Friday, October 21, 2011

Ottawa Senators Practice

I arrived at the Bell Sensplex, the Ottawa Senators’ practice rink in Kanata, ON, very early (around 10:00) for the Sens practice, which was scheduled for 12:00. I went there hoping to get some of my cards signed, obviously, but I was especially hoping to get my Daniel Alfredsson jersey signed as well as a puck commemorating his 1000th NHL game if I got really lucky...

Matt Carkner and Bobby Butler were the first to arrive at 11:00 and each signed the 2 cards I had of them while Matt was telling me what he remembered of his visits to Quebec City back when he played a few exhibition games with the Québec Citadelles, one of the Montréal Canadiens’ former farm clubs:

The rest of the players and the coaches eventually arrived and I was able to get all these cards signed by Craig Anderson, Alex Auld, Luke Richardson, Rick Wamsley, Colin Greening, Sergei Gonchar, Nick Foligno, Stéphane Da Costa, Jared Cowen, Erik Condra, Milan Michalek, Filip Kuba, Chris Phillips and Jason Spezza as they parked and walked to the entrance of the arena:

Also, Mika Zibanejad, of whom I had no cards, signed this puck for me:

Erik Karlsson said he would sign after practice, while Zenon Konopka said he only signs for kids. Unfortunately, Daniel Alfredsson never came! The only other hound who was there before practice said Mr. Alfredsson usually arrives with Erik Karlsson, but Erik arrived by himself today. My first time hounding the Senators and my favorite player gets a day off, just my luck! At least I managed to get several other autographs from the rest of the players!

I hung around after practice and I was able to get a few more autographs, this time from Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza (again), Chris Phillips (again), Brian Lee, Paul MacLean and Jesse Winchester:

Actually, Chris Neil was the first to come out of practice but when I asked him if he would sign my cards, he said he didn’t have time, that he was leaving early because he had an appointment. It’s a classic excuse, but he looked sincere, for what it’s worth! He had signed for the other hound before practice, but I had missed him while getting someone else’s autograph...

When I saw Sergei Gonchar again, I asked him if he would sign a Penguins puck I had, but he replied that he had already signed for me before practice. I was still able to convince him to sign my puck, only to end up smearing it by putting my fingers all over the freshly signed puck when I saw Erik Karlsson come out and I scrambled to find my card of him! Oh well, at least I had gotten Mr. Gonchar’s autograph on 2 cards before practice.

So all in all, I’m really happy with my first experience hounding the Senators! Most of them don’t seem to mind signing autographs, which is great! Now if they can just get some wins...

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