Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cornering "The Rat"

Living here in hockey-rich New England, there’s no shortage of opportunities to hound for autographs. Besides NHL teams in the so-called Hub of the Universe to take on Beantown's Bruins, a handful of AHL teams within an hour’s drive and a top-shelf college league, Hockey East, hockey hounds also can catch Bruins alumni games.

I made my first-ever trip to an alumni game last night, down to Salem, Mass., where such former Bruins players as Ken Hodge Jr., Bob Sweeney and Gary Doak suited up against an "all-star" team of shaky-ankle beer-leaguers.

Not only was it an entertaining night, but I also scored the 799th puck (shown above) of my collection -- former Bruin and Philly Flyer Kenny "The Rat" Linseman. While some of his mates were far from game shape, The Rat looked as though he could’ve suited up for current Bruins. And while he was known for being a pest during his playing days, Linseman was far from it last night.

As a side note, not only does this puck put me next to another milestone in my collection, but it was also the 100th in the past 30 days. Though I’m well-stocked for certain teams in the days ahead (Hershey Bears, another trip for the Sabres, Ottawa Senators and the Manchester Monarchs), I’ll have to plead guilty, or at least attempt, to cherry-picking as I take a more methodical approach to reaching No. 915.

Who will be No. 800? Who knows. Maybe it'll be No. 77. Stay tuned!


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