I was wondering who made it out....what the best moment was....who was the best person they met....best seminar they attended....changes or improvements....etc.
I was out there the whole time.
Best moment - The Toews as captain announcement on Friday night.
Favorite Person - (believe it or not) Rocky Wirtz. He was sooooo nice and down to earth. Man I never thought I'd like a Wirtz.
Best Seminar - I only went to a few, but I loved the Old Barn seminar. Dennis Hull was hysterical and Pit Martin was great too. I also enjoyed the Winter Classic session and listening to how McDonough thinks about everything.
Changes - Better management of the autograph signings. Either more signings at the same time or more frequent player appearances. Some of the lines...especially the Toews and Kane ones were ludicrous. I also would have loved to see a big wrap-up rally on Sunday. The convention was fantastic, but ended very unceremoniously.
Overall though, damn it was a fantastic experience. I got to meet Burish, Byfuglien, Ladd, Hendry, Bolland, Keith, Campbell and a few others from the current team. And I talked with Eddie Olczyk, Troy Murray, Dave Mackey, Steve Larmer among others from the alumni. And meeting Rocky and John was great as well. This convention really propelled my excitement for the coming season into the stratosphere, which was the exact intent.
I loved seeing the players, especially the old timers, interact with each other and fans during the seminars...telling stories, cracking jokes, and seeming to have a really great time. I can't imagine more teams not doing this next year and I'm pretty sure that we'll see even more alumni attend next time around once they hear from the attendees how much fun this was.
The Blackhawks used to roam this town in anonymity, but the convention sure must have made them feel like celebrities and I'm guessing they'll get recognized a lot more now. It was truly a wonderful experience and I'm so glad I went.