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  1. #1

    Shows And Events Archives!!!

    WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND THE 2007 NHL DRAFT!!!

    By: Don White

    1) Price of Admission (FREE):

    Where else can you see the next Gretzky, Roy, Yzerman, Crosby, and Ovechkin, get drafted for FREE. The NHL is the only major sports body that lets fans of the game attend the draft. So spend a minute, an hour, a day and the worst you can say is "That is the worst free event I attended."

    2) Easy access to future stars for autographs (even) past superstars, hof'ers gm's, owner's, etc.

    You will never find an easier place to get autographs than the NHL DRAFT. As the players are young and have not had the arduous task of signing for 10 to 20 years like many superstars who can be Hit or Miss when asked for their autographs.

    I can give you numerous examples of how the players at the draft go beyond the call of duty.

    A) Rotislav Olesz- he spent an hour or more fulfilling every autograph request of the throng that surrounded him. He did it happily. Heck, he even gave his NHL DRAFT cap to a fan who traded him his brand new Panther cap. Heck, just imagine the collectible that will be down the road.

    B) We all know how big Alexander Ovechkin is now but when I went up to him to get a graph the pen was pleasantly taken from my hand and the item signed. I didn't even get to utter a word or need to ask he knew what we were coming for and he was glad to LAY DOWN THAT GRAPH.

    C) Walking down the concourse on a Sunday would be boring to most. But to a few die hards and veterans of the event you need to understand there are more than just the kids getting drafted. It the Gm's, Owner's, etc. that are graph worthy as well. As this beauty of an 8 x 10 by one of the best testifies. I mean it is not every day you meet Wayne Gretzky strolling through a concourse with a CVS bag in tow. But that is what happened to Ian Price and he has a memento to last for a life time (a beautiful 8 x 10 photo signed by the GREAT ONE himself).

    Here is a list of the players we obtained while autograph hunting in Raleigh. The wife took the goalie mask and I took the goalie stick.


    Alexander Ovechkin- Capitals
    Radislav Smid- Anaheim
    Roman Voloshenko- Islanders
    Blake Wheeler- Coyotes
    Dane Byers- Rangers
    Rob Schremp- Oilers
    Borin Valabik- Thrashers
    Lauri Korpikoski- Rangers
    Jeff Schultz- Capitals
    Lukas Kaspar- Sharks
    Rotislav Olesz- Panthers
    Lauri Tukonen- Kings
    Travis Zajac- Devils
    Adam Bert- Blackhawks
    Andrej Meszaros- Senators
    Cam Ward- Hurricanes
    Andrew Ladd- Hurricanes
    Magnus Akerlund- Hurricanes
    David Laliberte- Flyers
    Jason Church- Sharks

    Jeff Daniels and McCarthy (Coaches of Cane's) as they signed with Ward

    So out of the top 10 we landed 6. Not bad when you consider the crop.











    3) Where else can you ask questions of Beckett and UD in person.

    If you are a hockey card collector at all, there are always questions out there for these two entities that maintain a major hobby presence.

    UD has the only NHL license so they have all these products from Artifacts to The Cup which leaves us with tons of questions. So here is your chance not to be dealt with on the phone, through e-mail correspondence, or a large event like the Nationals where the line can get tedious. So drop by their booth and ask all the questions you have. Make a list as they will have more than a few people to answer any question you can throw at them.

    If you don't get an answer then just ask for a business card as most of them have them. That way you just made a sweet contact for future questions down the road. Nothing like sending that e-mail and building a repertoire with that person for future questions and answers. As we all know when the person knows you on the other end, the discussion will go that much smoother.

    Beckett has a table at the Draft as well and is staffed by a few members of the Beckett Hockey Magazine. I mean where else can you see Editor in Chief of Beckett Hockey Magazine AL MUIR sell BCCG graded Beckett cards to the public. At the Draft in Carolina they had a slew of these cards that they sold for a few dollars each.

    Also, like UD they will answer any questions you can come up with. How they do their pricing, listings of what sets and not, hot singles, etc. SO if you just take the time to jot down your questions by the time you leave you will have answers. Might not be what you want to hear but AL and the Beckett staff will do their best to answer your questions.

