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Monday, January 31, 2011

Post All-Star Game

Now that the snoozefest is over, (have to admit, I fell asleep sometime before the end of the second period and awoke around the 7:00 minute mark of the third), time to talk of more important matters. Toronto Maple Leafs. I picked up these two items during the 80's from Ted Taylor at a collectibles show.
Nameplates from the back of the jersey. These were apparently removed so jerseys could be used again. Bob "Big Daddy" McGill and Paul Higgins. Not some of the big names that I could have chosen but some of the more "physical" players on those teams. Of course, the stars would not need to have nameplate removed as they weren't going anywhere. The pickings were slim--some of the other ones available were Duris, Crha--don't remember any others. If I remember correctly, these were had for two bucks a piece. Something unique. Something Leafs. All is well in the centre of the hockey universe.  Enjoy.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

50th NHL All Star Game --The Final Day

Sunday, the final day. Same routine, breakfast, talk and ready to go. Now the announcement. No, I did not win tickets to the actual game. Wait, what's happening. Now they're walking around picking about 20 people. They need people to man the doors for the All-Star dinner/banquet thing. Hey Pam over here. She does pick me. All we have to do is open the doors and greet the guests coming in to the Convention Centre where the event is being held. Since it's Canada and February, its cold outside. We are being provided jackets which we can keep.

Front of jacket

Close up of NHL FANtasy logo and Roots on sleeve

Back with 2T0R0NT0 logo

Finished my shift, had something to eat and rested up. Greeted many guests, corporate and NHL. Still did not get any autographs. It was like a whos who of hockey. Theres's The Count (not Don Grosso or Bob Dailey) Gary Betteman. Clint Smith. Jari Kurri. Borje Salming.  Ex-Leaf Billy Derlago shook my hand and thanked me. To numerous to mention. Now it's over so will have to wait for my bus to take me to the train. The collector in me said maybe I should go back to where the FANtasy area was set up. Nobody there except workers taking down the booths and displays. There was stuff they were keeping and stuff they were throwing out. Now I wish I would have driven in so I could take some of the display advertising and such. Alas, could not carry such large items on public transport.  Oh well, c'est la vie. The whole experience was great and left me with many good memories. On a side note, I have volunteered for this years Mastercard Memorial Cup in Mississauga during May.
Hopefully this happens. Maybe more stuff to add to the memory bank.

Friday, January 28, 2011

50th NHL All-Star Game part 4 (and day 4)

Hello Canada and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland: No, I'm not Foster Hewitt but just stoked to meet everyone at the FANfest. Its fun getting together with people who share your love of THE GAME. Talked collecting with some, comparing notes and telling stories. Doing this full time would be a blast. Since it is Saturday and I didn't work Friday night, I caught up on some sleep and raring to go. Walked around checking out the other booths and generally having a good time. At breakfast, there was an announcement that there was going to be a draw for tickets to the game itself from the volunteers who worked all five shifts. They would make the announcement Sunday. I guess that would ensure you came back to work. Would I be a lucky winner? To be announced in the next 50th NHL All-Star Game post. Until then, He shoots He scores.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Team Staal vs Team Lidstrom

Reading a story in the paper today about the fantasy draft tomorrow. Apparently there's an app called Team Chooser that balances out teams by player rating. Developed by a University of Toronto prof to even up teams in his pickup hockey league. They input player ratings from EA Sports NHL 11. Erics Staal with his assistanst Ryan Kesler and Mike Green while Lidstrom with Martin St. Louis and Patrick Kane. Here is how the app picked the most balanced team line-ups.

Team Staal 

Cam Ward
Marc-Andre Fleury
Carey Price

Dan Boyle
Brent Burns
Mike Green
Erik Karlsson
Duncan Keith
Shea Weber

David Backes
Matt Duchesne
Patrick Elias
Martin Havlat
Ryan Kesler
Corey Perry
Daniel Sedin
Henrik Sedin
Patrick Sharp
Jeff Skinner
Eric Staal
Jonathan Toews

Team Lidstrom

Jonas Hiller
Henrik Lundqvist
Tim Thomas

Dustin Byfuglien
Zdeno Chara
Kris Letang
Nick Lidstrom
Marc Staal
Keith Yandle

Daniel Briere
Loui Eriksson
Claude Giroux
Patrick Kane
Phil Kessel
Anze Kopitar
Rick Nash
Alex Ovechkin
Brad Richards
Martin St. Louis
Steven Stamkos
Paul Stastny

Let's now see how it really plays out. (I woukd have liked to see them throw all the sticks in a pile and then throw them to opposite sides-just like when I was a kid)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

