The Hockey Hounding Gods aligned the planets for me when the Florida Panthers, one of the best-signing teams in the NHL, opened the 2013-14 hockey-hounding campaign as the opponent in the Tampa Bay Lightning home opener earlier this month.
It's no surprise, to me at least, that I had what I considered a strong start, adding 31 autographs, including a puck (shown above) signed by Florida's Aleksander Barkov, the No. 3 overall pick at the 2013 Draft.
Hockey cards proved to be the platform of the day, as the first 30 were added to the stack. For the record, Panthers defenseman Marcel Goc signed the first two autographs of the campaign.
Signing four cards each were:
Sean Bergenheim, who is seldom, if ever, shy around a Sharpie;
Tomas Fleischmann, who also is pretty consistent in signing this many.
Other Panthers players signing cards were:
Top row: Brian Campbell, Scott Clemmensen, Tom Gilbert; and
Bottom row: Matt Gilroy, Marcel Goc and long-time toughie Scott Gomez;
Top row: Erik Gudbranson, Ed Jovanovski and Tomas Kopecky;
Bottom row: Dmitry Kulikov, Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias;
A trio of toughies in Scottie Upshall, Kris Versteeg and Ryan Whitney.
Up next: A disappointing trip, in more ways than one, for the Los Angeles Kings.