Puck Daddy - NHL

There's always been something yucky about purchasing a championship ring at a memorabilia auction. Not to get all Mikey from "The Goonies" here, but it's someone else's dream; yet circumstances have encouraged this competitor, or his or her associates, to sell off the keepsake.

Unless, of course, you're Peter Pocklington and have more rings than a California redwood ...

That's why this 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Championship Ring is a guilt-free buy: It's the "salesman sample" of the ring goalie Jim Craig may or may not own. It's not exactly bidding on his gold medal, you know?

(There are exceptions to every rule. No one would ever begrudge someone for purchasing a Roller Hockey International championship ring. Especially one from the Anaheim Bullfrogs.)

The ring is 10K gold and the stones are Home Shopping Network-approved cubic zirconia. The eBay auction, which is due to end today, has the price set at $5,999, but suggests that the actual retail price is $8,499. Really, our only reaction to that is this.

These Miracle on Ice "salesman's samples," created by Lloyd Garfield Balfour, have been kicking around for a bit. But why buy a BMW when you can have a Saab, right? Track down the "Miracle on Ice" salesman's sample alterna-rings made of stainless steel and with that glorious cubic zirconia to dazzle the eyes. As if the cougar you're trying to ensnare at some upstate New York pub -- by telling her you beat the Russians 29 years ago but somehow don't look a day over 34 years old -- is going to know the difference.

So, with that and with "What We Learned" on vacation this Monday, we ask the question of the day: Would you purchase some player's hockey championship ring; and would you wear it out in public?

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