    This is kind of like having Beckett and UD at your disposal and of course the cost is FREE!! So it is another one of the many reasons to stop by at the NHL 2007 Draft in Columbus.

    4) Card show with free redemptions for busting boxes by UD.

    There is always a small card show at the NHL Draft and they do have some goodies especially of the latest players from the Host City. The dealers usually consist of some of the bigger dealers from across the nation that UD has a network with. Then on a local level their is always a few local dealers that are also part of the UD dealer network.

    At the Card show UD usually does some type of redemption with buying a box of cards or sometimes even just a pack. It changes from year to year so you never know. One year Pacific gave away the Calder Contenders with the 3 net cards from the all star game. The set booked about $150 in total so overall for any box you bought you received a nice freebie (throw in) for buying a box of cards.

    5) Special Events by the host team:

    Team Signings:
    Nashville had a great one as the picture I had signed by there first 5 1st rounders they had drafted since the team inception. Made for a nice item to take home from the draft. Of course the season ticket holders got their in a private line but that is the benefit of being a season ticket holder. The only gripe I had about the signing of that line was that the Predators had no crowd control to form the line. So in essence my friend and I along with my wife waited two hours to get their auto's. There was no line so people were about 20 to 30 wide in the concourse so when they did form the line we ended getting moved back a few hundred people. Also, after 3 hours I believe the guys stopped autographing which made for some mad fans. I felt for those people and the Nashville organization should have done something better on that front.

    Here is a example of the Nashville team signing picture that we obtained:



    Carolina had a different take as they had different people signing through out the arena. Unlike Nashville with all the people in one place for autos you had to choose your poison. So did you want Eric Staal, Andrew Ladd, Cam Ward, etc. So it was a preferential and if you chose one you usually could not make it to the other. So once you made your decision you would have to live for it which is cool. Of course the lines were well controlled and the lines moved very quickly when the auto's session started.

    Game Used Sales:
    Both Nashville and Carolina auctioned off game used equipment from Blockers, Pad's, Sticks, Skates, and everything else imaginable. Both events were well controlled as they would let you in the rope off room at about 10 per time. Once one person left they would allow one other person to enter so there was a constant number of people.

    The main problem with this is if your looking for something particular you might not find it. As the people set out a certain number of sticks, skates, helmets, etc. When a few get sold the walk into a room off to the side and bring in some more. So if you are looking for a certain player or certain piece of equipment it might not be there. As it could be in that room and they don't like to be asked for special requests as I saw a few people try. That jams up the whole operation and again like a pack of cards it is kind of like getting lucky as you have no control of what will be available. Thing is the prices rock and it is official issue so what can ya say as how often do you get a chance except at the TEAM STORE where prices are a little higher.

    6) Stanley Cup and other trophies and other things to do!

    Where else can you see the Lord Stanley and the other host of trophies without traveling to the HALL OF FAME MUSEUM. So in essence you can have you picture taken with the Stanley Cup and of course the line is quite LONG. So be prepared for a wait unless you line up early. The rest of the trophies are usually on site for the first day and packed up by the second day. So, make sure you check them out if you want to see them at all during the 1st day. Not sure if that is always the case but it has been my experience for the 2 Draft's I have attended.

    Usually there is Russ Cohen and his hockey guys set up taping for their website (radio) with various players, UD, etc. As I saw them both years I attended as they usually put a lot of the interviews with players, parents, fans, and anyone who walks near their booth. They love what they do and enjoy getting the word out about what the NHL DRAFT and what is going on.

    All in all the NHL DRAFT is a great experience as you will see joyous players who will eagerly sign items unlike when the majority signing habits turn for the worse. Where else will you see a joyous family ask you to take a picture with their son as you just happened to ask for a autograph. Hasn't happened to me but my wife had to take a picture with some NHL DRAFTEE that she did not even know. I can only assume that picture is sitting in some Draftee photo album and they are going to do this one day "WHO IS THAT WOMAN".

    p.s. If your planning on attending let me know as I would love to meet ya (the more the merrier). Also, if you have any questions just ask and if I don't know the answer will try to find out for you. Well I am just counting down the days til June 23rd in Columbus of course I plan on getting there early as always.

