The holiday season can be a very stressful time of year. On top of work or school, there's the hassle of having to shop for that perfect present.
What do you get? How do you make time to get it? What's the hip, cool and dope thing my kid will think is fresh and happening? Do my kids use those terms to describe something they like?
What about my lady friend? What can I get her that says, "I care about you," but also says, "Don't expect a ring any time soon?"
What about your boyfriend? How can you show how you care about him and don't mind all the time he wastes watching hockey?
The shop.nhl.com store has something for everyone this season. Consider this your shopping list with some convincing reasons and helpful applications for your future purchases.
Reebok/Center Ice Draft Hat ($21.99) Looking to cover your bald spot? Love to show support for your hockey team? This hat can serve both of your needs. These comfortable fitted hats are the same ones worn by the players selected at the 2010 Entry Draft in Los Angeles. Not only are they stylish, but they will allow you to look and feel like a young man about to embark on the most exciting time of his life. It will also serve as a reminder that if you applied yourself a little more, you could've been on that stage at Staples Center and not living vicariously through an 18-year-old. It's probably best just to view it as a good-looking piece of headwear if that's too much to handle. Note: People with hair will love these hats too.
Reebok/Center Ice Reversible Knit Hats ($19.99)
With the cold winter months upon us, it's time to have a hat that provides a little insulation from the weather. Not only do these hats provide warmth, but the reversible feature allows you to match them with whatever you may be wearing on that particular day. The hats can also be used as rally hats while your team is losing, but the NHL can't promise a comeback if you turn the hat inside-out. Pangea "ProToast" Team Logo Toaster ($39.99)
When we choose our significant others, we don't always wind up with someone who cheers for the same team as we do. So imagine when your team beats your spouse's team in dramatic fashion and you can't say all that much for fear of rocking the boat. You go to sleep, but you wake up early to prepare breakfast. Only instead of breakfast, you make toast that has your favorite team's logo and serve it in bed. The dream of taking gloating to a culinary level can become a reality with this toaster. Of course, you can use the toaster for good instead of evil. That was only a suggestion.
Reebok 2011 NHL Winter Classic Event T-Shirt ($24.99)
The Winter Classic is a tough ticket. Perhaps you're a Caps fan and can't make the trip north. Maybe you're a Pens fan with prior obligations. This sharp-looking T-shirt will give you something to remember the event by forever and will allow you to tell people that you were there when you were spending the day at Bed Bath and Beyond picking out towels. It comes in blue, so it could match your eyes -- or your lips if you're having circulation problems in chilly temperatures.
Long-Sleeve Crew T-Shirts ($34.99)
These come in handy on those cool days that don't quite require something heavy but are too cold for a T-shirt. Did I really just explain the concept of a long-sleeve T-shirt to you? I'm sorry. Hey, they look nice and will fit you well and have your team's logo on it.
Short-Sleeve T-Shirts ($24.99)
This is like a long-sleeve T-shirt only with shorter sleeves. Sometimes these don't really need explanations. Maybe you can buy a long-sleeve shirt and wear the short sleeve shirt over the top of it, then take the short-sleeve shirt off and leave the long-sleeve shirt on to see if anyone notices. That seems like a responsible way to spend money.
Old Time Lace Hooded Sweatshirt ($69.99)
As a hockey fan, I bet you just love quoting "Slap Shot." "Old time hockey," you say to your buddies every time someone drops the mittens. Well, this sweat shirt will not only keep you warm and toasty while you eat your team toast, but it will also give you a reason to drop "old time" into conversations even more. Maybe you'll wear it to play hockey and wind up getting into a scrap. You can tell a friend it was old time hockey in an old time hoodie. That joke will never get old.
Premier jerseys ($114.99-$134.99)
There are a lot of options here. There are home jerseys, road jerseys and the always cool third jerseys. Many of them have the classic design with a vintage feel. There are a lot of different options for people of all sizes too. There are even jerseys for the big and tall crowd. These jerseys are available on the Shop web site and not at Thornton Melon's "Tall & Fat" stores. But that's only because those stores are in the movie "Back to School" and not real.
College concepts loungewear sets ($29.99)
I don't know about you, but when I'm lying around my home watching TV, I want to look good doing it. But I also want to feel comfortable, which is why lounging in my tuxedo doesn't work. Sure, I look good, but I'm not comfortable. That's where these loungewear sets come in handy. Comfy flannel pants and a matching T-shirt allow you to represent your favorite team while looking good and remaining relaxed.
DVDs and box sets (prices vary) Now that you've purchased your clothing, what are you going to do? Watch television? That will rot your brain. What your brain needs is NHL-related DVDs. They are like vitamins for your brain. There are all kinds of options, too. There are DVDs about the history of some teams. There are box sets with the greatest games of teams. There are DVDs about specific players and Stanley Cup championship seasons. You get the picture.
Wincraft Mini Sticks ($17.99)
These things provide endless hours of entertainment. When I was younger, my friend and I used to make a tin foil ball and take shots at each other with the sticks. One of us would tape pillows to our legs and play goalie. Ah, to be 29 again. You could also hang them on the wall of your man cave or in your office. Really, the 1-on-1 game with the pillows seems like the way to go, but to each his own.
Great American Drinkware (prices vary)
First off, Canadian friends, don't let the name of the drinkware scare you away. Canadian teams are well-represented here and your money is extremely good. There are a lot of different options as well. We've got coffee mugs, regular drinking glasses and shot glasses. There's no better way to celebrate your Stanley Cup championship then by doing a shot out of one of your team's glasses. There's also no better way to get over your team losing the Stanley Cup -- and these glasses are very versatile.
You forget how good [Nieuwendyk] was. You hear the points and stuff and you almost forget until they kind of walk you through his career, and that was really cool for me. I might have felt it a little more than some of the other guys because he was one of my favorites growing up, but that was very cool and I'm honored to have been a part of it. I had chills the entire ceremony.
— Calgary's Joe Colborne on the "Forever a Flame" ceremony for Joe Nieuwendyk