50th NHL All-Star Game part 3

Hi Ho Hi Ho, its off to work I go. Of course, this does really seem like work. Standing at the slap shot booth, holding a stick and getting people to take some shots. The FAN radio station was broadcasting live, so I called the the co-hosts over to try, Mike Hogan and the coach, Don Landry. They come over but go to the lane next to mine to participate. It was fun trying to get the younger kids to try and watching their expressions. Guys trying to impress their girlfriend/wife. More fun trying to coax them to try. Not feeling to bad. An hour trip to work. Work eight hours. Walk to the Convention Centre and have breakfast and just talk with other people for an hour. Work the booth for four and a half hours. The hour trip back home. Need some lunch and then sleep. I guess the adrenaline rush keeps me going. So here is a picture of the jersey and cap we had to wear. I heard that there were some people who signed up, got the jersey and but them on e-bay to sell. I suppose with somewhere over 1200 volunteers it was bound to happen.

The only drawback was you couldn't see anything else going on elsewhere. There were players, officials and executives walking about and I couldn't leave my post to get autographs. Day 3, over and out.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The Maple Leaf is the largest of all the Guardians. A fact made more obvious when he "grows" infinitely larger as the need arises. His body is composed entirely of wood; essentially he is a living breathing maple tree. Large roots that shoot from his feet enable him to secure himself to any surface by penetrating and forming a foothold.  His branches can stretch from his forearms allowing him to snatch up the enemy or grasp innocent victims in harm’s way. He fires sticky "sap" bombs from his fingertips that trap his opponents like an insect in amber. 

On top of all of this, the Maple Leaf has the super ability of chlorokinesis, basically allowing him to communicate with the plant world. The Maple Leaf, or “Trunk” as the rest of the Guardians know him, is one of the funniest of the Guardians. Always quick with a joke or a sarcastic barb, the Maple Leaf often disarms his opponents by bringing levity to tense situations. Don't let the funny man routine fool you though, because when angered this Guardian can be particularly brutal, and this is no laughing matter.
The Maple Leaf 

I guess this must explain our 26th place in the standings. It's a good a reason as any.

Monday, January 24, 2011

50th NHL All-Star Game part 2

So, to get into the NHL FANtasy area, you had to show your pass to get through security.

There were different passes for different days and events. This was a general get into the area pass with limited access. First the breakfast and then work. Since I had already won the trivia contest, I helped a lady at my table. Her son really liked Doug Gilmour and his starting lineup figure was the prize. Gave her the answer, she won and was pretty happy. The question? Who won the Calder Memorial Trophy in Wayne Gretzky's eligible year? Pretty easy really, no BS.

Until next time

Saturday, January 22, 2011

50th NHL All-Star Game

The 50th National Hockey League All-Star game was part of the 1999–2000 NHL season, and took place in Toronto's Air  Canada Centre on February 6, 2000.
The all-star week festivities saw the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects Game played on February 2, and an exhibition game between the Canadian and American women's national teams on February 3. The Heroes of Hockey game and the Skills Competition were held on February 5.

My friend Sal at wrote about his personal experience with the 1991 NHL All-Star Game.  That made me think about my experience with the 2000 All-Star game. I read in The Toronto Sun that they were looking for volunteers for the NHLFantasy Expereince. I sent in an e-mail indicating my interest and received a reply to come to an orientation session (this all happened in a span of a few months). After the session and still indicating my interest, received letter  At the time, I was working in downtown Toronto, about a five minute walk to the Metro Convention Centre. As I was an 11-7 shift, I chose to volunteer for an 8-1:30 shift.

 I was assigned to the Slap shot zone. You know the one, take slap shot with those road hockey balls and machine records your speed. Pretty cool gig. I walk over on the Wednesday morning (I'm a little early) and they have a continental breakfast set up. I also meet the lady who was coordinating the event and chatted a bit. They had a trivia contest and gee I knew the answer and won. The question was "Who was the third string goalie for Team Canada 1972 (you can look it up if you don't know). I won a Grant Fuhr Starting Lineup extended series figure and a chocolate puck. After the pre-game meal, I was ready to go. (will show picture of the sweater we had to where in a later post). This is only day one. I have more stories to tell. Until next time.

