Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Being resourceful

There comes a point in any hockey hound's career when you reach your fill of autographed pucks, cards or photos for a certain team or player. In our case, one of these instances revolves around the Carolina Hurricanes.

Seeing that we've hounded the team since it moved to Greensboro, N.C., from Hartford, Conn., for a few seasons, our collection of signed 'Canes memorabilia reaches deep into the late 1990s. Then, when we lived in New England, two of Carolina's top prospects -- Eric Staal and Cam Ward -- played for the AHL's Lowell (Mass.) Lock Monsters.

As a result, and this is not a complaint, we've nearly reached our saturation point for individual items from Hurricanes players. That's why we've turned our attention to more project pieces like this Team Canada jersey.

Last Saturday, before Carolina beat Tampa Bay, 3-2, four members of the Hurricanes with ties to Team Canada, including Ward (shown above), took the time to sign one of Hound Central 4.0's working jersey projects.

I don't know about you, but this grouping looks pretty nice. That's Hall of Famer Ron Francis up at the top, with Staal signing at the bottom. The one in the middle? An earlier signature from Tampa Bay's Vinny Lecavalier.

With no disrespect intended for Staal (his time is coming), Rod Brind'Amour is the heart and soul of the Carolina Hurricanes. I'm certain, too, that he brought those qualities to his national team effort.

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