July 18, 2009
Saturday, Shellie and I got to the Blackhawks Convention at 9 am. My first goal for autographs was to get my 2006-07 Young Guns card of Dave Bolland signed. We got in line, and each of us got a card signed by the ‘Hawks center:
Next on my agenda was to get an autograph from Brent Seabrook, but the line was so long they cut it off. So, we headed over to get autographs from retired player Doug Jarrett.
Doug Jarrett played for the Blackhawks in the 1970s.
A very friendly fellow, Jarrett thanked us both for coming, and shook my hand.
Immediately afterward, we got into line to wait for Tony Amonte. It wasn’t even 10 am yet–and Amonte wasn’t scheduled to appear until 11:30. But I have always wanted to get my 1992-93 Upper Deck Rangers checklist signed by Amonte, as it features a painting of him. I’d gladly spend a few hours in line to get that card signed.
As you can see, I opted to get the Rangers card signed in black, which was a mistake since Amonte’s marker was running out. I thought the black ink would look better against the blue background, but in retrospect I should have asked him to use my new, blue marker instead. Oh well. I also kind of regret not getting an 8″ by 10″ autographed by Amonte, as he was one of my favorites of the 1990s.
I complimented Amonte on his hair–which is shorter than when he was with the Blackhawks, but still shaggy and brown. Amonte smiled and replied “I’m just still trying to look young.”
“Me too,” I chuckled.
Later, I heard that Tony Amonte signed for four hours straight–two hours in his line, and another two hours as a substitute for former teammate Steve Smith, who couldn’t make it to the convention.
Next, we headed over to get autographs from the Blackhawks head coach, Joel Quenneville. Quenneville has, in the past, signed autographs through the mail. However, when getting an autograph in person, you can always ask the person to sign in blue, whereas in through the mail requests you get what you get. That and I told fellow blogger Shane Diaz that I’d try to get a Quenneville card signed for him.
Quenneville made a comment to Shellie, expressing surprise at seeing a Hartford Whalers card. When he next saw my card, he exclaimed “All right, another Whalers card! The Whale lives on!”
Joel Quenneville was happy to see Hartford Whalers cards.
Tired of standing in lines all morning, Shellie and I headed to attend a panel discussion called Road to the NHL. Attending the discussion was Kris Versteeg, Jack Skille, Jordan Hendry and Kyle Beech. However, I was hoping to get an autograph after the panel by the host, Steve Konroyd. A former Blackhawk and Whaler, Konroyd appeared on the box cover to the video game “NHL Hockey”, which was the PC-version of “NHL ’94”. I thought that it would be pretty rad to get this signed…
Unfortunately, none of the people at the panel stuck around afterward to sign anything, including Konroyd.
The panel discussion itself was pretty cool. Here is some video of Kris Versteeg–who was the runner-up for the Calder Trophy–explaining how he made it into the NHL. Versteeg is a pretty funny guy, so enjoy:
It was almost 2 pm now, so we grabbed lunch and then headed to catch the end of another panel–this was of Blackhawks play-by-play announcer Pat Foley and color commentator Eddie Olczyk.
A fan requested that Foley re-enact his famous “Bannerman!” call from the 1985 Norris Division Finals.
For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a video of the original call:
Fortunately, both Olczyk and Foley were willing and able to stick around and sign autographs after the discussion.
We spent some time in the dealer room. Since I did not know which VIP would be signing at 9 am on Sunday, I hedged my bets and purchased 8″ by 10″ photos of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Tony Esposito and Stan Mikita. I already had a photo of Bobby Hull.
The last thing we did that day was get autographs from ‘Hawks rookie Jordan Hendry. By the time we got to his line, it was pretty much empty, so it was a short wait.
I was hoping to get Ben Eager’s autograph too, but the line for him was ridiculously long. So, at about 5:30, we headed home. We’d have to be back early on Sunday for the 9 am VIP signing.