Sports fans love showing off their team colors. Whether it's buying hats, T-shirts or even Green Bay Packer cheese heads, fans can't get enough sports gear.
With the Chicago Blackhawks just getting into the swing of the regular season, there’s no better time to add some new apparel to your sports wardrobe. Many say the Blackhawks have the best jersey in the NHL.
Still, the most difficult question in sports still needs to be answered: Which player’s jersey should you buy? And the bigger the fan you are, the harder it is to choose. Do you go with the obvious superstar? What about a team’s most recent draft pick? Should you just choose the steady veteran?
While it's not a life-or-death situation, jerseys aren't exactly cheap in preparing for the Blackhawks regular season. Before spending lots of money on something you'll only wear occasionally, go through Patch’s guide on Chicago hockey jerseys and see which of the five players fits you for the upcoming season.
5. Duncan Keith – No. 2: Keith was a big reason why the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, tallying 69 points and winning the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman. After a sub-par 2010-2011 season Keith is looking for a nice bounce-back season. Never fully appreciated for his offensive exploits, expect Keith’s offensive numbers to jump back to 2010 levels with the departure of Brian Campbell. Wearing Keith’s No. 2 shows you know more than just “Kane and Toews.”
4. Corey Crawford – No. 50: Crawford wasn’t supposed to be the original replacement to the departed Antti Niemi, but the rookie goaltender filled in admirably last year. He outplayed veteran Marty Turco and earned the starting job, winning 33 games for the Blackhawks in 2010. Unlike with Niemi, the Blackhawks re-signed Crawford for another three seasons. He was a star in Chicago’s playoff loss to Vancouver and will look to avoid a sophomore slump in 2011-2012.
3. Patrick Kane – No. 88: After four years with the Blackhawks, everyone in Chicago knows how talented a player Patrick Kane is. The 22-year-old has converted from right wing to center this year and has been a huge part of the Blackhawk offense. He’s averaged more than a point per game over the past two seasons and after a longer offseason of rest and training, Kane could come close to eclipsing 100 points for the first time in his career.
2. Patrick Sharp – No. 10: Sharp continues to be one of the Blackhawks’ most underrated players. He scored 34 goals last season to go along with 37 assists, averaging almost a point per contest. His 34 goals led the Blackhawks and the left-winger’s 71 points were a career high. Sharp was rewarded with a five-year contract extension that starts next season so there’s no worry the 29-year-old alternate captain will leave town any time soon.
1. Jonathan Toews – No. 19: Toews will never be one to talk about it, but his offensive game is getting better every season. Still only 23 years old, the Chicago center and captain has developed into an annual Hart Trophy (MVP) contender. His jersey is already the most popular in the United Center – the only one who could challenge would be Derrick Rose – and rightfully so. As the captain of the Blackhawks for the foreseeable future, Toews is Patch’s No. 1 choice for a new jersey this season.