Making the right call

As I said yesterday, I was having some difficulty deciding what to bring when the Dallas Stars came to town today. Should I maintain my focus on pucks or should I start working on my centerpiece project, a 1999 NHL All-Star Game helmet?

Late last night, after putting together my book of cards and creating a team sheet for Colin, I opted for the pucks. After all, my hounding handle is Puckhound. And after this afternoon’s visit to an undisclosed Tampa hotel, I realized it was the right call.

If you read the post above, you know that Colin scored more autographs than I did. I can live with that. He’s respectful to the players, saying "please" and "thank you," and he doesn’t care whether they’re future Hall of Famers or fourth-liners. To him, an autograph is just that -- an autograph. And that's the way it should be.

Yet, as I get closer toward my goal (the significance of which should be obvious to any hockey fan with half a brain cell) of 1,072 autographed pucks, I’m getting pickier about who I get on a puck. For the record, I'm at 1,023.

Though I had a dozen pucks in my bag today, the two I got signed (see photo above) were pretty damn good. That’s right, Mike Modano signed not one, but two pucks –- a Prince Albert Raiders, from his junior days, and a Minnesota North Stars, the team that drafted him first overall in 1988.

Sure, I wanted to add a couple each from Marty Turco and Eric Lindros, but it didn’t happen. I flat-out missed Turco, as I was moving my pucks closer to the team bus. As for Lindros, he didn't make the trip. Nor did Stu Barnes, Jeff Halpern, Brenden Morrow, Darryl Sydor or Sergei Zubov.

But a pair of pucks from Modano? Who wouldn’t be happy with that? Geez, I’m downright ecstatic. Besides, the Stars are staying overnight and I can always head back to Tampa tomorrow morning. Jere Lehtinen made the trip and he's certainly worthy of a puck or two.

Addendum: Though it would have been nice to add to the collection, I chose to stay home, take a nice, long nap and get ready for Colin's first T-ball game. Again, it was another good call. Besides, the Stars will be back in February.

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