Sit back folks and read why this sensational old hockey sweater ranks near the top of the “most important NHL jerseys ever offered for public auction” list! For starters it’s one of the earliest NHL sweaters and possibly THE earliest ever put on the auction block. It’s from the New York Americans’ first year, their only season wearing turtleneck sweaters AND it was donned by a Hockey Hall-of- Famer! Billy Burch’s story is an interesting one as well. Born in Yonkers, New York but raised in Toronto, Burch excelled at football, lacrosse and hockey and had Lionel Conacher and Roy Worters as childhood friends and teammates! A Memorial Cup champ with the Toronto Canoe Club, he then joined the NHL’s Hamilton Tigers in 1922 and won the Hart Trophy as league MVP in ‘24-25. Because of his birthplace, Burch was dubbed Yonkers Billy Burch and was popular with fans when the Tigers became the New York Americans for the ‘25-26 season. A program from the first ever game at Madison Square Garden lists Burch wearing number “5” and a photo from that special night shows the Americans indeed wearing sweaters like this. Amazing, amazing uniform is a thin wool affair with a tag in the middle of the inner rear hem that reads “Alex Taylor & Co. - 22 East 42nd St. New York”. We count a total of 43 felt stars sewn on the chest and shoulder areas, while “Americans” in white felt and “New York” in red- on-blue felt are sewn on the front. A now purplish (similar to the blue outline of the letters on the front) number “5” is stitched to the back. There are several team repairs to tell you about; six are on the front where a couple of holes went unrepaired, a repair on each sleeve includes a sizeable one on the right and another similar sizeable stitch job is on the middle back below stitching at the right armpit. Finally, four different stitch jobs were required to fix various tears/holes where the turtleneck meets the upper blue section. Long considered the most attractive of all NHL jerseys, this Americans example has those fabulous striped sleeves to go along with the rest of the stripes, stars and letters. Some minor bleeding is to mention, along with the provenance; it comes to us from the family of Bill Cameron, a teammate of Burch’s only for the Americans’ initial 1925-26 season. Burch, by the way, led New York with a career-high 22 goals in 36 games. Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950, Burch was one of only a handful of Hall-of-Famers to win both the Hart and Lady Byng trophies during their careers. A letter of authenticity will be included with this stirring, thought- provoking treasure.