It has been rumored that Roberto Luongo will be shipped to the Toronto Maple Leafs when this lockout comes to an end, but this story is a bit much. Puck Daddy posted this piece yesterday about a Newmarket, Ontario Pro Image store that is selling a Luongo Maple Leafs jersey. Someone took a photo of the jersey and it quickly spread around the Twitter world.
The jersey was apparently created to be a conversation starter and bring some attention to the store. The owner said it has been challenging to sell merchandise during the lockout and has even reduced all NHL jerseys by 30 percent.
Sporting goods stores in the Toronto area have surely made a fortune selling Leafs jerseys over the years, but could you imagine if they start selling sweaters of players who aren’t even on the team? That’s a whole new market to tap into. Not to mention the added hype and pressure for a player that could be potentially coming to Toronto like Luongo. That’s enough to make even the most down to earth guy a little weary of this hockey crazed market, and possibly long for the solitude and serenity of a place like Anaheim or Tampa Bay.
Although the Luongo Leafs jersey may be premature, I’m not entirely against it since it has generated some buzz about something other than what Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr had for breakfast. As long as we don’t see any Jake Gardiner Vancouver Canucks jerseys available anytime soon.