After missing out on the Buffalo Sabres' first trip to Hockey Bay because of my work schedule, I was eagerly looking forward to hounding my hometown team last week. To me, a hockey-hounding campaign just isn't fun when it doesn't include your favorites.
As expected, I wasn't disappointed, adding 32 autographs, including 21 cards, to the collection.
Signing cards, shown above, were:
Top row: Chris Butler, Tim Connolly and Paul Gaustad; and
Bottom row: Jochen Hecht, Patrick Lalime and Adam Mair.
A handful of specialty cards dominate this group:
Top row: Tyler Myers, Jason Pominville and Derek Roy; and
Bottom row: Drew Stafford, Henrik Tallinder and Thomas Vanek.
At first, I wasn't sure how many pucks I'd be able to get signed on last Thursday's trip to Tampa.
But after remembering the NHL trade deadline deal for Raffi Torres and researching his career, I was able to put this Brampton Battalion puck, from his junior days in the Ontario Hockey League, to good use.
Also signing cards were, from left, Mike Grier, Toni Lydman and Steve Montador.
Chris Butler, left, and Tim Kennedy signed the Portland Pirates practice jersey.
Other highlights from hounding the Sabres:
~ Ryan Miller salvaging his Team USA portrait;
~ Legendary Sabres' head equipment manager Rip Simonick signing a pair of pucks;
~ Winning a stick signed by Drew Stafford through a Tom Hanks movie trivia contest;
~ Having Tim Connolly and Henrik Tallinder add to the Threads project; and
~ Snagging rookies Tim Kennedy and Tyler Myers on cheap skate cards.