Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Find time for Atlanta

Of all the hounding opportunities here in Hockey Bay this 2008-09 season, one of the last teams to blow off should be the Atlanta Thrashers. Why, you may ask. Please, don't make me laugh.

First and foremost, the Thrashers have some top-shelf talent, namely Ilya Kovalchuk, Kari Lehtonen, and prospects Bryan Little and rookie defenseman Zach Bogosian. Need more reasons? How about fan favorites Colby Armstrong, Nathan Oystrick and Eric Perrin? They always stop to sign. And let's not forget Garnet Exelby and his ever-present fedora.

Granted, their record could be better, but so could our hometown team's. The Thrashers, in my estimation, are a hound's dream come true. Besides the big names, you'll seldom hear "no" from any player or member of the organization.

Yesterday, I added another 43 autographs, including 26 cards and three pucks (shown above) from defenseman Mathieu Schneider, before and after the team's morning skate. And while I always appreciate an extra 40 winks, I'm glad I rolled out of bed and made the ride over.

Those signing cards were:

From left: Colby Armstrong (who signed four), Erik Christensen (who signed four), Tobias Enstrom (a strict one-per) and Niclas Havelid; and

From left: Johan Hedberg (who signed four), Kari Lehtonen, Bryan Little (who signed four) and Boris Valabik (who signed three).

The day's other highlights:

~ National pucks signed by Ilya Kovalchuk and Kari Lehtonen;
~ Five items, including three pucks, signed by Zach Bogosian;
~ Another eight signatures on the Thrashers team stick; and
~ Putting some specialty set cards to good use.

Finally, don't forget to check out the Gallery on the Thrashers.

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