It's always nice going out for first hounding adventure of the season. Sure, we made a few trips for the Lightning, during rookie and training camps. But we all know the real hockey-hounding season really begins when the first visiting team comes to town.
Not only is it a chance to snag autographs from players other than the hometown's team, but it's a time to renew acquaintances with friends you haven't seen in some time. To me, that's the best part of hounding -- building friendships with like-minded individuals committed to the hobby.
Well, that and getting 33 autographs:
Signing pucks were, from left, Rob Niedermayer (strict one-per, for some reason), Bruce Salvador (who also signed a St. Louis Blues puck) and Dainius Zubrus.
Those signing cards were, from left, Tommy Albelin, David Clarkson (who, despite a "tough guy" reputation, really should think twice before tangling with Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman), Paul Martin and Travis Zajac.
Other reports from the Devils:
~ A change in plans regarding Colin's team sheets;
~ a learning experience, thanks to coach Jacques Lemaire;
~ U.S.A. souvenir pucks signed by Lou Lamoriello and Jamie Langenbrunner;
~ a couple of pucks from Brian Rolston; and
~ neat cards from Yann Danis and Travis Zajac.
Sadly, we missed out on Martin Brodeur and Zach Parise, the Devils' top two players. Brodeur signed only a handful of autographs, mostly for dealers. Parise, we heard, signed at and after the morning skate. Oh, well, they'll be back.