Get Scotty's Bowman's autograph!

Intense behind-the-scenes negotiations, involving deep-pocketed corporate partners and the highest level of the law, have taken place for the unauthorized Get Scotty Bowman's Autograph night one week from tonight, Saturday, Jan. 30, when the Tampa Bay Lightning play host to the Montreal Canadiens at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Why? He's won 10 Stanley Cups. Only Henri Richard, with 11 as a member of the Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge, has more. And, as long as you're not selling it, why should he say no? Besides, he has a sweet signature.

At the beginning of the first intermission, participants should gather near the entryway of Section 305. Assembling peacefully, those seeking a signed item from the Hall of Fame hockey coach will stroll, under the cover of beer-spilling and hotdog-munching hockey fans to Section 314.

From there, we'll ascend to the front row of the pressbox where we'll politely request Mr. Bowman's presence. Given the Canadiens, one of his former teams, will be playing the Lightning that evening, conditions exist for the hockey legend's appearance.

Though index cards and Sharpies will be made available, bring whatever you have -- photos, pucks, jerseys, hockey cards, game program, ticket stubs, whatever. Me? I'm bringing a Canadiens puck.

Should he duck away during the first intermission, we'll try again during the second intermission.

Just for the record: This event has no official endorsement of the NHL, Tampa Bay Lightning or Mr. Bowman.

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