The draft party has begun, and as we wait with baited breath to see what the Islanders will do with the fifth overall pick, there's plenty to do on the floor of the Coliseum as fans continue to file in.
Beyond the items up for auction, the interactive exhibits (how hard is your slap shot?), the coolest things are the items brought down from the Hall of Fame in Toronto.
The Islanders items include the five pucks that found the net in the debut game for the Islanders and the Atlanta Flames in October 1972, a 3-2 Flames victory; the stick Mike Bossy used to score his 68th goal in 1980-81; Brent Sutter's jersey from 1986-87; along with Billy Smith's pads and the stick he used when he "scored" a goal against Colorado in 1979.
There's also the skates Gretzky wore in his final game, but I like the old stuff best. Like Ace Bailey's skate blades; the hat Punch Imlach wore while coaching Toronto to four cups in the 1960s (the guy must have a midget based on the size of the hat; perhaps he was the inspiration for the Maple Leafs coach in "The Love Guru" - played by Verne Troyer, of course); Frank Mahovlich's jersey from 1958; Eddie Shore's Bruins jersey from 1932; or the stick Gordie Howe used to score his 220th career goal -- the thing is is flat as a frying pan.
You also learn that these guys save EVERYTHING. Case in point? You can see the socks Sean Bergenheim wore when Finland beat the Czech Republic in the 2001 world under-18 championships.
Dee, they're all yours.