COLUMBUS, Ohio – As usual, the National Hockey League’s big events are a reason for fans to come together, watch amazing athletes perform and celebrate the game while buying armloads of crap from the merchandise kiosks. Because, you know, that Winter Classic light-up pen will be passed down through the generations, we’re sure …
The 2015 NHL All-Star Game is no exception, and Puck Daddy went to the gear headquarters in the Columbus Fan Fest to find our favorite and least favorite items for sale on site.
Here are yours truly and Josh Cooper, with our favorite gear …
LOVE: Who will draft Zemgus Girgensons? All-humanity center Jonathan Toews? Local superstar Nick Foligno? It doesn’t matter on this gray t-shirt like jersey – remember how the unis are white and black? It’s the ambiguously neutral t-shirt!
Also just seeing the name “Girgensons” on the back makes it the legend real. Like when you go to Los Angeles and see the Hollywood sign for the first time, or New York with the Empire State Building or sneak into the NHL fan fest and also see a giant photo of Alexei Kovalev. - Josh Cooper (Price: $40)
LOVE: The NHL always has a few cool T-shirt designs, and increasingly the ones they make for woman are looking better than the unisex ones. If I could squeeze into this awesome looking shirt with a throwback logo, on which the colors work really well I totally would. But that would be a skills competition in and of itself.
The shirt’s great, but I have to cheat a little here and admit this is my favorite thing at the merch store …
Customizable NHL bubble hockey game for $2,999, including the chance to get this year’s All-Star jerseys. And who wouldn’t want to see little swirls of green neon inside your rec room? I’ll tell you who: Josh Cooper. Because I kicked his rump-roast in bubble hockey, that's why. - Greg Wyshynski
HATE: There is just too much going on with this hat design … like so much.
Neon. Red white and blue. The Columbus All-Star logo. Horrid stitching. Also as you can tell by the picture of me, the fit is … not wonderful.
I can’t wait to see one of these hats being worn by the children of an impoverished nation some day, like all those New England Patriots Super Bowl shirts from when they played the Giants twice and lost. Or just some dude slumming around downtown Columbus in five years. – Josh Cooper (Price: $35)
HATE: I really thought one of the All-Star jerseys would end up here, but truth be told they’re not that fug in person, outside of the NHL logo on the front that looks like someone applied a Photoshop filter and didn’t know how to COMMAND-Z it back to normal.
Instead, I hate this hate. A lot. The logo is oddly placed. The colors are garish – seriously, the pom-pom looks like a Muppet tumor. And whose amazing idea was it to write “Columbus” in green neon script across the hat so it sorta looks like “Cannabis” at first glance? Maybe they can unload the rest of these at Hot Topic or Spencer’s Gifts, next to the black lights. – Greg Wyshynski (Price: $30)