Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Autos by mail

I got home from the all-star game with a ton of 8x10s extra unsigned. So, I have decided to go ahead and send some to the players with SASEs and see if I can get any good responses. This week, I am mailing to Roberto Luongo, Jarome Iginla, Mike Komisarek and Jason Spezza. I will update later on the response times for these guys, if at all. I have to start with CDN teams as I don't have and US stamps to return from the US. If anyone out there would like to trade or sell me current US stamps, that would be great.

All-star game update

So, myself and 3 buddies headed up to Montreal to take in the all-star game festivities for the weekend and to hound for some autographs. We were pretty disappointed to find out that the NHL were charging for absolutely everything up there. The NHL Jamboree was spread out over 3 different "buildings", and once you went into 1 building and left, you couldn't come back into that building without purchasing a new ticket. When you purchased a ticket for the jamboree, it cost $12.50 for a 2 hour window. The week before the game, the NHL all-star website stated that the sportscard show would not be under the 2 hour ticket. This was not the case once we were there. The Jamboree did have some great autograph guests however, that were signing for "free", minus the admission price. We obtained Yvon Cournoyer and Pete Mahovlich on the Friday night. Also there that night were Maxim Lapierre and Georges Laraque, but the lineup for those guys was well over 1 hour in length, so we decided to not do that.

Upperdeck had 3 of the top rookies signing at their booth on Friday night. No personal items would be signed by them though. You got a blowup rookie card signed. Luke Schenn, Drew Doughty and Steve Stamkos were the 3. While at the Jamboree, we got some insider information that Guy Lafleur was doing a signing at the Bell Store on Saturday, so we added that to our mix for that day.

We had tickets to the All-Star Game practice, which we thought started at 8am, but didn't actually start until after 10am. We bought tickets on Kijiji for $32 each, which we found out once we got to Montreal, that we could have bought them at McDonalds for $15 each.
It was sort of entertaining, but thats about it.

The Reebok store had a few autograph guests as well. Some that we didn't care to get though. We got there just in time to get J.S. Giguere, and my buddy actually missed him, but Giguere's brother took his 8x10 in the back to get J.S. to sign it for him. What a guy. We also found Willie O'Ree at the Reebok store which was cool.

We went from there to find the red carpet area. Once we found out where it was, we found out that it was a special ticket that you had to have to get in. Some sort of VIP ticket. I had no idea where you could get a ticket. They had closed off the Card show building for the red carpet and were letting no one in without a ticket. We snuck in one of the exit doors though and managed to get a few sigs there. I got Lecavalier, Iginla, Parise and Guy Lafleur in there. It was insanely packed with morons taking pictures of the stars, eating up prime autograph spots. Guy was impressive, he signed for every single person that requested him to. He even signed about 7 cards for one kid down the line from me. His signature is always pristine too. Definitely a class act. My buddy was able to get Jonathan Toews only, but that was his goal. I almost had Ovechkin and Crosby but they were ushered into the building.
Our whole plan was to hound the hotel. Typically, teams stay at the Marriott, or at least they had. Someone told us that the reason they stayed there was that Serge Savard owned it, and they wanted to show loyalty to a former player. I guess he sold it last year, so now teams stay wherever. The stars were staying at the Sofitel which someone told us on Saturday, but we forgot the name and had to hunt for it. So, on Sunday we trekked out to find it. We found it alright and got a fair amount of autographs there prior to the game. Just standing at the bottom of the steps, we got Parise, Kaberle, Niedermayer and Stephane Robidas. There were some youngstars coming and going, but I had no idea who they were. Once the busses pulled up to take the players to the game, we split up. Myself and a buddy on the west side, and 2 other buddies on the eastern side. Dany Heatley ended up signing for both sides as he thought his bus was the west one. I also got Iginla and Luongo on 8x10s. Great sigs from both. Ovechkin signed for only a few on the other side, but my one buddy did get him on his McFarlane base.

That was the end to our weekend freezing our asses off. It was about -30 everyday, which sucked badly.