AC (natural_hero) wrote in maple_leafs,
AC
natural_hero
maple_leafs

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It's easier than you think to meet the Leafs!

This weekend I got a tip from a friend on Leafspace that you can hang around outside the MasterCard Centre where the Leafs practice to meet the team. I'd never considered doing this before because I didn't have appropriate transportation (nor the knowledge of practice times). If you ever get the opportunity to head over to the MasterCard Centre before or right after the Leafs practice, I highly recommend it. bhavna_grint and I went this morning and met the entire team as they arrived, minus 5 players (didn't see Tim Brent, Clarke MacArthur, Dion Phaneuf, and couldn't get autographs from Jeff Finger or J.S. Giguere). If they have a morning practice, they start arriving after 8am and are all there by 9:30am. They're not actually on the ice until around 11am, but we didn't stay that long (you can go in and watch them practice, too).



Colby Armstrong was the first Leaf we met. He was super nice despite looking very tired!


Mike Komisarek, also very nice.


Phil Kessel. Not so friendly.


Kris Versteeg, another friendly guy.


All 17 autographs!

I was a little surprised by the apparent attitude of some of the players. We were unfortunately beside a group of autograph hounds (with a bazillion pictures to get autographed by each player) which probably didn't help, plus it was early in the morning, but I just keep thinking that without fans like us, they wouldn't be getting their super insane salaries... Anyway, I'm incredibly grateful that they were generous enough to stop and give autographs and pictures and it was a good enough experience that I'd like to go
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  • 8 comments
"but I just keep thinking that without fans like us, they wouldn't be getting their super insane salaries" - No disrespect, but do you own season tickets to the ACC? Because really those people and people who purchase tickets on a regular basis give them their salaries.

And how would you feel if you were heading to practice and being hounded for autographs?

When will people learn that they're human as well and probably have bad days where they may not be as thrilled to deal with people?

On the flip side, congrats on getting all of those autographs.
I don't own season tickets (2000+ person waitlist?), but I subscribe to LeafsTV, attend a few games a year if I'm lucky (Marlies & Leafs) and buy merchandise. A lot of that money goes straight to the pockets of MLSE. Those who own season tickets are not the only contributors.

Getting "hounded" by people sucks, but for them it's part of their job (whether deserved or not). It's also why I stood to the side and politely asked if I could please have their autograph before presenting my pen and hat, then thanked them very much afterwards. I saw a couple of them give little smirks afterwards, and several were outright friendly through the whole thing (Kaberle was great).
Actually, it's not part of their job. Just as it's not part of the job of actors to schmooze with fans at the stagedoor. Some will do it, some won't, and fans should be appreciative of those who will and not bash those who won't.
Exactly.
"I'm willing to bet that Kess was just having a grumpy butt kind of day. I hear tons of stories about how friendly and hilarious he is."

I hope that's all it was, because he has a great smile and should show it more often!

Have an amazing time at the game and practice! You should definitely be able to nab a couple of autographs if you pick the right spot :) I'm not sure where they'd park around Ricoh, but that's where you'd want to be waiting. If you see a bunch of BMWs and Porches pulling in, you're in the right place, haha.
I get my autographs through a company called Hockey Ink. They have Kessel, Schenn, Phaneuf and Giguere:

http://www.hockeyink.com
Check out that hat on Verbeauty!