July 19, 2009
Shellie and I arrived at the convention around 8:30 am. I headed off to the VIP signing session that I had won, while Shellie went to wait in line for Murray Bannerman.
At 9 am sharp, we finally learned who will be signing for us–Stan Mikita! While I did get his autograph last year, I don’t mind getting it again this year. Mikita nicely signed this 8″ by 10″ photograph.
When I got up to Mikita, I said “Thank you for coming out today.”
“Thank you for coming,” Mitia replied. “Because if it wasn’t for you, I’d still be in bed.”
I laughed, and told him “And if it wasn’t for you, I’d still be in bed too.”
Mikita laughed too. He’s got a sense of humor.
I then went back to the main autograph room, and got a card signed by Cliff Koroll.
Meanwhile, Shellie got an 8″ by 10″ signed by Murray Bannerman.
Bannerman also signed a painting for a fellow named Jeff, from Kankakee, IL. Jeff did the painting while in college in the 1980s, and finally got it autographed by his hero. Bannerman even “drew in” the eyes.
Bannerman signed this guy’s painting,>and even “dotted” the eyes.
Up next was Eric Nesterenko. We waited probably an hour in line. Shellie got a card signed for me…
…and I got a 4″ by 6″ photo of Nesterenko from the film “Youngblood”.
In that movie, he plays Blane Youngblood, father of Rob Lowe’s character Dean Youngblood. While Nesterenko instantly recognized the photo as being from the film, he told me that he did not remember his character’s name. Still, he has a very nice autograph.
The Blackhawks Convention was only running until 2 pm on Sunday. The autograph lines for Pierre Pilote and Cam Russel were ungodly long. No matter, I really wanted an autograph from Phil Russell.
The line for Russell’s autograph was short–he had also signed the day before, so many probably got his autograph then. But Russell’s line also moved very slowly, as he likes to talk to fans.
Shellie and I each got a card signed by him.
Russell also asked me if I had a question for him. After a moment’s hesitation, I asked “Who was your most memorable fight against?”
“Marc Tardif,” Russell replied.
“It was my first fight,” he said “I dragged Tardif to center ice and knocked him out in one punch. But when you heard [former Blackhawks announcer] Lloyd Petit call the play, I supposedly was throwing Tardif around like a rag doll and pummeling him. His telling of my fight was more exciting than the actual fight.”
With the show closing soon, we headed to the dealer room for a few final purchases. Here are some of the cool things I picked up.
Autographed Bobby Hull hockey card for $10. Totally worth it–it’s “The Golden Jet”, and it’s signed in gold ink.
Limited-edition 11″ by 14″ print of Tony Esposito for $10. This was drawn by artist Tony Santiago. This Tony-O illustration was limited to 200 prints and hand-signed by the artist. I will frame this and hang it once I figure out where I can put it.
Here is a video of some highlights from the show.
I also got a few opinions from several die-hard Hawks fans. Zac Adams, Russ Tarvid and Roman Rokiciak sound off about the ‘Hawks signing Marian Hossa and firing GM Dale Tallon.