February 15, 2010
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- This Pavel Bure 2010 Team Russia jersey is probably, technically a Jersey Foul, but who cares? It's a Pavel Bure jersey, and the Russian sweaters are pretty darn cool. And it's pretty much crack-rock catnip to Vancouver fans with deep pockets.
Jerseys are everywhere in this city. Based solely on anecdotal evidence, there are slightly fewer Sidney Crosby(notes) sweaters in Pittsburgh than there are currently being worn at the Winter Olympics. They're also, by far, the most common jerseys in the gear stores.
The epicenter for jersey sales in Vancouver is the Hudson Bay Company, which is the official outfitter for Team Canada. It's also the place were fans wait anywhere between 20-45 minutes just to get in to purchase Olympic swag of varying degrees of ridiculousness. (Watch Fourth Place Medal for a post on that madness soon.)
On the fifth floor is a jersey-lover's paradise, with every men's and women's team in the tournament represented, if not every player. The only pre-printed Russian sweaters were Evgeni Malkin(notes) and Alex Ovechkin(notes). Henrik Zetterberg(notes) was the only Team Sweden jersey. In the main section, Crosby and Roberto Luongo(notes) had the most Canada sweaters.
There's no need to have every player, because Hudson Bay has a stitch-on-demand area so you can get your Doughty on. A replica Olympic jersey is $130; an authentic one is $400. Lettering costs $25, and a number costs another $25; if you want the sleeves, it's another $50. So that Drew Doughty(notes) Team Canada jersey right there runs you $500 for the whole enchilada.
We're guessing the Internet might yield some better deals.
By the way, the Hudson Bay stitch crew said most of their business has come from personal requests for random names and not official player names. So basically, the Vancouver Olympics could keep us in Jersey Fouls until Sochi.