Back when I actively collected jerseys, Petr Tenkrát was a white whale for me. When I started, focusing on fringe Czech NHLers, I figured his jerseys would be easy to track down. Two seasons bouncing around the NHL and AHL (this was before his one season return to the NHL with the Bruins) meant jerseys with several different teams. But I couldn't... find... any.
Why's Tenk so hard to find? Apparently the guy's worshiped like a god in Finland, near as I can tell. While he's played in the U.S., Russia, Sweden, and the Czech Republic, he's seen his greatest success with Finnish team Kärpät Oulu (Oulu Weasels!). There's a pretty decent jersey collecting culture in Finland, and folks there had snapped up all the Tenkráts.
It became more and more frustrating, occasionally tracking down a jersey, then arriving moments too late as it went off with another Finnish collector. No stranger to craftiness, I enlisted a Finnish friend to help me out -- but he ran into the same brick walls. He'd find someone selling a Tenkrát that hadn't been on the market before -- but the person would back off, or ask a ridiculous price, or something.
Finally, one day I woke up and found an e-mail -- he had one. The guy was waiting on me. He was ready to sell. And that's how I ended up with this:
A Petr Tenkrát Kärpät home jersey, worn in a late 2000s tournament (which is apparently why he's wearing #17 instead of his more familiar #62). One of my favorite jerseys, behind only the Kloučeks and the vintage Czechoslovakia jerseys.
It's a busy jersey, lots going on here. I'm no longer bothered by ads on jerseys -- I prefer them without, but if I'm going to get really bent about ads on jerseys I should carry it to its logical conclusion and get upset about ads on boards, jumbotrons, programs. The back has a sublimated number but the letters in Tenkrát's name are rather rubbery, training camp style.
The collar means it's suitable dress for formal outings.1
A close-up of the weasel, turning to berate his tail. It's a Tackla jersey, one of the only post-1990 ones I've seen. They're still around but it looks like they focus more on hockey pants. Oulu's one of the teams they list as partners, so maybe that's why this is a Tackla.
Tenkrát is back in the Czech Republic this coming season, with HC Sparta Praha. Last year, he played with Kärpät (gosh, I'm getting tired of copy-pasting the umlauted version) after a few disappointing seasons in Sweden, and promptly put up his best numbers in a few years.
The reason for putting this one up now -- as noted before, he played one season with the Bruins, scoring 14 points in 64 games. As a favor to a friend, I put up a former Canuck's jersey -- now I'm doing the same for an ex-Bruin. All in the name of spreading out the luck and extending the series.
As always, the jersey bio concept is a Tapeleg creation. Go bug him to do some more jersey posts.
1 - I thought I'd used that joke once before, but apparently not.