Like the two teams prior, I only went for the Wings prior to the game. This was bad for me, as it was day 3 of their trip here & it seems a couple of the players were under the assumption they must have signed for everyone by then. That being said, considering I put in just barely over 1/2 hr & missed 2 guys before I got there, really decent performance.
CHRIS OSGOOD- 1 autograph. He didnt look too keen on signing, but did for the people who asked. Like I said, day 3 is often the breaking point for players.
JIM HOWARD- 2 autographs. Happily did all items presented to him.
NICK LIDSTROM- 1 autograph. As usual, Nick made sure everyone got 1 item & took pictures with a few fans even.
BRIAN RAFALSKI- 1 autograph. Presented 2 items, he did 1. Still for day 3 I am just happy he signed. Hes had a history of being an unhappy signer at times.
NIKLAS KRONWALL- 1 autograph. 2 items presented, 1 signed. Happened a lot.
BRAD STUART- 1 autograph. Signed willingly.
BRETT LEBDA, JONATHAN ERIKSSON, DEREK MEECH & ANDREAS LILJA- no reports
PAVEL DATSYUK- 1 autograph. Made sure that everyone got 1, and didnt sign multiples for anyone.
HENRIK ZETTERBERG- 1 autograph. Signed 1 for everyone. Declined pictures with though.
TOMAS HOLMSTROM- 0 autographs. 1 of the few guys who didnt stop. I suspect he just assumed because it was day 3 that he had got us all already. Hes got a history of being a tough signer, but usually makes sure that everyone gets 1 on a trip.
JASON WILLIAMS- 2 autographs. Willing to do multiples without hesitation.
DAN CLEARY- 1 autograph. Considering he didnt sign a single thing for me last season, despite multiple requests. I'll take 1, even though 2 items were preseneted to him & barely anyone was asking him.
VALTTERI FILPPULA- 2 autographs. Signed both items without hesitation.
TODD BERTUZZI- 0 autographs. Disappointed in Todd. As a visitor since his trade away from here hes been a great signer. Today not so much. He told everyone he would get us when he came back to the bus, then signed for a whole 2 or 3 people out of the dozen or so waiting.
PATRICK EAVES- 1 autograph. Only had 1 item, he did it without a problem.
BRAD MAY- 0 autographs. Shockingly, I had nothing for 1 of my all time favorite players. But he did sign for everyone who asked.
DARREN HELM, KIRK MALTBY, KRIS DRAPER, JUSTIN ABDELKADER & VILLE LEINO- no reports
Total Detroit autographs- 15.
Just like my Toronto experience, I only arrived for before the game.
So like Toronto, my report is thin.
It was made thinner by the low class Public Relations tema the Oilers have. For years they have had some little weasel who seems to think its his sole purpose on the planet to stop players from signing, and now has taken to having the Oilers bus taken to a secure loading area. The only team in hockey that does this at their hotel. I try to remain an Oilers fan thru this, but this little troll does make it hard, and even the 3 fans from Edmonton at the hotel who couldnt believe they did it said the same thing.
So I headed to the rink & had not horrible success considering the circumstances.
NIKOLAI KHABIBULIN- 1 autograph. As usual Nik was a class act, signing off the bus.
JEFF SESLAURIERS- no report
TOM GILBERT- 2 autographs. Coming off the bus, you rarely get too many players to stop, but Tom did & signed multiple items when he did.
EVERYONE ELSE- no report
SHAWN HORCOFF- 2 autographs. Shawn was one of the guys I most wanted to get. He was one of the first to arrive & did 2 items for me with no complaints. This is a change from the usually slightly elusive & always strict 1 per Horcoff of recent years. Hope it wasnt just a momentary change.
ZACH STORTINI- 2 autographs. Always been a decent signer, still is.
ETHAN MOREAU- 2 autographs. Did both items with no hesitation.
SAM GAGNER- 0 autographs. I missed Sam going for another player, but I saw he willingly signed for the 1 other fan waiting when he asked him.
REST OF THE TEAM- no report
Total for Edmonton- 9 autographs
The next couple reports will be terribly incomplete for a multitude of reasons. Mainly health problems. I have recently battled a knee problem that I havent had to deal with in well over a decade. Now I have a shoulder problem that I thought I was done with 2 yrs ago returning. so I have actually passed recently on hounding some.
Because of this, my hockey numbers are WAYYYYYY down for the potential there was there. Toronto was the first tema where I was really hit by it.
