SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It’s that time of year! Decorations and lights are going up, radio stations are switching over to holiday tunes, and Thanksgiving purists are readying their condemnation and scorn. Yes, the holiday season is here in all its glory!
Well, maybe it isn’t if you’re a said Thanksgiving purist, but even turkey-loving sticklers have probably begun holiday shopping. With shipping services in a bit of a pickle and more people shopping online than ever, it’s important to get those gifts in the mail sooner rather than later. Who has time right now to spend hours browsing through 17 pages of hockey memorabilia, memories, and oddities searching for just the right thing?
Me, that’s who!
Since this is the season of giving, I’ve decided to give y’all an early present with this holiday guide to the Syracuse Crunch’s Garage Sale. Yes, most of this is hockey and Crunch related, but that’s kind of my job, so…hopefully you’ll find just the right thing for that special someone in much less time than it would have taken you on your own!
The Exercise Enthusiast
The slam dunk gift: A official team-issued player grey workout shirt from the 2019-20 season
These shirts are by Adidas and are only available in limited quantities and sizes, so get one quickly! Adidas Creator Tees have sweat-wicking, soft fabric and are perfect for anyone who exercises often.
The thinking-outside-the-box gift: 1980 Lake Placid Olympic canvas bag
A place to store all those little odds and ends that exercise enthusiasts end up with — resistance bands, extra socks, earbuds and chargers — whatever you need to store that can fit in this historical and sporty 12″x 12″ bag! The Crunch explains they “received the bags from a local family who originally produced them for the games in 1980.” It is an officially licensed product of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games held in Lake Placid, NY,
Something else to consider: Benoit Groulx’s official team-issued track pants
These track pants are from the 2018-19 season and are a size XXL, so they’re probably not for every person on your list. However, what a unique item to own, wear, or use as motivation to get out there and get a walk around the block in! The pants are used – even more authentic! – and show “little wear.”
The slam dunk gift: Infant fleece sweatsuit
This cozy-looking outfit comes adorably styled and ready to fit three different groups of infants: 0-3 months, 3-6 months and 6-12 months. It’s gray and dark blue with a lovely heart design and team logo.
The thinking-outside-the-box gift: Zamboni bank
This super cute bank from the Anaheim era of Crunch history could be just thing for the kid in your life to store their coins.
Something else to consider: Crunchman plushie doll
Little kids love mascots for some reason. The part of their brain that says they shouldn’t be hugging random masked strangers just isn’t developed yet, I guess. Anyway, for that kiddo in your life who loves mascots, this plushie just might be a great stocking stuffer.
The slam dunk gift: Duffle bag
This bag is 16″ wide. It is blue and black and features the Crunch logo on the side. It has lots of pockets for your traveler to store whatever they might need during their trip.
The thinking-outside-the-box gift: “Chasing the Dream – Life in the American Hockey League”
This book written by Ted Starkey is the perfect read for airport layovers and loafing in the backseat during road trips. It heavily features players from the Syracuse Crunch, with stories and memories of their time in the league and with the team. Its size makes it easy to pack, and the easy-to-follow prose will keep your giftee turning pages.
Something else to consider: License plate frame
Perfect for the Crunch fan who is always in their car, this high-quality license plate frame has survived on my personal vehicle through three Central New York winters so far and is still looking good.
The Person Who Has Everything
The slam dunk gift: Sledge hammer
But not just any sledge hammer – a sledge hammer that was used to destroy the ice after the Frozen Dome Classic in 2014. According to the team, this unique item can “be used as a display piece or what a sledge hammer is intended for – breaking up objects.” Could be great presented along with a replica jersey from the game itself.
The thinking-outside-the-box gift: 2019-20 team-signed hard hat
These hard hats were used when giving fans a tour of areas under construction in the War Memorial.
Something else to consider: Front office mascot
Do you have a spare million to spend on a stuffed marsupial? If so, this could be a great gift for the friend or loved one who has everything!
