There is nothing going on in the world of hockey right now. Zach Werenski still hasn’t signed but he spent last weekend at Lollapalooza. Jarmo Kekalainen spent last weekend hanging out with fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen at the Formula One race. That’s about it.
So ... let’s talk about something fun. What player sweaters do y’all have?
I have a bunch, so let’s walk through this together and compare notes in the comments.
I’m going to break mine down into three categories: out of rotation, still in rotation, and other teams’ sweaters. Let’s start with those I won’t wear anymore.
Out of Rotation
This section is basically players who have left the team for one reason or another, and whose sweater I will not wear for one reason or another. Here, I’ll attempt to explain my rationale for each. Note: I am extremely petty and hold grudges quite well.
Rick Nash was my first CBJ sweater. I got it for Christmas when I was like 13, and I still have it.
It’s dead to me.
I know Nash is back with the team, I know he has mostly made up, blah blah blah. Remember this:
Note: I am extremely petty and hold grudges quite well.
I have not and will not forgive the former captain for asking for trade and begging out of the city that drafted him first overall. Honestly, it reminds me a lot of what happened with the Anthony Davis saga down in New Orleans in the NBA this past season. A star was drafted first overall, a terrible GM (and Doug MacLean S U C K E D) failed to build a proper team around him, and the star asked out. Well, forced his way out except Nash just followed Jeff Carter’s example rather than listened to Rich Paul like Davis did. Anyway. Asking to be traded and letting that hang over the team as the deadline passed and he stayed while playing coy about the whole ordeal is no different than anything Artemi Panarin or Sergei Bobrovsky did, except Nash still had years on his contract.
Sorry, Nash, you’re staying in the back of the closet. But don’t worry, you have friends.
Hey Rick, it’s your back of the closet storage friend! Jack Johnson was the first sweater I bought myself (there was a Marian Gaborik shirsey in here someplace, because I make good choices), and it was to replace Rick Nash after he asked for his trade. Johnson seemed excited to be in Columbus and was expected to be a top pairing defenseman, and I managed to get this signed, which was cool. He might have played those minutes but ultimately never lived up to expectations in the capital city. After the Jackets did not extend him, he signed with the hated Pittsburgh Penguins and mentioned that he was excited to “join a winning culture.” Well you’re dead to me now.
Also, the Penguins got swept in the first round while the Jackets swept the Tampa Bay Lightning. OH, and Jack Johnson was a healthy scratch. How’d that winning culture work out for you, Jack?
I’ll admit it - I screwed up.
At the final home game in 2018 (against the Pittsburgh Penguins), I won $150 to the Blue Line thanks to my stellar ability to throw rubber pucks through a tire. I’m good at things, especially after a beer or two.
Several Labatts later, I was the proud owner of an Artemi Panarin sweater. Then he decided he wasn’t discussing an extension and I’ve hated myself ever second since.
This should have been a Seth Jones sweater, but the best skater to ever wear the union blue and the guy who was leading us to the playoffs and averaging over a point per game won me over. I was smitten and I was a fool, and I was told as much. Repeatedly.
Now Panarin is a New York Ranger and his sweater hangs in the hall of shame with Nash and Johnson at the back of the closet. I will miss you Artemi, and you’re not dead to me (thanks for not trashing Columbus on your way out of town), but I’m not wearing your sweater anymore.
Hey, this one that’s retired for a good reason! I have worn this jersey exactly twice in my life. I won this on Social Media Night during the 2016-17 season during the 16 game winning streak - this was during the Montreal Canadiens game. The Jackets won 2-1 and, pregame, I won this Gagner sweater. It has his social media handle on the nameplate, and he wore it in warmups before signing it. It’s super cool - I wore it to one more game before retiring it because I intend to shadowbox this sweater one day. Thanks @89SGagner!
It’s a third sweater though - my only knock on the whole thing.
Still In Rotation
Remember that summer when the NHL switched from Reebok to Adidas?
Well, at the draft watch party at R Bar, these sweaters were on sale for $100 a pop. After some Labatts, your boy was the proud owner of a Nick Foligno sweater. That I have worn like twice ever.
Look, Foligno is the captain and half of the (former) hug group and has been a good soldier for his entire tenure here in Columbus. But he’s on the downside of his career, is a glorified third/fourth liner, and will probably play on the second line over Alexandre Texier and Emil Bemstrom because Torts hates me specifically. This is a protest vote, mostly.
My man crush on the team. I got Werenski’s sweater during his all world Calder finalist rookie season because
A) I love defensemen and always will, and
B) He’s under team control for a long time
I got the Werenski sweater signed and have worn it to pretty much every game I’ve attended since his rookie year (those of you that have met me at either Nationwide, R Bar, or both) have likely found me because of a combo of this sweater and my giant tattoo on my leg.
As I mentioned on the pod, I am not worried about his contract status. He’ll be back, and he’ll be a Jacket for a long time. And you’ll see him on my back for the foreseeable future.
Other Teams’ Sweaters
PK Subban - Nashville Predators
The Predators, their fans, and the arena are fun as hell and, despite not being on the team anymore, PK Subban is a treasure and the best personality in the NHL.
Do not @ me.
So that’s my collection! Share yours in the comments below.