They were here for 2 days & it was only the pre-game arrivals that I did because I wasnt up to it before that, and they didnt have a pre-game skate because Gary Bettman is a mentally challenged troll of doom who decides to have games at 4 PM, completelt disregarding the home teams time zone in favour of his own folically challenged fucked up fantasyland brain where the continent actually ends at the Ontario border....anyways, onto the report.
the goalies- No report on any of them.
IAN WHITE- 1 autograph. Generally Mr. White is a less than happy signer. However this time, he was one of the few who did it quite willingly.
TOMAS KABERLE- 1 autograph. Tomas came in with a couple other players & made a fairly hasty retreat for the door, only stopping to sign for a small handful of the 30-50 people waiting before jetting inside.
GARNET EXELBY- 2 autographs. In Atlanta, Garnet was a less than happy signer who was a strict 1 per when he did sign. In T.O., he signed multiples & without annoyance. It was the only pleasant surprise of the bunch.
MIKE KOMISAREK- 1 autogrpah. Signed a modest amount, but still left lots of people hanging. Was not an overly good signer.
LUKE SCHENN, FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN & JEFF FINGER- No reports
ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY- 2 autographs. Signed a considerable amount & usually would do 2 items if 2 were presented.
LEE STEMPNIAK- 0 autographs. He signed a fair bit when he came out of the cab, I only missed him because others came first & he managed to get by while I was getting them.
JASON BLAKE- 0 autographs. He signed a small handful as soon as he arrived, but quickly beelined for the door when there was even the slightest break in the requests. MOST people missed him.
WAYNE PRIMEAU- 2 autographs. Didnt get asked a lot, but signed for those that asked.
JAMAL MAYERS- 0 autographs. Formerly a good signer in St. Louis, Jamal apparently thinks hes a Hart Trophy winner now. Signed about 3 autographs when arrived, then jetted past the rest of the waiting fans. Classless.
NIKLAS HAGMAN, MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, JOHN MITCHELL, RICKARD WALLIN, JAY ROSEHILL, VIKTOR STALBERG, TYLER BOZAK, COLTON ORR & NIKOLAI KULEMIN- no reports.
Total for Toronto- 11 autographs
The Wild, generally a great signing team were so-so today. Lot of it had to do with several players coming out at once & a meager crowd of only 6-7 people waiting.
Some of it had to do with having 4-5 new faces on the team & 1 or 2 faces that people generally didnt have stuff for.
For me, it also didnt help that I didnt bother with befor ethe practice, still sleeping off a long night before of celebrity hounding.
NIKLAS BACKSTROM- 2 autographs. Could have infact got more perhaps, but he was rushed and I was trying to get two players at once, so I eased up & with with 2 items. He likely would have done more. Shockingly, before the game he ignored everyone on 1 side & only signed for 1 person on the opposite side. But un-Backstrom like.
JOSH HARDING- 2 autographs. It was the nicest I have seen him in a long time. Hes usually a bit elusive. Not terrible, but not the type to walk over to you & do multiple items everytime you see him. Today he did do multiple items.
BRENT BURNS- 1 autographs. Getting 1 from Burns is actually good. On average, I see him sign less than 1/2 the time. So getting 1 was better than I hoped. Requests for multiples were ignored.
GREG ZANON- 0 autographs. Happily did any items he was asked to sign.
MAREK ZIDLICKY, KIM JOHNSSON, SHANE HNIDY, NICK SCHULTZ, JAMIE SIFERS, JOHN SCOTT- Do not have a report on.
MIKKO KOIVU- 1 autograph. I missed him after practice, but before the game was there. He was a strict 1 per, but made sure he got everyone that asked him.
MARTIN HAVLAT- 3 autographs. Still willing to sign whatever is asked of him. Helped that there was such a meager crowd I'm sure.
PETR SYKORA- 0 autographs. Came out with Havlat, so he was barely asked. But the people who did ask got him on multiple items.
OWEN NOLAN- 1 autograph. Hes been consistently a 1 per for a few yrs now, still is.
JAMES SHEPPARD- 1 autograph. Learned a tip about him. He will sign 1 of each item. So if you have 3 of the same card, he'll only do one...even though he signed 9 for the person right beside him, just because they were all different.
ANDREW BRUNETTE- 0 autographs. I somehow missed him because I couldnt figure where I had hid his card when he came in. Signed for those who asked though.
