I have some opinions regarding this that may rub people the wrong way. If I directly or indirectly use you as an example, try not to be offended.
Michael Fedor of Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic wrote about it to some extent here.
Jes Gölbez came up with his own rules of hockey sweaters, taking yet another shot at the poor defenseless Swedes in the process.
I know someone else(I'm thinking Christy at behind the jersey) wrote about jersey etiquette, but I can't recall off the top of my head.
I've gone to lengths to express my likes and dislikes in team sweaters, specifically the third sweaters. I haven't, though, written about fan etiquette concerning the sweater.
Here are my rules:
- DO NOT wear your sweater to your pre-game meal. Leave it in the car, hanging in the left side rear window, team crest facing out. Wearing the sweater into the restaurant unnecessarily exposes the sweater to the possibility of getting mustard stains. In the special case of the Preds third sweater, the hue of which would conceal mustard stains, you still need to leave the sweater in the car. You might (and should) get your ass kicked for owning one of those monstrosities and wearing it anywhere besides the game.
- DO NOT wear the sweater of a team who isn't in the building that night. What are you trying to prove? Ballcaps, t-shirts, sweatshirts are okay, but don't wear a Devils sweater to a Kings-Ducks game. Special provision for, in the above example, a Scott Niedermayer sweater. I think you get the point there. Otherwise, it just doesn't make sense. You might has well wear a football jersey.
- DO NOT attempt to customize your sweater yourself. It will look horrible. If you need after-market customization or modifications, have it done at your team's gift store. Your iron-on job looks like crap, and you know it.
.... here's the one that might cause waves....
- DO NOT put your own name on the sweater. I know, I know. It makes you feel closer to the team. If you really must do this, though, you should use your name and the digits 00. You have to know that certain numbers are off limits. Obviously, only a jackass would get the number 99 and put his own name with that. In my opinion, you should also respect the list of retired numbers for your team and the numbers of the captains. Actually, I think that any number belonging to a significant player on your team should be avoided. I suggest 00 because the NHL does not recognize zero as a first digit for a sweater number, nor do they recognize a zero on its own. Generally, numbers in the 50's or above are safe, but do some research just to be sure. I think it's slightly disrespectful to breach this. It also looks goofy when you have (as one Hurricanes fan does) the name "Williams" going with the number 17. 17 is off limits, and we actually have a Williams.
- DO continue to wear the sweater of a player even if he has been traded. Unless, as Jes suggests, the player has disgraced your city.
- DO NOT under any circumstance wear your sweater in conjunction with short pants. Try to wear it only with blue jeans, but anything other than long pants is unacceptable.
- DO treat your sweater as if it is a very nice article of clothing. Don't ever wad it up and throw it in the back seat of your car. Don't fold it up and shove it in a drawer. Allow it to hang up, and give it some space in your closet.
There are plenty of other rules I believe in, some of which have already been touched by Jes and/or Michael. This'll do for now.