Imagine watching the Oilers battle the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place this season, and being able to one-up your buddy by casually mentioning that Ales Hemsky is wearing your jersey.
To steal a line from George Costanza, that's definitely doable -- if you want to shell out $750 US this weekend.
Pretty cool, too -- until your pal mentions that he, in fact, plunked down $2,500 US to own the very sweater that Jarome Iginla is wearing.
Such is the business of the MeiGray Group, a New Jersey-based outfit that has contracted with 14 NHL teams to provide game-worn jerseys from the upcoming season to well-heeled collectors.
The MeiGray Group will have a featured exhibit at The Summit sports memorabilia extravaganza at the AgriCom this weekend, where fans can pre-order their favourite player's actual jersey -- sweat and all.
"The Oilers and Flames are two of the clubs we work with, so there's no doubt about the provenance or authenticity of our products," said Stu Oxenhorn, director of MeiGray Vintage.
"We've been in the vintage and collectible jersey business for more than a decade, and it's a privilege to be able to work with organizations like Edmonton and Calgary.
"For fans who pre-order their favourite player, our motto is: 'It's your jersey ... he's just wearing it.' "
MeiGray, which has an ultra-rare Eddie Shore game-worn sweater from the late 1920s in its collection, will also display several vintage jerseys at the show, including those worn by Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier during the 1981-82 season.
Another dealer/exhibitor taking part, Dwain Tomkow of Edmonton-based Hometown Hockey Heroes, said game-worn jerseys remain one of the hottest collectibles.
"The market is very strong," said Tomkow, whose exhibit will include jerseys and equipment used by Oilers goaltending greats Grant Fuhr, Andy Moog and Bill Ranford.
In addition to jerseys, equipment and thousands of trading cards, programs and other artifacts for sale and trade, The Summit will feature dozens of displays of one-of-a-kind memorabilia of everything from the Edmonton Oil Kings Memorial Cup championship teams (1963 and '66) to the Eskimos, NASCAR and and pro boxing.
"Our goal was to create the biggest and best sports collectibles show ever held in Western Canada, and I believe we've done that," said co-promoter David Martell, who also oversees The Canadian Hockey Museum, which will be on-site.
"It's the kind of event every member of the family can enjoy."
Autograph guests include Baseball Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins and ex-Toronto Blue Jays great Kelly Gruber (all three days); Hockey Hall of Famers Darryl Sittler (Saturday) and Paul Coffey (Sunday); and Eskimos stars Arkee Whitlock, Tristan Jackson, Jason Goss and Fred Stamps (Sunday).
The show runs from 4-9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.