    DON
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  2. #2
    ]2007 Nhl Draft In Rewind:[/B]
    Well as usual I found time to take a few days and head off to the 2007 NHL DRAFT. So the wife and I left Thursday morning to get there for the NHL DRAFT PROSPECT CLINIC where they would be signings auto's afterwards (WOHOOO)!!

    As I drove up there all I could think about was all the radio announcers, t.v. analyst, etc. talking throughout the Stanley Cup Finals that the NHL has nothing to offer the fans. This is my 3rd NHL DRAFT that I will be attending and how many other fans do I know from other sports that attend anything where they can meet all the stars of tomorrow plus a hearty mix of old and current stars. I can't think of one of course I guess the radio talk show host and such have never taken the time to check the NHL DRAFT out to see it does offer something no other sport does.

    So upon arriving we found the Ice Dispatch Haus which is the place that the Columbus Blue Jackets practice when not in the Nationwide Arena. This is where the Clinic was to be held so now I was going alright only a few more hours. Now here again I am thinking back to all those comments on the t.v. and radio by the various professoinals. So I thought to myself. where do current NHL STAR's and FUTURE STARS give a clinic for the kids of the community in another sport? The clinic was to include Rick Nash, Dan Fritsche, Manny Maholtra, and Pascal Leclerc from the Columbus BlueJackets. The Draft Prospects included James VanRiemsdyk, Keaton Ellerby, Patrick Kane, Karl Alzner, and Sam Gagner. Now how many local kids get to do this on a yearly basis as this happens every year at the NHL DFAFT HOST CITY. This was not the only event that happens like this as I think the day before they had a soccer game of some sort. I couldn't attend that as the wife could not get off work that day. So I settled for the CLINIC as it said the players and future draft picks would be signing.

    Now I am at the NHL DRAFT and I need to get some items for auto's as I did could not obtain the Numbers I wanted to from Rivercity Sports. I was hoping to get a 07 and have them signed to be put on a Columbus Bluejackets jersey later down the road with a nameplate NHL DRAFT with the 07 numbering to make it a nice piece to be auotgraphed and kept in the Personal Collection. Problem turned out the numbers were stitched by hand and would take a couple of weeks plus the shipping could possibly be a few weeks.

    So I headed up to the Blueline store which is a line of stores that are spread throughout Columbus and carries all the BlueJackets apparel. So upon getting into the store I spotted a mini stick and hat that both bore the design Quote:
    COLUMBUS 2007 Draft
    . So I picked up the Hat for me and the Stick for the wife as that is what she chose to get autographed time permitting.

    So heading outside we seen a flock of guys standing around and I said this is where we need to stand. So we sat down on some benches and sure enough we seen a draft prospect come out of the NATIONWIDE ARENA. According to a sign that said TOP PROSPECT LUNCHEON they would be coming out the doors to head back to their hotel. So we hung out there for a few hours and picked up a few autographs of such players as Angelo Esposito, Jeremy Smith, Jacob Voracek, etc. to name a few.

    Here is what the autographed Hat and Stick's looked like at the end of the day:




    Here is a close up of ANGELO ESPOSITO autograph. Let just say it not pretty at all.



    So we finished a hour or two outside the Nationwide arena and headed off to watch the CLINIC without much fanfare. As mostly it was parents and a few autograph hounds that assembled in the building to watch. Here are a few pictures from the CLINIC (I have some video but that might be a few days or next weekend before I get that up).

    James

    KARI ALZNER

    KARI ALZNER

    SAM GAGNER

    KEATON ELLERBY

    SAM GAGNER


    So the draft clinic ends and I am thinking the few fans that have attended and kids alike will get some auto's. Well, I was in for a rude awakening when I see the all the Bluejacket players along with the future stars get behind the bench. Then the kids participating in the clinic lined on the outside and skate oh so slowly as they were adorned with autographs from all. I was like oh no as most of the fans in attendance would have to treasure the memories of the Pic's as not auto's would be given out as the Players quickly retreated to the locker room. So the wife and I headed to our hotel to plan our mojo for the next day.


