Living in an NHL outpost of Florida, it's easy to get excited, as well as take extraordinary measures, whenever a Western Conference team makes its way to Hockey Bay. That, alone, was the biggest reason for four trips over two days for the San Jose Sharks.
And though we didn't score scads of autographs, as some other Hockey Bay hounds did, there are no regrets over the time and tolls spent adding 47 autographs, including 21 cards and 11 pucks, to the collection.
The best part, though, beyond a boys' night out Wednesday with Colin and Moody, Hound Central 5.0's roving Southeast correspondent, was turning the Goofy Dude (Colin, not Moody) loose with pucks on Thursday.
How did he do? Not bad, I'd say, after snagging these four for his Colin's Pucks project in a little more than an hour Thursday:
Top row: Thomas Greiss and Dany Heatley
Bottom row: Kent Huskins and Manny Malhotra
Signing cards were, from left, Dan Boyle, Ryane Clowe, Thomas Greiss and Devin Setoguchi; and
Kent Huskins, from left, Manny Malhotra, Doug Murray and Jody Shelley.
Highlights, and one lowlight, from hounding the Sharks:
~ Having Dany Heatley add to the Threads project;
~ Getting Rob Blake, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton to sign the first three signatures of the 2009-10 campaign on the work-in-progress Team Canada jersey;
~ Redeeming a paint pen blunder with Evgeni Nabokov;
~ Learning the importance of properly priming paint pens;
~ Putting cards from specialty sets to good use;
~ Tag-teaming the Sharks for Colin's team sheet; and
~ Posting some short videos from the Sharks' practice in Brandon, Fla.