It was almost an afterthought that Colin and I went out to hound the Atlanta Thrashers this past Saturday morning. It wasn't that we didn't want to go, it was a question of whether the best conditions even existed.
More than anything else, I suppose, the Thrashers, as a Southeast Division for of the Tampa Bay Lightning, are a frequent visitor to Hockey Bay. That means we see them three times a year. Factor into the equation, please, the fact that a road race was taking place near the team's hotel. I also had to work later that afternoon.
Still, after adding another 57 autographs, including 31 cards, I'm glad we didn't stay at home. Even if it meant a long day for everyone involved (and, yes, it did), it was certainly time well spent.
Signing cards, shown above from left, were:
Top row: Nik Antropov, Colby Armstrong and Zach Bogosian; and
Bottom row: Tobias Enstrom, Johan Hedberg and Evander Kane.
Also signing cards were, from left:
Top row: Slava Kozlov, Bryan Little and Johnny Oduya; and
Bottom row: Marty Reasoner, Jim Slater and Todd White.
One of the more obscure items we've gotten signed this season was this 4x6 photo of Thrashers' goaltending coach Steve Weeks.
Though he's signed a handful of cards and team sheets for us in the past, this picture, showing Weeks in his days with the Los Angeles Kings, had been kicking around since a fellow hound gave it to Colin earlier this season.
It's always a good idea, I believe, to check out a team's coaching staff for former NHL players. Though I may not always remember to do it, it's an easy way to add to the day's haul.
Other highlights from Saturday's morning-skate-only session:
~ Twenty-two members of the Thrashers organization signing Colin's team sheet;
~ Maxim Afinogenov and Bryan Little adding to the Threads project; and
~ Evander Kane putting a Thrashers mini pennant to good use.