DEREK BOOGAARD- 0 autographs. His hearing works, as he heard me when I said "I take that as a no?" after he ignored us for the 2nd time in the day. But clearly his vision doesnt. He managed to miss everyones sharpies & is clearly confusing the plastic beer cups on his shelf for trophies. For a guy who is a future AHL cast away he sure has quite the attitude.
ERIC BELANGER, PIERRE MARC BOUCHARD, CAL CLUTTERBUCK, BENOIT POULIOT, KYLE BRODZIAK, NATHAN SMITH, ANTTI MIETTINEN, ANDY HILBERT- Do not have a report on.
Total for Minnesota- 11 autographs.
Dallas was the first team of the season that I actually had a bit of stuff of....but I just didnt care unfortunately.
They were here for parts or all of 3 days. I put in probably less than 2 hrs going for them.
I had other tips for other things on those days that kept drawing me away from going for them. So the report is fairly incomplete since I didnt really try for most of the team.
MARTY TURCO- 2 autographs. The first time I saw him, he actually ignored & got in a cab...granted we were probably 40 ft away. The second time however, he signed 2 without hestitation. Hes always been a relatively decent signer, still seems like he is.
ALEX AULD- 0 autographs. I had no items. But I saw him sign for those that asked. Seemed willing to do multiples.
STEPHANE ROBIDAS- 0 autographs. I had no items. Was willing to sign practically whatever was asked of him for those that wanted him.
TREVOR DALEY- 0 autographs. The 1 time I saw him & he was asked, he ignored & went into a cab.
MATT NISKANEN- 0 autographs. Surprisingly, ignored multiple people asking him the 1 time I saw him. Heard from others he was the same even when I wasnt there. Certainly a poor signer this trip.
KARLIS SKRASTINS- 0 autographs. I had no items. Still a great signer. Happily did multiples for those that asked.
JEFF WOYWITKA, NIKLAS GROSSMAN & MARK FISTRIC- Do not have a report on.
MIKE RIBEIRO- 4 autographs. Each time I saw him, he was a willing signer of 2 per. Hes been consistently one of the better signing stars on this team.
LOUI ERIKSSON- 2 autographs. The 1 & only time I asked him, he did multiple item still.
FABIAN BRUNNSTROM- 2 autographs. He used to sign everything, now he seems to put limits to 2-3 items each. Still good about signing, still takes his time, just doesnt sign as many though.
JERE LEHTINEN- 2 autographs. Still a decent signer, did multiple items for people who had 2 or 3 items displayed.
JAMES NEAL- 0 autographs. I had no items. Seemed willing to sign, which was a contrast from last year where he seemed put out to sign.
JAMIE BENN- 0 autographs. I had no items. Happily did multiple items for people who asked.
MIKE MODANO- 0 autographs. In the past 2-3 seasons, Modano has gone from a "good" signer to downright horrible. Again, like many other trips here, he showed his newfound allergy to sharpies by again not signing even 1 signle item. In his defense, hes consistent at least... collectors, dealers, fans, adult males, kids, women, all got the same classless treatment by the future hall of famer. He even refused to sign the morning they left for the massive crowd of ONE that was there.
BRAD RICHARDS, BRENDEN MORROW, TOBY PETERSEN, STEVE OTT, BRYAN SUTHERBY, TOM WANDELL, KRYSTOPHER BARCH- Do not have a report on.
ANDY MOOG- 1 autograph. Surprisingly, hes turned into a really good signer of late. Even doing multiple items for people now.
JOE NIEUWENDYK- 4 autographs. Super class act. Willingly did 2 items per person without hesitation & didnt get worked up by people looping in for more afterwards.
Total autographs for Dallas- 17
The Montreal Canadiens for many years have been one of the most fan friendly & accomodating teams in all of sports. Truly class acts....and this is coming from someone that doesnt like them.
Those days however, ARE OVER!
With only 2 teams having come thru this season I am going to boldly proclaim the Montreal Canadiens will end the year as one fo the 5 worst signing teams to come here.
It wasnt ALL their fault, but it was certainly MOSTLY their fault.
Things that made this trip less sucessful that was out of their hands was the fact they changed hotels, fron a relatively decent hotel, to a horrible unwelcoming one. They also parked the bus in a spot that makes it MUCH tougher getting autographs at the rink after the post-gameday practice. Unlike the spacious railed area at their regular departure point that can comfortably make room for 20+ people, the tight narrow area of the driveway ramp provides room for 1 person to stand there, and another 2 to stand over that persons shoulder. Everyone behind there is generally SOL. Besides that, this was all on their shoulders.
