Sunday, February 27, 2011

Guy Lafleur's Farewell Tour IP

Earlier today, Guy Lafleur played his last alumni game ever at the Colisée in Quebec City. It was a game between the Québec Nordiques alumni and the Montréal Canadiens alumni. For the occasion, the 3 Stastny brothers (Peter, Anton and Marian) played together for the first time since 1994 and Joe Sakic also played for the 1st time since he announced his retirement in 2009. I had a great time at the game! Guy Lafleur was very emotional during his speech after the game...

Even though the game took place in the afternoon, I arrived to the Colisée early to catch the players as they arrived to the arena. It allowed me to get autographs from a few players who didn't sign after the game, such as Joe Sakic, Peter Stastny and Guy Lafleur! Here are scans of all the autographs I got today:

And here’s who I missed: Anton Stastny (wouldn't sign before or after the game), Marian Stastny (same), Guy Lapointe, Claude Lemieux and others who I didn't know would be there, such as Donald Brashear and Mario Roberge...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Johnny Bower

Visiting Ottawa today, I went to a Chapters library and, while browsing through the hockey books, I found an autographed Johnny Bower autobiography! I definitely did not expect to get an autograph from a Hall of Famer today! :o)

Monday, February 14, 2011

52nd Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament - My 2nd Outing

Despite today’s snowstorm, I was still able to make it to the Colisée. While I was sitting in the arena, I saw Matthew Barnaby standing nearby watching the game. He’s here as the coach of his son’s team, the Amherst Knights. I asked him if he could sign my cards and he did:

I had read on his Twitter feed that he was scheduled to do an interview in French for a local radio earlier this morning, so I asked him how it went and he said he had a lot of fun doing it!

Later in the day, I saw John LeClair after he had just arrived to see his son play for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was nice enough to sign all 5 cards that I had!

Another guy who often gets autographs at the Colisée told me that Mark Messier won’t be here this year as his father apparently said he’s currently on vacation. At least that means I didn’t miss him yesterday as I had originally feared!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

52nd Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament - My 1st Outing

Well it’s that time of year again! This weekend was the first of the 2011 Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament.

I went to the Colisée early this morning to catch Manon Rhéaume and Igor Larionov, whose respective sons were both playing for the Detroit Honeybaked team. I saw Ms. Rhéaume as she was entering the building and she signed these 2 cards for me:

When she noticed I was also carrying cards to get signed by Mr. Larionov, she mentioned that he should be there soon, as he usually followed his son wherever he played. Sure enough, as I wished her good luck for the tournament, Igor Larionov was at the gates, so I waited for him to enter and asked him if he would sign my 3 cards, which he kindly did!

He said he had never seen the 2006-07 ITG International Ice card of him in a Russia uniform. I asked him if he would like me to bring him one at a later time during the tournament (I knew I had a duplicate at home) and he said that’d be great, as he already had the other 2 cards he signed for me, but not that one. It’s always nice to see players collect their own cards!

Shortly after, I was surprised to see Keith Tkachuk making it through the same gates, as the Pee-Wee team he is the assistant coach of, the St. Louis Blues, was only scheduled to play in the evening. I went up to him and got these 2 cards signed:

Later that morning, I saw Michel Goulet in the corridor. His son is the coach of the Denver Pioneers team. He signed these 2 cards for me:

Around 11 AM, an official autograph signing session was scheduled. It was announced as a signing with Michel Goulet and other ex-Nordiques. Before leaving home this morning, I even read, on the Facebook page of one of the tournament’s sponsors, that Joe Sakic would be there! Therefore, I had brought cards of about 15 ex-Nordiques. Turns out only Michel Goulet was there... At least I was able to get 2 more cards signed by him, as well as the 4" X 6" card they were handing out:

After lunchtime began the waiting for Mark Messier, who usually accompanies the New York Rangers as their assistant coach. His father, the coach of the team, arrived with the team, but there was no sign of his son. Eventually, I had to leave, so I didn’t get a chance to see if he finally made it in time for the game or not (or if he had already arrived through another entrance)... I hope I’ll be able to catch him another time during the tournament!