Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday morning homily XI

When it comes right down to it, the Nashville Predators taught Humidity Bay hounds a pretty valuable lesson on Friday.

Over the past few years, I believe we've come to expect that visiting NHL teams are always happy to come to the sunny south. Furthermore, we expect that they'll show their appreciation by willingly obliging each and every request for an autograph.

While that may have been the case early Friday morning when most of the Predators players (I keep hearing that defenseman Dan Hamhuis was particularly rough) signed before the team's morning skate, my own observations and reports from fellow hounds say the team wasn't as willing to put pen to paper or pucks later in the day.

In a way, I can hardly blame them. The closer you get to game time, the more you should be focusing on the task at hand, not worrying whether the visiting hounds have had their fill.

The lesson I'm taking away from hounding the Predators, and I suggest you might want to file this away for future hounding sessions, is that the best time to score autographs is before a team's morning skate. To me, the players seem much more approachable and it's always nice, from where I sit, to get things done sooner rather than later.

It's not to say that players won't sign after morning skates or before the game, but my experience has taught me to lower my expectations the closer you get to game time.

Anyone else care to weigh in?

Time's running out

With only a week left in November, your opportunity to win this autograph from Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos is narrowing by the moment.

So far, there are nine entries in the simple contest: Tell me, in less than 100 words, what you would do with the first million dollars you earned -- through contracts, bonuses and endorsements -- if you were the No. 1 overall pick at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Leave your answer in a message and I'll pick a winner early in December. Sounds pretty simple to me.

5 Big Sigs

With Colin's hockey game and my work schedule keeping us from hounding the Martin Brodeur-less New Jersey Devils, we'll have to settle for hounding the New York Rangers on Wednesday morning. These are at the top of our wish list:

~ Rangers and Canucks pucks signed by Markus Naslund;
~ a Rangers puck signed by Henrik Lundqvist;
~ Devils and Rangers pucks signed by Scott Gomez;
~ a Prague Premiere puck signed by Brandon Dubinsky; and
~ a baseball signed by Little League hero Chris Drury.

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