Sunday, June 27, 2010

2010 NHL Draft Weekend Day 2: First Round Part 1: Gabby

On Friday morning, we drove up to Staples Center at around 11:00 a.m. The NHL had set up booths and vendors at the L.A. Live area across 12th street from Staples Center. These booths were in the plaza area right in front of the ESPNZone. We decided to walk around to get a feel for the place. We guessed that a lot of players would be staying at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel adjacent to the plaza where all of the booths were located. We walked over near the hotel entrance to check it out. As we approached, we noticed that a group of hard core collectors had amassed about 100 feet from the hotel entrance. This is the group I will refer to from now on as Adult Men Who Live In Mom's Basement (AMWLIMB). Imagine a group of 40 year old overweight men without real lives. They traveled in a pack and it was never more evident than when someone marginally famous would approach. They would descend on the player/former player/media star and get autographs. They carried boxes of cards and 3 ring binders with more cards and a few photographs. We decided to turn and go the other way so as not to be associated with these folks. We strolled back towards Lawry's on Pico Ave to see if we could spot anyone interesting. This became known to A.J. and me as the "T" circuit. While on this stroll, we decided to have lunch at ESPNZone and headed back that way. As we were walking back, A.J. said to me, "Hey look. Isn't that Bruce Boudreau?" Sure enough, there he was. Bruce Boudreau is the Head Coach of the Washington Capitals. He is nicknamed "Gabby" because he is very talkative and gregarious. He wrote a book that A.J. and I read (titled "Gabby"). He is basically our favorite NHL coach outside of Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. He was talking to a few fans, who were also taking a few snapshots of him. He seemed to be in a hurry to go somewhere, so we had to act fast. I asked him if we could get a photo of him with A.J. He said he had to go, but he'd be glad to take the picture with A.J. I snapped off two quick ones, thanked him and off he went. It turns out he was in a hurry to have lunch at Wolfgang Puck's with former NHL coach John Anderson. We later saw them eating (and talking) on the patio. Nice guy. Our first real photo of the day.


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