On Saturday, thanks to tickets from my co-writer Brian Donohue, I attended the Blackhawks Training Camp Festival with my wife and youngest son. I’m typically not into “fluff” events, but the Blackhawks organization did a top notch job. Events like these are a great opportunity to expand the NHL fan base, something that is definitely needed, and the Hawks made the most of that chance.
We arrived early to ensure getting our Patrick Sharp bobbleheads (which of course don’t stand up – solution: glue a puck to the bottom). The 100 level was only about 1/3 full, but the other 2/3rds were being “saved.” I have no problem with people saving a seat or two, but when two people are saving ten or more seats that’s a bit over the top. Get there on time people! The 300 section, where I feel most at home, was desolate so we wandered upstairs and made ourselves comfortable in the front row at center ice. Not bad.
Although it was nice to see the team on the ice and Kane unloading shots without any apparent discomfort to his wrist, not much real skating happens on the first day of camp. Actually the best part was watching the “scary-good for their age” peewees skate prior to the Hawks taking the ice. By the end of the first Hawks scrimmage we were able to sneak down behind the CBOE seats for a close-up look at the players.
My son also won a Dave Bolland signed puck in a spin-the-wheel contest that was being held in the lobby. All-in-all, the day was very enjoyable. Just being inside the UC watching any kind of hockey put me in the best of moods. Plus, we left with our collective hands full of Blackhawks giveaways.
Up in the 300 section, my phone camera just wasn’t going to cut it, but I noticed a woman across the aisle from us with a really nice camera. I asked her if she could send me some photos and she graciously did. Below are a few photos from from that album. Laura K’s entire album can be viewed here. A big thank you to Laura and her husband for the photos and for putting up with me during the event. Altruism really does exist.
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