Official Map and Guide

Friday, January 21, 2011


1999-2000 Special NHL Collectors Edition All Team Zamboni Bank--celebrating 50 years of the Zamboni--this is the 1:24 scale model version with all team logos --There was an e-mail at work in December--they were clearing out all kinds of articles they had left over from previous fundraising garage sales--the usual stuff-- books, glasses, picture frames but this one caught my eye--something hockey and the price was right--make an offer--1(one) dollar sounded good to me and them so it was mine--Never been opened with some minor box wear, how could I resist--another item for my collection and the price was right--can't wait for the summer garage sale season to begin--just need some summer

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mail call

Responded to this offer on box of Honey Nut Cheerios on Nov 19/10:

Free Olympic Hockey Shirt With Select General Mills Cereal Purchase Relive Canada's Olympic Gold-medal hockey victories with one of three select commemorative shirts, yours free when you purchase a specially marked box of General Mills cereal.

To get your free shirt, find the PIN code in your specially marked box of one of the following General Mills cereals:

  • Apple Cinnamon Cheerios - 720g
  • Multi-Grain Cheerios - 560g
  • Cheerios - 525g
  • Honey Nut Cheerios - 685g
  • Lucky Charms - 680g
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch - 700g
  • Nesquick - 700g
  • Reese Puffs - 755g
  • Fibre 1 Honey Clusters - 700g
  • Oatmeal Crisp Almonds - 710g
  • Oatmeal Crisp Maple Nut Flavour - 700g
Enter the PIN code here, choose from the three shirt styles available, and it will be mailed to you. This giveaway offer is valid until February 28, 2011, while supplies last. There are 340,000 shirts available in total, sizes and styles are subject to availability. Enjoy!

Entered PIN code and received e-mail reply:

Thanks, Al
You’ve successfully redeemed one code for:


Free Team Canada Signature Shirt
You should receive your shirt on or before:

Received yesterday. It looks better than the advertised photo. Also included in package was insert with coupon thanking me. Also lists the autographs of the Gold medal team that make up the hockey player figure on front of shirt. Now I wish I had eaten more cereal. I guess I have until Feb 28th to find more boxes with the offer and hope the offer hasn't expired and my size and style will be available. This is what I like. Something to eat, something free and something hockey. How can it get any better. (Leafs could win instead of 7-0 loss to the Rangers last night.)
Toto, I've a feeling I'm not in Utopia any more

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TTM autographs

Dallas Ice Girls

8 1/2 x 11 2010-2011 Ice Girls team photo--same as on web page but this one signed and personalized

sent e-mail request early December, received early January

WHERE the e-mail address I used (Wendy Dutton is the Ice Girls coorinator)

to add to my autograph collection-I have some other cheerleader autograph photos from past years from other teams

Something a bit different for a hockey signed item--sure makes the winter mornings more palatable

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TTM autograph

Dean Blais is currently the Head Coach for the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a former associate coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Selected by Chicago BlackHawks round 5 #68 overall in the 1971 draft.
Played three seasons for the Dallas Black Hawks from 73/74-75/76

Received 8 1/2x10 1/4 inscribed team photo of the 2009-2010 UNO Mavericks in black marker.

I sent an e-mail on December  3rd  He  sent me an e-mail telling me he just sent it out on December 13th. Received on December 17th.

WHERE is the email address I used for him.

Sent requesting an autographed photo for my collection even though his US juniors beat the Canadian juniors in the 2010 World Juniors.

On March 10, 2009 and May 14, 2010, a photograph of Blais was shown on Letterman for a segment called, "Guys who look like Dave."

Monday, January 17, 2011

NHL Alumni Game Live--- OUTDOORS

The way Hockey was meant to be played! I remember those days on the backyard rink--you would play all day, frozen toes and all--They used to even broadcast Hamilton JR B games on Sunday mornings--I would watch and then go out between periods and try to emulate them--then back in for the next period. Lunch and then watch the JR A Toronto Marlboroughs in the afternoon--same routine-ahh, the good times
February 20,2011-- 2:00 pm
Paris Fairgrounds
Scotiabank (sponsor) is bringing  the great game of hockey to Paris, Ontario. This gives the opportunity to meet some of the most renowned hockey players of all time! . This exciting and entertaining game will feature retired players from Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Black Hawks and many more. They are not only here to challenge members of the local Law Enforcement All Stars team to the on-ice hockey game of their lives but, also to raise money for Ontario Special Olympics with the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

This entertaining game also includes an exciting skills competition, hilarious on-ice gags and some of the most highly profiled former players in the NHL.
About 16 former NHL players will be on the roster of the alumni team, which has toured for 30 years. Among those confirmed for the Paris game are Stanley Cup champion Claude Lemieux, former Maple Leaf caption Rick Vaive , Mike Pelyk and Wayne Gretzky's former bodyguard, Marty McSorley

The Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run ( is a community based, province-wide event that sees the "Flame of Hope" being carried right across Ontario by members of the Law Enforcement from communities right across the province. The objective of this and other events is to raise funds for and awareness of the Special Olympics movement in Ontario.  All funds raised through Torch Run events are aimed at programs that directly support and affect all community-based Special Olympics activities. Funds are channeled into community programs, assisting with a variety of expenses including games travel, accommodation, meals, staff support, grants to new community programs, athlete training, public education, volunteer/coach training and development initiatives like school programs (which opens up opportunities to new younger athletes).