    So upon arriving at the hotel I returned some phone calls that I had left go unanswered from two friends (P-NUT-BUTR and Darryl that I try to get here to post his in person auto as well). Darryl arrived first as he was driving up from Nashville while Ian was driving from South Carolina. Darryl cam bearing a sign that said Quote:
    BRING IT ON HAMILTON!!
    He had season tickets last year and he couldn't afford them this year with the price increase. He had quite a few people from Penguins fan being the most supportive aloing with Buffalo and Toronto fans not wanting another team between them. Of course a few people from Hamilton took resentment to the sign but he kept packing it with him the whole day. SO we added a few auto's to our hat and stick from last year as we were waiting for the line to form for RICK NASH auto's.

    Rick Nash autographs were worth me waiting as I was there before anyone else but ended getting in line 3rd and 4th with my wife respectively as we were close to were the line started but not the exact location. So we waited about 3 hours while we added a odd autograph here from a prospect as well. During the wait the band YELLOWCARD was preparing for their set around 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Here is a shot at the stage and the Nash autographs that we obtained.

    [U]
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  3. #3
    Rick Nash auto's:






    [/U]So after getting Rick Nash's autograph we headed to Nationwide Arena to get in and see what they had to offer. SO we went in and were given the handout plus our NHL DRAFT TOWEl:



    Landed a nice auot of VanRiemdsdyk (2nd overall pick) plus one other top right.

    SO we spent the nite watching the 1st round, checking out the hockey dealers that were setting up, UD and their redemption program which I thought was pretty weak compared to years past.

    1) If you bought 6 packs of UD or 7 of Fleer you rec'ed a 6 card Redemption Set:

    2) If you came back on Sunday and spent a $100 on product you would receive a A.O. UD VINYL FIGURE. If you were going to spend close to a $100 you might as well go for the free figure as they do sell well withing the first relase. This figure was suppose to be only for the NHL DRAFT. SO that pretty much finished up the evening as we headed back to the hotel as the 1st round went pretty quickly.

    This draft was pretty much like all I seen in the past. Bettman was booed, the owner of COLUMBUS rec'ed a big STANDING O, the Columbus pick of Voracek Rec'ed a big applause and the fans flooded out of the arena in drove's. So we stayed around hunted a few more graphs and then headed back to the hotel to grab a bite to eat as we usually do not eat while hunting down graphs (bad for business).

    Sunday came quickly and the Blue Jacket Fans were back in line for this autograph session:



    So with the draft starting at 10 and the auto's at 11 and 12 respectively the fans who arrived and got in line first would have to wait roughly about 3 to 4 hours before they got the 5 autographs of those 5 players. I figured I could get more on the stick as I went and bought a new mini stick to obtain some more autographs. SO throughout the day I chased only prospects and passed up many stars such as Hunter, Bowman, Foglino, Hull, Yzerman, and many many other current and other veterans. I did make one exception as I did grab SAMAKOS autograph as he will be eligible for the draft next year.


    Here is what the two sticks looked like at the end of the draft:




    So about 2 or 3 we went and ate with Ian and his mother at a local pub (bar and tavern) on the porch and again it was loaded with Hockey players and draft picks. Dale Hunter was eating with a group of older players. This guy sat down next us at the table adjacent to us and I did not bother to ask for a autograph even though I would have loved to (IT RUDE)!!! They posed for a picture so I took one while they shot one for themselves.



    This is prospect Joakim Andersson from Detroit who was the 3rd round selection with the #88 pick. What was funny is that he invited a fellow Swede over as he went down to the street and brought back Lars Eller to their table (4 of them). I didnt' bother with a autograph but Ian did. As Ian said he obtained a few nice auto's of Ron Francis, Jim Rutherford, Joakim Andersson, Lars Eller, and a few others to round out his day. As he was bummed he kept missing BIG DADDY KANE.

    p.s. I will try to edit this later of all the autographs that I have and who is who for those that would like to know what some people sign like. Hope you enjoyed the read.
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  4. #4
    A LOOK BACK AT THE 28TH NATIONALS IN CLEVELAND!!!

    By: Don White

    I left the house about 6 in the morning on Wednesday to head toward Cleveland. I arrived about 1 in the afternoon and picked up my table information and VIP package from Megan that Mike has arranged for. I quickly found out that our table number was 155 way in the back of the show upont entering the VIP section. Of course it would be totally reversed when the General Admission tickets would come in Thursday thru Sunday. So, it was great for traffic for the general admission's but for VIP guys and gals we would be one of the last tables upon them entering.

