1989-90-96/97 Los Angeles Kings # 31 Gosselin, Storr, Fuhr, Dafoe
Amazing Odyssey for this Gamer. Kept with team for 7 seasons. Worn in four separate seasons.
# 31 Los Angeles Kings Game Worn Goalie Jersey
1989-90 Mario Gosselin
1994-95 Jamie Storr, Grant Fuhr
1995-96 and 1996-97 Byron Dafoe
This jersey has had quite a journey. The following elements of the jersey point to it having started it's odyssey in the 1989-90 NHL Season with # 31 Mario Gosselin.
- The First and most significant identifier on this jersey is the number font. Both the sleeve numbers and back number are done in a double twill. Sleeves: *grey over white* and Back: *grey over black*. The 1991-92 season saw the Kings start using a triple twill number font of - sleeves * grey over black over white* and Back: *grey over white over black*. They wore that new style font through the nineties.
- CCM logo in white lettering over black is sewn on to back hem. Alongside the sewn on NHL logo.
- Ultrafil heavy knit jersey with Maska Ultrafil tag in collar.
- No set tagging identifier as this was not introduced by the kings until the 1993-94 season
- Evidence of three possible four nameplate removals from the jersey. The Kings started using individually sewn on names in 1991-92.
- Current name on back Dafoe sewn with black letters onto name bar. The letters for names from the 1989-91 era were double twill grey on black. They switched to triple twill *grey on white on black* in 1991-92 then switched to single twill black letters sewn directly onto the back in 1994-95.
- This jersey shows heavy wear in the form of many puck marks, team repairs, blood staining, sweat staining, heavy pilling on the interior and exterior and a pronounced softening of the numbers and ultrafil material.
The nameplate removals point to the following:
- Mario Gosselin 1989-90 regular season: Photo Match to angled # 3 on his right sleeve.
- Jamie Storr 1994-95 exhibition and/or regular season
- Grant Fuhr 1994-95 regular season: first game(s) - I have not found images of him in his first game (s). Other images of him from the 1994-95 season show him wearing the 1994-95 set with triple twill numbers and not this double twill
- Byron Dafoe 1995-96 preseason and/or regular season - He arrives in Los Angeles for the start of the 1995-96 season and hockey cards issued in November/December 1995 show him in this style number font of 1989-91. Name on back appears to be on a name bar.
- Byron Dafoe 1996-97 preseason - Photo Match to the team repair by the crest. Again the number style is 1989-91 style two twill. He begins the regular season wearing # 34.
This jersey first saw action in 1989-90 with Mario Gosselin. One of the Nameplate removals is longer and consistent with such a name having been on the jersey. Also a photo match of the angled # 3 on the right jersey points to the 1989-90 season as he only played the one season with the Los Angeles Kings.
The presence of three and possible four nameplate removals indicates the jersey was worn by at least two more players before it's last activity being Byron Dafoe. The only players that wear # 31 for the Kings in regular season action are Jamie Storr in 1994-95 and Grant Fuhr in 1994-95.
Byron Dafoe begins play with LA in 1995-96 and is pictured wearing this style number font on hockey cards from Nov/Dec 1995. There is also another hockey card that shows him with the same gloves, pads and stick and he is wearing the new number style proper to the the 1995-96 season. There is also a photo match of Dafoe from the 1996-96 preseason. He is pictured in a new mask, new set of gloves and pads and stick - different from the previous 1995-96 season. There is no question this jersey was worn by Byron Dafoe in both the 1995-96 preseason and or regular season and the 1996-97 preseason.
This jersey is a terrific example of the lack of certainties in the game worn jersey hobby. There have been countless times when I have heard hobbyists state that "this can't be from that year as they didn't have that ........". I have found several examples of jerseys having originated in one season and then recycled to another season or seasons several years down the road. It is important to keep an open mind on these matters and keep doing the research necessary to make sound judgements on game worn jerseys. This jersey came with a Meigray letter stating that it was worn in the 1996-97 pre-season. They indicated there was evidence of a previous nameplate. They indicated that it was consistent with a 1996-97 jersey based on the CCM and NHL logo on back, but they did not notice the number font on the sleeve and back which was the most important aspect of it's identification as having originated in the 1989-90 season.