Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saskatchewan Rough Riders IP Durant and Adams

Our local Trade Fair was today. It brought lots of businesses and lots of food for people to take in. Rider faithful lined up early to see the two Riders in person. I had my usual jerseys and two balls to get signed. For $5 towards a local charity, you were first in line with the guys to get a printed pic and autographs. I did something today I have never done with any autograph. I used some Goo Be Gone and cleaned the Durant auto off the ball.
Darian primed the pen and it blobbed on the ball. I was not a happy person so I was tickled when I heard the Riders coming were Marcus 'Chunky' Adams and Darian Durant. The two smiled, took pictures and signed autographs for 2 hours. Marcus played it up for my wife when he noticed her taking pictures.
The Saskatchewan Rough Riders well themselves as community team, meaning the whole province. Some of the guys stay in Saskatchewan in the winter and tour communities speaking to kids. They are always polite and never turn down a request for a picture or autograph.
The ball was resigned by Durant and now Adams and I love the outcome.
More pictures in the Sports Images section on the right side of my blog.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gary Leeman Story

I forgot about this one so I thought I'd get it down before I forgot too much. During the fan skate with the Old timers, Gary Leeman, Bob Probert and Jimmy Mann were out doing their thing with people. I noticed Leeman standing around by the boards. I skated over to him and asked if he could give my wife any tips about skating backwards. I said if it comes from him, she'll listen. Well, my wife was ready to shoot me for embarrassing her. But a former 50 goal scorer teaching you how to skate 1 on 1? I thought cool! So he gave her some tips, bend the knees, posture and "cutting half moons" in the ice. He was not sure about the pivot from front to back thought in picks, so he yells over, "Hey Proby, come here for a second please." Probert skates over and he asks him to show her how to pivot from front to back with picks, with Probert being the experienced skater from 'Battle of the Blades'. Probert picks up her skate making sure she did not fall and feels her picks. He explained how to make the transition and then told started started skating backwards and explained how to "cut c's on the ice".
I thought it was kinda cool, Leeman and Probert giving her a free skating lesson.
Probert made sure every person on the ice got something signed. I saw him look around the ice, seeing one kid he missed and zoomed over to him to sign his helmet. He then took the kid over to Gary Leeman to sign the helmet as well. Probert even told Leeman where to sign so it would look good.
I continued to skate with Leeman and just chatted. He told me about his days in AAA, then Wilcox (the beginning of the 'Hound Line'), then Regina and drafted to Toronto. He told me how he started as a defenceman then to get more playing time, was sent to minors. He asked something about Wendel Clark (Wendel played his junior in the arena) . I explained Wendel told those stories at his charity event this summer. Leeman then mentioned something about John Brophy, I laughed and it appeared that Clark respected and liked Brophy . Leeman said the same thing about him, laughing that Brophy played Leeman a lot so they got along well. The rest of the skaters left the ice so the two of us just kept skating around. He finished with a funny story of Brophy swearing at Leeman at Maple Leaf Gardens over a screwed up play with Clark. Leeman is a classy, down to earth good guy...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

1988-89 OPC Cards

I plan to obtain every OPC card of Gretzky's and have them graded...I already have the rookie so it's downhill from here.
I was more nervous speaking to Nieuwendyk than Gretzky, but I'm from Calgary so that might explain it. I had to have this card in my collection.

Brayden Schenn Signed In the Game Card and Bryan Trottier Winning Materials

2006-07 Upper Deck
SPX Winning Materials

2009-2010 ITG
Heroes and Prospects 2 Colour

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wendel Clark Signed Book

Wendel was in town over the Christmas break. He was signing copies of his new book at McNally Robinson on Jan 6. We were working the World Junior Championship during that time so we were extremely tired. We knew he was around but had met him twice in 4 months so we passed one up. On Saturday, I played a hunch stopping in at the book store to find the last signed copy. After the Theo Fluery signing, I noticed the book store obtains and sells signed copies for people at no extra charge. Good deal if you ask me...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Game Time, Flames-Wild

The last regular season game was Lanny McDonald bobble head night so the first 3000 fans through the door received a bobble head and mustache, Lanny, get it? We were 10th in line so we grabbed our bobble heads and looked for our seats. I remembered that the Flames will sign after warm up for those sitting by the tunnel. We got position second from the bar so felt good about our chances. I had nothing to get signed but the tickets. But remember autograph karma? I had my Regehr jersey on and thought well, maybe...The siren came on, the lights went out and the fire started from the scoreboard. That is a great entrance for any team. Out they came walking right by us. Flames fans are great, the people that actually had the seats, let us sit there until game time. Conroy gave pucks to kids, had smile on his face the whole time. Man, I hope he comes back, he's a gem of a player and person. Iggy was the first off and did not sign for anyone. I told the people around who were new and anxious about getting autographs that Conroy would stop. They asked how I knew and I just smiled and said, "That's Conroy." Sure enough, Conroy stopped and signed for everyone, everyone who asked. Even me, he signed my ticket. Please go back and sign my Craig Conroy for Calgary Mayor petition on the right side of the page. He needs to stay in Calgary!
Now, Regehr came off next and started to sign for people. Some very nice people beside us had Flames jerseys and only black sharpies. I gave 3 people my extra silver sharpies to use. Robyn came off and started to sign, I ripped off my jersey holding over the edge hoping he'd see it was his. Sure enough, he signed it. I thought he had signed in black on the red back beside his number, no biggie I thought. I brought it back up and honestly, 5 mins later I realized what he signed.

