Get it? “If you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band”? No? Oh well. Country music problems. Today we have another guest training camp report, this time from Texas and courtesy of Brenda (@wishinonehand)!
The day before Brenda was heading to Texas on vacation, she got a Facebook message from a friend: Henrik Lundqvist was doing a signing at Birchbox in SoHo for the first 150 people who bought either a t-shirt or a pair of boxer briefs from Bread & Boxers (for whom he’s a spokesmodel spokesman). So of course she ran for the door, down the street and got there 2.5 hours early. To be 6th in line. She managed some coherent speech and minimal swooning while posing for this:
According to Brenda, “His shirt was SO SOFT” and she strongly resisted the urge to pet his hair. Because you can’t be in jail and go to Austin for a week of Stars practice! On to Texas, where Brenda stayed with Vicky (of VickyAndNikkisFiveHole). She reports:
Day 1: Jamie Benn seems to be pretty well recovered from his surgery. Must be that new strength and conditioning coach fitness model he’s been dating. He was skating quite a bit on a line with Eaves, which is WAY too much hotness for one line.
Between practices they brought in a huge group of little kids on a school field trip, who all got Seguin jerseys and were quizzed them about hockey and the Stars. Seggy took a selfie with them [Twitter]. Seguin & Sharp also spent a bunch of time on a line together. If we thought that the combo of Benn & Eaves was as good as it could get, Sharpie & Seggy certainly gave them a run for their money.
Later in the day, Jordie Benn’s beard showed off its post-season form. And I’m just going to say right now that the moment that Stephen Johns makes it to the NHL, he’ll need a Foxy Friday IMMEDIATELY. (Pants, he has a ginger beard!).
Later that night the Stars had an outdoor fan fest, which included a bouncy house (for kids only – boo) and a TERRIBLE cover band who wore different colored Adidas track. [Pants note: That sounds kind of awesome.] There were Q&A sessions and I was able to get autographs from all of the players who were there. I also got to meet the lovely Carolyn & Merrin from Two Bearded Ladies. I felt an immediate bond with Carolyn upon learning of our shared deep and abiding love of Brandon Bollig. Of course I also managed to find a fellow NY Ranger fan and had to introduce myself to him. #BlueshirtsUnited [Pants note: Hashtags you’ll never again see on this blog.]
Day 2: Vicky & I were running late, and spied Jordie Benn, Jason Demers, Kari Lehtonen & 2 other players trying to get back into the arena after apparently running to the nearby gas station for snacks. [Pants note: They need an Intern Jeff Skinner!] Eventually someone did let them in. Incredibly, not even three minutes later, Demers was already on the ice. How did he get dressed so quickly???
On Day 2, the Stars decided to unveil their strategy for the upcoming season: blind the rest of the league with their beauty. For a large portion of the practice, Benn, Seguin, Sharp, Demers & Oduya skated together as a 5-man unit. Jesus, Dallas, are you trying to KILL us??? I’m shocked that the ice did not melt (full disclosure: we melted – A LOT). A bunch of other stuff happened at practice, too, but honestly, who cares?
Day 3: Today was the “official” scrimmage that you had to pay to attend, as well as the only day concession stands were open, so of course I took advantage and had a frozen strawberry margarita. We were excited that they were handing out rally towels to fans, until we discovered that they were left over from Mike Modano’s retirement night from 2014. Very lame, Stars! Vicky & I were joined by Le’Loni, Micah & Laura, her fellow Texas Stars Ice Patrol friends, and Nikki, the other half of VickyAndNikkisFiveHole. We were NOTHING but trouble. A lot of people were SUPER PISSED that Jamie Benn & Ales Hemsky didn’t skate in the scrimmage. Still, it was really fun. Seggy looked great, scoring 2 goals but missing on a penalty shot.
The funniest part of the day was that Merrin was able to get Jamie to sign the notebook (available at the Two Bearded Ladies online shop) that has a picture of a sloth in a hockey helmet hanging from a hockey stick along with a quote from Jamie’s scouting report: “We’re not sure if he’s really that slow, or if he just refuses to move.” Well done, ma’am.
[Pants note: STOP. Their subtitle is “If you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a beard on your face”!! I swear I did NOT see that before titling this post. #soulmates]
Day 4: The best part of the ENTIRE camp was that after the scrimmage (and after the laps that both squads had to skate), Sharp and Oduya were out on the ice. We thought maybe they were going to do some drills with the coaches, but then Oduya skated off. Sharp skated a bit with the puck and then shot it right at the boards below us (we were sitting right on the glass). We laughed and waved at him. He skated by and then turned around and smiled at us and flipped the puck over the glass to me. Another woman who was sitting at the other end of the row went to get it (it had gone behind me), but there was ZERO CHANCE I was letting anyone get the puck that Sharpie had clearly wanted ME to have. Shockingly, in my entire life (we don’t need to talk about exactly how many years that is), this is the first time I’ve ever had a player give me a puck. A 3-time Stanley Cup champion is a pretty outstanding place to start, don’t you think?
Day 5: After the last practice, Sharpie was talking to some of the fans on his way off the ice and I was able to get him to sign the puck he’d given me the day before (side bar: his hands are very soft). YESSSS!!! So in the space of 8 days, I met 2 of the 3 best looking men in the NHL (Patrice Bergeron being the third – although I met him at the NHL store this past season), which is pretty ridiculous. I am feeling very blessed. Thank you, hockey gods!
Thankfully pre-season hockey is here and regular season hockey is right around the corner. Let’s go Rangers!
Tags: Dallas Stars, jamie benn, jordie benn, Tyler Seguin