Left to ponder

I have this theory about hounding that the deeper you get into a regular season, the fewer autographs you'll receive. Teams in contention for the playoffs are focused on the tasks at hand. Those out of the running are mentally planning their vacations.

Adding to it, I suppose, are that players are simply tired of being hounded for autographs.

This morning's session with the Carolina Hurricanes, which added four pucks and four cards to the collection, only supports my theory.

Though they still have a chance of making the playoffs, most of the players who stopped to sign -- Rod Brind'Amour (on the puck shown above), Cory Stillman, Scott Walker and John Grahame, among a handful of others -- seemed aloof. Requests to Erik Cole, Andrew Ladd, Tim Gleason, Frantisek Kaberle and Anson Carter all fell on deaf ears as they boarded hotel vans.

The biggest mystery, however, was the whereabouts of Eric Staal and Cam Ward. Not one of the 20-plus people out this morning saw either of the recognizable Hurricanes stars. Perhaps a season's worth of hounding has led the pair to find alternative exits at the hotel.

Either way, I'm beginning to think that the best hounding comes early in a season. Hopefully, I'll remember that next season.

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Blogger Drew said...

You're right. Just looking at the Bruins a few years back, Martin Lapointe used to sign two or three items per person at the start of a season. It would then drift down to one or two, then just one, then not stopping to sign by the end of the season. Same with Brian Rolston-- two per at the start, then one per by midseason, then no stopping at the end.

Seems to happen every year, and apparently with every team. The 03-04 Senators were the worst for that.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Grae said...

Eric did a disappearing act last practice as well, though Cam made sure to get to everyone.

How did Scott and Andrew look? Both are getting over reported illnesses. Apparently Ladd hasnt been able to have solid food since Sunday. If you had gotten Gleason Id have been amazed since he just broke his finger.

Anson signed at first here but lately has ducked out. Frank and Glen are the hardest to get here. Johnny hasnt stopped lately so maybe being in Florida and near old haunts got him to stop off.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Puckhound said...

Scott looked okay. I wouldn't have known he hadn't been feeling well had you not mentioned it. He walked to the morning skate, rather than taking a bus or courtesy van.

As for Ladd, I'm still waiting to gte my first autograph from him. From his stay in Lowell, Mass., to three times this season, I've yet to see him sign for anyone.

Much to my chagrin, I now realize that Gleason walked past us. I didn't recognize him, but I remember seeing a player with a cast on his hand.

Oh well, there's always next season.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Grae said...

Strange about Ladd, he's really good about signing here. The other day when flying to Toronto they had an hour between practice and the flight and he walked the line for a ton of kids since it was a teacher's workday.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Puckhound said...

It's more through coincidence than anything else, I suppose. I'm sure Ladd will have a long NHL career and I'll gave plenty of opportunities to add some signed pucks and cards.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Puckhound said...

I'll tell you what. For someone who writes for a living, I sure as hell can't type. Or spell.

About the pucks, we have about 50 or 60 on display inside two showcases. They're mixed with signed jerseys, helmets, masks and assorted equipment.

In time, I'll cull a few mini-collections and then use the rest to create a rink-shaped wall of pucks. It better be sturdy.

If we ever get the space (older Florida homes are pretty small), I'd like to have a wall like a locker room, stalls and all, to display items.

If we ever get that chance, and I'm still doing this, I post some pictures.

12:25 AM  

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