Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Tribute to "Hammer"

I was born in the same town as NHL star Sheldon Souray and I'm a big fan, so I decided to write a blog to show off my collection of his cards and memorabilia.

I first met Sheldon in 2008, when he was with the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers players were at West Edmonton Mall signing autographs and I waited in line for hours to get Sheldon to sign the cover of my The Hockey News Yearbook. I was so nervous - I was meeting my hero - but I managed to give him the sketch I'd drawn of his Oilers jersey to welcome him home to Alberta and I told him he was my favorite player. I had prepared myself for him to be a cocky jerk, but he was the nicest guy. His reply: "Well thank you very much." I'll never forget that. He genuinely appreciated my comment.

The second time I met Sheldon was at the 2009 autograph session at West Edmonton Mall. I again stood in line for hours, chatting with the people next to me in line. I mentioned that I was from Sheldon's hometown and they insisted that I tell him that once we got to the front of the line. I was too star-struck to speak when we did get to the front of the line - all I could do was lay my poster on the table and watch Sheldon sign it - but my new friends wouldn't let me proceed without muttering "I'm from Elk Point". Sheldon's reply: "Yeah, I remember you. You were here last year. You drew me that picture." You can imagine how much trouble I had speaking then - I think I confirmed that he was correct, but I can't really recall. As the organizers shuffled me along, Sheldon saw that I was wearing a jersey with his name and number on it, so he called me back, asking if I wanted him to sign my jersey also. It's not like I was going to say "no". I hurried back in front of him and he stood up so he could reach to sign the Oilers crest on my jersey. I thanked him before the organizers basically shoved me ahead, past the other player at the table, who I honestly never even saw. (I feel bad. He signed my other poster and I didn't even get to thank him.)

I hope to meet Sheldon again sometime, and perhaps I'll be able to say more than six words when I do. He's a great person and a talented player, and I respect him and will cheer for him no matter what team he plays for. Welcome to my blog!

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