In what's becoming something of a trend this season, my hounding bag for the Minnesota Wild wasn't as heavy as normal. It's not that I didn't have items for the Wild. No, that wasn't the case. It's just that I didn't have a whole lot of pucks for them.
In fact, the only two I had were for goalie Niklas Backstrom, who signed the Finland souvenir puck, and right winger and 2008-09 NHL hits leader Cal Clutterbuck, who signed the Minnesota Wild puck.
After last season's trip, when we added 20 pucks in a day from the Wild, I really didn't need to load up again. That's why, more than anything else, 50 autographed cards thoroughly dominated the 58-signature haul through two days of hounding:
Top row: Derek Boogaard, Andrew Brunette, Cal Clutterbuck and the increasingly tough and equally unpleasant Mikko Koivu; and
Bottom row: Antti Miettinen, Benoit Pouliot, Nick Schultz and Marek Zidlicky.
Also signing cards were, from left, assistant coach Dave Barr, Kyle Brodziak, Martin Havlat and Greg Zanon.
Other highlights from the Wild's visit:
~ At least four cards each from five players: Niklas Backstrom, Andrew Brunette, Brent Burns, Josh Harding and Kim Johnsson;
~ A pretty neat assortment of 8x10s from Cal Clutterbuck, Josh Harding, Martin Havlat and Owen Nolan;
~ Specialty set cards from Cal Clutterbuck, Benoit Pouliot, James Sheppard and Marek Zidlicky; and
~ a cheap-skate card from shot-blocking specialist (a nicer way of saying "defensive defenseman," don't you think?) Greg Zanon.