2012 Blackhawks Convention – Day 1 Recap

Blackhawks Convention LogoLast weekend was the 5th annual Chicago Blackhawks Convention. Like last year, I had absolutely no intentions of going. In fact, I practically forgot about it.

That all changed when a couple of dealers–literally, a married couple who are also hockey memorabilia dealers–called me last Thursday and told me they had two passes to the show they wanted to give me. I’ve known these two for a few years now. They are the same dealer friends who hooked me up with some VIP autographs at the 2010 show, and I always buy from them when I go to the Sun-Times card shows in March and November.

So, I now had two passes to the show. I made a few quick decisions on what I’d do:

  • Focus on autographs of my heroes from the 1990s
  • Not camp out extra early to get an autograph–or rather, a wristband to get an autograph. No 3 hour waits for me!
  • Skip the panel discussions and focus on getting autographs. Honestly, the panels are getting a little stale (life on the road, goalies, stuff like that)
  • Not be Mr. Super Blogger. That is, I did not take any pictures, shoot any video or Tweet from the show. All I wanted to do was focus on being there and getting autographs.

RECAP OF FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012

Shellie and I got there just a bit before 5pm. We perused the dealer room for a bit, and then lined up to get autograph wristbands. We met up with with Sean, a blogger from the Chicago area, and talked hockey for a bit. Shellie and I grabbed some hot dogs (only $4.50 each, but they were big and included chips).

We then decided to get in line for autographs.

Shellie got me an autograph from Marcus Kruger. That was kind of a mistake, because all she did for the rest of the night was talk about how hot Marcus Kruger is. When I told her he is from Germany, she was annoyed that I didn’t tell her–she would have said “Hello” to him in German. (With a name like MARCUS KRUGER, you think his Germanic heritage was obvious, right?) EDIT: Marcus Kruger was actually born in Sweden, not Germany. Now I wish I had told her that he was German. That would have been hilarious.

Meanwhile, I got my 2009-10 OPC Update card signed by Sheldon Brookbank. Some fans and I joked if it would be possible to fit his entire name on my trading card. Well, the answer is he just does some sort of half-assed squiggle that looks like SLB. I hope his on-ice abilities are better than his autograph-signing abilities.

I had a VIP pass to get an autograph from Patrick Sharp. I went to wait in that line, but it was very long. I really did not need another Patrick Sharp autograph, so I tried to trade to someone who had a different VIP autograph pass.

But I had no takers. So I went back into line to get Patrick Sharp’s autograph.

Just then, a chubby guy called out to me: “Hey, I’ll give you 10 bucks for your Sharp autograph ticket.”

Now, most of you KNOW how I feel about selling autographs, it’s wrong MMM’KAY. Even though this was a ticket to get an autograph, it still didn’t seem right.

“Do you have a different autograph ticket to trade?” I asked the man. “I’d rather get a different VIP’s autograph.” Selling is one thing, but trading is another.

“No, sorry, I don’t,” said the guy. “So, how about 20 bucks.”

At this point, I was stunned. What should I do? I looked, and the guy had a Patrick Sharp Winter Classic jersey in his hands that he wanted to get signed. I had a photo that I only kinda wanted to get signed (I got Sharp’s autograph on a nice picture in 2010).

So, I caved in and accepted the man’s $20. He was happy because he could get his jersey autographed, and I was happy because I used the money to buy something I really wanted–more on that tomorrow.

On Friday, I also bought a few cool things…

I found 12 different parallel and insert cards of my favorite player of all time, Chris Chelios. Above is a shiny parallel card from the Cool Trade mail-away set.

A documentary about the Stanley Cup-winning 1961 Chicago Blackhawks, entitled The Forgotten Champs. This DVD came out in 2006, a few years before the team turned things around (and were pretty much all but forgotten in Chicago).

Starting Lineup figures of Chris Chelios and Glenn Hall. Packaging on these are a little rough, but I am going to open them eventually.

Tomorrow, I will post a recap of Saturday, which is when I got the bulk of my autographs.

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Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

7 thoughts on “2012 Blackhawks Convention – Day 1 Recap”

  1. Du bist ein Luftkopf! Thinking back, I think Kruger may not have understood a word I said to him, because he didn’t respond. Also being mobbed by American fan culture has to cause some culture shock which he seemed to be weathering admirably. And, oh yeah, he was well tanned and startlingly handsome. ^_^ The picture on his card looks terrible in comparison.

    da GF

  2. Two best things to come out of Germany…beer and the Scorpions, in that order.

    Those SLUs are cool. I’m a sucker for those. I used to like them in their boxes but now, I think they would look better opened and “played” with.

    So is Kruger the replacement for Dave Bolland or what?

    1. I am going to open those SLUs when I get a chance. In fact, I have a whole box of SLUs I’m going to open when I have a chance.

      What do you mean by “replacement for Dave Bolland”? He’s still with the ‘Hawks, last time I checked.

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