As of today’s date, there have been 39 men to play goalie for the New Jersey Devils, not including anyone who has not yet played (Jonathan Bernier). This post is dedicated to who is left, and my efforts to secure those signatures thus far.
I received an address for Lindsay from Jay over at Hockey Ink In The Mail (http://www.hockeyinkinthemail.blogspot.com). Jay is very experienced with autographs so I figured that would be an easy one. I sent a puck, Sharpie, and return envelope to the address provided, and thus far…nothing.
Not to be too obnoxious (but I feel like I am going to have to be), I send a follow-up letter today explaining my project, and I even enclosed a photograph of the current collection. I’m hoping that sending that might convince him to return the puck. We will see what happens.
Using good old fashioned Google skills, I learned that Shawn is involved in a youth hockey program up in Canada, the Bedford Minor Hockey Association. I reached out to them via e-mail and received a reply from someone in the office who spoke directly to Shawn, and said he was willing to sign for me. I then enlisted a friend of mine in Canada, because you cannot print and send an International return label from the US. So, my buddy will send/receive the puck for me and then return it to me. I have every confidence that this one will come back and I will add this one to the collection.
This is one of the ones I thought would be impossible, but as it happens, Jay over at Hockey Ink just recently got Hannu to sign for him, and he passed the information along to me. He is affiliated with the SM Liiga Alumni. Unfortunately, he is in Finland. Not to be deterred, I sent a puck and Sharpie to him with a letter asking him to help me out, and to contact me so I could send some money for the return shipping cost. I can see this request being a little irritating to fulfill, so I will not be surprised if this one remains outstanding.
This guy has virtually no online presence at all. I was able to locate some info that said he had a website where he offered freelance instruction, but having found the website (with the assistance of a French speaking friend), I learned it was no longer active. Same friend provided me with a possible known associate and we are in the process of tracking her down to see if she can help. More to follow on this one, I hope.
Through a separate Canadian intermediary, I sent a puck up to Winnipeg with hopes that Karl would be kind and help me out. My buddy reports this one has come back, so it looks like this one will be added to mu list soon.
I was able to find someone named Chad Erickson in his original hometown. A little Google research revealed he was the right age and had the correctly named wife, so I am pretty sure I found him. I send the package out with a return envelope and have heard nothing. I sent him a letter today as I did with Middlebrook up above. I am somewhat hopeful he will respond.
See Chad Erickson above, because I sent them at the same time and thus far, have the same (lack of) results.
I thought this one was going to be easy as JF seems to have a fairly active online presence. I have reached out on Twitter and Instagram and have yet to make contact. I did discuss the project with a friend on the http://www.njdevs.com message board, and he thinks he may have one in storage that he doesn’t need. Waiting to hear back on all of those issues.
I actually made contact with Ken and he was very willing to help, seems like the nicest guy in the world. The friend who handled the Friesen puck for me also sent one to Ken, and while it isn’t back yet, I am pretty confident it will happen.
I didn’t think someone so recent would be so hard to find. I understand he is expecting a child so I have backed off a bit, I have left messages on Instagram and Twitter, and I am hopeful he will respond. If he doesn’t, he is signed to play for Buffalo this Fall, and I will send a puck to whatever team he is palying for (AHL or NHL) to try to get that one done.
My Overall Feelings On The Project:
I am pretty happy that I have been able to get my hands on most of these pucks. I didn’t expect that I would get close, but now being only 10 away with several out there in the world potentially waiting to be returned, I am anxious to make some contact and get in touch with some of the Elusive 10.
I am more optimistic than ever that I can get this collection completed. However, I am always willing to humbly accept the assistance of others. If anyone knows a guy, or a guy that knows that guy, or lives in the same town, or just wants to pick a guy and see if they can track him down, I am happy to accept that help!!