Had an interesting conversation take place last week regarding the practice of "double-dipping."
Al, Hound Central 5.0's man in Toronto, wrote that after new Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said he would be signing only one-per for everyone, Al looped around, got in line again and scored a second 8x10 from the goalie.
Not long after the post went up, a reader from New Jersey filed an anonymous comment asking why, if Giguere said only one-per, did Al get a second autograph, possibly ruining it for others. A fair question, I believed. I must admit, too, that I wondered whether that specific passage would draw a comment.
Al's response makes perfect sense. One, he's not a dealer, so it's not like he made an extra $5 or so on his return trip. Two, if Giguere most likely recognized Al and truly had a problem with it, he could have said "no." One would think that the ability to focus on a blazing blip of rubber correlates to the ability remember the same face in a manner of seconds or, say, a minute, especially given Al's mug (Sorry, sir).
You'll also note that Al got different pictures signed, including one of Giguere accepting the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2003.
Furthermore, I've yet to meet any hound -- save for one prissy fellow who often brings his mother along on hounding trips -- who hasn't double-dipped on a favorite player, superstar or highly touted rookie. I know I have. I'm sure most of you have as well.
To me, it's not a big deal. In a way, hockey-hounding is like as smorgasbord. If you didn't get a full belly on your first trip through the line, you make another trip for a second plate. Part of Hound Central 5.0's mission is the sharing of information. That's why the "intel" tag appears on so many posts.
After a two-week delay, Colin begins his second rec hockey league season today in Ellenton, Fla. We're hoping, too, that the extra skating he's done over the past month -- including marathon 2 1/2 hour sessions (of his own choosing) -- will pay off in improved play.
Sure, he's still having trouble stopping on both sides, but he's much better doing clockwise crossovers -- forward and backward. His stickhandling and passing can only get better, too. But, at 8 years old, he's taken great strides since his first skating lessons in 2007.
That's why I can't wait for today's games. Yes, I'd like to see him employ some of the defensive strategies we've practiced and remember to watch the referee's fingers, not just his hand movements, on faceoffs. More than anything, though, it's about him having more fun this season. Win or lose, that's why he plays the game.
In case you missed it ...
I should have given this post much more airtime before burying it under an avalanche of Islanders' hounding reports, but there's a line within the 2005 collective bargaining agreement between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association that should be of interest to hounds.
5 Big Sigs
Big doings this week with the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins headed down here to Hockey Bay. Seeing that it's the Bruins' second trip of the season, and I missed Vancouver's last trip to Florida, we'll concentrate our efforts on the Canucks:
~ Vancouver's Daniel and Henrik Sedin on Canucks and Sweden souvenir pucks;
~ Vancouver's Roberto Luongo on a couple of different Canucks pucks;
~ Vancouver's Shane O'Brien on the Portland Pirates practice jersey;
~ Boston's Marco Sturm on a 2010 Winter Classic and Germany souvenir pucks; and
~ Boston's Mark Recchi and Steve Begin on NHL practice pucks they flipped to Colin during warm-ups when they played the Tampa Bay Lightning in December.