40 days of jerseys #14: Russian Penguins

ruspensback ruspensfrontJersey #14 of 40: Russian Penguins (Chernyh, #16)

Style: Replica
Size: 52
Manufacturer: No name, Made in Russia
Obtained: eBay, ~2002

I picked this one up off eBay a few years ago. It’s a replica style, with silk-screened logo and lettering.

I know little about the jersey to be honest. The size says “52” on the tag, but that would be about a medium size jersey. It fits about an XL size (for me), however. I did a search for “CHERNYH” in hockeydb and elsewhere and was not able to find any info. Maybe it’s similar to my Quebec Rafales jersey where the name/number was for someone not affiliated with the team (a customization for a fan?) or perhaps a misspelling of a name? Maybe it’s Cyrillic and I just don’t know it?

It’s layout is similar to the Chicago Blackhawks, with the red primary and white/black striping along the bottom and sleeves.

As for the team, it was a short-lived creation of then-Pittsburgh Penguins owner Howard Baldwin, which played several games against the then AAA-level International Hockey League in 1993-94. The team comprised of Russian players who actively played games against IHL clubs which counted towards the standings.

Baldwin invested in the Central Red Army Team and renamed them the “Russian Penguins”, with the aim of having a direct channel into the then-hot commodity of Russian hockey players as NHL prospects. The venture was short-lived, and apparently mafia-driven as well, and Baldwin and other investors pulled out of the project after only a couple of years.

The franchise continues in the current Russian KHL as HC CSKA Moscow.

This jersey is for sale or trade.

Monday: Sharks, Sharks, and more Sharks.

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