Hull, for once, has a point
Much to my surprise, though, I found something with which I could agree with him -- how autograph dealers have ruined the hobby.
He was asked, in one of his Brett's Bites installments at the Dallas Stars' Web site, if retirement has softened his stance on signing autographs:
I remember reading that your pet peeve is autograph hounds. How do you feel about signing for autograph hounds now that you are retired?
I still feel the same. It's not just autograph hounds because there are people that just want an autograph and they'll hound you about it. I don't have a problem with that.
It's the people that collect them and sell them. I might as well give them a W-2 since I'm employing them.
They also cause a problem for the people who legitimately want an autograph for their son, their baby or a sick person in a hospital because you get so tired of these guys who come up to you with 20 different things.
When you fly into Chicago for a back-to-back game and you get into your hotel at 2 a.m., and there are people out there waiting to make a profit off your signature. It is very frustrating.
If somebody really wants a legitimate autograph, I would sign for them all day, but not for those guys who make money off it.
As I've said a hundred times before, and will keep on saying, they have made it difficult for most people -- from the average fan to the serious collector pursuing a hobby -- to get a bit of hockey history. And while I can produce, within minutes, every autograph I've ever received, I must admit to sharing in Hull's opinion.
If you'd like to ask Hull a question, here's the feature's e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org I've already sent in my question, asking him what NHL city has the worst dealers.
P.S. For all the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing and bed-wetting dealers who lack the courage to sign their comments, don't even bother.