Friday, April 24, 2009

One shy of two dozen

What started out as a blank slate, so to speak, quickly became one of my favorite pieces from the 2008-09 hockey-hounding campaign. All told, 23 NHL players took part in the Team Canada jersey project.

The qualifications are simple. Any Canadian-born winner of a Stanley Cup, Olympic or World Championship gold medal, No. 1 draft pick or a Hound Central 4.0 favorite is eligible. A fluid situation, at the least.

Yes, I would have been nice to add one, or even a few more, ending the campaign with two dozen or 25-plus autographs. But that's the beauty of an ongoing project. Each season brings new opportunities to fill in the blanks with players who've already signed pucks and cards for us.

Among the inaugural Class of 2008-09: New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, Hall of Famers Ron Francis, Cam Neely and Denis Potvin and Triple Gold winner Brendan Shanahan.

Dallas' Brad Richards was the first to sign it, back in late August, after a pre-training camp workout with former Tampa Bay Lightning teammates.

Others to sign were Patrice Bergeron, Jay Bouwmeester, Brad Boyes, Rod Brind'Amour, Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne, Barret Jackman, Vinny Lecavalier, Milan Lucic, Brad Richards, Mike Richards, Marty St. Louis, Marc Savard, Eric Staal, Steven Stamkos, Marty Turco and Cam Ward.

No comments: