40 days of jerseys #40: Knoxville Ice Bears (ACHL)

bissonfrontbissonbackJersey #40 of 40: Knoxville Ice Bears (Todd Bisson, #13)

Style: Game Worn
Size: 58
Manufacturer: OT Athletic
Obtained: Brought from a friend, mid-2000’s

Wow! I don’t know what is more amazing, the fact the I have gone through almost all of my jerseys (I actually still have a couple I could post, but maybe later), or the fact that I actually stuck with it and posted 40 jerseys as advertised…I should be more impressed, because usually I’d have given up around Jersey #15 or so…

Last, but certainly not least, is a jersey that I hold special to me. This was the first ever game-worn I bought. I got it from my friend who sold me a few others before. He knew I was on a budget and was looking for one and set me up with this one. I’ve worn it the most often when wearing jerseys to the games (other than my Cherokees jersey).

ACHL Logo (2002-03)

The jersey is from the first year the Ice Bears franchise were in operation in 2002-03. The numbers have claw marks and the jersey design with the wavy lines on the sleeves and bottom sort of resemble the waves of the ACHL logo. The following season they went with a different design that removed the claw mark numbers and wavy background. Almost every year there is a variation in the jersey design, but this continues to be my favorite simply because of the numbers having claw marks, it was a unique design that set them apart from any other team in almost any other league.

Todd Bisson’s time with the Ice Bears (and the ACHL) was short. However, he did have a good career after pro hockey by becoming a Manager of Hockey Administration with the Central Hockey League (before they folded and several teams absorbed by the ECHL) as well as being a head coach for the Arizona State hockey club. He’s also worked with the Phoenix Coyotes as a youth hockey coordinator.

This jersey is not for sale or trade.

Thanks, everyone who walked this journey with me. It’s been fun to recollect on the teams, players, leagues, and people that I’ve been in touch with through the years and have shared my hockey addiction.

Have a wonderful Christmas season!

40 days of jerseys #39: St. Louis Blues – Wayne Gretzky

gretzkybluesfrontgretzkybluesbackJersey #39 of 40: St. Louis Blues (Wayne Gretzky, #99)

Style: Replica
Size: XXL
Manufacturer: Starter
Obtained: Store Purchase, 1997

There’s not a hockey fan alive who doesn’t know who Wayne Gretzky is. Even non-hockey people know the name. I have always been a fan of him…even when he was a New York Ranger

He didn’t even play a full season on his way from the West Coast to the East Coast, stopping in St. Louis for 31 games in 1996, 13 of them in the playoffs. His stay didn’t last long, but he intended to stay a lot longer than what happened.

Knoxville Cherokees 1998 design

This style jersey design from St. Louis is actually one of my favorite styles. Maybe it’s because the Knoxville Cherokees adopted a similar jersey design in the last year they were in Knoxville before moving to South Carolina (much to my chagrin).

I never got to see him play in person. The closest I got to seeing him in person was in Nashville during the 2003 Entry Draft when he was affiliated with the Phoenix Coyotes (now Arizona).

I have seen his brothers Keith and Brent play, in the IHL and UHL, but never their more famous brother.

I got this jersey from a sporting goods store in the mall sometime after he left for New York. I think it was on clearance. It’s a replica but it’s pretty heavy. I haven’t had much of an affinity for the white jerseys overall, but I do own a few.

I’ve been offered a lot of money for this one, but I think I’ll keep it for now.

This jersey is not for sale or trade.

Monday: The Grand Finale! Can’t believe I followed through with this!!!

SKYWARN Recognition Day 2015 is TONIGHT!!!

Just a quick reminder that tonight after about 9PM, I should be at the National Weather Service participating in SKYWARN Recognition Day.

It’s an annual event where the local NWS bureaus have ham stations set up to make contacts on HF, VHF, UHF, repeaters, APRS, you-name-it.

This year, I’m taking my DMR radio to work up a few digital contacts if possible. I got permission from the folks at Vol-Net to use their system, so hopefully we’ll be able to make it work.

I’ll attempt to tweet out my frequency as I go along (@k4hsm). Sometimes I’ll be scanning around, other times I may call CQ on a dead frequency. I typically get on repeaters more than HF, but that changes based on band conditions.

So do be looking for me tonight. SKYWARN Recognition Day goes for 24 hours from 7PM-7PM ET (0000-2400Z) so if I’m not around, be listening for WX4MRX all day, because someone should be there!

40 days of jerseys #38: Pittsburgh Penguins – Mario Lemieux (New Logo)

lemieuxback lemieuxfrontJersey #38 of 40: Pittsburgh Penguins (Mario Lemieux, #66)

Style: Game Weight
Size: XXL
Manufacturer: KOHO
Obtained: Brought from a friend, 2011

I doubt I need to do much introduction on who “Super” Mario Lemieux is. He is in the history books as one of the best scorers of all time and there are a few accomplishments that may never be bested.