In the words of Peter Maher, "Yah Baby!"
David Moss came off next and signed my ticket with some other jerseys.
Stajan signed on the other side but I didn't really care I missed him.

We headed back to our seats to watch the game. They showed Lanny on the jumbo tron speaking. We saw where his box was but the Dome is not like Saskatoon, no access to that section from main level. Hmm, oh well...
Colin Patterson, Perry Berezan, Jamie Macoun, and Lanny. Grr...that sucks....

The Flames lost in a shoot out but saluted the fans just after skating off the ice, which I thought was classy. I bought an Adam Pardy game used stick from Fan Attic after the game, I was inches away from Iggy when he gave his stick away.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jarome Iginla Signed Jersey, and more!

If you compare the two 'C' signed jerseys, my wife has Theo, Regehr, Iggy and Nystrom, where I don't. With Theo, I got the white Team Canada jersey signed, Iggy, the one below and Regehr...Will post that story about him and the game tomorrow.

Yah I know they are out of the playoffs but this made our week, year even. To be honest, I am from Calgary and for the most part we have had a handful of great seasons, otherwise, I am used to this feeling. Sure they underachieved but they will make some changes and next year will be better. We headed down to Calgary this week for our yearly Flames game over the Easter break. I bought good seats, 3 row, upper level, right behind the Flames bench. If you have ever been to the Dome, that is close to ice level because the lower level is not that high.
We headed down to the practice on game day hoping to hound the Flames after practice. We only saw about 5 mins of the morning skate before heading outside around the player's gate. There were two other hounds waiting to I confirmed this was the spot and we waited. I was told this works but wasn't sure what to expect. This first vehicle pulls up and I smiled, Curtis Glencross. Curtis pulled up to where 7 of us were standing and rolled down the window. No one approached so I took the lead. I have met Curtis before so felt comfortable starting a conversation. I asked how he was feeling and he replied "Not good.". He signed my jersey and I asked where he was in the rehab. We chatted for a bit and I thanked him, wished him good luck this summer (he's getting married) and he signed for my wife. That was really good for her because she missed him in Saskatoon this September. The next truck rolled up, Mark Giordano. Same deal, just approached, he signed my jersey and then my wife's. I asked for a picture and both vehicles drove away. Now, this was the surreal section of the hounding. I was standing by the pillar and a red Range Rover pulls up right in front of me. The window rolled down and smiling at me was Jarome Iginla. My wife told me to go first and I handed him my jersey. He had a silver marker, signed the 'J' and asked for mine. He cared enough about the signature to switch for me. I mentioned we were from Saskatchewan so it was really cool to meet him. He asked where we were from in Saskatchewan. I said, "Saskatoon" and he said, "Just up for a visit?" My wife was really nervous next and told him she was a huge fan and loves watching him play. He laughed and said, "Cool, thanks." Now, if you have read my blog at all in the last year or so, the next part won't surprise you; she got her picture with him. I told her before not to get her hopes up and yah, that took her all of 30 secs to get... Jay Bouwmeester was next, sitting in a large truck waiting to sign for people. I was the first away from Iggy so I walked back and asked how he was. He smiled and said, "Good and you?" Jay signed my jersey on the flame part of the 'C'. I take Jay as a quite soft spoken person. He signed for everyone some duplicates but not a lot of small talk. Craig Conroy was next, the entire city of Calgary loves Conroy and it's not hard to see why. Craig signed for my wife and I and as he signed for her, I told him I started a petition to make him Mayor of Calgary. He started laughing and said his father in law sent him the link, he looked at it and loved it saying it was really funny. I said I saw how he was around people at games and thought it was to make sure he sticks around. He thanked me and signed the next person's item, laughing and point at me. That made my day, Craig Conroy visited my blog and saw my petition for him. My wife told me to video tape him saying something for my blog but I was not sure how he'd react without knowing the context. Dawes, Moss, Mayers, Higgins, Bourque, Pardy, Backlund, and Sutter all drove up and signed for everyone. I saw Nystrom coming so I quickly grabbed the #3 from my bag and headed over to his truck. He is a super guy, if you remember the hounding story from the Flames in Saskatoon. I asked about his dad and he said he was doing well. I mentioned that I was able to chat with him for awhile in Saskatoon for the Ils camp in September. He signed my #3 and my wife said she got him in Saskatoon so she just wanted a picture with him. I never thought to get her to get him to sign my home jersey but my motto is very be greedy. Remember this one! Sarich was next and looked like a wounded warrior, he face was all scratched up and his hand taped heavy. I mentioned to him we were from Saskatoon and he too asked where and what we were doing in town. I got a picture with him and made him smile, not an easy task. As I leaned over to get in the picture, I said, "Two good Saskatchewan guys eh?" I thanked him and stepped back. Later my wife told me, he laughed as soon as I said that, cool...
The crowd got a little bigger and it seemed like everyone wanted Kipper. I know from doing my homework, he rarely if at all signs at the gate. But people were still in denial so they continued the wait. Kotalik, Staios, White, Hagman and Stajan all drove by. Toskala drove by too but waved. So most of the new guys have not bought in to this idea for the fans. Hmm, not good. There was a small chance Kipper was still there, Toskala and Jamie McLennan (goalie coach) left late so here's to hoping...I was happy with the haul so we headed for lunch. Did anyone catch who I left out?
Regehr was not on the ice during the skate but some fellow hounds said they saw Robyn drive by. My radar would have gone off plus Robyn is a great guy too, he would have stopped. Karma baby, remember auto karma? I had a stick blade in my bag too, wanted to use it but did not ask anyone for 2 autographs. These guys looked beaten, as all NHL players do at the end of the year. They do care about not making the playoffs, Conroy told some dude, "It was a loose practice but I'd rather have the competitive race."
This was the kicker, the players were so nice and respectful of the fans, taking pictures, signing multiple and responding when spoken to. All the players actually responded when I asked how they were doing using their first name. The usual response was, "Good and how are you?".
As I mentioned earlier, I did say to the guys we were from Saskatchewan and most of them asked where and I believe Sarich said, "Have a safe trip home.".
These guys missed the playoffs, got spanked against Vancouver in the last game of the year but they're great people, that is huge for hockey freaks like us.

