So far I've met 13 Wings, and all have been nothing short of awesome. I think the best would have to be Darren McCarty at a signing in Meijer about a week before the season started. I went with my friend, Kari, and her friend, Kaylyn. Kari's dad had a Stanley Cup hat that was already signed by Drapes that he wanted us to get signed by Darren, too. So before we left, we made sure we had everything we wanted to get signed; I got my hat and my sister's card, Kaylyn's got her calender, Kari's got her book written by Darren's dad. All set, lets go!
We get there and the store lady tells us that we can only get one thing signed at a time. So we're thinking that we're gonna have to get back in line so we can get everything we want signed, a daunting task since the line went all the way from one end of the store to the other. We stand in line for about half an hour (I don't remember exactly how long) until we're about 10 people away from Darren. That's when I notice that he is signing more that one thing at a time for people. Kari digs in her giant purse for her dad's hat so she can have it ready when we get to the table. It wasn't in there, so we assume we just left it in the car and decide to get it signed by him later.
Once we're at the table, we notice a big stack of pictures of Darren. They were supposed to be for people who didn't bring stuff of their own to get signed, but Darren signing one for everyone, as well as asking their names and personalizing it. He signs all our stuff and gives each of us one of the pictures (he had a little bit of trouble figuring out how to spell Kaylyn's name). The whole time he was very nice and kinda joked around with us a bit. We say our goodbyes and went back to the car to get Kari's hat.
The hat wasn't in the car. We practically tore it apart looking for it, double checking every single place it could be. It was no where to be found. That's when we started to panic. Where the heck could it be?! We were absolutely sure we took it with us! Is it in the store? The Tim Horton's we stopped at on the way? The parking lot? What if someone stole it?! Carl (Kari's dad) is gonna kill us! Desperately, we went back in the store and looked everywhere we were before we got in line. No hat. On a last ditch effort, we went to the Customer Service desk and asked the lady behind the counter if it was in the lost and found or something like that. "Today? Sorry, but that thing is gone!!" Thanks for the help, lady.
That's when we realize that if someone in the store had stolen the hat, they would take it to Darren to get it signed. I mean, who wouldn't want a Stanley Cup hat that was signed by 2/3'rds of the Grind Line? We get back in line and decide to do two things; look for anyone wearing a Stanley Cup hat and see if it's ours and ask Darren if he had seen the hat to determine if it really had been stolen. About halfway though the line, we smack ourselves on the forehead, remembering the distinct posibility that we just left it at one of our houses! I call home and my sister answers...
"Hey, you know Kari's Stanley Cup hat that's signed by Drapes?"
"You mean the one sitting right here on the counter?"
We had never been so happy to have forgotten something in our lives. But there was still the fact Carl would still kill us if we didn't get the hat signed, stolen or not. I remembered the stack of pictures on the table and suggest we get one of those for him.
We get back to Darren, and the conversation between him and Kari went a little something like this...
"Hey, it's us again. So, I got a funny story for you."
"Ok, tell me a funny story."
"Well, it isn't really funny."
"Then why didn't you say you had a sad story? Or a tragic story?"
"Ok, I got a TRAGIC story to tell you..."
So she tells Darren the whole story about the lost hat and how her dad will kill us if she doesn't get it signed.
Although he told us that he didn't think the story was all that tragic, Darren grabbed one of the pictures and wrote,
This is WAY better than the hat!"
Even though he was a bit mad at first for forgetting the hat, Carl loved the picture and now it's hanging up on the wall at their house
(Sorry for the wall of text)