Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Hockey Life: Catching up

I was heading out of the house Saturday, heading into work, when the big envelope jutting out of the mailbox caught my eye. At first, I thought it was some marketing piece from a car dealership or developer, trying to pique by interest with something other than a form letter. Upon closer review, though, I knew it was something special.

The first hint came at the addressee. Rather than me or The Missus, it was addressed to Colin. And instead of a Florida-based return address, this parcel came from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Within seconds, I knew who it came from. The mystery, however, was what was inside.

From past experiences, I had a good idea that it would be cards of some form. Once Colin opened the mailing package and the bubble-wrapped envelope inside, it became crystal clear -- Colin had his rookie card (shown above, front back back), showing him from his days with the Pinellas P.A.L. Stars, and his best NHL buddy, Boston's Patrice Bergeron.

Now, I've seen some of Brett's custom-card work before and, let me tell you, this guy does top-shelf work. He takes his time and gets things right, rather than just slapping them together and shipping them out. In this case, he definitely has a winner.

The package arrived just in time, too. With Boston playing the Lightning this Tuesday, we have an opportunity to get this card signed, as well as give Patrice a copy of this and another card Brett made for Colin. We just hope that Patrice, who missed some time in today's game in Pittsburgh, makes the trip south and himself available.

More than anything else, we'd like to thank Brett for producing this card for Colin. Wherever hockey takes Colin, be it a rec league or elsewhere in the years ahead, this card will be his best ever.

Slackadaisical, I am

Over the past year (well, actually, 16 months), I've let autographed hockey pucks sit around our home office. For a variety of reasons, I haven't had the time or gumption to put them away. That all changed this weekend.

Over six hours yesterday and today, I chronicled and stored 132 pucks before running out of puck cases with 45 remaining. Of the 177l, the only one I couldn't identify was this Team Canada puck.

I've checked old postings here and at Hound Central 5.0, but haven't been able to figure out who signed it.

I'm hoping that someone can help me with it. If you recognize the signature or have a good idea who it might be, I'd sure appreciate the assistance. If not, I'll likely erase it. And, that, would be a shame.

Beyond that, only three or four pucks will find their way into the home office display cases - Detroits Pavel Datsyuk, on a Russia puck; Tony Esposito, on a Montreal Canadiens old-logo puck, Nicklas Lidstrom, on a Red Wings puck; Steve Yzerman, on a 2001-02 Red Wings Presidents' Trophy puck.

To date, the autographed puck collection stands at 3,247.

It's official

With the 2011-12 regular season and tournaments out of the way, today marks the end of Colin's first campaign in travel-team hockey. It's the Tampa Bay Jr. Lightning Squirt A's end-of-the-season party today at a teammate's house over in Hillsborough County.

Rather than ice skates, the kids were asked to bring their roller-hockey skates, helmets and Lord knows what else. I would've joined Colin and The Missus, but I have to head into work in less than an hour. From what I read in RSVP emails, it sounds like there's going to be some good food, including some "famous" salads. Wish I could have made it.

Oh, well, it's all a part of my life as a hockey dad.


  1. Your welcome. Thanks for the kind words.

    Fingers crossed for Tuesday.

  2. Looks kind of like a sloppy eric staal

  3. Puck is signed by Scott Arniel

  4. That sir is a Scott Arniel puck :)