Calling for commemorative banners for Hasek’s jersey retirement

Despite lacking a Stanley Cup Championship, the Sabres have a handful of banners adorning the roof of First Niagara Center. This includes 10 division and conference championship banners (and one President’s Trophy) along with six retired numbers. Dominik Hasek’s number 39 will join the French Connection, Tim Horton, Danny Gare and Pat LaFontaine on January 13.

The Sabres commissioned some very cool one-off merchandise for the LaFontaine retirement and I’d love to see them take the same approach this time. In fact, I think it’s a shame that the Sabres don’t offer a full collection of team banners in the Sabres store.

In addition to pictures and t-shirts, I’d assume the Hasek ceremony will also be accompanied by some sort of replica banner available for purchase. Why not make that final item a permanent addition to the Sabres Store? Why not offer the other six retired numbers as well?

I made a few purchases after Florida State won their third National Championship in January. One purchase was this three-pack of National Championship banners. They’re perfect. A uniform, understated design on a 12×18 felt banner which looks good from a distance and up close. I have them hanging from the ceiling in my basement and hopefully I’ll be able to add another in the near future. I’d love to add a few Sabres versions as well.

While the font isn’t uniform on all six retired number banners, the Sabres could make a killing selling replica 12×18 banners of their retired numbers. They could charge at least $50 for the French Connection pack and upwards of $100 for the entire group. I know I’d pay for them and I’m certain other fans would pay for them as well. Other teams do this and I think it’s a major missed opportunity that the Sabres don’t.

It almost seems foolish that the Sabres don’t do this. They sold tacky “Big John” t-shirts last year and have carried a number of very cool commemorative items in the past. Aud Bricks and the French Connection Statue immediately come to mind. This is a terrific money making opportunity that I’m certain fans would eat up. The Sabres need to be on this. Yesterday.

7 thoughts on “Calling for commemorative banners for Hasek’s jersey retirement

  1. Joe Wasik's October 20, 2014 / 4:56 pm

    I have #11,16 and 18 banners plus 2 from 2007 and one from 2010 hanging in my garage and would love to have the full set.


    • Chris Ostrander October 20, 2014 / 4:57 pm

      Your collection is what made me think of the Sabres needing to put them on sale full time.


      • thom kramer November 1, 2014 / 9:04 am

        So, what do you think the chances are that Hasek’s banner features the goat head logo?


      • Chris Ostrander November 3, 2014 / 1:24 pm

        Chances have to be very, very low. Rule of thumb league-wide is to have Division, Conference and Cup championship banners reflect the colors or logo the team was wearing for their championship. But retired jerseys are almost exclusively uniform across the board.

        For what it’s worth, aside from their 1970 expansion cousins, no one has changed colors and jerseys as much as the Sabres have which causes this confusion. Most teams have at least had a uniform color scheme which makes banner raising a simple task. But you can count on Hasek’s number going up in blue and gold just like the other six.


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