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NHL catalog has a gift for every fan

by Adam Schwartz / NHL.com
Not sure what to get your hockey-loving husband? Torn just about how to make Christmas unforgettable for your goal-loving girlfriend? Well, fret no more.

NHL.com has your back with a plethora of holiday gift-giving ideas for whoever might be considered a Hall of Famer in your life.

Among the hottest selling items this season is Winter Classic merchandise to commemorate the Jan. 1 outdoor game between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field and mementos of the Montreal Canadians Centennial, which is being marked by a season-long celebration.

Fortunately, the NHL.com store provides the hockey shopper with a shop-till-you-drop paradise of all things hockey. There's no need to fight traffic like Sidney Crosby weaving through the neutral-zone trap, cruise the mall parking lot like Milan Lucic looking for a rebound or wait to check out like that ever-fashionable Sean Avery waiting for a misconduct penalty to expire.

And, for those of you that like to experience in person the full-contact nature of Holiday shopping -- the banging and jostling for position at the clearance bin -- there is always the NHL Store, located in midtown Manhattan, a slap shot away from the world-famous Christmas tree in Rockerfeller Center.

However you decide to do your shopping for the hockey lovers on your list, rest assured we've got every item you'll need to be considered an All-Star gift giver.

Need a hand on getting started? We've got a list of suggestions as effective as a Joe Thornton pass to help you navigate the numerous options.

Below we present 10 of the hottest-selling -- or most unique items -- on offer at NHL.com. We promise you'll find something for even the most finicky person on your list.

* Winter Classic Merchandise: How hot is the Winter Classic? Consider this: authentic game jerseys for both Detroit and Chicago are already sold out, more than a month before the puck drops. But there are more than 75 different items available for the Winter Classic, including jerseys, hats, gloves and scarves to keep you warm during what is undoubtedly going to be an icy New Year's Day event at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

* Third Jerseys: After a brief hiatus, the third-jersey program is back. Teams such as the Maple Leafs and the Islanders decided that a throwback to the jersey they wore during their glory years was a nifty touch and other teams like the Thrashers and the Blues are sporting new innovative looks. In all, 18 teams are presenting a bold new look that will appeal to the adventurous fan.

* Montreal Centennial: These items are a must for any Habs fan who wants to celebrate the club's 100th season in style. There's an array of throwback items available, including merchandise with the Canadiens former logo. The 1945-46 sweatshirt -- which is made of a blend of cotton and polyester for durability and comfort -- is a particularly enticing choice from this collection.

* DVDs: Is there a better way to relive your favorite hockey moment than watching it again and again? Red Wings fans can remember last spring's Stanley Cup victory with a special edition DVD documenting their run to the Cup. NHL icon Sidney Crosby is bound to achieve more than ever this season, but it's always fun to look back and Sid has provided no shortage of highlight performances in his young career, all of which are presented in an all-access DVD. Also, there's a vast classic-game collection that shouldn't be missed.

* Collectibles: Only Stanley Cup champions can lift the Stanley Cup over there heads, but there should be a place in any fan's home for a two-foot replica that will be an instant conversation piece. Also, for the golfer in your life, don't pass on the way-cool hockey stick-shaped putters, complete with team-specific decorating. It's a must-have for any golf bag.

* Pet Accessories: A fan's best friend can now wear his owner's colors just as proudly as the owner with the NHL's pet products. While collars are an effective way of keeping track of your pooch, they can also prove your hockey allegiance. If a collar isn't enough, go to the next level and dress your four-legged pal in a pet jersey.    

* Rbk Women's Bridgette Long-Sleeve Layered Tissue T-Shirt: This unique look provides warmth and the illusion of a long-sleeved undershirt. This shirt is made of garment-washed cotton, which provides a cute look and a soft, comfortable feel.

* Youth Reversible Jacket: Go inside-out with this stunning jacket. Water-resistant, this coat is sure to keep your tykes warm on their way to the rink or around town. The polar fleece side offers a warm touch, while the dobby fabric side keeps you dry during a wet, wintry day.

* Six-in-one jacket: This jacket is perfect for all weather conditions. During extra cold days, the fleece-lined hood and storm flap provide warmth; but for merely chilly days, the sleeves can be removed to create a vest. The embroidered team logos, on both the vest and the jacket, make sure that you are showing your true team colors -- inside and out. 

* Lace Hooded Sweat Shirt: Ease into the holiday season with this hooded sweat shirt featuring a lace-up neckline, an evocation to old-time, Original Six hockey. This sweat shirt, which is distressed and frayed for an edgy feel, is made of a mixture of cotton and polyester.

Contact Adam Schwartz at aschwartz@nhl.com

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