I'm kind of new on this subject but have enjoyed the thread and am looking forward to any MeiGray sale this summer for a game worn jersey.
But I have a quick question along the lines of photo matching a stick. I purchased a John Madden stick at the Draft Day party this past summer. I was able to match the brand and model to a Getty Image but not to the specifics of marks on the shaft or blade. Does brand and model suffice on photo matching for sticks? Or does it go down to exact taping job and marks in the image matching the stick?
Hi, there are a few ways to match a stick to a player.
First and foremost, the tape job. Also, any traits such as torching, spray painting, factory code, intialing, etc. Some sticks show all traits, some show few, but all will show at least one. Since players are known to use each others sticks and there are some people out there that will pass off home made tape jobs as a players, it is important to be familiar with a players tape job. I own 5 Madden sticks and all of them have the same knob and blade taping and is consistant with the length of stick Madden uses. I have a Madden stick that he "borrowed" from Parise that is photomatched. It's Parise's stick, but Madden's taping and length. Players often experiment with stick lengths and tape jobs, but usually not a big enough difference that, say, Madden will all of a sudden use a Zdeno Chara length stick or a radical tape job.
Photomatching sticks can be tough and hard to do with as many sticks as players go through. It takes alot of luck, a keen eye and alot of time to do. Some players date sticks or put the opponent on them. Some players use a model for only a few games, while others use a brand/style for a season. It's as rewarding as it is difficult to do.
Best thing to do is watch games closely and take notes on what a player uses, talk with other collectors and pick their brains. I know that sounds silly, but it does help.
NJDevs.com 2008-09 Hobey Baker Award Winner, Rookie of the Year.