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Article: The Hunt Was on

  1. The Hunt Was on

    4 Comments by Pheebs888 Published on 09-04-2016 03:49 PM
    If you’re like me, most of the post you receive is somewhat depressing; bills, bills and more bills…Although occasionally there is the odd trade in there or the odd Club 1909 reward but in early August, something really different showed up. I’ve been an SCF member since 2007 and in my years as a moderator on here, I’m happy to report I’ve made quite a few friends. One of the said friends, Ryan Churchward, has started painting in the last few years and he focuses on sports pop art. When he asked me what my address was, I did have a strong suspicion that a piece of art was coming my way but I didn’t ask what it was exactly as I like surprises. When I opened the big envelope that turned up and removed the packaging, the Demon Blond, Guy Lafleur himself was staring at me in a painted form. You can see some of Ryan's paintings here:

    I was over the moon with the gift and I knew it would fit right in in my Montreal Canadiens’ shrine but I couldn’t help to think how awesome it would be if I could get Lafleur to autograph the painting for me. A few days after I received the paintings, I came across a post on Facebook which advertised a ball game featuring local politicians and policemen of Sherbrooke against Canadiens Alumni. It also mentioned that Guy Lafleur would be coaching the team on that day and to me, that was a sign that I had to get there. Sherbrooke is a 2.5 hour drive away from my place but I figured it was well worth the drive to get a legend’s autograph. VIP tickets were 50$ and included an hour meet and greet with the players, photo opportunity, autograph session, 4 drinks and the ball game with the proceeds going to a local youth club.

    The weeks flew by and before I knew it, it was time to hit the road. Having never been there I set off very early and got there over an hour early but the sun was out and there were plenty of picnic tables on the grounds of the Amedé Roy Stadium. After a quick lunch and what could be described as a sunbathing session, it was time for the VIPs to enter the stadium. I handed in my ticket and was invited to go down to the diamond where the signings would take place. I was surprised at the fact that not many people had turned up but that just meant I’d have more time with the players. It was their last ball game of the season and it wasn’t a full team by any means, Sergio Momesso and Jocelyn Lemieux who were both meant to be there weren’t but Guy Lafleur was, as advertised alongside Stéphane Richer (the last player to have a 50 goal season in the Habs uniform), Oleg Petrov, Mathieu Dandenault, Norm Dupont, Richard Sévigny, and Jocelyn Thibault.

    The players all sat at a table and spoke with everyone, posed for pictures and signed everything that was presented to them. Lafleur seemed pretty impressed with the painting and asked who had painted it before signing in his usual neat manner, there’s something to be said for the way these old timers sign, you can actually read their name which is a lot more than can be said for some of today’s young stars. Aside from the painting, I had also brought my Montreal Canadiens Centennial book and I had all players sign that item. Both the painting and the book will now find a place of choice on my shrine. It really was a great experience, the fact that there weren’t that many VIP attendees meant that everyone had a great time and was in a great mood for the ball game to come.

    The Canadiens’ goalie coach Stéphane Waite was meant to be at the game and play for Sherbrooke but his recent appointment as goalie coach for Team Canada meant that he couldn’t make the match. To make up for it though, he had recruited a former Major League Baseball prospect Eric Cyr, who was the driving force behind the Sherbrooke team. The spectators were treated to quite a few homeruns, some acrobatic defensive plays and what can only be described as a few good saves by Jocelyn Thibault who still has a rather quick glove hand! The same cannot be said for Richer though, while he did showcase impressive power at bat, he had shall we say an interesting style in defense which more often than not meant that he tried to throw his glove at a ball that was out of reach. Richard Sevigny was the pitcher which is kind of the job no one wants in that kind of game…it’s not like you’re trying to strike out people with 90 mph pitches. In the circumstances, he did a good job and the above mentioned former MLB prospect had a field day hitting pretty much everything that was sent his way.

    In what was largely a one-sided affair, the local team handed the Canadiens Alumni a 15-10 defeat but the result mattered very little to either team, it was all about having a good time and raising money for a good cause. That match was the 40th the Canadiens played this summer and in total, they’ve raised over a million dollars for various causes. During the game, raffle tickets were also sold and prizes that could be won included a game-used autographed stick of Max Pacioretty and a Canadiens jersey autographed by the former Canadiens who played in the game. Unfortunately I did not win either of the items but to be fair, I had had such a good day that I didn’t really care…even though the winning ticket for the stick was number 925 and I had 924…it just wasn’t meant to be…All in all, it was a great day and if the Canadiens do come to play near you, I suggest you go. Who doesn’t like a bit of autograph hunting, softball and beer in the sun! Now that this event is in the books though, I am definitely ready for the World Cup of Hockey and the upcoming NHL season!

    Last edited by Pheebs888; 09-04-2016 at 03:51 PM.

  2. Total Comments 4


  3. #2
    Really cool story! Always enjoy reading about people getting to meet players especially legends! Congrats on the awesome piece. Looks great in your room. Need to add a little black and gold to it though :)
    Flickr: Hidden Content

    Looking for Penguins, HOF Autos, Vintage Memorabilia. Aswell as any Daniel Sprong, Top Player Autos and Rookies

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by theboxbreaker96 View Post
    Really cool story! Always enjoy reading about people getting to meet players especially legends! Congrats on the awesome piece. Looks great in your room. Need to add a little black and gold to it though :)
    Thanks for the comment :) See you say black and gold and all I think about is Boston, no way i'm ever adding some of those colours ;)

  5. #4
    Really cool.

    My first thought when reading the thread was "did he comment on the painting, or just sign and move to the next fan?" and nice to read that he did ask about it.

    Looks great on the wall!

  6. #5
    Not only did he ask but I even gave him Ryan's card as Ryan had put one attached to the painting :)...Maybe he'll reach out to him, who knows :)

    Thanks for the comment Sean :)

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