West Coast offense

Thanks to the collective intellectual capital that resides within the NHL’s scheduling department, Western Conference teams are about as common in Eastern Conference cities as a bikini in a blizzard.

The San Jose Sharks were the first of five Western Conference teams to visit Tampa this season. As expected, they drew a crowd. And while most of the team was pretty nice, it’s two biggest stars -– Joey Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo –- were pretty rough.

Cheechoo signed earlier in the day, I was told, but was strictly one per person and insisted on personalizing anything he signed. Though Thornton did some items inside the hotel, he signed just one item -– a card for a young girl as he made his way to a cab.

Patrick Marleau, another of the Sharks’ stars, signed a few items, including Colin’s team sheet, but left more people empty-handed than happy. I was fortunate enough to get a puck signed by goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

It’s not that the day was a total loss, though. I added another nine pucks to the collection, taking me up to 1,064, as well as 18 cards, including four each from Marcel Goc and Milan Michalek. Other willing signers included Steve Bernier, Curtis Brown, Christian Ehrhoff, Mike Grier, Kyle McLaren, Ville Nieminen and Vesa Toskala.

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Blogger Drew said...

That's a shame about Cheechoo. I remember him signing anything and everything in Boston when the Sharks came in 2003-04. Hell, he was getting into signing so much that he accidentally signed a card I had that wasn't of him.

Gotta love what fame will do to some people.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Puckhound said...

That's exactly what I was thinking. I asked him to sign a Belleville Bulls puck, but nothing doing.

"Sorry, man, I don't have the time right now," he said.

I expect that from Joey, but not some guy who only rose above obscurity by being Thornton's winger.

1:47 PM  

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