Saturday, December 03, 2005

Fun with the Stars!

As a longtime season ticket holder of the Dallas Stars of the NHL, I had a chance to take my daughter to a season ticket holder jersey signing event this morning at the Stars' beautiful practice facility. Stars players were split up into four different signing groups; each person attending could select a group to sign his/her jersey. (BTW the jerseys were given to season ticket holders free of charge as an incentive to renew ticket accounts following last season's lockout. I have several jerseys already, so I got youth-sized jerseys for my daughter and son.)

My daughter's favorite Stars player is standout goaltender Marty Turco, who was just named the NHL's defensive player of the month for November. Needless to say, we were going to do everything possible to get into Marty's signing group. As fate would have it, we got there early enough to have our pick of groups. Hello, Marty!

The players couldn't have been more gracious and accommodating. Our signing group included Turco, defenseman Sergei Zubov, center Niko Kapanen, backup goaltender Johan Hedberg, and center/winger Steve Ott. I even asked "Zubie", a mainstay on the Stars' blueline for the last ten years, why he deviated from his patented shootout move and came up empty in last night's overtime game vs. Carolina. He didn't really know, other than that he thought he would try something new. He agreed, however, with my suggestion that he should go back to his devastatingly successful move the next time around. That was my lone coaching tip for the day.

A good time was had by all. My daughter can't wait to wear her signed Stars jersey to school on Monday to show all her friends. My son (we got his jersey signed by all the same guys) has had his jersey on all afternoon. My two little hockey fans are tickled pink and can't wait to wear their Stars "uniforms" to the next games that they'll get to attend with me.

As a kid growing up in Minnesota, I had the chance to meet a lot of NHL players, primarily because my Canadian-born parents had a number of friends playing back then. Talking hockey and getting autographs was a lot of fun for me. I'm glad that my kids can get at least a little taste of the same thing.

Yes, we are a hockey loving family! GO STARS!!


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