    Ian (
    P-NUT-BUTR) made 3 trips to the car with my stuff while to bring my two boxes of cards, display case, camera, and stuff to give away to promote STC at the show. As I learned you are only allowed one car pass into the show and since Ian had most of the cards to put on the table it made sense to let him use it. Of course that did not come to reality as he was late for the show so he had to borrow a dolly and wheel his stuff in as they cut you off on 4 o'clock for vehicles to drive in. That a live and learn situation for the future and that ever plan to set up. Also, of note they only allow 2 wheel dollies as well (no four wheel dollies).

    The first day is for VIP and dealers only as they stay up later than usual (9 o'clock) and a bunch of buying and selling happens during this time for pricey items and such that people deem they have to have now. As I always say and from all the Nationals I attended if you can wait and you don't think the items will run out of stock or you want a bargain wait til Sunday as prices usually will come down a lot. Boxes will slashed on boxes from $69 to $64 etc while game used cards will be slashed to below 50 percent. Each dealer has their own ideas but in the end the old saying is true "GO HOME WITH THE MOST DOLLARS AS POSSIBLE".

    WRAPPER REDEMPTIONS AND OTHER REDEMPTION PROGRAMS:
    This is one of the biggest things that causes boxes to be busted to get those elusive auto's and low print run cards of your favorite star. You could hear the oohh's and aahh's throughout the show as this happened day in and day out. Walking by the Corporate sponsors section you would see people lined up with boxes to break packs or boxes for a chance at this amazing LOTTERY. Here is a example of what one nice hockey collector pulled.

    WAYNE BABY!!!


    AUTOGRAPH OUT OF 10 (PRICELESS)!!!


    YOUR OWN PERSONAL SPORTS CARDS:
    This was another venue that proved to be entertaining with the fan's. I mean how many times will someone shoot your picture in a jersey of your favorite sport. Get your name on your card in any pose you want. I can't tell you how many HESIMAN poses I saw guys doing with the football. Here is a example of a hockey trader I met that showed me his own personal cards. So I told him I would show it as we all like to know what happens at the Nationals. Of course unlike Vegas what happens at the Nationals will be displayed forever on this card to attest to any crazy thing you do at the Photoshoot.



    TALKED WITH PRESS PASS AND SPORTZCARDKING:
    Just chatted with Tom from Press Pass about the Fake Cards that the raicing guys had mentioned over and over. He said they were fake and told me a little more about the person that created them. As that person did actually get them from the Nationals as he worked for the company that runs the Nationals show. Of course for them being Cards PRINTED AND GIVEN OUT BY PRESS PASS Tom said they did not come from them. So for all racing fans that is your answer.

    Met with DR Price and David Wasserman and talked to David Wasserman about the New cards they have coming out. I mean it should be interesting to see how this product fares on the secondary market (EBAY) as it has all been sold out (pre-order). With it retailing at the high 300 a pack etc. it is a premium product and has ALL SPORTS and NON SPORTS cards in it. Here is some more information on the product in this link:

    http://www.sportstradercentral.com/n...ght=sportkings

    VIP PACKAGE AND THEIR CONTENT (not shown is the auto's passes)!!

    http://www.sportstradercentral.com/g...y-contain.html



    PRESS PASS DISPLAY CASE GOODIES (at the 28th Nationals)

    http://www.sportstradercentral.com/a...ght=press+pass



    HOW BIG IS THE SHOW AT THE NATIONALS (a video)

    http://www.sportstradercentral.com/g...-big-show.html
    The best thing about the show bar non is the interaction with the collectors that come to the show to sell, trade, or buy new cards for their collections. Ian and I met many people and since there was not a lot of hockey at the show many members came back to just talk to us especially if they were at the show for more than a few days. To all of them I say thanks for making this one of the highlights at the show,

    p.s. Last but not least I have to say thanks to Ian aunt Jen as she made us Breakfast and Dinner plus giving us free room and board. Talk about a great relaxing time where I could just soak in HOBBY! As the wife said "I don't think you want to come back home." The kid in me truly did not want to as for anyone that loves the enjoyment of cardboard it a once in a year feeling that is BIG HIGH. If anyone ever has any questions feel free to ask.

    DON
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  5. #5

  6. #6
    i wish i could go to some events like that

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