Posted by: puckdrawn | February 11, 2009

Hockey Jersey Collector – Mike Santangelo

FlyersSince I started this blog about a week or so ago, there has been one constant that I noticed when looking at the stats of the site:  By far, the thing that most people seem interested in at this point has been the Jersey Collections link. Since it’s not the offseason – a time where most of the logo or uniform change news comes out – there’s not a whole lot of new design content I can provide. I also don’t have sources, so any news or articles I get is by scouring the net like any other tool who’s a fan of sports logos and jersey designs. I even find myself refreshing the Icethetics website every two seconds just to see if there’s anything new posted! Gotta love it. Anyway, as a new hockey jersey collector, I’ve always been fascinated with the hobby and have many questions about it. I’m obviously not the only person interested in jersey collecting … And judging by the stats, many people seem interested in seeing these collections. That brings me to this post.

I went to my favorite hockey design forum, where there are some serious jersey collectors, and asked if anyone would be interested in a little feature on their collection for PuckDrawn. Sure enough (and quickly!), Mike Santangelo offered to help me out.  Mike has a really nice collection – as you’ll see – and was happy to answer all of my questions.

Since this feature is basically based off of my love for hockey jerseys and the fact that I have a million questions about it, I wanted to keep it a simple Q&A.

I hope you enjoy this new feature.
Hockey Jersey Collector – Mike Santangelo

Mike, when did you first get into hockey jersey collecting?
I started collecting replica jerseys when I was still in high school…1996, I’d say. But about 5 or so years ago, I started to become more involved with it and do my homework as to what I was looking for and where to find it. Also, knowing how to spot fakes became a big part of what I did and why. I don’t like cheap knock-off jerseys at all. If I’m going to spend my money on something, I want it to be real.

Would you say that your collection is more of an investment or strictly a hobby?
I’d say it’s a little of both now. When I first started, it was just a hobby but as I progressed to bigger and better jerseys, they became rarer and therefore more valuable. They are definitely investments now.

Do you remember the first jersey? Do you still have it?
Yes and yes. It was a white New York Rangers Starter replica jersey I got for my birthday back in 1992. It’s hanging in my closet right next to my other 15 Rangers jerseys.

Mike Santangelo Jersey Collection

Mike Santangelo Jersey Collection

Here’s the question I really wanna know: How many hockey jerseys do you own?
Right now, I have 112 hockey jerseys hanging in my closet. I also have two more on their way via eBay.

Can you give a breakdown of your jersey count?

  • Authentic jerseys: 104
  • Game-worn jerseys: 17
  • International jerseys: 8
  • Replica jerseys: 8

Amount by NHL team:
Anaheim: 0
Atlanta: 1
Boston: 4
Buffalo: 2
Calgary: 3
Carolina: 3
Colorado: 2
Chicago: 3
Columbus: 2
Dallas: 2
Detroit: 5
Edmonton: 2
Florida: 4
Los Angeles: 4
Minnesota: 0
Montreal: 7
Nashville: 2
New Jersey: 0
NY Islanders: 1
NY Rangers: 15
Ottawa: 0
Philadelphia: 2
Phoenix: 2
Pittsburgh: 4
San Jose: 2
St. Louis: 2
Toronto: 6
Vancouver: 5
Washington: 3

Defunct teams:
Hartford: 2
Minnesota: 2
Quebec: 2
Winnipeg: 1

What do you consider the best/worst jersey is of all time in the NHL? Do you own any one of them?
redwings_shannyFor me, the best jersey of all-time is no contest; it’s the Detroit Red Wings red jersey. It’s just perfect. It hasn’t changed in over 60 years but it still remains the standard when it comes to hockey jerseys. I have a Nike authentic Brendan Shanahan one with both the 1998 Stanley Cup patch and the VK/SM Believe patch on it.

wildwingThe worst jersey of all-time has to be the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 3rd jersey of 1995-96…the ‘Wild Wing’. Just hideous. BUT, that ugliness and the fact that is was around for such a brief period(just like the Burger King jersey) make it one of the most sought-after jerseys in the hobby. If I could find an authentic, I’d store it away just to preserve it.

Out of all of those jerseys, which would you say is your absolute favorite?
Right now…I say right now because it could change in a few months…but right now, it’s my game-worn New York Rangers John Ogrodnick home jersey from the 1990 Stanley Cup playoffs. It has the old straight-line font style the Rangers used to wear and it’s made out of the older, heavier mesh material.

I’m sure in your collection there has to be one that many people covet …
I’d say it’s my game-worn New York Rangers TBTC (Turn Back The Clock) jersey from the 1991-92 season. Those jerseys were only worn for a handful of games by the original six teams and they all had the 75th anniversary patch on the chest. Of all the TBTC jerseys that there were, I’ve only seen a handful of Rangers ones available for sale. That goes for gamers too.

So do you display all of your jerseys or are they hidden from the world in a closet?
I have one display case on my wall that fits one jerseys and I tend to rotate certain jerseys in and out of it either as I buy them or as I feel displaying them. The rest are kept in my closet.

Any cool stories regarding any of your jerseys? … You know, like some star player saying to you after a game: “Hey, kid … catch.”
Believe it or not, no. I have no unique stories about any jersey in my collection. I don’t really like getting them autographed or anything like that so I rarely wear them out of the house.

Can you put a dollar amount on how much you’ve spent over the years on your collection?
To be honest, I can’t. Way too much…let’s just leave it at that! However, what my collection is worth is different from what I paid for my jerseys. It’s worth a LOT more than what I’ve paid. I try to find good deals wherever I can and then customize them myself and add whatever patches I can to make the jersey that much more valuable. If I had to guess, I’d say the worth is upwards of about $45,000-50,000.

Is your collection insured?
I’m in the process of taking care of that actually. It’s worth way too much to NOT be insured.

Ok, last two questions … and they are sort of related: What jersey is on your radar right now that you’d like to add to your collection? And if you could have your pick of any one jersey in hockey history, which would it be?
-I’m looking to grab a 1996 World Cup USA Brian Leetch jersey.

-The one I wish I had is a tie actually. First it’s the road blue ‘NEW YORK’ jersey that Anders Hedberg wore when he scored the game-winning goal on Long Island in Game 5 of the 1979 Semi-finals. Second, it’s the white Rangers jersey Stephane Matteau wore when he won the Eastern Conference Finals against the Devils in 1994 in double-overtime.

Sweet! Thanks Mike

Check out Mike’s hockey jersey collection HERE.

If you have questions that I didn’t ask, feel free to email me and I’ll be sure to ask them in the next Jersey Collector feature.



  1. How much would you give for a sidney crosby team canada olympic jersey? it has the big A on it and has the vancouver 2010 patch on the back of it. It was worn by sidney crosby at the games this year.?

  2. Great collection you have there!

  3. I want to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it.
    I have got you book-marked to check out new things you post…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: