Collector's Corner: The Importance of a Sweater
This edition of Collector's Corner was written by first-time contributor, Alex Khalifa!
My significant other is the biggest Jean-Sebastien Giguere fan I have ever met. Both of us attended every game of the Anaheim Ducks’ playoff run to winning the 2007 Stanley Cup together. We took in an incredibly emotional moment when the team mobbed the Anaheim goaltender after they won Game 5 and made our dreams come true as we watched from our seats at the Honda Center. Any Ducks fan who remembered losing Game 7 of the Finals to New Jersey in 2003 and seeing a tearful Giguere awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy felt that the championship season was the culmination of so much hard work. Giguere had fought through dehydration issues, challenges from backup Ilya Bryzgalov, and seeing his newborn son go through surgery to correct an eye issue during the first round of the 2007 postseason. Teemu Selanne may have been the face of the franchise, but Giguere was in many ways its soul.
When Giguere was named a starter of the 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal, I purchased a Western All-Star jersey at the Honda Center’s team store for my special someone. It was white featuring red lettering and blue-trimmed stars. The only problem is that it was not already customized, so I paid the store to stitch Giguere’s name and number on the back.
Several weeks later, I drove to the arena in order to follow up on my order. When I finally reached an executive in charge of purchasing, I was told that the jersey was sent to an outside customization company which did a poor job on the lettering. The silver lining was that the team ordered an authentic Giguere All-Star jersey from Montreal, and I was able to give it to her soon afterward.
Things got even more exciting when we attended the Ducks’ annual Faceoff Fest for season ticket holders. Highlights include visiting the press box and locker room as well as skating on the same ice surface that the team uses. Another main draw is the opportunity to obtain player autographs. The two of us had a brief audience with Jiggy himself, and the goaltender signed her jersey in blue pen. It was not our first time meeting Giguere, but he was just as friendly and soft-spoken as I remembered.
This was a jersey saga with a happy ending, but since then I have left all my customization needs to the professionals at Cool Hockey. My partner still loves the Frederik Andersen jersey I ordered from Cool Hockey’s website even though the Danish netminder and former Duck is now a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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