Starting in goal
CAREY PRICE- 2 autographs. he actually started off the trip good. He signed a handful going into the gameday skate. But with a crowd of 40 or so waiting, he fell well short of seeing that everyone got 1. As the trip went on, he became even less willing. Only signing a few coming out of gameday practice & all of ONE the day after for the post-gameday practice that was sparsely attended by hounds.
JAROSLAV HALAK- 3 autographs. He managed to go undetected right up until they were getting on the bus to leave to the airport. Mostly because he had shaved his head & it threw those of us that had met him before off. Once he was picked off, he signed willingly...of course, there was only me 1 other person there with items for him at that time.
JAROSLAV SPACEK- 2 autographs. Oddly, he refused to sign for fans going into the game. The next day however, he was more cordial & signed for the few people asking.
ROMAN HAMRLIK- 0 autographs. Was actually one of the best signers. I dont recall him turning down any requests.
JOSH GORGES- 0 autographs. With comments like "make it quick, I gotta go" you can see that he was all class on the trip. He hurridly scrawled his signature on a couple peoples items before beelining for a cab after practice. Dont recall him being any better at any other point of the trip.
HAL GILL- 1 autograph. For a guy 6'7, I had a hell of a time getting him lol. He seemed to be hit & miss signing & the 1 time previous to them leaving town that he did sign I somehow missed him. I must have been busy getting someone else at that moment. When I finally did get him, it wasnt on the item I wanted, because I didnt have time to get to it & just accepted him on the generic team item I had shoved thru the limited space available near the door of the bus.
YANNICK WEBER- 1 autograph. No one knew who he was & if it werent for the generic team item I had & another hound with a puck, he would have probably not had to sign a single autograph here. I cant say if he would be a good signer or not, as no one ever actually asked him by name.
RYAN O'BYRNE & PAUL MARA- Do not have a report on.
ANDREI KOSTITSYN- 1 autograph. Was not too willing to acknowledge anyone, let alone sign until right before they left town. He signed a few at the bus door & that was, to the best of my knowledge, all he did while here. Certainly was not a willing signer.
BRIAN GIONTA- 4 autographs. Probably the best signer on the team. Signed anytime that you were able to get near him. Was willing to do multiples as well. Which was really rare on this team.
GEORGES LARAQUE- 0 autographs. Has been one of the leagues worst signers the past few seasons. He put that label into overdrive this trip. There is mixed reports of whether or not he signed a girls jersey when he came out on the game day skate. I dont think he actually did. Which if its true, means he completed signing a grand total of 0 autographs in 2 days here. Thats sad & pathetic, considering his autograph is nothing more than "GL". Usually players get tougher as they get better, not as they get worse. His signing habits have gone the way of his playing skills, downhill fast.
GLEN METROPOLIT- 0 autographs. Signed willingly when asked. Unsure if he would do multiples, but he seemed willing to sign, so maybe?
GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE- 3 autographs. Despite the positive number if autographs I got. The other GL tried to discourage people from getting him by giving out one of the most abysmal autographs I have seen from a relative newcomer in a long time.
MAX PACIORETTY- 5 autographs. Terrific signer for now. Did 4 items in 1 shot without any hesitation. I would say, from my experience, the best signer on the team for now.
MAXIM LAPIERRE- 0 autographs. There was considerable confusion when he signed on who was signing. Some people thought it was (Max)Pacioretty, some people thought it was (Matt) D'Agostini. By the time it was deciphered for those of us on the opposite side of where he started signing, we werent prepared for him & most of us missed him. But he seemed to be an ok signer for those on the other side that were able to see who it was from the beginning.
MIKE CAMMALLERI- 2 autographs. Coming into the gameday practice he was a good signer. Making sur eeveryone got one & in most cases 2. But that was IT. He never stopped again. So make sure you are there early for the Habs, because once he signs, he has the "I got everyone" mentality & wont do it again.
SCOTT GOMEZ- 0 autographs. Only because Georges Laraque is on the team is Scott not the teams worst signer. He signed TWO whole autographs, despite being asked everytime he was seen To top it off, his autographs resembled an upside down V with a small squiggle mark following.
TOMAS PLEKANEC- 1 autograph. He signed when I asked him to sign, but prior to that I dont recall even seeing him. So unsure how he was the rest of the trip.
