Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tricks of the Trade: Timing

Of all the requests for information that Hound Central 3.0 receives, the most popular inquiry centers around the best times of the day to find the visiting team's players.

Based on my years of hounding, I've found these to be the best:

~ Game-day morning skate: Most teams will have a short workout scheduled about eight hours before game time. So, if a game is at 7:30 p.m., as most are down here in Tampa, the players will take to the ice about 11:30 a.m. Plan on arriving at the team's hotel at least an hour to 90 minutes before this time.

~ Game-time bus ride: Teams like to be at the rink at least two hours before game time. Again, arrive at the team's hotel about an hour or 90 minutes earlier. Often, this opportunity draws the most fans and hounds. Expect crowds.

~ The night before: Hockey players are human beings and, as a result, need to eat. Though your wait may be long and the rewards far fewer, visiting the team hotel around the dinner hour can provide one-on-one opportunities. If you have the time, it often pays to stick around a few hours.

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