Hounding 2006: Year in Review

Considering all that has happened in the past year, 2006 turned out, from a hounding point of view, to be a pretty decent year. Despite making a move to the Tampa Bay area from New England, brought about by accepting a job at Florida’s best newspaper, my hockey-hounding hobby continued.

Looking back, here are some of the highlights:

~ For the calendar year, another 241 autographed pucks were added to the collection. As of today, the total stands at 1,143.

~ As of today, Puckhound's five blogs have received more than 7,800 page views since Aug. 15.

~ Ottawa’s Wade Redden signed the 1,072nd puck of the collection, equaling the total number of points scored (regular season and playoffs) by Wayne Gretzky in his professional (World Hockey Association and National Hockey League) career.

~ Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne signed four pucks in a day during one of the best hounding days of the year. Colin even scored his first puck.

~ Learning there are other things to do in Florida than add to a hockey autograph collection.

~ Colin, who developed an interest in collecting autographs, renewed acquaintances with his buddies, Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and Carolina’s Cam Ward.

~ Moving to Florida opened up better access to such Southeast Division teams as the Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals, and such stars as Rod Brind’Amour, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Ovechkin. I suppose, too, I shouldn’t forget about our new hometown team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and its Big Three -– Vinny Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Marty St. Louis.

~ Being the only three people to find the Dallas Stars before a preseason game and getting Mike Modano to sign a few items.

~ While making our way to Florida, we arrived in Hershey, Pa., in time to watch a very thrilling and exhausting Game 7 between the Portland Pirates and Hershey Bears.

~ Making it home for Colin’s birthday and finding time to take in an American Hockey League playoff game in one of our favorite cities -– Portland, Maine.

~ Knowing that Colin got a close-up look at NHL warmups when he served as a "bench assistant" during a Bruins game.

~ Getting Atlanta's Marian Hossa to sign the 1,000th puck of the collection.

~ The New York Islanders’ Brendan Witt, then playing for the Washington Capitals, signed our first puck in Florida.

~ Adding autographed pucks from Boston's Patrice Bergeron, Ray Bourque and Cam Neely to the collection all on the same day.

~ Having one of my hockey heroes, Patrick Roy, sign a goalie stick for Colin.

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