TRAVIS MOEN- 1 autograph. Wasnt asked by a lot of people, but the ones who did ask, he signed for. I believe he was a strict 1 per about it though.
GREGORY STEWART- 1 autograph. dont recall how he was. I got him on my team photo the day they were elaving, but have no recollection of getting him. It really was a blur for a few mins there.
KYLE CHIPCHURA 1 autograph, dont recall how he was. I got him on my team photo the day they were elaving, but have no recollection of getting him. It really was a blur for a few mins there.
MATT D'AGOSTINI- no reports.
KIRK MULLER- 1 autograph. Was a willing signer anytime he was asked.
BOB GAINEY- 0 autographs. Never was seen till just before they were ready to leave town. TWO people asked him, he signed for ONE.
Total autographs from Montreal- 29
I did something different for the Blue Jackets. I didnt even try to get 1 single thing done of my own inventory. I decided to rent my services out to another local hound since I just didnt have any CBJ stuff that I felt I imminently needed. In my opinion, the arrangement was ok. Would have liked a b
So, with that I had a limited supply of players to go for.
I learned a quick lesson for the rest of the season....I need a hockey only binder.
I have been using my celebrity binder for my hockey stuff in the preseason, which was a bit clunky, but manageable. With the real season here now & more stuff I will have, its not an option. Lesson 1 noted.
off to the hounding.
Lets start in goal shall we?
STEVE MASON- I got 2 on the trip. In general he seemed good about signing 1 per everytime he was seen. The potential to get multiples was minimal. I think he might do it in smaller settings, but if theres several or more people around he seems intent on sticking to 1 per person. Overall, still a decent signer after his Calder Trophy win last season.
MATHIEU GARON- 2 autographs. Also a trophy winner last season (the Stanley Cup) Mathieu was still his easy going self. Still signing multiples & seeming to have no problem with it. I think he was limiting to 3 or 4, but thats still a decent amount that anyone should be happy with.
FEDOR TYUTIN- 0. Had nothing for him. But I observed him signing multiples for people. He wasnt signing everything, but 3 seemed to be a reasonable number to expect from him.
ROSTISLAV KLESLA- o. Had nothing. In the past, he was elusive & not overly interested in signing. In the last year or so he seems to have eased up. He still seems to be a strict 1 per, but now he doesnt try to avoid people as much as I recall in the apst.
KRIS RUSSELL- 2 autographs. Kris was willing to do multiples, I dont recall what the max was anyone asked for. But he seemed to do everything I saw asked of him. I think he might do several at once.
MARK METHOT, JAN HEJDA, ANTON STRALMAN & MATHIEU ROY- I didnt observe enough to be too sure. But in general, they all signed when asked.
RICK NASH- 4 autographs. Rick has been a pretty consistent 1 per the last few yrs. Yesterday he did 2 at once without even batting an eye. In larger crowds hes still a 1 per it seems, but hes still a near guarantee to get. For a superstar he is still a good signer.
NIKITA FILATOV- 15 autographs. As you can guess by the stats, he does everything. Crap auto, but what do you expect from someone that signed 20+ for 1 person?
JAKUB VORACEK- 0. Had nothing. But Jakub is still a great signer. He has no problems with several items at once.
ANTOINE VERMETTE- 1 autograph. I dont really recall people asking him for several, but the few who had 2 or so out seemed able to get them.Unsure what limits he may have, but 2 seems reasonable.
JARED BOLL- 0. Had nothing. Great signer. If you have several items, its probable he will do them all in 1 shot.
RJ UMBERGER- 0. Had nothing. In the past, he seemed unwilling to be a willing signer. Now he seems to have changed some. Still seemed to be just a 1 per, but the disdain I recalled him having in the past for it seems to have washed away.
DEREK BRASSARD- 0. Had items, but my timing was just bad. Would sign multiples, but he does seem to limit to baybe 3 or 4.
SAMUEL PAHLSSON, RAFFI TORRES, JASON CHIMERA, KRISTIAN HUSELIUS & others- Were generally fine. All signed, maybe not multiples in all cases, but you will get atleast 1 each from them.
Total autographs from Columbus- 26
In addition- 8 Canucks autographs. Including 1 Luongo. 1 Raycroft. 4 Ehrhoff, 1 O'Brien, 1 Raymond
Next up- Montreal Canadiens
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From time to time I have something to say on hockey. Whether its the Vancouver Canucks, NHL in general, Womens Hockey or International Hockey...if I have something to post, it will be in here.