Thursday, February 12, 2009

Equal opportunity

Just because I grew up in Western New York, where despising the Toronto Maple Leafs is a God-given right, doesn't mean that I won't try to add autographs from the team's players. Even at the most basic level, the Leafs have that Original Six appeal. Love 'em or hate 'em, they are NHL history.

That alone, I believe, makes them worthy of hounding.

Or, at least, that's my reason for spending the better part of today over in Tampa, hounding members of the storied, but stumbling, franchise. Yes, my wife would have preferred I stayed home to tend to laundry and other household chores, but a hound has to do what a hound has to do. Sorry, dear.

And after scoring 51 autographs, including 24 cards and 19 players on Colin's team sheet, I really should cut the Loafs some slack. Then again, a Sabres fan has to do what a Sabres fan has to do. Sorry, guys.

So, who signed the pucks shown above? Here's who:

From left: Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin (a rare doubling-up as I was trying to preserve a spare Leafs puck just in case Joe Nieuwendyk poked his head out the hotel door), Brad May and Lee Stempniak.

Also, here's a sampling of the two dozen cards we got signed:

From left: Nikolai Antropov, Jeff Finger, Jonas Frogren and Niklas Hagman

From left: Alexei Ponikarovsky, Matt Stajan, Vesa Toskala and Ian White

From left: Ryan Hollweg, Jamal Mayers and Dominic Moore

Also worth mentioning:

~ Jason Blake paying homage to his alma mater;
~ Trying to decipher Luke Schenn's autograph; and
~ Basking in the glow of Colin's team sheet.

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