Friday, November 21, 2014

November 2014: Falcons, Pirates, and Devils

I am slowly falling behind on these blog entries about getting autographs in Albany, so I am going to try and catch up as much as I can in one entry.

Springfield Falcons 10/29/14 

As Game 7 of the World Series was happening, I headed downtown to try and get some autographs from the Springfield Falcons, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets. I had gotten a bunch of them last season, but I figured I'd go again because they have a lot of new players. After the game, I waited outside with a couple other people that were getting autographs.

While players were coming out, it became apparent that both Brian Gibbons and Sean Collins had been called up to the NHL Blue Jackets. Both of them went on the bus, grabbed some food and then went back inside the arena to wait for their ride. Eventually, when their ride showed up, my friend and I opened the door and they went on their way to the NHL. I snapped the picture on the right when they were waiting.

I had nothing to get signed except for a team sheet. Here is the team sheet, along with a list of everyone who signed it and the number they wrote on the sheet in no particular order. I got pretty much everyone that played for the Falcons that night.
40-Domenic Monardo 13-Trent Vogelhuber 31-Oscar Dansk 11-Mike Hoeffel
3-Hubert Labrie 32-Frederic St. Denis 17-Sean Collins 22-Lukas Sedlak
12-Ryan Craig 36-Corey Cowick 18-TJ Tynan 8-Josh Anderson 37-Thomas Larkin
15-Kerby Rychel 9-Brandon Gibbons 29-Jerry D'Amigo 33-Scott Munroe
5-Austin Madaisky 28-???? (I wish I knew who that was. Anyone know?)

Also that night, Devils assistant coach and longtime NHL goalie Johan Hedberg signed two cards for me. I rarely have cards for people, but I've had two cards of Hedberg with me since March. It's nice to finally get these signed. He signed 16 cards for another person. Very nice guy. 

Portland Pirates/Devils Autograph Session 11/2/14

Shortly after getting Bridgeport, the Devils were having their first autograph session of the season after playing the Portland Pirates, the Phoenix Coyotes AHL affiliate. After the Pirates won the game in overtime, I headed out to my spot by the door armed with nothing but a team sheet for the Pirates. On my way there, I met someone who said hi and said that he reads his blog. I forgot his name, but if you're reading this, you know who you are. Thanks. Once I got back to the bus, the ink flowed. Here's the sheet and everyone I got. 
32-Tyler Gaudet 11-Francis Wathier 4-Andrew Campbell 49-Alex Bolduc
26-Darian Dziurzynski 38-Lucas Lessio 2-Dylan Reese 17-Jordan Martinook
56-Mike McKenna 28-Justin Hache 19-Henrik Samuelsson 14-Dan O'Donoghue
27-Evan Oberg 22-Phil Lane 37-Louis Domingue 
23-(???? on Bottom Left) 39-(??? on Top Right) Any idea who those are?

After the Pirates had gotten onto their bus, a Devils player walked out carrying all of his sticks and put them into his car. After someone else told me it was Steve Bernier, I approached him with a photo I had for him to sign at the autograph session. After asking him, he told me he just got called up to the NHL Devils, and was leaving immediately. He signed the photo I had of him and then went on his way to the NHL.

After I got back inside, I got all of the Devils that were at the game to sign my program. You can see that below. I wish Bernier had signed that, because I don't think he will be back in the AHL anytime soon. Click on those images or any of the others in this entry to make them bigger so you can zoom in.

At the autograph signing, I also got a few more photos signed, as you can see below.
Peter Harrold

Stefan Matteau

I took the photo of Kinkaid myself at the Islanders game at Barclays Center in September. That's it for this blog entry. I've gotten more autographs since then, but I'll get to those as soon as I can. Thanks for reading and good luck graphing!
Keith Kinkaid 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back to Bridgeport in Albany 10/25/14 & 11/1/14

Thankfully, my favorite time of the year is finally here. Hockey season is back, which means that there are autographs to be had here in Albany. The Albany Devils played the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders AHL team, twice already. I figured I'll combine both of those into one entry, since it is mostly the same players. 

Saturday, Oct. 18 was opening night for the Albany Devils, and luckily for me, the Sound Tigers were the opponents. The Devils did the traditional pre-game introductions of every single player, then wore their traditional red road jerseys during the game. 

The game itself was a very entertaining one, and well worth the price of admission. However, from a Sound Tigers standpoint, the game ended terribly. Paul Thompson scored a short handed goal for the Devils with 44 seconds to play in the third period, giving them a crazy 3-2 opening night victory. In the second meeting in November, the Sound Tigers won handily by a 4-1 scoreline. 

After both times, I went outside to where the team bus was waiting for the Sound Tigers and waited in position for the team to come out. I wasn't able to take any photos when I was outside by the bus because it was dark and cold, but here is everything that I ended up getting after both games.  

One of the first people out was Kevin Poulin. He is clearly the third goalie in the Islanders organization, so if Chad Johnson or Jaroslav Halak ever get hurt, he will be on the Isles. After opening night, he signed a 4x6 photo and his page in the Islanders 2013-14 yearbook. After the second game, in which he earned the win in net, he signed a 4x6 photo from the Stadium Series.

One of the other guys who came out early was former first round draft pick Griffin Reinhart. It was debated all summer whether or not he would make the Islanders out of training camp. He did make the team and played in the Islanders first three games, all wins, but was sent down to Bridgeport after the third game. After the first time, he signed a 4x6 and his part in the yearbook. After the second game, he signed another 4x6 and didn't add his number. 

Another guy that looked like he was going to make the Islanders out of training camp was Anders Lee. Unfortunately for him, he didn't make the team out of camp and played the first week of the season for the Sound Tigers. After the first game, he signed a card that a friend had given me. I got him a bunch of times in Albany last year, and had nothing else for him to sign going into this season. A couple days after I got that card signed, Lee got called up and probably won't get sent down again if he plays well. 

Another first round draft pick, Ryan Pulock of the 2013 draft, signed a photo and his part in the yearbook after the first game. I didn't have anything for him after the second game. I took the photo myself at this summer's rookie scrimmage.

After the first game, Sound Tigers captain Aaron Ness signed his page in the Islanders yearbook. After the second, I didn't have anything for him, but he in a good mood despite the drizzle outside. I got him to sign an index card after that one. I keep a small bunch of them with me for that reason.

Last year, Kevin Czuczman (pronounced Church-man) played the last part of the season on the Islanders straight out of college. Now, he is getting his first taste of AHL action. He seems to be one of the defensemen that could see more time with the Islanders in the near future. He signed a picture after each game for me. The one of him in the black jersey is from after the first game. I'm just happy I don't have to try and write his last name all the time. 

Scott Mayfield and Johan Sundstrom each played a handful of games with the Islanders last season. They both signed photos for me. Sundstrom signed the photo on the right after the first game and Mayfield signed the photo on the left after the second game. Like pretty much everyone else, they were nice and happy to sign for anyone that asked.  

Colton Gillies and Harry Zolnierczyk have both played in the NHL before, just not for the Islanders. The Isles invited both of them to training camp, and now they are in Bridgeport playing for a job. After the first game, both of them signed a generic Islanders 4x6 photo that I printed out. Gillies' signature is on the top. I really feel sorry for the Sound Tigers people who have to spell Zolnierczyk and Czuczman every night. 

Here's the last thing for this entry. Former NHLer and Islanders assistant and current Sound Tigers head coach Brent Thompson signed his part of the Islanders yearbook in silver. 

That's it for this entry. I've gotten some autographs from people and other teams in the past few weeks, and I'll get to those as soon as I can. Thanks for reading and good luck graphing!