I used to attend  lot of these when they were known as the OldTimers instead of Alumni. Great opportunity for IP autographs. I missed the one in Brantford last year as we were just moving back there. Missed my opportunity for Bob Probert. I guess you never know.  Just hope the weather is nice (I guess this happens when you get older. Never bothered me as a kid) I have included a sort of program/team photo from those days.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I'm a Maple Leaf lifer

Parody mocks Leaf fans

Leaf fans love to hear the boos.
A Internet video called, "Love to Hear the Boos" is stirring up the longstanding rivalry between Toronto Maple Leafs fans and Montreal Canadiens fans. It's had more than 150,000 YouTube hits since it was uploaded three days ago.
It's a parody of Eminem and Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie" where a closet Leafs fan gets in hot water with his Habs-loving girlfriend for secretly cheering on his team. As a form of punishment, she makes him wear a brown paper bag over his head while he's still wearing the blue-and-white jersey.
"The video is so open-ended for people to decide what stance they're taking," said Sean Plumbridge, 25, who is the creator of Vancouver-based Hockey Gods and also stars as the shamed Leafs fan in the video.
"We've had Leafs fans think it's pro-Leafs and anti-Leafs and the same thing with Canadiens fans. The comments went from being about the video to people just battling back and forth."

Just gonna stand here and watch you lose,
That's alright because I like to hear the boos,
I like to watch all the Leafs fans cry,
Brian Burke you should have stayed in Anaheim,
You should have stayed in Anaheim.
I can't tell you if they'll win again,
I can only tell you what they're golfing in,
And right now, we're wishing that we had Tyler Seguin!
It's a secret but I cheer while I can cheer,
As long as she doesn't find out, SHOOT!..Man I’m out of here!
She doesn't get me, Why is she with me?
She'll love me when we win the cup in 2050!
It's time to be a man, no wait, no it ain’t.
Not if I wanna make love again!
Just gonna stand here and watch you lose,
That's alright because I like to hear the boos,
And if you should start to cry,
Here's a paper bag I cut two holes for eyes,
I cut two holes for eyes.
Have you ever wondered
why these Maple Leafs they always seem so awful,
I always wondered at that game why they threw them waffles,
they brought in Dion Phaneuf, Kris Versteeg, and Phil Kessel,
What's next Burke ... bring in the Hulkster to wrestle?
I know Cliff Fletcher left you on a stretcher,
made some bad decisions had us wishin' you was on a mission but I doubt!
I doubt I'll see a cup soon in Toronto,
Believe me when I say it ain’t no consolation prize that we got Joey Votto
Just gonna stand here and watch you lose,
That's alright because I like to hear the boos,
But I have got something trapped inside,
I'll always be a secret Maple Leaf for life,
A Maple leaf for Life,
A Maple leaf for Life

Gee, this thing amuses,confuses and amazes me. I guess being a life long Leaf fan will do that to you.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Today's Mail Call

Another day, another envelope. Calgary Flames. Again, it appears my hockey playing services are not required. So what do we have to assuage my feelings.
Calgary Flames pocket schedule    x 3
Calgary Hitmen pocket schedule    x 3
Vinyl Flames logo cling-on            x 1
Business card of account manager  x 2 
Again, as with Vancouver, Calgary has always been great in responding with varying degrees of success. For the cost of sending an e-mail, anything is good.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mail Call

Yesterday's mail contained envelope from the Vancouver Canucks. Did they need me to sign a contract? No, it's something better. The fan pack I requested earlier this season. Vancouver has been one of the best in sending something back every year. They include letter thanking you for your support. This year, their 40 th Anniversary (has it been that long) package includes the following
Nice looking player postcards. Now to try and get a complete set.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Gee, what should I watch for my hockey fix tonight--Canada-US semifinal in the World Juniors or my beloved Maple Leafs against the Big Bad Bruins????

Forward Ryan Bourque of Team USA is among the 22-men roster that will defend its world junior hockey championship on home soil later this month.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Going through my box of autographed index cards--somehow during moving, they were disrupted and not in order---don't know who this is but have two of them--all I know is that it is hockey and received during the late 80's--trying to figure it out and having FUN???  "/?"^%$