His latest gem? A definition of the term "Leafland," another name, I suppose, for Leafs Nation.
"It's the only place in the world," Al says, "where subpar hockey players putting on subpar performances night after night are treated like gods."
Still, though, when you're able to mingle with some of the "gods" and add these items to your collection, it's like that proverbial spoonful of sugar helping a particularly bitter medicine go down:
A pair from former Leaf Doug Gilmour, who's coaching the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League;
Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere; and
Defenseman Luke Schenn.
Retro Leafs logo pucks, from left, signed by Mike Komisarek, Nikolai Kulemin and Alexei Ponikarovsky; and
Maple Leafs big logo pucks, from left, signed by Tomas Kaberle, Luke Schenn and Mikhail Grabovski.
Top row: Former Leaf Jason Blake on a McFarlane base and a Team Canada puck signed by Luke Schenn;
Bottom row: Pucks signed by Alexei Ponikarovsky and former Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala;
An 8x10 signed by goalie Jonas Gustavsson;
A Leafs mini helmet signed by Alexei Ponikarovsky, Mikhail Grabovski, Francois Beauchemin, Jeff Finger, Garnet Exelby, Ian White, Tyler Bozak, Matt Stajan, Vesa Toskala, Tomas Kaberle, Wayne Primeau, Nikolai Kulemin, Niklas Hagman and Tyler Bozak; and
The old standby, cards:
Top row: Matt Stajan, John Mitchell, Jamal Mayers and Stajan; and
Bottom row: Niklas Hagman, Lee Stempniak, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Mikhail Grabovski; and
Top row: Jeff Finger, Vesa Toskala, Nikolai Kulemin and Colton Orr; and
Bottom row: Tomas Kaberle, Francois Beauchemin and Luke Schenn.
The Leafs players seemed to enjoy signing team items like the helmet, as opposed to the photos, pucks and cards that other hounds and dealers throw in front of them ... Phil Kessel is a waste of time, too, signing only a couple of items for one or two people, mostly young women, before taking off.