hasek wore six patches during his nine seasons with the Sabres, but only two full season patches with this particular style Sabres jersey, which was introduced for the 1996-97 season, those being the SHK III patch for Sabres owner Seymour Knox, and the NHL 2000 patch, worn by all NHL players in celebration of the Millenium. Additionally, Buffalo did wear the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals patch during their series against the Dallas Stars.
We have replicated a number of the jerseys from that event for our own collection, and here are the rosters for you to choose from if you would like to add a flag to a jersey you already own or create a new, unique project for your own collection.
At the time of this writing, the flag patches appear difficult to obtain on ebay, as it is now 15 years after the final World vs. North America game. For accuracy, you need the style with the quarter inch wide white border around the flag as shown above. A search for "NHL flag patch" is a good place to start.
Today's video section is the player introductions for 1998 NHL All-Star Game. Unfortunately, we were unable to find any footage of the Super Skills Competition at this time.