Dear readers: If you can come up with a better name than "Gainey Claus," I want to hear it. All suggestions welcome. This year, we're asking Gainey Claus to re-up Tomas Plekanec's contract early.
Part I: The Merch
... because there's a sea of Habs merchandise out there, but December is not the month to be buying a CH bathing suit unless you're in the Southern Hemisphere.
After an inexplicably long wait, the NHL online shop has FINALLY made it possible to customize a selection of clothing items, thus saving us the extra effort of playing around on Photoshop and getting ourselves to Bang-On to print our own shirts.
Get creative! Sure, you can write in your own name, or you can get original. Make a shirt with your favourite player's nickname on it. ("Roster players are currently unavailable," according to the website, so you can't use their actual names.)
Engage in some wishful thinking, because players on other teams' rosters seem to be acceptable.
I stole this idea from a guy at the Bell Centre who was thinking about different ways to customize his Komisarek jersey.
Or support a favourite prospect, if he's not a Hab already.
PK, we love you, and we hope that we'll be wearing this shirt with our fingers crossed for a long time. Don't come to Montreal until you're good and ready to win the Calder Trophy like we know you can.
Throwback jerseys. It goes without saying that a retro jersey makes a great gift. Knit hockey sweaters that look like the jerseys are equally available (but not in women's sizes, of course).
We at Hab It Her Way recommend the teal blue jerseys, even though we lost to the Red Wings while wearing them. They're a great colour, a great way to (almost) wear a piece of hockey history and we really, really like them. The women's jerseys are a steal at $89. (Can't forget those in this year's letter to Santa... what? who said that?)
Alternate: The red and green ones look like Christmas, so if you're giving the gift early it's the perfect sweater for a Christmas morning of opening presents.
Very soft and cuddly Habs blankets are available at both Jean Coutu and Wal-Mart.
Want to keep your favourite lady fan warm? I'd wear this sweatshirt on sick days, or out shopping, or to games, or on chilly summer nights. I'm not much of a sweatshirt wearer but I'd wear this one out.
If it weren't just a tad more expensive than I like paying for cheap purses, I'd own the jersey purse already. I've had my eye on it for over a year now. (If you're lucky, you might find one for $30 on eBay, otherwise it's to the NHL online shop or Hockey Experts we go!)
Are you shopping for an amateur skier, hockey player, skateboarder, snowboarder, or roller derby wannabe? Helmets just became cool.
A bar stool for 20 dollars? Awesome. Throw in some beer glasses and folding side tables (at pharmacies and WalMarts and stuff) and your basement is good for game time.
Hockey Fights Cancer stuff is still available, and you probably know someone who can use a snazzy new tie. (Scarves, shirts, and Dream Capsule Kits are also up for sale, but I like the tie best.)
Tons of player shirts are available, so if you're really hard-pressed to find a gift, just go for a past or current Habs hero.
Merry Christmas, Mr. Mortensen.
I think I also remember recently seeing the Patrick Roy goalie mask T-shirt that was introduced around the time his jersey was retired. Apparently there are other legendary goaltenders (like Ken Dryden!) that got the same T-shirt treatment. There's space in everyone's drawer for another Habs T-shirt, right? Which reminds me...
If there's a Sergei Kostitsyn fan on your list, they're lucky, because his shirt is on sale. Unpredictable behaviour? Bad for his career, good for your wallet.
Come back another time to read the rest of our Holiday Guide, and keep an eye on the NHL Online Shop for their daily deals.