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Claimed:VHL's Top 10 Best Selling Jerseys (10-6)


CowboyinAmerica
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Top VHL Jersey Sales (#10-6)

 

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Image stolen from Corco's beautiful work

 

 

Sure, it’s always nice to win some games and play well. But for the agents of the players on the ice, the season always comes down to one major key: Those sweet, sweet dollar bills. Whether you’re looking at contract funds or endorsement dollars, the VHL’s top stars are rolling in the cash. However, it’s tough to objectively measure a player’s net worth with those endorsement deals always shifting.

 

There is one way to rank a player’s popularity within the league, though: jersey sales. You may never see as many Kameron Taylor jerseys in Germany as you will Bastian Schweinsteiger kits, but jersey sales still represent an adequate judge of a player’s overall popularity. That’s why I’ve decided to count down the top ten highest selling jerseys in Season 36, along with a little background of why each player made the list.

 

Before getting into the meat of the list, there are some important points to make concerning why some jerseys sell better than others:

 

Winning matters: If you want to get the fans’ attention, then Al Davis said it best: Just win, baby. For instance, Simon Tremblay may have had the second-most points among natural left wingers, but his jersey sales took a hit because New York was never truly considered a contender.

 

Newness matters: Tuomas Tukio was one of the best players in the league this season for Helsinki, but then again, he was one of the best players in the league for Helsinki the past couple seasons as well. Those who are fans of Tukio probably already have his jersey, most likely from Helsinki’s S34 title run. Players who recently switched teams or recently saw a huge bump in play are more likely to see jerseys sold.

 

Clutchness matters: Reggie Dunlop may be about fifth in the general league consensus of most valuable Toronto players in terms of practice hours. But on the other hand, sis strong playoff performance up until this point and his nine game-winning goals, tied for fifth in the entire VHL, will prompt a few buys.

 

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10. Sebastian Ball Jr. – Seattle Bears

 

The Bears are an interesting franchise; ever since the breakup of the Seattle Six, the franchise has never had a true face such as Taylor in Cologne, the Valiqs in Quebec or Tukio in Helsinki. However, that all changed this season with the emergence of Sebastian Ball Jr. Already a fan favorite due to being named captain before the season, Ball benefited from a Seattle fanbase that was itching for playoff hockey for the first time in five seasons. Although he didn’t have the stats — his 75 points ranked only 11th among wingers this season — his clutch play more than made up for the low numbers. After Ball’s hat trick in Game 4 of the Seattle/Quebec first round playoff matchup, a game that ended with Ball’s goal in the fourth overtime, the Seattle winger experienced the single-highest jersey sales on any day of the season.

 

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9. Kameron Taylor – Cologne Express

 

No team is more closely associated with one player in the VHL right now than Cologne is with longtime center Taylor. The centerpiece of the team since its inception six years ago, Taylor had his normal MVP-caliber season once again, finishing with 60 goals and 63 assists. Although jersey sales were not at Season 35 levels, as Cologne looked like it would be missing the playoffs for much of the season and got swept immediately once there, the massive size of Taylor’s fanbase meant that he would make this top ten list no matter what. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that many of the other jerseys new Cologne fans could have purchased, such as Dunlop or Cuff, were shipped out of town, leaving Taylor as one of the few choices fans had to choose from.

 

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8. Conner Low – New York Americans

 

Coming into the season, there weren’t many reasons to be excited if you were a New York Americans fan. It was expected to be rebuilding, rebuilding, and more rebuilding, just like it was in Season 35. But then, a funny thing happened on the way to another lottery pick. Somehow, the Americans began winning. And while Toriyama may have been the early season star, and Xao and Wahl were the rookies with the biggest names coming into the season, Low was the one who captured fans’ hearts as the season went on. With future Braxton trophies in Low’s eyes, New York fans bought his jersey in droves in hopes of a better, and perhaps sooner than expected, playoff future. Strangely enough, Low is also the only defenseman in the entire top ten.

 

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7. Ethan Osbourne – Helsinki Titans

 

Sure, Osbourne has been around the block for a while, and one could spot an Osbourne jersey on almost every corner in the Finnish capital even before the season. However, especially with the departure of Odin Tordahl in the offseason, there has been a renewed sense of appreciation for the years of commitment Osbourne has brought the Helsinki franchise. His league-leading 65 goals during the regular season held his sales strong, as did the rumors that Season 36 may be his last in a Titans uniform. The only thing holding down Osbourne’s jersey sales is the perception that Helsinki may be a team on its way out rather than holding strong, leading some young fans to hold out for the next big thing (such as Naomi Young) that may come down the pipe.

 

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6. Keiji Toriyama – New York Americans/Vasteras Iron Eagles

 

Toriyama got to experience two different playoff runs this season, and although neither was ultimately successful, his season meant a lot more attention than many expected before the year started. Long seen as a league journeyman, Toriyama entered the season in New York with very low expectations. After 58 points in 38 games for a New York team surprisingly in playoff contention, however, those low expectations were ripped to shreds. Toriyama jersey sales in New York went through the roof… up until the trade deadline. However, his being traded simply opened up a new sale route. Once he was shipped to Vasteras, Swedes looking for any semblance of hope clung to Toriyama like a panda to bamboo. Although he finished with only 40 points in 34 games, and the Iron Eagles missed the playoffs, even the sheer thought of a playoff run led Vasteras fans to buy Toriyama’s No. 96 in droves.

 

Next week: Numbers five through one on the list!

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Well Toriyama would not exceed anyone listed below him. I'd argue that Tukio, Lebeau, Taylor and Osbourne at 1-4

 

Meh, I wanted to switch it up a little bit and put more emphasis on nonstandard people. You always see that in other leagues, guys like Jeremy Lin or Richard Sherman having super high jersey sales because they kind of come out of nowhere.

Edited by CowboyinAmerica
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If I'm a fan favorite because I eat up cap space, that doesn't make me any less of a fan favorite; thank you for agreeing with me.

Didn't agree at all. Still think you are worth a 1st? #stoplyingtoyourself
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Didn't agree at all. Still think you are worth a 1st? #stoplyingtoyourself

Sorry, you failed to communicate the point you were trying to get across, I guess. In response to my proclamation that I am a "fan favorite," you said "for eating up Cap" as if to indicate my high salary is the cause of my status as a popular player. Perhaps you meant something else?

Edited by Hustles
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Sorry, you failed to communicate the point you were trying to get across, I guess. In response to my proclamation that I am a "fan favorite," you said "for eating up Cap" as if to indicate my high salary is the cause of my status as a popular player. Perhaps you meant something else?

I did indeed.

Nice MS Cowboy!

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Yeah I think the point of this ranking isn't who is the best or the most respected player, but who has created the most "buzz" as of late, be it through a great season, a trade or something else that stood out. And Toriyama certainly fits that mold, he was one of the most talked about guys this season, was a pleasant surprise in NYA which should've let to a lot of jersey sales and then when he came to Vasteras the fans there could project their hopes on him. Doesn't matter that they eventually ended up missing the playoffs and that Toriyama wasn't as good towards the end of the season - the jerseys were already bought :D

 

And nobody wants a Collier jersey :(

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Nice :D

 

But who wouldn't want XXX on the back of their jersey?

If the jersey just says XXX, people might worry that others who don't follow the league will think they're wearing a cheap knockoff. 

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