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1972-73 Jim Niekamp Los Angeles Sharks Game Worn Jersey - Inaugural WHA Season - Photo Match
Lot #32

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1972-73 Jim Niekamp Los Angeles Sharks Game Worn Jersey - Inaugural WHA Season - Photo Match
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1972-73 Jim Niekamp Los Angeles Sharks Game Worn Jersey - Inaugural WHA Season - Photo Match
Lot #32
The LA Sharks were an original WHA franchise that began play in the inaugural 1972-73 WHA season. The Sharks were headed by WHA co-founder Dennis Murphy who served as their team President. Murphy stocked the team with journeymen and didn’t really acquire a household name until their 2nd season when they picked up Marc Tardif from Montreal. It proved to be too little too late. The team lost 24 of their last 29 games in their 2nd year of play en route to a last place finish. During the 1973-74 season the team was purchased by a pair of Detroit businessmen who waited just a week after the season ended before announcing the relocation of the struggling franchise to Detroit where they became known as the Michigan Stags.

This home white dureen gamer by Goodman & Sons was worn by Jim Niekamp during the 1972-73 WHA season, the league’s inaugural year. Niekamp, a Detroit native, began his NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings in 1970-71 and spent parts of two seasons with his hometown club before joining the WHA in 1972-73. He played for the LA Sharks during both of their seasons of existence and then joined the Phoenix Roadrunners for 3 more years spanning 1974-77. Niekamp is the long-time color commentator on Phoenix Coyotes radio broadcasts.

This rugged defenseman played in 78 games for the Sharks while wearing this jersey on home ice during their inaugural season. He lit the lamp 7 times and added 22 helpers for a respectable total of 29 points to go alongside his 155 PIMS. Sewn perfectly into the hem of this gamer is the Goodman & Sons size 48 tag. Despite having been dry cleaned, the game wear on this sweater is obvious with stick mark remnants, board burns, un-repaired burn holes, gobs upon gobs of inner pilling and a handful of team-sewn repairwork including some terrific reinforcement to the fight strap nub that still exists tucked into the lower part of the back player number. Shown above are a couple of beautiful photo matches of Niekamp wearing this exact jersey during the 1972-73 WHA season. This tremendous example is fresh to the hobby, having recently been unearthed and acquired from a former team official. LA Sharks gamers are among the toughest and most desirable of all WHA gamers thanks to their scant 2-year existence and their immense scarcity in the hobby. With so few known to exist, this stunning 1st year photo matched and fresh to the hobby example is ready to become the cornerstone of your vintage WHA collection, choice!