Friday, September 25, 2009

Calgary Flames Practice Sept 19, 2009, Flames VS Islanders

This was the only down side to the whole week. My wife and I were waiting for the chance to get the Flames while they were in town. We waited at the top of the ramp with some stuff. A cab pulled up and dropped off Jamie Lundmark. I did not recognize him so we just kept waiting. Another cab pulled up and well, we just knew it was one of the Sutters. Coach Sutter signed a puck for me and my wife's jersey. Some cars drove by looking at us, we thought nothing of it.
We were then kicked out of the area for what the security people said was against NHL policy to allow autograph seekers on game day. I called his BS and he sent for the head *&^%, I mean security person. He explained what the Flames had wanted and said he would be in trouble. I said the real NHL rule, players can not sign during or after the game but can at practice (another reason to do your homework). He then just said it was CUC policy and it was private property so we had to leave. The bus pulled up in 20 minutes and we would not have got anywhere near them, it pulled right to the door. We went inside for the practice. My wife was mad and ready to throw her jersey in the garbage, I felt kinda bad for her. The Flames came out and the secret was now out, no Iggy, Kipper, Langkow, Connie, Regehr, Bourque, Phanuef. We paid how much for these stupid tickets? $75 a pop...Stupid....
Watching them practice was still kinda neat, Coach Sutter running the guys through drills. But where was PAPA Sutter? He had to be around somewhere. We scanned the arena and saw Duane and Ron sitting far away. There was a suit with them we figured it had to be a coach or scout, turned out to be Stephen Leach. I got Ron on a Flames puck and my Regehr jersey, Leach on my wife's jersey and Duane on both our jerseys. There were about 5 kids that followed me. My wife said people figured out I knew who the hockey players are and just followed me around. That was not cool... I showed Curtis Glencross a puck and pen when he skated off. He stopped and said throw it, the tunnel was in the way. I did and he threw it back to me. There is a little battle damage but a 'graph is a graph'. I have always believed in autograph karma, have stories to prove it. Curtis signed the puck Ron Sutter signed already. I had an extra puck but never thought quick enough. My wife was trying to toss her jersey to Curtis but was trying not to drop her camera. He waited and just walked in. No auto for her. Yet...
We watched them leave and noticed some other hounds gathered outside. We were now allowed to stand on the left side of the ramp and not the right side. Hmm.
We walked to the car and we ended up following the bus to the hotel. There was a blue car also following the bus. There are only a handful of nice hotels in town so it was not hard to eventually figure out which one they were at. The bus parked and I pulled behind it, told my wife to get out and go, she got in front of the players, jersey in hand, said, "Hi" to all the guys and just waited for Eric Nystrom. She asked for his autograph and he signed for her. She chatted for a few minutes and he apologized for not signing at the arena. She laughed and said, "I know that was your dad you were talking too, that's ok."
He smiled and walked in the hotel. Riley Armstrong is a local guy so he had some friends waiting for him. She got him on her jersey next. Riley chatted for a bit and went inside. We met another hound there who and ended up spending the day with. He had never done this before so we had some fun waiting and getting players as they walked in. Jamie Lundmark and Chris Chucko signed for our new friend. I passed for some stupid reason but then the time had come.
Papa Sutter himself walked in the hotel, Daryl Sutter, GM of our Flames walked in. It totally surprised me so I fumbled for words. I asked him for a picture and a to sign a puck, he helped us all out, signing my puck and my wife's jersey.
We ended up missing the guys going to the game but the next one was really neat, an older man walked to check out and I said that was Peter Maher, no one believed me and said I should go first then. He walked up the ramp and I said he belonged on the Flames jersey and he said, "Sure". I asked him to sign my white jersey, and put 89 Cup, he laughed and signed it with, "Yah baby!" That was the line he made famous when the Flames won in 1989, and Lanny scored the GWG. That to be honest, made my day and made me giggle. I asked my wife if the Flames had redeemed themselves at all, she was very happy with her autographs. We were then off to the game.
I got a text from my new hounding buddy, he said Ken King was in the building and was accessible to fans. At the 5min mark of the first period, we walked over to where the Flames brass were sitting and got Daryl on my jersey and Mr. King on it too. Mr. King thanked us for the support and we kept walking around. Their coaches were all sitting in the area, Dave Lowry, Jamie McLennan. Flames lost 4:2, Roloson played incredible, we ended up with Dustin Boyd's broken stick, images on Sunday. We tried hounding after the game, laughed at the people trying to get Islanders, some of the guys walked up behind them looking for rides and people never knew. This one will made you laugh, Clark Gillies walked up the ramp, no one asked him for an autograph, he knew it too, people never recognized him. I said hi and he smiled as he walked by. The Flames bus pulled away, no one signed, and they forgot Glencross, he was running beside the bus. Curtis is a nice guy so we felt kind of bad for him, they picked him up and off they went. Remember Karma?

1 comment:

  1. I'm a "hound"? Love the term. Saskatoon was awesome. Enjoy the Theo book signing tonight!


    Michel Carpentier