Hell, I believe, has frozen over

Hardened hockey hounds know just difficult some players are when it comes to getting their autograph. For the Carolina Hurricanes, the two biggest toughies are Erik Cole and Bret Hedican.

That's no to say, though, that they won't sign.

In Cole's case, it was keeping a promise to sign later in the day. He was very cordial and signed multiples for anyone who asked. In our cases, we added four autographs.

Hedican's motivation was entirely different. In the past, this was a guy who would give hounds the creeps with an icy-cold stare while he was signing, like he was trying to get a piece of our souls in exchange for a scribble on cardboard.

Yesterday, though, it took the visible disappointment of a little boy, shooed away from the player by an overzealous valet boy, that prompted Hedican to drop his bags and bring a smile to Colin's face. In 10 seconds, a years-old perception melted away.

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