Monday, January 4, 2010

Hall, Nieuwendyk, Desjardins, Jones, Kadri, McMillan, and Bourque

I will go out on a limb and say this autograph ranks in the top 3 in my life. A Flame from the Stanley Cup Team in 1989!Well what a way to end it last night. We ended up with free tickets to the Canada game, rushed into the city making sure that I grabbed my silver paint pen and sharpies, not really sure what to expect. We wandered around the arena before the game and I noticed Ron Tugnutt heading to the VIP lounge. He walked in and as I walked by, I caught a glimpse of Joe Nieuwendyk. I told my wife and we double checked it was him. He walked over to buy a 50/50 ticket (funny I know) and I approached asking if I could bother him when he was done. He said, "Sure". Music to my ears! I had bought 4 IIHF pucks at $10 a piece so I handed him a puck with silver sharpie. I had to comment to him, that I was really nervous. I mentioned that I had got a lot of autographs this week and I was shaking talking to him. I told him I was from Calgary so this was really cool to meet someone from the 1989 Cup team. Hey that's 2 in 2 months! He patted me on my shoulder and said it was nice to meet me. I could have went home right there. As my wife took some pictures of of Team Canada in warm up, I sat in the lower level behind the net. I looked behind me and saw Brian Burke, Leafs GM in one of the boxes. This one might be tough.
We saw Messier but it was clear he was in no mood for fans. During the second period we sat behind the Swiss goalie with some new friends. There were scouts galore around us, by this time, they were not hard to miss, black jackets, suits, and black binders. Funny...
With 7 mins left in the game, we headed down to try and get Messier, finding out he left early almost running out the box. I turned around seeing Burke almost running to the stairwell, even at his age. Well, first one we missed all week. We waited around by the bench noticing Coach Desjardins visiting with a friend. I waited patiently and he motioned for me to walk over. He signed my puck and I said good luck in the gold medal game. We headed down stairs to the area between the Team Canada family lounge and the dressing rooms. Ryan Ellis was the first to walk by arm in arm with a female security worker. Other players walked out so you just had to position yourself. I saw Hall come out with Bourque so I walked over to the area. He signed for everyone, I think when he hits the bigs he will toughen up a lot.
His comment was, "I have to go and see my family guys." Nice kid but time will change him. And my wife got the last item he signed, a nice IIHF logo puck. Martin Jones was next, I got him on the last IIHF puck. I had no more pucks so I had to move to my Team Canada jersey. Pietrangelo signed for a few and a stupid security guard stuck his arm out blocking my wife getting her Canada jersey signed. Kadri, Cowen, McMillan and Bourque all signed my jersey. Not many had sharpies so I ended up handing the players sharpies, just as long as mine was signed first. Eberle and Schenn were rushed through quickly. There was about 200 people down there now and the players did not sign, were just rushed to the lounge. Desjardins signed and took pictures for about 10 mins, nice to see a local guys taking more time for the fans. We had enough by then, hit Tim Hortons for some hot smoothies and subs and we headed home. I know I have said this before but I think that's it for us at the World Juniors. But we'll see what tomorrow brings.

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