Sites like Ebay help fuel the collectible market. One can find just about anything on those sites, and sometimes for dirt cheap. Surely every hockey fan has a random collectible that they scored for a bargain, whether it’s a jersey, action figure, or autograph. The Whalers logo is one of the most sought after, thanks to their demise in 1997. Likewise for Quebec and (the old) Winnipeg Jets. Those three teams’ relocation in the mid-’90s, along with kids of that era being the most proficient with the internet, years later created a certain yearning. If the internet was around in the ’80s, hockey fans would definitely be buying Atlanta Flames, Colorado Rockies, and California Golden Seals merchandise.
With the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg to become the (new) Jets, Thrashers gear is considered out of date. NHL Shop is selling Thrashers premier jerseys for $80, which originally sold for $120. (Authentics are on sale for $200, by the way.) Only a $40 discount for a defunct team? Not only just for a defunct team, but Atlanta’s unis are downright ugly, consistently ranked near the bottom of the league. But the league is trying to dump their stock of Thrashers apparel. (Word to the wise: If you really want Thrashers gear, it might be better off to wait to see if NHL Shop slashes their prices.)
Will the Thrashers join the Whalers and Nordiques in ten years, in terms of collectibility? The overwhelming majority of twitter responses say no. Many cite the awful logo(s) or terrible jersey design. At least the Whalers had a simple logo and the Nordiques had collectible guys like Sakic, Forsberg, and Stastny. How much can an ugly jersey with a guy like Patrik Stefan go for? Not very much. But @AnthonyMingioni says the ugliness may lead to it’s revival down the road, because they will be rare.
Other former Thrashers, such as Heatley, Hossa and Savard are more well-known with other teams. Ilya Kovalchuk, the franchise’s leader in goals and points, is the only player who’s most known for playing in Atlanta. Does owning a Kovalchuk jersey make up for the uniform on the front? Hardly.
But who knows, maybe in 2020, we’ll get nostalgic for the glory days of the Thrashers and see a comeback.