Friday, February 20, 2009

Giving the Devils their due

When New Jersey's Martin Brodeur went down with an elbow injury earlier this season, it was easy to pass on the Devils' first trip to Hockey Bay last November.

With hindsight always being 20/20, I should have realized there are plenty of willing signers -- such as Patrik Elias, Brian Gionta, Zach Parise and Brian Rolston (who signed the pucks shown above) -- on the team. And since then, the Devils added Brendan Shanahan.

Even with Brodeur's absence, New Jersey is certainly a team worth hounding.

That point was reinforced yesterday when the Devils added another diverse 48 autographs to the collection. Beyond the typical fare of cards and pucks, among the other items signed were Team Canada and Team USA jerseys, the American-born goalie stick and, believe it or not, a teddy bear.

Among the 22 cards we got signed:

Top row: Patrik Elias, Paul Martin (who signed four) and Mike Rupp
Bottom row: Bryce Salvador, Colin White and Travis Zajac

Even Devils' coach Brent Sutter got into the act, signing this Canada Cup puck for me.

Sutter, who won two Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders during his playing career, was a member of Canada's first place team in 1991, 1987 and 1984.

All we need is an Islanders puck.

Other highlights of the Devils' visit to Hockey Bay:

~ Future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur signing two jerseys;
~ Brendan Shanahan, another future Hall of Famer, siging the Team Canada jersey;
~ Devils star Zach Parise inking a University of North Dakota puck;
~ Five Devils pledging allegiance to the Team USA jersey;
~ Super sub goalie Scott Clemmensen showing interest in the American-born goalie stick;
~ Devils' David Clarkson and Mike Mottau signing four cards each;
~ Adding five signatures to Fire, the New Jersey Devils teddy bear; and
~ Fourteen members of the Devils organization signing Colin's team sheet.

Don't forget to check out the New Jersey Devils photo gallery.

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