Thursday, December 31, 2009

Steve Yzerman, Lowe and Kypreos

We got to the event early as usual but with the cold December air, this was a tough position. We waited at the door to see if we could catch them coming in, after about 5 minutes, freezing our butts off, a older guy came out asking what we were doing. We mentioned we were hoping to get some autographs of the guys when they came inside. He laughed and said that they were here for an early breakfast. So we walked back to the main doors to stand in line. TSN said they would let the people in when they were ready not at the scheduled 10:00 am. The doors opened and it was a mad rush to get inside. The tables were set up in a poor way, some dipsh*t working said some chairs were saved and by the time I walked around we were sitting 6 or 7 chairs back from the front. The crowd filled in and by 10:45 easily held 1500 people. Steve Yzerman and his crew walked out and the place went crazy. After the introductions, I realized the person walking with Steve at CUC two days earlier was Ken Holland, Wings GM. Hey, I'm not Wings fan...LOL...
After the media blitz, I tried to read where he would sign. We waited by the Sportsnet booth and noticed Nick Kypreos, of the 1996 New York Ranger Cup team, working. It took a little time for Nick to get setup and he told people he would come back to sign soon. We laughed when we saw what he has to do. At the table across from the Sportnet seats his kids were having lunch. He played 'dad' for a few minutes, making sure they did what they needed to do, even fixing an iPod for one son. He came back and signed for about 10 people. He signed my Leafs jersey with a blue sharpie, came out really nice, I thought. No one was talking to him, so as he was signing for others, I asked how his Christmas was. He smiled and said, "Great and how was yours?"
Well, I never get skunked.
I told my wife to stay at our post, walking to the other side of the stage. Steve was sitting getting ready for a CTV interview. I watched the interview and saw a bunch of kids on his right side. After a guys from Hockey Canada, handed him a sharpie and he started to sign. He stayed in one spot and signed for about 30 people. Myself not being one of them. I tried to get close but there was no physical way to get close, tables and too many people. So I headed back to the right side to wait. Kevin Lowe walked over signed for a few people and redeemed himself quickly in my books (see Edmonton VS New York game in Saskatoon). He signed my Team Canada practice jersey and we chatted for a bit. Really nice guy, hmm.
Back to Steve Yzerman again. He came over to the Sportnet booth to be interviewed by Darren Millard and Kypreos. He stood right in front of us, I thought this would work. When it was done, someone who I can not name stood in the VIP area asking for an autograph for her brother who plays in the NHL. Not cool. He walked away and told the crowd he would come back. He was being pulled 100 different ways by Hockey Canada, so in a way I did feel bad for him. CTV interview him on the other side again so we headed over there. Now, if you have read my blog, you know I am a strong believer in autograph karma. Some really loud guy hollers at me when I tried to get close along the wall.
He yells, "Hey the line is over here, go to the end!"
I laughed and walked to the back. I really hate bringing attention to myself during these times. So I watched Steve sign for many in that one spot, the loud mouth was still a ways back. I called my wife to see where she ended up. She told me where she was so I walked around to see her, right by the stage door. Steve was right there. I said nothing, laughed to myself but thought keep my mouth shut, she's in. Steve got to her and did a complete 180*. He told her he does not sign numbers. He signed for someone else and she said she sounded so heartbroken, telling him she was not going to sell it, it was for her husband. He said sorry he just doesn't do that. She is not a rookie at this by any means, so she asked if he could personalize it. He changed even the tone of his voice and said "Ok, sure."
He put 'Best Wishes Kolin, Steve Yzerman'
He put up a fuss, but came through in the end, and I walk away with a personalized Steve Yzerman jersey, it will be heat pressed today and stick next week. Karma baby, karma the loud mouth got nothing.

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