He’s been faced with his share of challenges in his life and he seems to bounce back bigger and better every time. He had recurring back problems through much of his career which could have rivaled that of Gretzky on some levels had his health permitted. But his biggest challenges weren’t just his back. Diagnosed with cancer in 1993, he missed part of the season, but returned with a vengeance and despite missing much of the season, still won the scoring title! He was an absolute machine on the ice and no one was stopping him. If he had anything to prove (as if bouncing back from cancer wasn’t big enough) he silenced any critic imaginable with his scoring and leadership.

Lemieux and Sydney Crosby

It’s amazing to think what might have been. He missed over 500 games due to health problems, and still is 7th overall in scoring in NHL history.

Plus, it’s not every day when you make so much money you buy the company you work for and become owner/CEO…

The jersey is game weight, fight strap, and should he once again un-retire, he could wear this jersey tonight! It’s one of the best in my collection.

This jersey is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: The Great One

40 days of jerseys #37: New York Rangers – Jaromir Jagr

jagrfront jagrbackJersey #37 of 40: New York Rangers (Jaromir Jagr, #68)

Style: Replica
Size: XXL
Manufacturer: CCM
Obtained: Yard Sale, 2014

Time for another full disclosure. I’ve never been a fan of the New York Rangers, but I am a fan of Jaromir Jagr. The guy can score and do it well, when he has the right kind of team to play on. He’s bounced around to so many different teams since he left Pittsburgh, it’s hard to settle in when you have no chemistry or hardly any time to play (right, Boston???).

I got to see a neutral site game in the early 90’s between Boston and Pittsburgh in Atlanta about 1993, and Jagr was the Captain if I recall. Mario Lemieux had just been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease and was not in attendance, which was a bummer. It was Ray Bourque’s 1000th NHL game, however. There were a lot of Boston and Pittsburgh fans at the game.

Jagr did play with the Rangers off and on from 2003-2012. This is a 3rd jersey style they used until about 2007. The colors are brilliant and the 3D design of the numbers really stands out.  Still, it’s the Rangers…

This jersey is for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Jagr’s teammate during the “best” years

40 days of jerseys #36: HSM Miners

minersfrontminerbackJersey #36 of 40: HSM Miners (no name, #9)

Style: Replica
Size: XL (tight)
Manufacturer: Pro Trend
Obtained: eBay auction, early 2000’s

The only reason I bought this jersey was because of the “HSM” across the top. That’s the suffix of my ham radio callsign (K4HSM) and I felt I needed to have it for that reason alone.

The team itself, who knows? I have not seen a thing on the internet about this team, and I can only guess that it was a team playing in a rec league, either in the Northern US or Canada.

It appears to be related to a mining company, but I’m not sure which it would be. There are Strip Mines and Slope Mines that are dotted along the Dakotas, Colorado. Alaska, and all over Canada, but nothing turns up regarding what specifically this particular mining company could be.

The jersey’s layout is similar to the NHL New York Rangers, which may give a clue as to the location of the team and their name.

If anyone has any info about this team, I’d love to know.

This jersey is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Speaking of the Rangers…

40 days of jerseys #35: Knoxville Ice Bears 2006-07 special jersey

dyerback Jersey #35dyerfront of 40: 2006-07 Knoxville Ice Bears “Retro” jersey (Dyer, #66)

Style: Game-weight
Size: XXL
Manufacturer: AK Athletic
Obtained: Purchased from owner, around 2009


Don’t go looking for a “Dyer” in the hockeyDB web site who played for the Ice Bears. He’s actually one of the owners of the team. He’s sold me a few jerseys over the years (a couple I’ve yet to showcase) and has always been a good friend for supplying my jersey habit. He’s a collector like myself and occasionally will look me up to hook me up.

If you hadn’t guessed, he’s also a fan of Mario Lemieux, wearing #66 on almost any jersey he customizes.

Shoulder patch

It was during the 2006-07 season because the patch above the primary logo commemorated their first Championship in 2005-06. Since only the Cherokees’ logo is on the jersey, I’m guessing it was a Cherokees alumni game, but it’s been so long I personally don’t recall.

The teal color is reminiscent of the Knoxville Cherokees when they revamped their logo in 1993 to the “Feathered K” logo (on the shoulder patch, left sleeve), although the jersey color is more blue, where the Cherokees’ logo was more green. Still, it’s has a San Jose Sharks’ feel to it, and it goes with my other three jerseys

Every now and again there will be a throwback night where they will have special jerseys to commemorate the previous franchises in Knoxville hockey history. The Knights, Cherokees, and yes, even the Speed.

I’d still like to get my hands on a Cherokees jersey from their earlier days, either the red and white Red Wings’ style, or the black, red, and white Blackhawks’ style. Every now and again one will turn up, but way over what I would like to pay.

