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.

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