To some, late-season hockey hounding is the equivalent of mop-up duty. You have mostly conference or division teams making trips, so it offers a decent opportunity to tie up loose ends of the annual campaign.
That's the approach I took Tuesday when the Carolina Hurricanes, a Southeast Division foe of the Tampa Bay Lightning, made the second of three trips to Hockey Bay this season, snagging an assortment of items, including this 8x10 photo signed by 'Canes keeper Cam Ward, for the collection.
Though I will likely hound the Hurricanes on their third trip, tying remaining loose ends into a season-ending knot, I considered it a good day after adding 21 autographs, mostly on specific cherry-picked items.
As is the case lately, an assortment of cards, more than pucks, made up the bulk of the day's bounty:
Top row: Zach Boychuk, Jussi Jokine and Chad Larose;
Middle row: Justin Peters, Joni Pitkanen and Tuomo Ruutu; and
Bottom row: Sergei Samsonov, Brandon Sutter and (the ever-grumpy) Ray Whitney.
Signing pucks were, from left, Zach Boychuk, on a Lethbridge Hurricanes puck, and Brandon Sutter, on a Red Deer Rebels puck (Yes, my troubling trend with silver paint pens briefly resurfaced).
These cards were signed by, from left, Zach Boychuk, Justin Peters, Joni Pitkanen and Manny Legace.
Other highlights from hounding the Hurricanes:
~ Having Rod Brind'Amour and Jussi Jokinen complete the 2009-10 MVP Two on Two quad memorabilia card;
~ Erik Cole and Eric Staal adding to the Threads project; and
~ Snagging the fifth card of the Jumbos project.