Flames Update

I am on my blackberry now so I will post the loot, pictures and story tonight.
Flames team signed home jersey-missing Kipper, White, Staos, Kotalik, Hagmann, and Stajan. Hmm, the new guys did not stop. Iginla home jersey, Regehr home jersey and Nystrom 3rd jersey, Adam Pardy game used stick. My wife got her jersey signed by the same guys too, most importantly, she spoke to Iggy for a few minutes and got a pic with him.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Look to the right side of my blog...

You should know where I am today. We got everyone but 4. You need to guess which 4. I will be back in two days to post all the loot.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Again with that Eberle? And Probert...

2009-2010 ITG Heroes and Prospects

2009-2010 Upper Deck Series 1
Hey, Bobby is one of the nicest players you will ever meet.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saskatoon Blades vs Brandon Wheat Kings Playoff Game

Went to the game tonight in Saskatoon. Walked around the rink before the game looking to see who we could find. Only found my best friend who I had not seen in a year. Ended up just watching two periods and thought for the first time, I'd get skunked. During the second intermission we walked again and low ans behold, Rich Sutter was chatting with some Blades fans. I waited for a few minutes and asked him to sign a puck. I mentioned that I had asked Lukas if there was any relation when I had met him and said he looked up at me and I knew. I smiled and said you guys all look like a family. He said, "Thanks.". I shook his hand and off we went. Whew, never skunked.
The game did get ugly with some questionable calls in the 3rd period, garbage thrown on the ice, caused a delay. I will upload some of the videos tomorrow. Towards the end of the game we headed down behind the Wheaties bench, thinking twice though, some garbage still being thrown. The target was of course Schenn but the 3 Stars were announced and he was not one. Wheaties goalie, Andrew Hayes was the 2nd Star and came out. I leaned over and asked him if I could get an autograph and he replied signing a NHL puck. But no Schenn. From the WJC, I know what his dad looks like so I just waited close to Brayden's family and Brayden came from the dressing room about 30 mins later. I asked him but kinda laughed at this request. If you have ever met Brayden, he's super nice. I asked him for an autograph and he said, "Sure, where?" I held out a puck and said, "But it's your brother's team so maybe sign the back, that's all I could find." He would have signed the Leaf logo but I thought it's a nicer with the NHL logo. 3 pucks signed and called it a night. Rich Sutter did hang around to see Lukas after the game.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I was sitting on this one....

A friend was able to get a couple of pucks signed by the Great One at Canada Hockey House during the Olympics. He knew I'd love this, but I don't think he read my blog in February. Thanks though!