I love the way the Anti-expo is held twice a year, once in October when the new season has just started and everyone is hopeful for the new season and once in April when it's playoffs time and the city is so excited that you can actually smell it in the air. This year though, the feeling isn't the same since the Canadiens are missing the Spring tournament for a 3rd time in 4 years. Since I do enjoy the game so much though I still watch playoffs hockey. I find it hard to pass on such intense and riveting action but hearing the conversations at the show yesterday, not everyone does. Each to their own as they say. Thankfully, disappointed Habs fans were invited to take a walk down memory lane this weekend with 3 former Habs amongst the guests at the show.
Yesterday, John Leclair , part of the 1993 Cup champions team, was available to sign and meet the fans from 13:00 to 14:00 and he was also nice enough to pose for many pictures. As for Chris Chelios, he was meant to appear from 15:00 to 16:00 but unfortunately, a storm grounded his plane in Carolina and he only made it to the show today. A Cup champ with the 1986 squad, Brian Skrudland, also appeared alongside his former teammate Chelios. Got my 1986 and 1993 mini-cups autographed by these guys but, more importantly, Manon Rhéaume was also available for signings yesterday so I had her sign my old Team Canada jersey.
For maybe the first time ever, I wasn't that impressed with the cards on offer at the show but I did spot a perfect piece for my living room. I don't know about you, but I just love getting pieces that take me back to hockey memories from my childhood. At one stand, there was an impressive 20x24 inches Patrick Roy autographed canvas from Upper Deck Authenticated called "Beginnings", in a flash I was thrown right back to the 1985-1986 season, when I first started the best sport on Earth and I just knew I had to have it! Much of my day was spent haggling with the guy who was selling it and in the end, I do believe I got a very good deal...Especially considering it sells for $500 USD on UDA's website. Must admit, it put me into somewhat of a nostalgic mood so this morning I watched the Cup clinching game from 1993 and got goosebumps over breakfast.
I also met a friend at the show and made a big trade with him, driving away with a Carey Price 1st star kit off of Club 1909 which included the camera lens he signed when he for the 1st star of the game on January 3rd, 2019, an autographed puck with COA and a ticket of that game. Pretty unique item there and I can only hope that sooner rather than later, Price will take his rightful place in history by capturing the Habs' 25th Cup, even though it all sounds like a dream right now. Thankfully, the lens is from an interview with Marc Denis and not good old Renaud Lavoie...
I hope everyone is enjoying this nice sunny Sunday and that you'll all have some time to take in the playoffs action tonight when former Habs' prospect Sergachev and the Tampa Bay Lighting attempt to avoid going down 0-3 against the Jackets and former Habs' captain Max Pacioretty gets his first taste of playoffs action in Vegas!