Monday, December 8, 2008

Stepping up

As hard as I tried, I simply couldn't master the logistics Saturday. Or, if I could, the window of opportunity was too small, making the risk greater than the reward. That's why I'm thankful that Moody, Hound Central 4.0's roving Southeast correspondent, hounded the Buffalo Sabres.

Though my work schedule and effort did create some time, it was reaching a previous commitment, about 45 miles south of the St. Pete Times Forum, that kept me from hounding my beloved Sabres. Because said commitment involved a train ride and meeting Santa Claus, it was an easy call to make.

From what I hear, though, the Sabres kept up their reputation as one of the league's better-signing teams. Moody tells me that most every player -- including a somewhat reclusive Maxim Afinogenov, who tried to sneak out the hotel's rear entrance -- stopped and signed nearly everything he had for the team before the Sabres' morning skate.

"We walked away with more ink than we had hoped for," Moody wrote.

So, who signed? Where's who: Jason Pominville (6 cards), Ales Kotalik (5 cards), Drew Stafford (5 cards), James Patrick (4 cards), Teppo Numminen (3 cards), Derek Roy (3 cards), Jaroslav Spacek (3 cards), Toni Lydman (3 cards, including a team postcard) Afinogenov (2 cards), Jochen Hecht (2 cards), Ryan Miller (2 cards) and Thomas Vanek (2 cards). Those signing a single card were Lindy Ruff, Patrick Lalime, Daniel Paille and Craig Rivet. That adds up to 44 items.

Moody also reports that a walk over to the Lightning players' parking lot Saturday yielded another bounty -- 26 autographs, including a card and picture from Tampa Bay's Vinny Lecavalier and a 2004 Stanley Cup champions puck from Marty St. Louis.

Seventy autographs from two teams in a day? Not bad, if you ask me.

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