Saturday, October 18, 2008

Look past the record

For a team that's apparently in a rebuilding mode, the New York Islanders carry a lineup that offers a respectable collection of NHL veterans. From captain Bill Guerin to defenseman Brendan Witt to goalie Rick DiPietro, it's easy to look past the team's mediocrity when it comes to hounding.

Thursday morning, before the Islanders' game against the Lightning, the team proved once again that it's well worth the effort to snag a few autographs. Need proof? How about three dozen autographs, including 11 pucks, in less than two hours. Not too shabby, I'd say.

Among the biggest surprises to me was the accessibility and affability to players like Guerin and Doug Weight. Both signed before and after the morning skate. So did rookies Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen. well, to be honest, just about every player did.

One word of caution, though: Look for DiPietro and Trent Hunter to slide out back or side doors of the team's hotel. Both did before the morning skate, but signed after being spied on the way back to the hotel.

Pucks, shown above:
Top row: Freddy Meyer, Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit
Bottom row: Thomas Pock, Doug Weight and Brendan Witt

Cards, show below:
Top row: Rick DiPietro, Bruno Gervais and Bill Guerin
Botton row: Andy Hilbert, Richard Park and Jeff Tambellini

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