Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hounding report: Ottawa Senators

If you ever want proof of my "bell-curve approach" to hockey hounding, make a trip out for the Ottawa Senators. In my theory, I surmise that all NHL players go through stages in their willingness to sign. In today's example, we'll discuss Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.

While every one of his teammates took to time to stop and sign for us in early December, the talented Senators' defenseman held himself in such high regard that he repeatedly denied requests. In my theory, which suggests that players become increasingly difficult in signing as they gain in NHL stature, Karlsson must be at or near the apex of the bell curve.

In time, especially as his skills erode and his speed dissipates, Karlsson will likely soften his approach. And, in doing so, further prove my point. When, and not if, he does, I'll be there waiting, blue Sharpie in hand.

Thankfully, though, Karlsson proved to be the exception, rather than the norm. All told, I added another 33 autographs, including this Jason Spezza card for the ever-growing Threads collection, in a hockey-hounding adventure that bookcased Ottawa's game-day morning skate.

Signing pucks, shown above, were Cory Conacher, from left, Hall of Famer Denis Potvin and Mika Zibanejad.

A number of Senators signed cards that day:

Top row: Craig Anderson, Erik Condra, Joe Corvo and Jarde Cowen; and
Bottom row: Eric Gryba, Robin Lehner, Clarke MacArthur and Marc Methot;

Top row: Milan Michalek, Chris Phillips and Zack Smith; and
Bottom row: Spezza, Kyle Turris and Patrick Wiercioch.

Colin Greening also signed four cards:

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