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Grading the 2012 Winter Classic memorabilia and gear

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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That stick is like huMANgous big …

As you know, the NHL Winter Classic is less a hockey game than an ATM machine for the League and its sponsors, as the fans in both of the teams' cities and on-site for the game snatch up all sorts of gear related to the annual outdoor game.

The 2011 Winter Classic set an NHL record for revenue generated by a single event; that record was then broken by the Heritage Classic in the following month.

Shop NHL has an extensive collection of items for both the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers for sale. Some of it is cool — hey, who wouldn't love to smack a puck with Ilya Bryzgalov's face? — and some of it is a hat with Rastafarian dreadlocks.

Your friends at Puck Daddy have evaluated some of the items in an effort to advocate for you, the consumer.

And here ... we ... go.

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Reebok Philadelphia Flyers 2012 Winter Classic Dread Head Knit Hat

What. The. [Expletive]?

While it might look like Danny Briere has been devoured by a demonic plate of squid ink pasta, this is a hat. From the NHL "Get your inner reggae groove on by wearing the Reebok® 2012 Winter Classic Dread Head knit hat. Thick dreadlock-inspired yarn tassels come out of the top, while the NHL team logo is embroidered on the front."

Hey, just because the Heritage Classic smelled like a Marley concert doesn't mean we need to start getting our "inner reggae groove on."

The Dread Head Knit Hat: The perfect fan accessory for the most Caucasian of sports …

GRADE: B-

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STREET


CCM 2012 NHL Winter Classic Shirts

Split decision on the Flyers and Rangers "street" designs. The Flyers one is infinitely cool, looking like a shirt you wore 15 years ago that you pull out of a pile of dirty clothes, throw on and go buy another six-pack on a Saturday morning.

The Rangers one looks like something a tourist would wear. The graffiti font is clever but entirely too legible for New York street art.

GRADE: B- (on average)

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Reebok 2012 NHL Winter Classic "Fight for Liberty"

Er, uh, can we choose "give me death" instead?

This design, perhaps inspired by the opening credits for "SE7EN", is featured in an eye-catching black and yellow-ish design that recalls the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins, both of who aren't playing in this game. The way the words are assembled, it almost appears to read "RANGERS FOR FLYERS."

At the very least, this should be the best-selling NHL shirt in the history of the Tea Party.

GRADE: D

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G-III Philadelphia Flyers 2012 Winter Classic Parka

This gets a super pass because it brings us back to the heyday of Starter jackets in middle school. Also, because the whole thing is rather bad ass in Flyers colors.

GRADE: A

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WOMEN


CCM New York Rangers 2012 Women's NHL Winter Classic Vintage Thermal/CCM Philadelphia Flyers 2012 Women's NHL Winter Classic Vintage 3/4 Sleeve Raglan T-shirt

It's possible we're seeing history here, ladies and gentlemen. For the first time since the site went online, it's entirely possible that the women's gear for an NHL team/game/event is better looking than the men's. The Rangers thermal with the Carvel-style font and logo? Awesome. The Flyers jersey T-shirt? Awesome.

That's it, we're taking hormone pills starting now …

GRADE: A-

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Reebok Philadelphia Flyers 2012 NHL Winter Classic Women's Knit Headband

… OK, we take it back. Because no matter how redundant or uninspired the menswear is for the Winter Classic, no one will ever force us to wear a garter belt on our noggins and call it a headband.

GRADE: C-

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Forever Collectibles 2012 NHL Winter Classic Thematic Gnome

The obvious first question: How did they get Mats Zuccarello to stand motionless for the artist to perfectly render him?

The little Liberty Bell is a nice touch of personalization for the 2012 Classic. It's also a knowing nod to Tolkien, considering that the two franchises have the One Ring between them since 1976.

GRADE: B+

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That's My Ticket 2012 NHL Winter Classic Mega Ticket

Mega Ticket is awesome. It reminds us of those giant checks you get from Publisher's Clearinghouse or on "The Price Is Right." The only drawback is that you need to find Mega Laser Scanner to authenticate it. And, we suppose, Mega Arena Employee to operate it.

Now everyone in your living room can imagine how crappy your fake seats were.

GRADE: B+

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