The most wonderful time of the year…

I’ve posted about the calligraphy I do for the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Well, last night the inductees signed it.

It’s fun to catch up with people you see once every year, but for me, the best is still witnessing the inductees signing “my autograph book”, which by the way is carried in to the room by an RCMP officer. How cool is that?

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I couldn’t get any closer, and there was a disturbing sea of cell phones in my way!

First up, Sergei Fedorov. He won the Stanley Cup three times with the Detroit Red Wings, and was the first European-trained player to win the Hart Trophy.

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Angela Ruggiero played for the USA Women’s team. With this four time Olympian (medals each time) and four time World Cup gold medalist, the boys are in good company this year.

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I’ve actually met Bill Hay a few times and still managed to learn some things. He was inducted in the builder category, but he also played for the Chicago Blackhawks from 1960-1967. He played centre to Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita in 1961, bringing home the Stanley Cup (the first Cup Chicago had won since 1938).

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Phil Housley played for Buffalo, among others. Part of the NHL Rookie Team in 1983 he also went on to play in the All-Star Games in 1984, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 2000.

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There are some years I am given the names, and there’s one I don’t recognize. Pretty bad to say I’m a hockey fan and admit that. Peter Karmanos Jr. was also inducted into the builder category. He’s the CEO of the Carolina Hurricanes. After the 1997-98 season he was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey. Who knew?! (Okay, other people maybe, but I didn’t)

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The next two guys are REALLY well known. Niklas Lidstrom was captain of the Detroit Red Wings at the end of his 20-year hockey career. Thank you Wikipedia for the stats. Four Stanley Cups, seven James Norris Trophies, one Conn Smythe Trophy, and voted into twelve All-Star games.

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Last, but not least, Chris Pronger. Bless him, he was suspended eight times. He must have been doing something right though, because he won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, and the Hart Trophy in 2000. He was the first defenseman to do that, since Bobby Orr (you may have heard of him) won it in 1972.

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Once the autographs are collected, I have to be very sneaky. I pass my phone off to someone on stage to take my “after” picture. I have a growing collection. Feels pretty awesome!

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…and it may just be me, but I think Borje Salming is just wonderful smiling in the background of all the pictures!

Of Love and Nature…

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Big shout out to my friend Kira Braun, for her CD launch tomorrow afternoon!  I wish I could be there, but am sending my best wishes for a huge success!

Kira is one of those people that I have met along my kaleidoscope road. We actually met on the train commuting, and as Scorpios (we even happen to share the same birthdate) we started talking. She’s one of those people who will do anything she can to help a friend. I know first hand, since she keeps posting on Facebook about a translation I did of my grandfather’s WWII notebook. But, I digress.

There are some people who sit on their butts at home, dreaming about things they want to do, and then there are people like Kira. She chases her dreams wholeheartedly, and those dreams become reality. This is her second CD. Kudos to my birthday buddy!

Tomorrow, as I said, is her CD launch. You won’t be there, because you’re reading this in the USA, or Russia, or Australia. You can still have a listen, and buy it online. There are a lot of ways to describe her voice, but I don’t need to. You’re going to love her. My job is to encourage you to support her like I do.

Kira Cover

The new CD was just made available: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kirabraunandpeterkrochak.

Her first CD is available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewCollaboration?cc=ca&ids=933035503-878271023