40 days of jerseys #8: Quebec Rafales

rafalefrontrafalesbackJersey #8 of 40: IHL Quebec Rafales (Hobson, #34)
Style: Replica
Size: XXL
Manufacturer: Bauer
Obtained: eBay, 2006 maybe?

It’s been so long since I bought this jersey, I couldn’t tell you exactly when I purchased it, other than I picked it up off eBay.

The jersey is unique in that the waist band has the player number as well as the arms and back. It was not the normal placement of a number. The shoulder patch is a fleur-de-lis (“lily flower”) with hockey sticks. The logo has a Yeti-like figure surfing on a hockey stick, and the numbers are designed in a furry-like font. It’s truly a unique jersey, and I get asked about it every time I wear it to a game.

Rafale shoulder logo
Rafales shoulder logo

The Quebec Rafales (french for “wind gust“) were in the IHL for only 2 seasons. They moved from Atlanta (formerly the Knights) in 1996, then folding in 1998. The team was put in to replace the departed NHL Quebec Nordiques, which moved to Denver in 1995 and became the Avalanche (and won the Stanley Cup in that teams inaugural season, adding insult to injury for the Quebec City fans).

The name on the jersey is a mystery. I’ve found several players in the HockeyDB site that have the name Hobson but none who played for Quebec. There was a player named Kevin Hodson who played for Detroit and Tampa Bay as a goalie. I suspect that this was customized for a fan (same as my Cherokees jersey), or the name was misspelled while getting it customized for a Hodson fan, perhaps.

While lower level hockey has not done well in Quebec City, there is an effort underway to put an expansion franchise in Quebec City by 2018. A new 18,000+ seat arena was just opened in Quebec City, so the odds of getting an NHL franchise are much more improved than when le Colisee was the main venue with around 15,000 seats. Along with Las Vegas, they are pursuing a franchise, but time will tell whether or not the NHL returns.

Because of the unique qualities of the jersey and indirect ties to my watching the Atlanta Knights in the 90’s, this jersey is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Flame on!

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