This jersey is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Hockey and a tinge of ham radio

40 days of jerseys #34: Michigan Wolverines/Colorado College Tigers

michiganJersey #34.1 of 40: Michigan Wolverines (no name, no number)

Style: Replica
Size: XL
Manufacturer: Nike
Obtained: Store Purchase, 2009




Jersey #34.2 of 40: Colorado College Tigers (no name, no number)

Style: Replica
Size: XL
Manufacturer: Colosseum Athletics
Obtained: Yard Sale, 2014

Okay, so why did I put up TWO different jerseys instead of one? Well, simply put, I had more jerseys than 40 days would allow, so I grouped the college jerseys I had left (after the North Dakota Fighting Sioux and University of Tennessee IceVols) into one post.

The Michigan jersey I purchased in Iowa in 2009, same as the Fighting Sioux jersey. I always wanted a jersey with a lace-tie at the neck, and this was the first one I owned that had it. Now I have several. I’ve worn it to a couple of Ice Bears games, and even to work a couple of times, where a couple of co-workers tried to steal it from me, and one wanted to burn it off me, with me in it!  Ohio State guy…go figure…

The Colorado College jersey I got at a yard sale last year, along with several others. The guy selling them I believe was a coach for the IceVols, and was from Colorado, and was raising money to help with the team. I purchased several (like the Anaheim Ducks, Kevin Swider, Harley Davidson, KC Caudill, and a few others) and later the UT IceVols jersey to help with the funding. That yard sale purchase alone was what increased my jersey collection almost double what it was! I arrived at the sale right before they were “officially” open, and thought I was going to get beat by a couple of other collectors who I was afraid would have seen the same posting. Fortunately, I won out!!!

I don’t have any personal ties to either school. I do like watching the Wolverines play hockey when I can catch a game. I have yet to see CC play on TV, however.

These jerseys are not for sale or trade. But I may entertain a trade offer for the Colorado College jersey.

Monday: A jersey to “Dyer” for…

40 days of jerseys #33: Florida Panthers NHL Street Hockey

pantherfrontJersey #33 of 40: Florida Panthers Street Hockey (no name, no number)

Style: Replica
Size: L
Manufacturer: Nike
Obtained: Thrift Store purchase, 2011

For Thanksgiving, how about this turkey of a jersey? I couldn’t decide between this or the “Bud Light” jersey, but this might get the award for the flaming old-style NHL logo on the one arm alone.

The family and I were in Florida visiting relatives and catching the last shuttle launch ever. Before the launch, we stopped in Ft. Myers to see my stepmother and her brother (both have since passed away) and we stopped at a thrift store while passing some time. I came across this one, new condition, still with tags, and for a very good price, even for a thrift store.


I knew it was not your “typical” jersey, with the “NHL street hockey” logo on one arm, no name/number, and the overall design looking like lazer background from the class pictures you took in middle school…still, I couldn’t pass up the chance to own a Florida Panthers jersey, even if it was this thing…

Growing up in Homestead, FL in the 1970’s, it was way before the Panthers were even a thought in the NHL. I can remember selling chocolate bars for school fundraising, and getting a catalog of stuff for rewards for selling X-number of chocolate bars. I chose a hockey stick of all things. Here I was, 6-7 years old, in Florida, south of Miami, and I wanted a hockey stick? Made no sense to my parents, but made sense to me. I knew nothing about hockey (Gretzky was still in high school around this time) but whenever I caught a glimpse of the sport on TV (a rarity back in the 3-channel days) I loved how they played it on ice, with sticks, hitting a black disk at a guy in pads trying to get past him into the net. I still have that stick, somewhere in the attic.

I could’ve worn this jersey back then, I’m sure. But now, it’s just a novelty.

It’s too small for me to wear, but it’s new with tags still on it, so if you’re interested, hit me up.

This jersey is for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Black (and blue) Friday

40 days of jerseys #32: Anaheim Ducks

duckfrontduckbackJersey #32 of 40: Anaheim Ducks (Samuel Pahlsson, #26)

Style: Replica
Size: XL
Manufacturer: Reebok
Obtained: Yard Sale, 2014

Time for a full disclosure. I’ve never been a fan of the Anaheim Ducks, but the only reason I watched them was because of Teemu Selanne being on the team. He is my all-time favorite player and it pained me to see his best years were with this…team…

Still, the revamped, non-Disney Ducks (minus the “Mighty” moniker) have been a powerhouse in the Western Conference.

Samuel Pahlsson played for Anaheim off and on from 2000-2009. While he may not have put up impressive numbers, he was a solid team player, helping them win a Stanley Cup in 2007.

I like the revamped logo, with the footprint of the duck incorporated into the “D” of the “Ducks” logo. Still…not a fan of the Ducks…

This jersey is for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Thanksgiving Turkey