Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Your Christmas shopping guide to Maple Leafs collectibles

Christmas is just a week away, and you know what that means: Mats Sundin has almost finished picking out a Valentine's gift for his wife. But for the rest of us, it's time to get shopping.

Luckily, Leaf fans are easy to buy for. After all, pretty much every product imaginable has had a Maple Leaf slapped on it at some point. But why not go the extra mile for that special Leaf fan in your life? Why not get them a rare collectible that they'll cherish forever?

To help get you thinking creatively, here's my personal list of my Most Wanted Maple Leaf memorabilia. These are the gifts I'm hoping to find under my tree this year.

Al Iafrate
Deserted island up front,
party out back
An authentic Al Iafrate helmet - Just so I can have something to wear at all times once I eventually start going bald.

I'd also be interested in other Iafrate collectibles, such as the stick he used to set the slapshot record, a game-used pack of cigarettes, and one of Gary Leeman's old condom wrappers.

The paperwork from the agreed-on but never consummated Vincent Lecavlier trade - Apparently the Leafs were ready to fax in the paperwork when the Lightning ownership called the deal off. What happened to it? They couldn't have just thrown it out. Somebody must have it in a file folder somewhere in an office at MLSE.

I think I would have it framed in an impressive glass case, which I would smash my head through every morning on my way out the door.

A game-worn Jason Blake jersey - It's just like all the other game-worn jerseys, except without the sweat stains.

Andrew Raycroft's glove - I'd nail it to my garage door, and drive my car through it every day.

Marty McSorley's eyeball from Game One of the Kings series - Somebody must have it, since it flew into the stands at the Gardens about three seconds into this fight. If you worked at MLG as an usher and once found a human eyeball with a knuckle-sized divot in it, call me.

Speaking of Wendel memorabilia, I would also accept Curtis Joseph's disintegrated mask, Cam Neely's dignity, or the corpse of Bruce Bell.

Allan Bester
I'd nail one pad to either side of
my garage and then drive...
wait, did I do that one already?
Allan Bester game-worn goalie pads - My infant daughter would look adorable in them.

An officially licensed Mats Sundin weathervane - I could set it up outside and watch it flip back and forth whenever the wind changed. It would also be fun to watch all the journalists crowd around it to breathlessly report on its every move even though it never actually went anywhere.

A vial of water from Luke Schenn's water bottle - Just in case anyone I know is ever diagnosed with leprosy.

A John Kordic #27 jersey - Then I would go to an autograph show and ask Frank Mahovlich or Darryl Sittler to sign it, just to see how they reacted.

The pen that JFJ used to sign contracts with - I think it would be fun to have around, just for those moments when somebody needed to sign something that was going to turn out to be a terrible mistake.

Want to take out a sub-prime mortgage? Borrow my pen! Signing auto industry bailout legislation? Borrow my pen! Hey man, you're getting married? That's great, let me sign the guestbook...

Damien Cox's laptop keyboard - It's in pretty good shape, it's just that the 1, 9, 6 and 7 keys are worn out.

Brian Papineau
Brian Papineau, in one of his
dryer moments
The water bottle that Brian Papineau went crazy with after the Borschevsky goal - I don't even have a joke here. I'd pay hundreds of dollars for this. Then I'd fill it up with water, carry it with me at all-times, and then spray it all over every time something even remotely positive happened in my life. Winning pro-line tickets, moderately positive work reviews, daughter makes it through bath time without pooping in the tub... water bottle spray!

A Leafs series-winning goal puck from a Toronto/Ottawa series - Wait, scratch that. Collectibles are only valuable if they're rare.

And finally, the one Leafs collectable I would value above any other...

The stick that Wayne Gretzky high-sticked Doug Gilmour with - I would easily pay $1,000 for this. I mean, I wouldn't even hesitate at that price -- that money would be out of my daughter's RESP and into the hands of some shady e-bay collector within seconds. And I think I'd be willing to go much higher (remember, I'm the guy who once paid $50 just to deface Gretzky's hockey-reference.com page).

The big question would be, what to do with it? Do you display something like that in your basement? Destroy it in some sort of ceremony? Set it on fire to see if the choking black smoke formed into a giant Habs logo?

I think the first thing I'd do would be to get the stick autographed by Wayne Gretzky, then immediately write a confession directly above the signature. And by the way, if you think I wouldn't have that stick in a CSI lab for conclusive blood samples within hours, you don't know me well enough.

I think I might end up taking it to Kerry Fraser's house and using it smash out the windshields of his car, just so I could see him peer out of his window with a confused look on his face, unable to determine what was happening before looking around for some linesmen to throw under the bus.

What about you guys? What's on your most-wanted list?


  1. "the corpse of Bruce Bell", "Mats Sundin weathervanes" I think this is the most I've ever laughed since the internet was invented... hoo.

    About 10 years ago for some weird reason I was in a bar in Sarnia, Ont. with some friends. Word got out that "Kerry Fraser's son" was there as well. With the requisite amount of beer in me, I approached him all smiles: hey, how are you, wow, you're really Kerry Fraser's son, wow, awesome, hey, he's fucking blind, right, well, yeah, all the best.

    I maintain that if he was not surrounded by his troupe of Night at the Roxbury douchebags, I would have taken a good-natured swing at him and let the rest of the night play out. Just for rest-of-my-life story value.

  2. Top shelf. Love it.

  3. Great list.

    I'm not clever enough to come up with anything as funny as this, so I'll nominate a seat out of Maple Leaf Gardens. Probably a green as that's where I sat with my dad for most of the games I was lucky enough to go to (or a grey from when I was old enough to buy my own tickets).

  4. Great post.

    Nikolai Borschevsky's toothpick-like stick that he used to score in Game 7. Where's that right now and how much is that worth?

  5. P.S. I picked up Wendel and the Great One yesterday from the World's Biggest Bookstore. It's beautiful. Awesome illustrations. Instant collecter's classic!

  6. Just now stumbled across this list. I actually have the Kordic jersey! Just a replica though, not a gamer or even authentic. At least the letters and numbers are sewn on though.

  7. is there video on youtube of the Gretzky high stick? I can't seem to find it...