The History Buff
The slam dunk gift: Set of four porcelain coasters from the 1980 Winter Olympics
A special spot in sports history — especially hockey history — is reserved for those games held in Lake Placid during the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. These coasters will fit any decor from dorm room on up, and are an “officially licensed product of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.” Made locally in Cazenovia, New York, these could be a favorite gift of any history buff! An additional thing to consider: 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics Roni Raccoon bobsled pendant necklace.
The thinking-outside-the-box gift: War Memorial replica
The War Memorial Arena can be kind of a touchy subject among fans and the people of Syracuse alike. It’s old, it’s difficult to expand or change, it’s too small, etc. However, it’s also an historic building that has seen some of the best concerts, sporting events, and Crunch milestones in Syracuse history. This replica is from the Columbus Era and opens to show an interior view of the arena as it was during that time period.
Something else to consider: A piece of the 1950’s War Memorial basketball court
Framed with a plaque, this small piece of basketball and Syracuse history could be just the ticket. The pieces are from the court the Syracuse Nationals won the 1955 NBA Championship on.
The slam dunk gift: Equality T-shirt
These eye-catching shirts are sure to please any civic-minded friend or family member. A portion of the proceeds from buying a shirt will benefit Last Chance for Change, a group fighting against inequality and for improving the Syracuse community.
The thinking-outside-the-box gift: Change for Change Mystery Puck
Change For Change is a “fundraising initiative created by Crunch players (led by Mike Angelidis) during the 2014-15 season that aims to raise money for pediatric cancer research at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and help improve the odds for children with cancer.” A portion of proceeds from buying a puck or two to go in the stockings of those you love will go towards the team’s annual Change for Change donation.
Something else to consider: Three (3) Crunch face coverings
Chances are, your civic-minded loved one already has quite a few reusable masks. However, having a few more might not hurt! You could buy this three pack and give them all to one person, or have a few to put into stockings or tape to the front of gifts.
The Lightning Fan
The slam dunk gift: Alumni Bobble Set
This set is something special. I personally mailed my nabbed set all over the county to Lightning fans, so I can attest to its popularity. Keep them together to give as one gift or break them apart – the choice is yours! The set features Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. An additional item to consider: This Steve Yzerman bobble.
The thinking-outside-the-box gift: Gemel Smith game-used skates
Gemel Smith has been one of the more exciting additions to the Lightning organization of late, and could be poised to have a big year with them once the 2020-21 season gets underway!
Something else to consider: We Develop Champions Tee
The “we” in that statement could mean any number of things: Syracuse specifically, the Lightning partnership as a whole, etc. If the Lightning fan in your life is particularly into the development process, this shirt is a must-have!
The One Who is Always Cold:
The slam dunk gift: MV Sports Reed Heather sweatshirt
As I own one of these, I can attest to how warm and cozy this sweatshirt is. Sure to keep even your coldest loved one toasty, this attractive sweatshirt is going fast and is only available in limited sizes. An additional item to consider: Addison Sherpa Quarter Zip
The thinking-outside-the-box gift: Team-issued blue track pants
These new track pants are cozy, comfy, and have pockets!
Something else to consider: Love Your Melon beanie
Warm up the head of the one whose teeth are always chattering with this beanie. Feel good about your purchase knowing that “fifty percent of net profit from the sale of all Love Your Melon products is given to nonprofit organizations around the world that lead the fight against pediatric cancer.”
Your Furry Friend
The slam dunk gift: Pet collar
One of the easiest things on this list — a Crunch pet collar for your furry baby. Comes in all sizes for all different animals!
The thinking-outside-the-box gift: Puppy jersey hockey socks
These might not be for everyone, but at the very least your furry friend will probably love playing puppy-tug with them!
Something else to consider: Pucks 4 Paws puck
These pucks were designed for the team’s annual Pucks 4 Paws game in 2020. Unfortunately, the game itself fell victim to the pandemic and the truncated AHL season. However, you can still support the Priscilla Mahar Animal Welfare Foundation with a purchase of one of these pucks in honor of your furry friend!
Happy holidays, hockey fans!
Follow Alex on Twitter for all the latest news and notes regarding the Syracuse Crunch! Don’t forget to also follow The Sin Bin on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest AHL, ECHL, and SPHL minor league hockey news and analysis!
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