Properly naming a product, at times, feels like as much work as the development of the product itself. That was the case with what would become the Henderson crew.
Growing up one of the first hockey books I owned was a hand-me-down from my father. A vintage, 96 page, slightly yellowed, but otherwise in excellent condition, copy of Face Off of the Century – 1972 Summit Series Program – Canada vs. USSR. I studied that book front to back but, for whatever reason, it wasn’t the iconic, series clinching, Yvon Cournoyer Paul Henderson embrace that stuck with me. Rather it was the image on page 64 that depicted Paul Henderson’s game 5 goal. The goal came at 4:56 into the 3rd period. What the photo doesn’t show, is that with 29 seconds left in the 2nd period, Henderson crashed hard into the boards and lay motionless for sometime. He had suffered a concussion, but refused to listen to the doctor’s and team advice to sit the rest of the game and instead came back for the 3rd only to score on his very next shift. Canada would end up losing game 5 but I can’t help but think that added fuel to the fire (though with what we know now about concussions…).
It is funny to me that this book and image still resonate with me 20 some years later. Oddly, even more impressive, is that I still have this book in my possession, stumbling across it a number of months back, a few days after approving our pre-production sample of our crewneck. The Henderson seemed like an appropriate name for this article of clothing. Paul Henderson’s impact on a nation and sport is still talked about, recollected and shared over cold beverages almost 50 years later. His impact and accomplishment is one that has transcended time itself and that is something we strive to do with our products. Each garment we bring to market is not only a reflection of our own tastes and expectations in a garment but we strive to craft product that is built and designed to last, much like the Paul Henderson story. You might not get 50 years out of it but if you take care of it, it will take care of you.
Sidenote: Paul Henderson should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame and this sweater should be in your closet.
The Henderson crewneck sweater is available Friday, October 16th at voaksportswear.com/shop.