Canadian Tire joins jersey auction

ALTHIA RAJ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

Canadian Tire has entered the bidding war for hockey hero Paul Henderson's 1972 jersey despite his desire to see it go to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

The No. 19 jersey, which Henderson wore while scoring Canada's legendary goal against the Soviet Union, is being auctioned by its American owner.

On Thursday, Canadian Tire entered the online auction with a $200,000 bid.

If the company is successful, it plans to put the jersey on tour through its 480 stores, said spokeswoman Liz Hamilton.

"We think it is part of Canadian history, part of the fabric of Canada and we want Canadians to be able to see it," she said, adding after the tour the jersey would be loaned to an institution.

Henderson told QMI Agency that Canadian Tire can do what it pleases, but that's not where he wants his jersey to go. "It's a free market ... obviously whoever buys it can do what they want with it," he said.

Henderson wants to see his jersey go to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, where he has been twice inducted and which is planning a new opening in Calgary in next spring.

"That's my plan A, there is no plan B from my perspective," he said.

The hall of fame is organizing its own bid for the "priceless artifact" and might ask the public for donations, said its CEO Sheryn Posen.

Sporting goods retailer The Forzani Group and Molson Canadian are offering some cash for hall of fame's bid.

Heritage Minister James Moore said Tuesday the feds are willing to help fund up to 50% of the cost of the jersey.

By Thursday afternoon, the highest bid was $211,202.


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