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Sound Off Saturday: Jersey Ads A Minus?

It’s been talked about as a possibility coming soon to an NHL jersey near you.

The NBA is introducing them next season. The AHL has had them for a couple of seasons now.

Advertisements on hockey sweaters.

Hockey fans are by and large staunch traditionalist and one such hill that many a hockey a fan will plant their flag on is how “scared” the hockey jersey (and by extension, a team’s logo) is. There is little secret why a short story such as “The Hockey Sweater” written by Roch Carrier almost 40 years ago still resonates with so many Canadians and hockey fans alike.

The idea of even just a small corporate logo being pasted on a shoulder is enough to send hockey fans into panic mode which even the most outspoken critic of jersey ads has to admit is amusing when you consider how besieged our sight has been with advertisements from everything to rink board ads, ads on the ice, ads behind player benches, ads superimposed on the glass during TV broadcasts.

As mentioned on this very blog before, the TRUE NORTH shout-out – while perhaps having changed in meaning over the years – still has it’s roots in a corporation that has a bottom line of making money off the same people that shout that name out.

Maybe that’s why fans are so critical of the idea of a small McDonalds or Scotiabank patch anywhere on the players bodies. The hockey jersey is the last bastion of untouched goodness.

And sure, it may start with a small, unobtrusive patch but it’s a slippery slope is it not? How long would it take before hockey jerseys in North America are filled with advertisements much like their European counterparts?

The bottom line though is that professional hockey is a business and it makes too much sense for teams not to sell off space on their uniforms. In a dream world, advertising dollars brought in from jersey ad revenue would help keep costs down for fans attending games, but we know that won’t ever happen.

But for a team like the Winnipeg Jets, a few extra million certainly can’t hurt right?

What do you say? Should the NHL go ahead with ads on jerseys, or is that the one change that would be your breaking point as a hockey fan? Sound off in the comments below, on our Twitter feed, and our Facebook page!