Welcome to my obsession, this is my blog to showcase my sports memorabilia collection. All the autographs are 'in-person' which makes it more interesting! Some great NHL'ers are from our area and come 'home' in the spring. Feel free to use this site for reference for your autographs. I am not an expert but all my stuff is "in-person" so it can be a great reference point. And please drop me a comment!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Leeman, Polonich, Steen, Valiquette, Fluery and Probert, yes Probert

Tonight was the annual Battle of the Badges in town. Every year NHL'ers show up to raise money for the Saskatoon Crisis Nursery. It is not a upper level event if you catch my drift so the merchandise is usually lower end. The players usually vary, last year was the putz Ronning, Igor Kravchuk and Billy Smith. This year's group brought us one of my favorites Gary Leeman, local favorite Dennis Polonich, Winnipeg Jet Alumni Thomas Steen and Leaf Alumni, Jack Valiquette. I picked up my pucks to get signed but was a little ticked, I wanted Leeman on a Leafs jersey but I could not get the number kit in time. So the plan was a few pucks and some odds and ends from the merchandise booth. I always spend a few bucks there. I knew 1964-65 Stanley Cup Champion Gary Peters would be around so I had a Habs puck waiting. I caught him in the hallway and he showed my his new Cup ring for the Habs Alumni from the early Cup years. We chatted for a bit and he allowed me to wear his ring, cool. My finger did burn awhile after, get it? He was really nice and explained the parts of the ring. I spent some money at the booth and got some new and cool items. Look what I found, a signed Bob Probert mini stick with Theo Fluery, I had to have it! RIP BOBBY.....But who is the middle signature? Anyone? I have no idea....

I waited until he end of the first period to catch the guys and saw Polonich talking on his cell phone. I motioned with my hand for an autograph and he nodded yes, and pointed for me to go in the dressing room. I said I wanted him and said I would wait til he was done. When he was finished on the phone, the took me into the room. This was different, this was my 5th or 6th time there and the players always dressed with the other guys. This year all the NHL'ers were in one room. I walked in to see Steen and Leeman on one side and Polonich and Valiquette and the other. I mentioned that I felt like a kid with these guys and they just smiled. Steen signed an Oldtimer puck and signed it JETS, cool. Polonich signed my Wings puck and I walked over to Leeman and asked if he remembered skating with me last March with Probert. He smiled and asked if I had a Oldtimers jersey on. I knew he was honest when he said he did. I told him how said it was to hear of Bob passing away, Leeman was almost in tears and I apologized for bringing it up. He said it was fine, they were talking about it that morning too. He did attend Bob's funeral and told me about it, its no secret what the funeral was like but out if respect for Bob, I won't repeat what Leeman told me, sorry. I did tell Leeman about me telling people of Bob making sure every kid on the ice that day had an autograph, scanning the ice with a check list in his head. He smiled and patted my shoulder and said, "Thank you for doing that for Bob." I felt bad for bringing it up but wanted him to know what I thought of Bob, a great person, no question. Jack introduced himself to me and I responded with my name and he asked if I had played with Gary. I laughed and said no, we just met while skating before the Oldtimer game in February, to hear Gary overhear the conversation and explained how he 'knew' me, the skate the the kids and big kids. We chuckled about that one. I thanked the guys and headed out. Man, I could sit and yap with Leeman for hours, great guys. Polonich actually gave me a program to get signed but I said I had some pucks. Great guy too.

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